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
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 — www.earthscienceweek.org
— 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