Earth Science Week in the National Parks Home Page
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October 7th through the 13th, 2001 marks the fourth annual National Earth Science Week!

Many of our country's National Parks are joining in the celebration by hosting Field Trips and Speakers which will highlight the importance of earth science and geoscientists in parks. In addition to events this page can connect you to Air, Water, and Geology resources, fun stuff for kids, and educational activities. Please take time to check out the Earth Science Q&A section as well - it is filled with interesting information about National Parks.

NPS Air Resources
NPs Water Resources
NPs Geological Resources



Earth Science Week in the National Parks News Page
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National Parks to Receive Educational Literature in Preparation for Earth Science Week

In early August, 300 National Park areas around the country will begin receiving educational earth science materials. It is hoped that these materials will assist the parks in preparing for Earth Science Week. The three booklets which will be arriving first include Living With Karst, Evolution and the Fossil Record, and Sustaining our Soils and Society. These booklets have been put together by the American Geological Institute, the organization which founded Earth Science Week four years ago.

Living With Karst
This 64-page booklet, which includes a lovely poster, is aimed at educators, legislators, community planners, and general public who work, live in, or manage caves and karst areas. This booklet describes what karst is, how it works, its resources, plus environmental problems & solutions. The booklet and poster use colorful and striking pictures of typical karst topography which engage readers and illustrate key concepts. On the reverse side of the poster is an activity, "Investigating Karst Watersheds," designed to help students understand and compare processes that affect water resources in karst and non-karst areas.

Evolution and the Fossil Record
Produced by the American Geological Institute in cooperation with the Paleontological Society this booklet aims to help the general public gain a better understanding of one of the fundamental underlying concepts in modern science. This booklet is filled with colorful photos, drawings, and illustrations, which complement the authors' conversational style. A plethora of topics are addressed here ranging from geologic time to the nature of species. Four "case study" examples from the fossil record - evolution of vertebrate legs, evolution of birds, evolution of mammals, and evolution of whales - are presented to provide perspective for understanding the evolution of life on Earth. This non-technical introduction to evolution contains straightforward definitions as well as discussions of complex ideas.

Sustaining our Soils and Society
Without soil, life as we know it could not exist. This booklet presents a refreshing non-technical look at soils. The colorful 64-page book is filled with striking photos and illustrations that demonstrate the importance of our soil resources and how they are connected to our daily lives and the future of society. Each copy of the book contains a poster that will be of special interest to teachers and youth leaders. The 18" x 24" poster relates soils to the environments in which they occur; the reverse side of the poster contains a soil investigation activity for middle- and high-school students.

Earth Science Week in the National Parks Events Page
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Many of the National Parks will be hosting Earth Science Week Events. These events provide unique opportunities to learn about earth science and its place in the National Parks. So, get out there and experience your National Parks by participating in Earth Science Week events!

Because these events are quite popular it is often a good idea to contact the park and reserve space so that you will not be left out!

Parks hosting events are listed in alphabetical order below. If you have any questions regarding events please contact the park hosting the event. If you have questions or comments regarding this site please email

Thanks and Have Fun!


Earth Science Week in the National Parks Activities Page
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National Parks attract students and teachers from around the world often inspiring them to learn about earth science.

If you have a chance to participate in educational activities in the parks you should do it! But just in case you can't, or you want to plan an Earth Science Week activity of your own, the activities presented here can be done almost anywhere.

Learning about Earth Science can be exciting and fun when activities are used to illustrate important concepts.


Earth Science Week in the National Parks Kids Page
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Puzzles and games are a great way for kids of all ages to expand and test there knowledge of the earth. Crossword and Word Search puzzles challenge even the most experienced junior rangers in the areas of Air, Water, and Geology. The Earth Science in the National Parks art gallery is really cool too (check this section out for details on how your own art could become part of the gallery!) All of the puzzles have been made in print-friendly format so that you can print them out, take your time, and share them with your family and friends. Have Fun!

