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No longer accepting Summer 2014 applications

The Geoenvironmental Challenges research experience for undergraduate pre-service teachers is no longer accepting applications for Summer 2014.  Return to the website during late 2014 to apply for Summer 2015.

2/15 Deadline – NSF Research Experience for Pre-service STEM Teachers

Seeking pre-service STEM teachers nationwide!

A nine-week National Science Foundation summer undergraduate research experience for future Earth science, chemistry, and biology teachers

Geoenvironmental Challenges in the Southeastern United States

Application now available.  Application deadline: 15 February, 2014.

Project website:

* A nine-week undergraduate science research experience in the greater Nashville, TN area.

* June 2 – August 1, 2014.

* For future middle school and high school Earth science, chemistry, and biology teachers.

* Includes five-day field trip to Mammoth Caves and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

* Includes travel to the 2015 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

* $4,500.00 stipend + all expenses.

U.S. carbon dioxide is down, oil imports are down, and there’s plenty of work for U.S. geoscientists

At the end of 2013, the Washington Post blog asked twenty major thinkers to each post a “graph of the year,” and two of the posted graphs contained substantial Earth science content.  Environmentalist Bill McKibben posted one of the two graphs, and his post shows an increase in U.S. oil and gas drilling even as U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined.  While Mr. McKibben bemoaned the amount of fossil fuel that continues to come out of the ground, the post points to some positive aspects of the U.S. energy scene.  Aside from the fact that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are down, the U.S. is less dependent on oil imports than it has been in years and geoscience employment remains robust.

Will the electric car save your electric company?

Americans bought less electricity in recent years and some experts think the trend will continue: Washington Post blog.  Could electric cars and plug-in hybrids boost demand for electricity from power companies?  Maybe – but not if they remain small slices of the market.

To gain more insights into the changing energy landscape, check out California where a solar power boom may soon disrupt the way electric companies operate – and boost the need for REALLY BIG batteries.

Happy Holidays! (Lists of popular science books)

Still looking for the perfect science book to give as a gift, or, perhaps, read yourself while snuggled under the covers?

Here are some lists in no particular order and with no implied endorsement.


American Institute of Professional Geologists: your local geoscientists

American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) national president Ronald Wallace and Tennessee Section president Todd McFarland (Nashville office of AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.) visited Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on December 5th for an AIPG section meeting.  AIPG can be a great source for local speakers knowledgeable about how the work of geoscientists impacts local communities.  Indeed, most AIPG members can talk about what geoscientists “actually do” after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and most AIPG members have a wealth of applied Earth knowledge learned on the job as well as in the classroom.  Many AIPG members work alongside engineers and other science professionals to solve local environmental problems every day.

From an education perspective, one of the differences between AIPG and two of the other major geoscience societies, the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, is that a substantial number of AIPG members have expressed skepticism about the extent to which human activity is to blame for global warming during the last 150 years.  In contrast, the Geological Society of America (position statement) and the American Geophysical Union (position statement) follow the lead of most climate scientists in attributing most of the warming to human activity.

-Mark Abolins, Geoenvironmental Challenges principal investigator

Urban schools band together to get the polystyrene out of the lunch program

A consortium of urban schools shifts from polystyrene lunch trays to compostable trays made out of sugar cane.  If they buy enough trays, the price may fall over time they hope.  And maybe the schools can make compost and sell the mulch, too!

Teacher reduce/reuse/recycle resources from Resourceful Schools: .


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