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Project Earth — earth science outreach

Earth science news and information — earth / environmental high school graduation requirement

Project Earth Science is designed to provide relevant and accurate earth science information for the state's high school students and earth/environmental science teachers. Project Earth Science consists of curriculum and professional development programs that meet the Department of Public Instruction's competency-based curriculum objectives.

Students and teachers need to know that:

  • Natural systems are interconnected
  • A large part of our state's economy is linked to earth materials, and
  • Sustainable development in a healthy environment depends on a basic knowledge of the earth's processes and resources
Click here for Downloadable Educational Information Available on this Web Page

Click here for Educational Resources Available on Web Pages on this Site

The 2011 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) &
Outstanding Earth Science Educator (OESE) Award Winners
Tim Martin and Andy Heckert

From left: 2011 OEST N.C. Award Winner Tim Martin and 2011 OESE N.C. Award Winner Andy Heckert looking for Triassic fossils during the Carolina Geological Society field trip Fall 2011.
2011 OEST N.C. State Winner:
Mr. Tim Martin
Greensboro Day School,
Guilford County, N.C.

2011 OESE N.C. State Winner:
Dr. Andy Heckert
Appalachian State University
Watauga County, N.C.

Sponsored by:

National Association of Geoscience Teachers;
North Carolina Geological Survey;
North Carolina Mining Commission;
North Carolina Aggregates Association;
Carolinas Section Association of the
    Environmental & Engineering Geologists;
Southeast Section of the Society for Mining,
    Metallurgy, and Exploration
Heckert, Bechtel, and Martin From left: Andy Heckert, Appalachian State University; Randy Bechtel, NC Geological Survey; and Tim Martin, Greensboro Day School, shown during the 2011 NCSTA Award Ceremony.
Award Information & Nomination Form

New eligibility policy: Starting in 2011 all
nominations will be kept on file and eligible for
three years. Therefore all of the nominations from
2011 will be considered through 2014.
Supplemental materials may be submitted.
Previous winners are not eligible for consideration.
The NOMINATION DEADLINE for the OEST and OESE awards is

March 9, 2012

If you know of an Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) or Educator (OESE), please fill out the nomination form or nominate yourself. (See links at left for further information and nomination form).

In addition, the OEST award winner will be considered for sectional honors in the Southeastern NAGT competition.

Winners will be notified during the Summer 2012. Previous winners are not eligible to enter.

Downloadable Educational Information
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Resources for Teachers

Free Online Informational Brochure

The latest edition of the USGS educational brochure is now available online as an Adobe PDF at Click on 'resources for teachers' in the left-hand column.

Discover a wealth of curricular ideas, scientific data, maps, books, lessons, and other resources to support earth science, biology, geography, and hydrology. This four-page informational brochure contains selected online resources to support teaching, learning, education (K-12) and university-level inquiry and research.

This brochure is currently available online only.

For more information, contact the USGS Science Information and Library Services (SILS) at 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747), or online through the USGS store at:
Educational Packet for students and teachers
 Geo Fact-Pack 
The following resources are downloadable Adobe Acrobat (pdf) documents. You will need Adobe's free reader to view and print these documents.
Download the latest version of Adobe Reader 
Generalized Geologic Map of North Carolina, 1991 (reprinted 1996)  (4.2 MB)

This is our 11-inch by 17-inch Generalized Geologic Map of North Carolina, and is based on our published 1:500,000-scale 1985 Geologic Map Of North Carolina. To print this generalized 47-inch by 30-inch image out as intended, select 11-inch by 17-inch paper in your printer setup menu, then select the "fit to printer margins" or "fit to printable area" function in your print setup menu. Color printer recommended.
Generalized Geologic Map of North Carolina Descriptive material, 1991 (reprinted 1996)  (4.7 MB)

This is the descriptive material that accompanies our 11-inch by 17-inch Generalized Geologic Map of North Carolina. To print this 47-inch by 30-inch image out as intended, select 11-inch by 17-inch paper in your printer setup menu, then select the "fit to printer margins" or "fit to printable area" function in your print setup menu.
Down to Earth Facts!  (1.1 MB) This two page article summarizes the minerals produced in North Carolina.
Materials from the Earth   (106 kB) Rock and mineral products in the Asheville-Buncombe County area -- Geologic Note 3, revised November, 2006
A listing of North Carolina Minerals   (72 kB) Geologic Note 4 (revised December 2010), provides a listing of 475 minerals known to occur in North Carolina; further work may lead to additions to this list.
Color Physiographic Map of North Carolina   (430 kB) A one-page color map of the physiographic provinces in North Carolina, with descriptive text.
Black and White Physiographic Map of North Carolina  (430 kB) A one-page grayscale map of the physiographic provinces in North Carolina, with descriptive text.
Minerals Poster    (1.04 MB) This is US Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-144, Minerals in our Environment, compiled by Judy Weathers and John Galloway. Size = 50-inches by 34.5-inches  This educational poster consists of four panels: a kitchen, a home office, a bathroom and a house front and a garage. Each panel depicts common products used in everyday life and the minerals from which they are manufactured. Items in each panel are numbered. A corresponding number list describes the product and its elements, minerals or source rocks.
Geology of Yancey County, North Carolina —   Geologic Note No. 5, 1997

The text for Geologic Note No. 5 is available in MS Word and Adobe PDF formats. The accompanying geologic map of Yancey County, NC is only available as a PDF file.

The original map dimensions are 36 inches wide by 42 inches in height. The PDF file is about 3.6 mb in size.

Also, please take a few minutes to complete the teacher survey form below and return to Thank You!

  TEXT     MAP     Teacher

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Additional Education-related Links on Our Web Site
Educational Resources
Resources that support the Earth – Environmental Science Requirement for North Carolina Schools
This is our Geologic Note 6, and consists of many educational resources for teachers, including maps, posters, teacher packets, hands-on activities and earth science content material. Web previews and links are included where available.
Crushed stone (aggregates) in North Carolina Provides an overview of crushed stone (aggregate) resources and production in North Carolina; also a virtual tour of an aggregate operation.
Building stones (dimension stone) of North Carolina Provides an overview of building stone resources in North Carolina and also a virtual tour of an building stone (dimension stone) operation.
Geology of North Carolina Get an overview of the diverse rock types which form the "bedrock" of the state.
Gold in North Carolina Information on Gold in North Carolina
Earthquakes of the SE United States Geologic Note 7 shows epicenters of earthquakes which have occurred in the southeastern United States between 1698 and 1997.
Mineral Resources of North Carolina Minerals are an important part of North Carolina's economy. Find out more about this natural resource.
Topographic maps covering the State Parks Want to know which USGS topographic maps cover each of North Carolina's state parks? Check out this site.
Topographic maps covering the State's Game Lands Want to know which USGS topographic maps cover each of North Carolina's state game lands? Check out this site.
Roadside Geology of Interstate 26 from the North Carolina/South Carolina border to Asheville. Web page for this roadside geological excursion.
Roadside geology of Interstate 40 from Asheville to Winston-Salem. Roadside geology of Interstate 40 Web Page
Earth/Environmental Science Education in North Carolina Schools A presentation at the Coalition for Earth Science Education (CESE) annual meeting on January 11, 2002

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Contact Information

Send a question about earth science education to Randy Bechtel, an education outreach geologist at the NCGS specializing in earth science education. Please include a return address in the body of your message. You should receive a reply in a few days — but we can't guarantee a reply to every message. We encourage students to send in questions — but we won't write reports or answer test questions for you. This is not a substitute for studying or library research. We have some example questions and answers — on our Frequently Asked Questions list FAQ.