What is Earth Science?

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Earth Science: Unearth the Best Web Sites

Earth science, also known as geoscience, is the study of Earth as a system and all its component parts. Geophysics, oceanography, atmospheric science, geology and more all fall within its purview. There’s no need to be overwhelmed, however. Earth science inspires some of its brightest minds to share their enthusiasm and expertise online. This Earth Science Web Guide showcases the best sites to explore the sky above you and the depths beneath your feet.

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What is Earth Science?

Use the sites below to understand what Earth science is, and what its fundamental principles, assumptions and areas of focus are.

Insights for Earth Science Basics

  • Earth science is a broad arena, and many scientists in it do not call themselves “Earth scientists.” Though the term “Earth science” is a good way to describe a large group of interrelated fields, if you’re having trouble finding specific information online, try focusing on a narrower discipline, such as geology or climatology. Some of the disciplines that fall under Earth science are: Geology, Geophysics, Geodesy, Seismology, Oceanography, Meteorology/Climatology/Atmospheric Science, Planetary Science, Environmental Science and Marine Sciences.
  • Earth science overlaps quite a bit with environmental science (in fact, the distinction can be downright murky). For more information on that other study of the world around us, find your way to the findingDulcinea Environmental Science Web Guide.
  • Though you’ll rarely if ever find “Earth scientists” or “Earth science companies” in the professional world, the academic world tends to use the designation more often, and as a college major its popularity is quite substantial and growing. If you’re looking for Earth science resources beyond what we’ve included in this Web Guide, university departmental Web sites are a good bet.

Top Sites for Earth Science Basics

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Earth Science in School

Earth science is a great way to introduce young children to the scientific process as well as the world around them. It is also an interest that is easily fostered and developed for years to come, as the subject is expansive and by no means fully understood. Use the links below to find resources for presenting Earth science in school.

Insights for Earth Science in School

  • Earth science can be a very hands-on subject. There are great online resources to help teachers plan lessons and projects, but time on a computer is no substitute for firsthand fieldwork and exploration.
  • You don’t need the Grand Canyon or the Rockies to make substantive scientific observations; even city parks hold educational wonders. The sites below are useful even for the student or teacher in an urban setting.

Top Sites for Earth Science in School

Earth science resources for children and young adults …
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Earth Science News and Blogs

Earth science is an extremely active field, with many of its fundamental discoveries having taken place in just the last few decades or even years. New developments are coming in daily. Professionals and academics in the discipline also do quite a bit of field research in often exotic locales, and they like to write about it, a lot. Below you’ll find some of the best sources for Earth science news and blogs.

Insights for Earth Science News and Blogs

  • Many print publications put article abstracts online for free, but require a paid subscription for full access. Ask the librarian at your university or your employer if they hold an institutional subscription; often this will allow free access.
  • Many bloggers maintain a list of their favorite blogs in a sidebar, called a blogroll. This is a great way to further explore the mass of blogs far too big to list here. For more on how to find and evaluate blogs (and start your own), check out the findingDulcinea Blogs Web Guide.
  • Though many of the news sites below are intended for a general audience, most of the blogs assume more than a basic knowledge of the subject. These blogs are great informal looks at the field for students and professionals, but the layperson shouldn’t expect to understand everything on them.
  • In addition to the sites featured in this section, many scientific professional organizations, foundations and institutions have their own news-tracking pages or links to resources for news in their respective fields.

Top Sites for Earth Science News and Blogs

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Earth Science Organizations

Despite its interdisciplinary nature, there are a surprising number of Earth science organizations, both professional and academic. These national and local societies exist to bring together professionals, students, academics and educators from all corners of the Earth science field.

Insights for Earth Science Organizations

  • Many professional organizations’ Web sites tend to offer little content unless you’re a registered member. But many publish journals and magazines that can often be found online.
  • Earth science research often involves enormous amounts of data, and thus Earth scientists tend to share a great deal of their observations and research. Below we’ve included some useful tools to find data on almost any Earth science phenomenon or topic.
  • One of the first obstacles to advancing your career in Earth science might be confusion as to what opportunities and careers are available. Check out American Geological Institute’s Guide to Human Resources in the Geosciences for a primer on the types of opportunities available.

Top Sites for Earth Science Organizations

For Earth science government organizations and sites …
For Earth science professional and academic organizations …
For Earth science databases and data resources …
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