Why Earth Science
Aug 26, 2008
Our planet, a place of wonder, especially when something dramatic happens. But also when it quietly changes over time. Creating landscapes. Moving water from place to place. Circulating air from here to there. And providing a home for living things to grow. From long, long ago, to today. This is the world that we humans call home. Understanding how our planet works is important for everyone. And that's what earth science is all about. Figuring out earth's past. Investigating how it has changed over time. Understanding where it is now, what may happen to it in the future. And how to care for our beautiful planet. Geoscientists investigate earth and how its systems work. They study earth in space. And its relationship with our solar system and the wider universe. It's thin layer of air. It's solid surface. It's water and earth's deep, deep inside. Geoscientists have the job of studying our planet. They place sensors in the ground to measure earth's underground movements. They work in teams using modern technology to reveal earth secrets. The research they do is important. The data they collect are shared with geoscientists around the world and help explain what's going on and why. The stress is built up in bang, we have an episode. Models are often used to study earth's processes. This one shows how mountains form. Vibrations from below earth's surface can even be studied through music. But becoming a geoscientist starts with earth science education. In schools and beyond. Earth science is all about change over time. From the beginning of the planet 4.6 billion years ago, through all the ages of geologic time. When studying earth science, you can learn about the forces that form mountains. How earth's continents formed, separated, and continue to change. How seas have opened, and closed, you can learn how mountains rise up, then are worn down by erosion. How sediment is deposited, and how it eventually becomes rock once more. We'll begin to grasp the incredible history of the planet and geologic time. And see that earth is alive and still changing. Through animations and recreations, anyone who studies earth science today will be able to see the unseeable like earth's crust moving from a side view. Or from above. Through computer generated imaging technology. You can see how former ice ages might have looked. If you'd been there to see them. You can also be safely introduced to events that could just happen. Students of earth science can see how rock we use as a resource is formed. And how catastrophic events in the past have had dramatic effects on landscapes we see today. And you can go where nobody has gone before. To study what happens underground. It's important for everyone to learn how earth and its systems work. Only then can citizens make informed judgments that affect our planet. Protect its surface. Care for its atmosphere, safeguard its water. And sustain life. All earth systems interact to produce and sustain our elegant planet. Earth science knowledge is the only tool we have to ensure public understanding of earth, and as delicate balance of systems. It's a combination science. It draws upon all other sciences to unlock earth's mysteries. It's surrounds us and includes us. A world in which everyone is affected by earth's processes. And is a guardian of its assets now and for generations to come. We now know that there are some issues that humans will have to address. Such as climate change, natural hazards, and the availability of natural resources, such as energy. Clean water. And soil to grow food. We also need to produce a new generation of geoscientists. Experts who will continue to investigate how the earth system works. And train younger geoscientists for the future. These undergraduate students have chosen that professional pathway. And can look forward to exciting careers as geoscientists. But everyone in whatever career needs earth science. It's the key to making wise decisions about natural hazards, resources, and climate change.