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AGI receives grant to develop environmental science textbook

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the American Geological Institute (AGI) a grant of $998,000 to develop an environmental science textbook for high-school students over the next three years. The new textbook, Environmental Science: Understanding our Changing Earth, will be written in collaboration with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and high-school teachers, and will focus on the relationship between humans and their geological surroundings. "Using an Earth system science approach, this innovative, interdisciplinary environmental science curriculum will help students gain the fundamental scientific knowledge and skills that will empower them to be literate citizens of Planet Earth," says Michael Smith, AGI Director of Education and Outreach.

Recent studies show that the demand for environmental science courses is growing and there is a tremendous need for appropriate curriculum materials. The majority of environmental science textbooks emphasize ecology. What makes the AGI project unique is its geoscience approach to environmental problems. The textbook will integrate technology, field, and laboratory-based activities to address five core concepts associated with the environment: human population growth and its impact; sustainability of population with available natural resources; understanding Earth's systems and the effects of natural and induced change; earth processes and risk to life and property; and scientific inquiry in reaching decisions and formulating policy. Accompanying the textbook will be a DVD developed by the USGS having a wide variety of datasets, including a global base map, population, land cover, petroleum deposits, and ecosystems, and ArcView Data Publisher software. This powerful feature will enable students to conduct activities which examine how multiple factors influence the environment and will reinforce the core concepts. A co
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Contact: Michael J. Smith
msmith@agiweb.org
703-379-2480
American Geological Institute
20-Jun-2003


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