Earth…. The final frontier?
Earth Science is sometimes called the planetary science since it is related to the planet earth. Earth scientists often use tools from Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Chronology to build an understanding of how the earth works and how it has evolved. The study of Earth Sciences includes atmosphere, hydrosphere, oceans and biosphere along with many geosciences. The study of the earth’s interior takes plate tectonics, mountain ranges, earthquakes and volcanoes into consideration and also includes the earth’s electromagnetic field. Earth Science studies the Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Pedosphere and Geosphere to name a few along with meteorology and weather phenomena such as hurricanes, tornadoes and storms. Glacier movement, seismology, minerals and crystallisation also come under the heading of Earth Science making it a large category of study, but also an interesting one. There are many sites on the Internet today dedicated to the Earth Sciences with most specialising in one or more topics and sub-categories. Below are listed only ten of them, but they are the most informative and the most popular sites for finding information on the subject.
This is the site for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is ranked in the top 100 sites of America and is a major source of information for weather reports and severe storm warnings. Information for local American weather can be searched by State with weather alerts and emergency information being highlighted. Press releases from the newsroom are constantly updated with podcasts and articles available to read. Full details regarding the organisation are given and exploration of the site is welcome.
The Discovery Channel is admired and viewed throughout the world on account of the valuable material that it contains and shows throughout its network about Earth Sciences. This is the website for the channel containing articles, videos and eBooks with full details being given for programmes yet to be aired. There is a shop online to buy DVDs of previous shows along with games and other adventure gadgets. You can also find a section for the latest news where the most popular videos are highlighted. Graphic photographs accompany the articles throughout the site adding to the overall appeal.
‘The United States Geological Survey’ is a science organisation that provides information on the health of ecosystems and the environment, highlighting natural hazards and resources with the impact of climate change. The organisation collects, monitors, analyses and provides scientific information to understand the condition of natural resources, issues and problems. Full details about the company can be found on the site and there are many articles, maps, images and publications given for research purposes. Career and full contact details are advertised and volunteering and participating are most welcome.
Geology.com provides news and information about Earth Science as well as Geology. There is a collection of maps from every state within the U.S.A. and articles can be read from over thirty different categories. News items and popular topics are advertised with photographs attached making searching easier. There is a section for rocks with details about Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary rock types with pictures and descriptions of each. The site also has a store where you can buy books, digging tools, maps and guides and various geology kits along with a special section for children’s books.
‘Solar Views’ gives various views of the planet Earth from space, each accompanied by a detailed description. Earth statistics are listed and many topics on Earth Science can be selected from the table of contents including volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, clouds, glaciers, impact craters and planetary icosahedrons. There is a section for puzzles and a small online store where space posters and stamps can be purchased. Popular items and recent posts can be found in blog and a special gallery is available for viewing images.
Earth Science World is a site developed by the American Geosciences Institute and gives various sections from which information can be found. There is a section for careers proving advice for teachers and students with books and Science games. The image bank contains photographs from all aspects of Earth and multiple time periods can be chosen and displayed with an Interactive Geological Time Scale function.
Savage Earth is a bright and colourful site on Earth Science specialising in volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, the Earth’s crust and many more topics. The site is produced by Public Broadcasting Services and details for Earth Science programmes are given on the site. Information can be found in illustrated articles with video links being provided. An online shop is available for purchasing DVDs and all donations are gratefully accepted.
Extreme Science is dedicated to the Earth Sciences and consists of articles and facts accompanied by photographs that are clearly laid out and easy to read along with a selection of videos. Information can be obtained from categories named Animal Kingdom, Earth, Ocean, Space, Time and Weather with the most viewed stories and related topics highlighted. The section for resources provides useful advice for researching Science projects and the site has achieved many awards for its educational contributions.
Windows to the Universe has a section on Geology, which contains a host of categories including minerals, rocks, layers and plates, earthquakes and volcanoes as well as sections for Earth History and Scientists. Many facts and useful information is given in illustrated articles with sub-sections to explore and there are also free resources to download. A date section for historical events can be found and membership to the site is encouraged.
The University of Cambridge has a Department for Earth Sciences offering courses along with research and study facilities. The department holds seminars; the next one being ‘Dealing with Climate Change’ and dates and details about the seminar can be found on the site. Information is available on teaching, resources and the library, and a link is provided to the Sedgwick Museum, which is found on the university campus.