Crossword | Word Search

Crossword | Word Search

General Crossword | Hazards Word Search | Cave Crossword | Cave Word Search | Fossil Crossword | Fossil Word Search |Soils Crossword | Soils Word Search

Art Gallery
Examples | Participation

Earth Science Week in the National Parks Links Page
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Selected Links

American Geological Institute

AGI: American Geological Institute

AGI Earth Science World - Week

National Park Service

NPs Air Web

NPs Water Resources

NPs Park Geology

NPs Cave and Karst Program

NPs Coastal Geology Program

NPs Paleontology Program

NPs Park Geology - Teacher Feature

US Geological Survey

USGS: Geology in the Parks

USGS: Learning Web

Other Federal Agencies

NASA: National Aeronautical and Space Administration

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NCAR: National Center for Atmospheric Research

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency


Earth Science Week in the National Parks Question and Answer Page
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National Park Areas preserve and protect some of the planets most amazing natural wonders. Test and improve your knowledge of National Parks earth science trivia by reading the following questions and answers. Then you can quiz your family and friends! These questions reflect only a small fraction of what there is to know about parks so when you visit parks be sure to ask lots of questions!

1. What is the largest volcano on Earth?

Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the largest volcano on Earth, both in terms of volume and height above its base. Mauna Loa consists of about 19,000 cubic miles of lava and rises more than 50,000 feet above its base. Because of its massive size, the volcano has depressed the ocean floor about 5 miles.

2. What is the highest point above sea level in the United States?

Mt. McKinley in Alaska's Denali National Park at 20,320 feet above sea level.

3. Where is the lowest point in the United States?

Bad Water in Death Valley National Park, California, at 282 feet below sea level.

4. How deep is the Grand Canyon ?

In some places the Grand Canyon is more than 6,000 feet deep.

5. What is the origin of Crater Lake, Oregon?

Crater Lake National Park is of volcanic origin. It lies within the caldera of Mt. Mazama, a volcano of the Cascade Range that erupted 7,700 years ago. The mountain collapsed during its enormous eruption, forming a caldera.

6. What is the deepest lake in the United States?

Crater Lake, Oregon. Its deep blue waters extend to 1,932 feet below the surface.

7. What is the highest waterfall in the United States?

The highest waterfall in the United States is Yosemite Falls, in Yosemite National Park California, at 2,425 feet.

8. What is the largest reservoir in the United States?

Lake Mead, located on the Arizona-Nevada border, is the largest United States reservoir with a volume of 29,000,000 acre feet. However, Lake Powell, located in the state of Utah, is the longest reservoir with a length of 186 miles.

9. Which of the following sources stores the greatest volume of fresh water worldwide: lakes, streams or ground water?

Groundwater comprises a 30 times greater volume than the 30,000 cubic miles of water contained in all freshwater lakes, and more than 3,000 times the 300 cubic miles of water in the world's streams at any given time. Groundwater issues are important to virtually all National Park Areas and are especially important in Cave and Karst parks.

10. How was Half Dome in California's Yosemite National Park formed, and of what rock type is it composed?

Half Dome is a 2,200 foot-high granite monolith. The sheer rock face of Half Dome is the result of glacial erosion in the Yosemite Valley approximately 250,000 years ago.

11. What is acid rain?

Acid rain is one of the most damaging forms of pollution. It contains sulfuric acid, formed from sulfur dioxide and hydrogen in the air. These gases can come naturally from volcanoes or as a byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

12. What percentage of historic fresh and saltwater tidal marshes in the San Francisco Bay estuary have been lost over the past 150 years?

Ninety-five percent of all San Francisco Bay estuary tidal marshes have been lost to human activity. Gateway National Recreation Area preserves and protects some of the bay's remaining marsh lands.

13. What is a composite volcano?

A composite volcano is a steep-sided, symmetrical cone of large dimension built around layers of lava flows, volcanic ash, and cinders that may rise as much as 8,000 feet or more above their bases. Some of the best-known composite volcanoes include Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Mayon volcano in the Philippines, Mount Shasta in California, and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.