Earth Science Week 2005


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2005 Earth Science Week poster

The poster (pictured below right) is a dramatic submarine composite that represents several areas of current geoscience research. A wave on the cusp of breaking is an uncomfortable reminder of the threat of tsunamis, with gossamer-thin threads trailing from the wave to a satellite highlighting the important role of satellites in a tsunami warning system. The grid superimposed on the ocean floor alludes to the importance of seabed mapping and characterisation. Strands of seagrass atop sand waves and a coral reef emerging from mysterious emerald green depths include a sedimentary cross section. They represent the use of high-resolution bathymetry in important recent marine research in Torres Strait and the southern Gulf of Carpentaria.

Earth Science Week poster 2005

Activities in Australia

National Geographic Channel - Savage Earth Week

Throughout time, the Earth has been shaken by major natural disasters. National Geographic Channel takes viewers closer to these events with a week of specials on some of the greatest natural phenomenon in history. Combining CGI, dramatic footage, reconstruction and compelling storytelling, Savage Earth Week examines gripping stories of human loss and scientific triumph in the face of nature's most deadly forces.

Free subscriptions

GeoSpectrum is a new quarterly online magazine covering the news and events from the American Geological Institute (AGI) and other international professional geoscience organisations. Free subscription.

CSIRO'S Double Helix Club's "Science by email" celebrates Earth Science Week with a Rocky Road recipe.

Science by email is produced by CSIRO Education. The Australian Greenhouse Office and Mecu are proud partners of "Science by email" [PDF 586KB].

Activities by State

ACT | NSW | SA | WA | TAS | VIC | QLD | NT


Geoscience Australia's Earth Science Week Canberra Schools' Challenge

"Build your own seismograph"

The aim of this competition is to design and make a simple working model seismograph. You may work alone or build a seismograph as a class project.

A seismograph records the vibrations (seismic waves) caused by earthquakes and produces a seismogram. A seismogram is simply the recording of these seismic waves, detected by a seismograph. Accurate interpretation of the seismogram tells us not only a lot about the earthquake but also about the nature and composition of planet Earth.

Competition instructions and guidelines [PDF 68KB]

Competition registration form [PDF 56KB]

Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre main logo

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre

Awesome Earth-The Power and Beauty

Awesome Earth is a fun gallery with hands on exhibits about convection currents, weather prediction, seismometers, tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes and building and preparing for natural disasters. Experience the Earthquake House or Caged Lightning exhibits, explore lava samples or calculate the epicentre of an Australian earthquake. Content in the exhibition satisfies Key Learning Areas such as Science and Technology and Science and Studies of Society and Environment.

Questacon, Awesome Earth logo

When: Permanent exhibition, open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm. 
Where: Questacon building; King Edward Terrace, Canberra (between the High Court and National Library of Australia)
Phone: (02) 6270 2893 (Group bookings)

For more information, please visit

Earth Science Shows

Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre logo

The Excited Particles, Questacon's own troupe of performers, will present a number of earth science shows during the month of October.

Shows include:
Natural Disasters - about tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes and cyclonic storms with a focus on recent events.
Tsunami - focuses on the Boxing Day tsunami in the Asia Pacific region
Volcanoes - discusses a selection of Australian Volcanoes.

For show times and dates, please read the schedule of performances [PDF 30KB].

Botanical Gardens activities

We would like to advise you of an exciting community event taking place this year during Earth Science Week 2005.

ACT Waterwatch is proud to present a festival called Splash Out in your National Botanic Gardens, on Saturday 22 October 2005, 10.00am-3.30pm.

  • The Education Centre and Cafe lawns will be a flurry of family activities, games and entertainment
  • Outdoor exhibition and displays showcasing innovations, new technologies, products and services
  • Browse the famous Spring Plant Sale, held by the Australian Native Plant Society
  • Student poster display "What does an Australian River look like?" will be on show
  • Celebrate the 35th birthday of the Australian National Botanic Gardens
  • Guided Aqua Walks will run throughout the day
  • Theatre talks will be presented each hour
  • Take control of a 3D river model!

