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Ventures into Geosciences
September 2006

Message from Ventures Scholars Program

Dear Ventures Scholar,

The American Geological Institute (AGI) would like to welcome you to the exciting world of geoscience careers. Geoscientists study the Earth: its systems, processes, structure and changes over time. You might find a geoscientist in the field monitoring water systems, in the laboratory dating fossils or studying ice cores, in a studio creating animations from satellite data, in the classroom working with students, climbing mountains to study their origins, on Capitol Hill working with Congress, on a television show or in a museum, or in hundreds of other careers around the world.

If you like science and are curious about our planet and how it works, a career in the geosciences might be a great option for you. You can choose from careers that include world travel, field experiences, lab and computer work, interacting with the media, digging into the past and much more.

We invite you to peruse this e-newsletter to access additional information about geoscience career pathways and to also participate in Earth Science Week activities from October 8-14, 2006. You can find more information about Earth Science Week at

As part of Earth Science Week, the Ventures Scholars Program will be also inviting you to participate in a variety of online activities. Make sure you check your email for additional information!


Ann Benbow , Executive Director, American Geological Institute
Ventures Scholars Program



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Getting Involved: Earth Science Week -
October 8th-14th

Participate in Earth Science Week! Possibly you will learn about new careers and how to help our environment! American Geological Institute has developed a booklet and a contest to get you and your friends involved!

Be A Citizen Scientist - Celebrate Earth Science Week

We truly are citizens of the Earth. As the planet’s native inhabitants, we all share an appreciation of its beauty, use of its resources, and care for its future. That’s why “citizen science” — involving ordinary citizens in building our scientific understanding of the Earth’s systems — is so important.

Learn more about the citizen science opportunities awaiting you by taking part in Earth Science Week, October 8-14, 2006, when we will celebrate the theme “Be a Citizen Scientist!” This year we focus on ways that everyday people can conduct real scientific investigations, highlight the value of Earth science in everyone’s life, raise the profile of geoscientists’ important work, and help spread science literacy.

There are lots of ways you can participate in Earth Science Week and other activities all year long. Accept the geosciences’ challenge to all citizens of the Earth: Be a Citizen Scientist. Click here to access additional information.

Using and Studying the Earth's Resources: A Photography Contest

American Geological Institute is sponsoring a photography contest in order to encourage the public to photograph images for the theme of, "Using and Studying Earth's Resources." Take pictures of students learning about Earth science or people using natural resources for energy, housing, apparel, or other uses. The contest is open to all ages. The winner will receive $300 cash. Submission must be entered by October 5, 2006.

Click here
to download the Photography Contest entry form.

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Learn about Our Environment

Water and the Environment

When we turn the faucet on we expect clean water to come out, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our expectations are so high that we have built large dams and associated reservoirs, pumped large quantities of groundwater from aquifers, and constructed intricate water distribution systems to transport water from areas where it is located to where we prefer to live. We monitor the quality of our water and spend billions of dollars to treat it.

In the United States, we have come to rely on good quality water and plenty of it; after all, water is essential to life. As a society, we depend upon water for many uses, including irrigation, power generation, recreation, and transportation. But what happens when there is a drought, or even times when the supply of water is less than what we have become accustomed to? Or maybe there is too much water and it floods our home, farm, or city. What if the quality of our water is degraded and we can no longer use it for a desired purpose?

This booklet provides information about water, its importance, where it comes from, water-related environmental concerns, water protection, polices and regulations, and our future needs for water.
Click here
to access the booklet.

Metal Mining and the Environment

The process of extracting natural resources, such as metals, from the Earth commonly raises public concerns about potential environmental impacts. Society’s requirement for metals establishes a strong link between our standard of living, the Earth, and science. Understanding the highly technical process of metal mining can help prepare citizens for the necessary discussions and decisions concerning society’s increasing need for metals and the related environmental tradeoffs. Decisions about the development and use of Earth’s metallic resources affect the economic, social, and environmental fabric of societies worldwide. Our challenge is to balance these important attributes.

This booklet helps answer the following questions: Why does society need metals? What are the principal sources of metals? How are metals recovered from the Earth? What are the major environmental concerns related to producing metals? How can these environmental concerns be managed and mitigated? What role can technology play in reducing environmental impacts? What is the future need and environmental outlook for metal mining? Click here to access the booklet.

Soil and the Future

In the United States, the number of people whose livelihood depends directly on the soil has decreased dramatically in the past 50 years. Those who live in urban settings, where opportunities for daily contact with natural environments and processes are limited, have few contacts with soil — or occasions to recognize its importance. Yet, life at the surface of the Earth evolved in soil, and the future of life depends on it.

This booklet will increase your awareness and understanding of why healthy soils are essential for our well-being, the critical role soils play in a variety of natural processes, the factors affecting the suitability of soils for various uses, management practices that conserve soils and keep them productive, what the major sources of soil contamination are, and how damaged soils can be reclaimed. Click here to access the booklet.

