Earth Science Week 2020 Highlights

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USGS has been a longtime sponsor of Earth Science Week founded in 1998 by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). It is an annual international event held during the second week of October to encourage better public understanding of and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and Earth stewardship. 

"While exact figures are still being tallied, it is estimated that more than 50 million people again gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 23rd annual Earth Science Week in October 2020. Amid a global pandemic, the event celebrated the theme "Earth Materials in Our Lives" by exploring the relevance of raw materials to individuals and society." (AGI, 2020) 

The Energy and Minerals Mission Area took part in the festivities and a few of the Focus Days during the week-long celebration, October 10 - 16, 2020. Focus Day themes included:

  • Minerals Day
  • Earth Observation Day
  • No Child Left Inside Day
  • National Fossil Day
  • Geoscience for Everyone Day
  • Geologic Map Day


Minerals Day 

For raising awareness of and appreciation for minerals and mineralogy, USGS scientist Shannon Mahan took us on a tour of quartz and how geologists like her use quartz to study all kinds of things, from earthquakes to archaeology.

Video Transcript

CREDITS: Presenter, Shannon Mahan; Videographer, Emma Krolczyk, Producer, Alex Demas (Public domain)

No Child Left Inside Day

To encourage students to go outside and research Earth science in the field like a professional geoscientist, USGS Geologic Information Specialist and Outreach Coordinator, Donna Pizzarelli wrote a Geologist Tongue Twister and News story on the following featured rocks and minerals. 

A Geologist Tongue Twister: Geologists collect - slate and shale slabs - sparkling sperrylite - stinky sulfur - silvery silicon

A tongue twister on geology featuring rocks, fossils, and minerals for Earth Science Week 2020 (Public domain)