For a full listing of the days activities and their times, please see the public running sheet [PDF 9KB]

National Museum of Australia


Travel through time to explore Australia's amazing prehistory, brought to life through large-scale inflatable plants, spectacular full body puppets, huge projections and a moody, atmospheric musical score. Gondwana reveals a scientific understanding of our continent's origins and the creation of Australia's unique and awe inspiring prehistoric landscape, populated by dinosaurs, giant beasts and indigenous flora. This spectacular live theatre performance by ERTH Visual and Physical Inc., in collaboration with the National Museum of Australia, is not to be missed!

National Museum of Australia logo

Performances at 11.00am and 2.00pm:

  • Saturday 24 September - Sunday 25 September
  • Tuesday 27 September - Sunday 2 October
  • Tuesday 4 October - Sunday 9 October

and evening performances at 6.00pm:

  • Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October.

Cost: $5 per person; $4 Friends. Bookings essential on 1800 558 670.

Australian Reptile Centre

In the Australian Reptile Gallery exhibits take the visitor through the three dominant Australian habitat types - the northern tropics, the temperate south-east and west, and the arid interior - assisted by text, graphics and habitat colour coding. On display are a variety of Australia's largest, most colourful and deadliest reptiles including Taipans, Death Adders and other venomous snakes, and constrictors such as the Scrub Python of North Queensland - the longest Australian snake known and one of the largest in the world.

The Prehistory Gallery presents Reptiles in Space and Time, a journey through the evolution of life on earth to the Age of Reptiles when the ancestors of today's snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises and Tuatara were the supreme vertebrates of the Mesozoic era. Today's 6000 surviving species are but a small proportion of those which have come before and left their traces in the fossil record.

Many fossils and fossil replicas are on exhibit illustrating the diversity of reptiles that once roamed the Earth.

Open: Daily 10am - 5pm (after hours by arrangement) 
Session times: Snake Tales: By arrangement for group bookings
Costs: Adults $8.00 Children $5.50 Concession $6.50
Family tickets (2 adults and 3 or more children): $28
Discounts available for group bookings

For more information visit

Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) collaborates with industry, research institutions and government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere through the development and transfer of innovative technologies, such as CO2 geosequestration.

For more information on CO2 geosequestration, please visit

The Australian Academy of Science

Science books for children: The Australian Academy of Science has compiled an annotated list of select titles for children that have extra sections of inspiration to challenge and extend the reader. Books exploring the Earth Sciences cover a wide range of topics: from the composition of the Earth and how it was formed, to environmental issues and natural disasters that threaten our planet.

Interviews with Australian scientists: The Australian Academy of Science has interviewed some of Australia's greatest Earth scientists. The Scientists talk about their early life, how they became interested in science, their research and other intriguing aspects of their lives. Transcripts and teachers notes are available on the Academy website. A great way to appreciate Australia's contribution to the earth sciences.

Run by: Australian Academy of Science 
Email: Jacinta Legg
Phone: 02 6247 5777
Fax: 02 6257 4620

Gondwana Dreaming

Gondwana Dreaming celebrates Earth science with Fossil Digs. You can join scientists at the frontier of scientific discovery. Be the first to uncover a fossil that has been preserved in stone and buried for millions of years. A lot of fun and great hands-on learning, and no, you don't have to be a scientist to join!

Run by: Gondwana Dreaming Tours Australia 
Email: Monica Yeung
Phone: 02 6285 1872
Fax: 02 6285 3087

For more information visit:

Mars, Saturn & Beyond

As part of NASA's Deep Space Network, the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex provides continuous two-way radio contact with dozens of spacecraft exploring our Solar System and beyond.

Visitors can see and learn about the largest antenna dishes in the Southern Hemisphere and look through our space exhibition. The Visitor Centre features real space hardware including the spacesuit worn by Australian astronaut, Dr Andy Thomas. The exhibit also includes a 3.8 billion year old piece of Moon rock returned to Earth from the historic Apollo XI mission, and a full-scale model of the Mars Exploration Rovers which continue to explore the red planet.

Visitors can enjoy watching films in our theatre, see the latest images from Mars and Saturn, or just sit back and relax in the Moon Rock Caf? and giftshop.

Date and Time: Open everyday from 9am-5pm 
Location: Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
Address: Discovery Drive, Tourist Drive 5, Tidbinbilla ACT
Entry: Free!


Imax Theatre logo

IMAX Theatre

Experience the thrill of the search and the wonder of discovery.

Using state-of-the-art live action 3D cinematography, Wild Safari 3D will take you on a journey of a lifetime through diverse South African game reserves on a quest to see the Big Five: the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and Cape buffalo.

