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Gretchen Cook-Anderson/Elvia Thompson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-0836/358-1696)

Cynthia Martinez
American Geological Institute
(Phone: 703/379-2480 ext. 227)

Carolyn Bell
U.S. Geological Survey
(Phone: 703/648-4463)

October 10, 2003
RELEASE : 03-328
NASA Celebrates Educational Benefits Of Earth Science Week
Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) taken by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer Image left: Sea surface temperatures taken by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer.

NASA, the American Geological Institute (AGI), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and AGI's member societies will celebrate Earth Science Week October 12-18. The agencies are participating in activities to enhance national Earth science literacy among students, educators and the public.

Earth Science Week focuses on the Earth, its resources, processes and hazards. The theme for Earth Science Week 2003 is "Eyes on Planet Earth: Monitoring our Changing World."

Observation of Earth, from the most detailed microscopic levels to satellite imagery, illustrates the interconnectedness of and within the planet. "Satellites provide us the eyes to predict and monitor climate change, weather and natural hazards, and we continue to make strides to better understand and protect our home planet," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA's Associate Administrator for Earth Science.

NASA and others collaborated to produce Earth Science Week educational packets. The packets, available from AGI, contain informative posters, bookmarks, NASA lithographs and interactive CD-ROM's, including a digital atlas of North America that is a part of the Global Geographic Information Systems hosted by USGS and AGI.

The educational packet is intended to give students, teachers and the public innovative ideas about how to celebrate Earth Science Week 2003. Approximately 12,000 have been distributed to teachers and schools nationwide. The content helps individuals appreciate our natural environment, as well as gain familiarity with analytical tools for spatial analysis.

"During Earth Science Week and thereafter, NASA and its partners hope students, teachers, and people from all walks of life will take a look around and notice what's happening on Earth," said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA's Associate Administrator for Education. "We seek through our celebration of Earth Science Week another valuable opportunity to inspire and motivate the next generation of explorers to learn more about our home planet."

Earth Science Week activities at NASA include special features on the NASA Web site and NASA TV. A new Earth Science-related episode of NASA Connect will air October 16 on NASA TV, participating PBS stations, Channel One, and a number of cable access channels.

NASA's Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) and the GLOBE Program, sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation, are supporting Earth Science Week by engaging students in an intensive period of observation of clouds, soil moisture, and respective data collection.

"The science of the USGS and NASA benefits lives in countless ways. Earth Science Week is a great opportunity to increase public awareness of the diversity of scientific expertise within the government and the ways science contributes to the health and vitality of citizens, communities, our nation and our world," said USGS Director Dr. Charles Groat.

For information about NASA Earth Science research or other education programs on the Internet, visit:

For more information about Earth Science Week 2003 and AGI on the Internet, visit:

For information about USGS education programs on the Internet, visit:

For the NASA Connect broadcast schedule on the Internet, visit:


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