From the Editor

Your October issue arrives in time for the annual celebration of Earth Science Week, this year October 7-13. Earth Science Week was initiated in 1998 as part of the American Geological Institute’s 50th anniversary celebration. The vision is to have every earth scientist do something at least one week every year to make students, citizens and public officials aware of the roles of the earth sciences in our lives and in our care of Earth.
In this issue, Julia Jackson, Director of Outreach and Communications for the American Geological Institute, describes some of the progress that Earth Science Week has made going into this the fourth annual celebration. Several short stories also highlight the diversity and creativity of Earth Science Week activities across the country. Readers are encouraged to visit the Earth Science Week pages on the AGI Web site — — for information and materials for preparation of Earth Science Week activities for our fifth anniversary next year in 2002. This is our opportunity to be joyous about our work and share it with others!

 In our cover story this month, Lee Allison describes the role geologic information played in the investigation of a potentially catastrophic natural gas explosion that hit Hutchinson, Kan., in January. The article illustrates the value of archived and accessible earth science information for solving immediate problems and helping society. Such opportunities to serve will only grow as our population and use of Earth increase.

Believe your compass,
Samuel S. Adams, Editor-in-Chief

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