Showcasing the most dangerous and spectacular animals on the continent, audiences will experience incredible face-to-face encounters with charging elephants, hungry lions and cunning leopards.

Imax Wild Safari 3D logo

From the abundant grasslands of Addo and Shamwari to the savannahs of the Kalahari, Tour Guide Liesl Eichenberger, a young South African zoologist and field guide, leads the game drive from an open jeep, taking us incredibly close to the wildlife and giving a fascinating insight into the different animals and their habitats.

Whether searching the open grasslands for buffalo or dodging a herd of stampeding elephants, Wild Safari 3D is a truly breathtaking experience. And with 15,000 watts of pure digital surround sound, each lion's roar will reverberate to your very core!

Walking on the Moon 3D

Exploring the moon was humankind's most incredible journey. Now, audiences will be able to take that giant leap for themselves and explore the future of space through the magic of IMAX and IMAX® 3D with Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D.

Imax Walking on the Moon 3D logo

With never before seen photographs, CGI renditions of the lunar landscape and previously unreleased NASA footage, audiences will be immersed in the life-changing experiences of the men who walked on the moon by showcasing what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did while on the lunar surface.

For more information please visit:

Geological Society of Australia & The Australian Museum Society

The NSW Division of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA) and The Australian Museum Society (TAMS) are running a selection of kids' geology workshops and a series of lectures called "Geoscience in the City".

Geoscience in the City Lectures

Diprotodon optatum, New South Wales: Image supplied by J Fields, Australian Museum

Climate Change & Extinction: two-part lecture
Wednesday, 5 October 2005 6.30 for 7pm

Part 1. Climate Change
Professor Tom Hubble, University of Sydney

Part 2. Extinction of Australia's Megafauna
Dr Steve Wroe, University of Sydney

The Geology of Sydney: three-part lecture
Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 6.30 for 7pm

Part 1. Development of the Sydney Basin
Dr Ian Graham, Australian Museum

Part 2. Structural Engineering Geology of Sydney
David Och, Douglas Partners

Hawkesbury sandstone formation, Sydney Basin: Image supplied by S G Lane Collection, Australian Museum

Part 3. Sydney's Heritage Sandstone
Dr Brenda Franklin, Consultant Petrologist

Please visit the Geoscience in the City website for details.

For Kids

Rocks and Minerals Workshop
Ages 5-8 years: Sunday, 16 October 2005, 3-4.30pm
Ages 9+ years: Friday, 7 October 2005, 3-4.30pm

For more information please visit the TAMS website.

Bookings essential for all activities, please contact The Australian Museum Society.
Phone: (02) 9320 6225
Fax: (02) 9320 6051


South Australian Museum and the South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC)

SAPAC offer a range of geoscience activities, including a presentation in the SAPAC Visualisation Laboratory. The computer presentation includes models, some in stereo, of tectonic plates and tectonic activity, the Australian coastline, the geology of Tasmania and the December 26th tsunami. At the museum, students can handle specimens and have lessons in the galleries.

Programs are available for students from years 5 to year 12. Places are limited so please contact the SA Museum on 08 8207?7429 for bookings.

For more information about the museum, check out


Teaching the Dynamic Earth
Are you teaching Earth and Beyond? This free Earth Science Week one-day course combines short talks on eight key topics, with "hands on" sessions looking at specimens and enjoying other activities. It will be held in the Geology Teaching Laboratory and Earth Science Museum in the heart of the beautiful University of Western AUstralia campus on Thursday 13 October (all day).

For further information, view the course Program [PDF 109KB].

Mining Hall of Fame Mining Hall of Fame logo

The Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame offers tours 36 metres underground into an old gold mine. Learn about how the miners worked 100 years ago and experience what life might have been like for the men who worked underground. While there, take the opportunity to watch a gold pour demonstration and try your luck at finding gold.

Learn about Earth Sciences in the Exploration Zone, an area designed to teach kids about mining and geology. Visit the historic precinct or simply wander around the Hall of Fame at your leisure.

Address: Goldfields Hwy, Kalgoorlie 
Phone: 08 90262700


Earth Quest - Outer Space to Inner Earth

This exhibit will be at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart during October, 2005.