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Exploring Careers in the Geosciences

What do you know about the geosciences? After reading the following articles, maybe you will consider a career in the geosciences.

Ventures Scholars Share Their Interests in the Geosciences

The Ventures Scholars Program wanted to find out what Ventures Scholars know about the geosciences.

During summer 2006, the Program asked students to respond to questions about the geosciences as well as career interests.

The Program received responses from 152 Ventures Scholars.
Gender: 107 females and 45 males responded to the survey.
Graduation Year: 17 Ventures Scholars graduated high school in 2006, 75 Ventures Scholars will graduate high school in 2007, and 65 Ventures Scholars will graduate high school in 2008 responded to the survey.

Click here to find out Ventures Scholars' understanding of the geosciences. For your information, all statements are true!

Click here to find out Ventures Scholars' interests in different career areas relating to the geosciences.

Profiles of Geoscientists

The Guide presents introductory essays and profiles of the following employer sectors: oil and gas industry, mining industry, consulting firms in Water Resources and the Environment , federal and state government agencies , national laboratories, and K-12 education.

The essays provide a context for better understanding of employment opportunities, as well as reviewing required and preferred qualifications that employers look for in their new hires. While there are differences in the particulars, all employers share in some basic advice to students about skills and proficiencies they should acquire and develop: a general and solid grounding in the fundamentals of geoscience (i.e., don't over-specialize); oral and written communication skills; networking skills; intern/work experience; willingness for international assignments and mobility; foreign language skills; ability to work as part of a team; field work; computer skills; problem-solving skills. If possible, students should consider getting a master's degree. Click here to access this helpful resource.

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Programs and Opportunities - Colleges and Associations

How can you find out about programs and opportunities? Our member institution admissions officers can provide you with information about programs at their institutions. Professional association representatives can let you know about additional opportunities, too!

Professional Associations and Societies Can Provide Career Information about the Geosciences

AGI has compiled this annotated list of career websites to aid you in finding information on science-related careers. Although some of the sites do not specifically focus on geoscience, they all contain valuable information on science careers and job hunting tips. The list includes Geoscience Societies and other science career sites. Click here to access the list.

Contact Member Colleges About Programs and Opportunities

Contact the admissions officers at the member institutions to learn about programs and opportunities in the geosciences. Go to . Click on High School Scholars located on the gray bar on the site. Next, click on Undergraduate Institutions in the red box on the left-hand side of the web page. Last click on Member Institution Profiles in the red box.

Each institution has a link at the bottom of their page that provides information about math and science majors and programs of study. For additional information, contact the admissions officer listed on the page.

State Agencies with Links to Information About the Environment

Every state provides information about environmental agencies. If you are interested in getting involved and/or developing a project, contact your state's agencies. Click here to access the list of state agencies.

State Geologic Surveys

What is going on in your state? Examples - Click on your state to reach the state geological survey web site. Click here to access the list of state geologic surveys.

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Thinking About Internships and Other Opportunities

Start thinking about your summer opportunities! If you are thinking about a career in the sciences, possibly you might consider the folloiwng internship experiences. In addition, you can also go to the Ventures Scholars Program Resource Center to learn about other opportunities.

High school students
and undergraduate students can access helpful information.

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)

Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Education Program

The Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP)

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (NDSEG)

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

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Receiving Additional Information about the Geosciences

Would you like to receive additional information about the geosciences?

Geotimes - Earth, Energy and Environment News

American Geological Institute Updates

The Ventures Scholars Program would like to receive feedback about this e-newsletter.

  • Will you use this e-newsletter as a resource as you are considering your college major or learning about real world problems? Please explain.
  • What information was the most helpful? What information was the least helpful?
  • What other themes and topics would have been helpful?
  • Additional Comments?

Please email your responses to and write FEEDBACK ABOUT GEOSCIENCE E-NEWS in the subject title.

In advance, thank you very much.

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Shell E-News Corner

Thanks to Shell, the Ventures Scholars Program has been able to provide Ventures Scholars with information about geosciences. Please take a few minutes to peruse some of Shell's resources and information about workplace opportunities.

Subscribe to Shell's E-Newsletter

Shell's quarterly e-newsletter will help you learn about global job market trends and news, practical advice on career-related issues, Shell recruitment events and campaigns, the latest developments in the world of Shell, and employee views on a career with Shell. Click here to sign up for the e-newsletter.

Learn About US Careers at Shell

Learn About US Careers at Shell and explore current job openings. Educating yourself about your career options now will help you select your career pathway. Read More

Workplace Opportunities at Shell

Make sure you go to the Shell E-News Corner to learn about workplace opportunities at Shell. Shell also recruits students from some of the colleges. Click here to view a list of these colleges.

Environment and Society

Find out how Shell is developing environmentally and socially responsible ways to help meet the world's future energy needs.
Read More

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