October is an important month for the department of geography, geology and planning.
This week is Earth Science Week. The observance spreads awareness of and appreciation for Earth sciences.
This year, Earth Science Week celebrates the theme “Earth Materials in Our Lives.”
The theme serves to increase awareness about how Earth materials support everything from our industrial economy to our everyday lives.
The role of Earth’s materials in our lives
Minerals play a vital role in our lives, from our cell phones to the food we eat.
“Every part of our modern lives involves minerals, even use of technology,” Michelfelder said.
Minerals make up the precious metals needed for technology.
These precious metals can only be found in select geologic environments.
“This makes minerals not only valuable but also finite,” Michelfelder said. “With increasing demand for these metals, we will need to get creative in looking for them and how we extract them from the Earth.”
Dr. Toby Dogwiler, department head of geography, geology and planning, adds that our society’s utter dependence on Earth’s materials also raises important issues about extracting minerals from the Earth.
“It is important that we advocate for responsible mining practices, fair labor laws, strong environmental regulations, recycling and cradle-to-grave product lifecycles,” Dogwiler said. “They will help us ensure that we are good stewards of both our resources and our environment.”
About the focus days
Earth Science Week recognizes a collection of focus days.
- Oct. 11 – International Earthcache Day
- Oct. 12 – Minerals Day
- Oct. 13 – Earth Observation Day and No Child Left Inside Day
- Oct. 14 – National Fossil Day
- Oct. 15 – The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut and Geoscience for Everyone Day
- Oct. 16 – Geologic Map Day
- Oct. 17 – International Archaeology Day
Learn more about Earth Science Week nationally.