Geology based exhibits in Earth Quest include Core Samples, Dig a Hole, Earthquake, Exploring Earth, Fossils, How Deep? Surface to Core, Tectonic Plates and Volcanoes.

Background notes and curriculum links.

Have you ever thought of using a cave as a classroom?

Hastings Caves, TAS: Images supplied by Paul Flood

Hastings Caves, Mole Creek Caves and Gunns Plains Caves are offering schools the opportunity to gain some hands-on monitoring experience in the caves with the use of some kitchen science experiments. We are offering a 2hr session which will involve approx 20min experiment session and then some monitoring of some of the environmental conditions outside and inside the caves. We will endeavour to extend the student's understanding of the relationship between above and below ground conditions.

To make this a success we will need to limit the number of students per guide and the number of groups we can take at any given time.

The concept is to have a maximum of 20 students per guide. We then run a 20min experiment session with the whole group. The group is then split into 5 sub-groups of 4 students in each. Each of these sub-groups is tasked with gathering data from several locations inside and out the cave. After the data is gathered and of course some interpretation and explanation of the cave processes we bring the subgroups back together and ask them to present their results and encourage discussion and understanding of some of the relationships between rain, above ground activities and below ground results.

This all comes at the special Earth Science Week rate of $5.00 per student (up to 3 adults free of charge per group of 20 students) and of course there are limitations on the number of sessions we can conduct on any given day. We can run a max of 3 sessions with up to 20 students each in the mornings and 3 sessions in the afternoon. This means first in, best dressed, and bookings essential.

Run by: Hastings Caves, Mole Creek Caves and Gunns Plains Caves. 
Location: 'As above'
Date: Sunday 9th to Sunday 16th October.
Cost: $5.00 per student.
Contacts: Keith Vanderstaay at Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs (03) 62983209
Paul Flood at Mole Creek Caves (03) 63635182
Geoff Deer at Gunns Plains Cave (03) 64291388 (64291133)

Geology looks at buying a block of land

Million dollar view? Perfect? STOP! Learn how to size up a piece of land and assess its hazards and risk to your wallet. Geology can help you look at the characteristics of the land and implications for design such as: foundations drainage, garden, house style, driveway and more.

Adult Education Tasmania logo

Organisation: Adult Education Tasmania 
Contact person: David Leaman
Phone: 03 6233 7237
Event Date & Time: 1pm, 9 October 2005

For more information, check out


From Aceh to Australia: The remarkable story of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate

Professor John McKenzie, Dean of the Faculty of Science, the University of Melbourne has pleasure in inviting you to attend a special public lecture by Professor Mike Sandiford, School of Earth Sciences, the University of Melbourne.

The great Sumatran earthquake of Boxing Day 2004 provided a salutary reminder of the dynamic nature of our planet. Occurring at the boundary of our very own tectonic plate, "the Indo-Australian plate", it also reminds us that we live on one of the most dynamic of the Earth's tectonic plates. In this lecture you will learn that this recent event is just one of many consequences of a geologically brief episode that started some 45 million years ago with the 'marriage of convenience' of the then separate Indian and Australian plates. We will hear how the forces that drive the tectonic motion resulted not only in the great earthquake of Aceh, but have also shaped many of our distinctive Australian landscapes over the last 5-10 million years.

When: 6.00pm Thursday 13 October 2005 
Where: Prince Philip Theatre, The University of Melbourne

For more information, visit


The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) aims to give teachers and students a balanced and informed understanding of our state's mineral and energy resources industries.

The QRC is committed to developing and providing educational resources about the resources sector and has produced teaching materials in the key learning areas of science and studies of society and the environment and technology.

The QRC offers free in-school presentations to primary (years 5-7) and secondary (years 8-12) students in south-east Queensland, the Darling Downs, Rockhampton, Townsville, Charters Towers and Cairns. Our education officers also visit regional centres throughout the year.

To make a booking Email the Education Manager or for more information visit


Earth Sciences/Geology Scholarship 2006

The Minister for Mines and Energy is offering a Scholarship for a young Territorian to undertake university study in the earth sciences / geology.

The Scholarship offers:

  • financial assistance of $12,000 per annum, for three years;
  • guaranteed employment during university vacations;
  • opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the mining and petroleum industry for a student studying or proposing to study towards attaining an approriate qualification at the Charles Darwin University.

For more detailed information about the Scholarship and how to apply visit

Queensland Resources Council

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013