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Lindsay Swain, U.S. Geological Survey's Indiana District Chief, began giving classroom demonstrations on geology, the water cycle, and the environment at a 'Partnership in Education' school in Carmel, Indiana. As a result, Mr. Swain had the idea of editing the U.S.G.S's weekly highlights into a student-friendly format for use by science teachers. The 'USGS Weekly Science News' now distributes current environmental science headline news to over 2,000 schools in Indiana using a growing ListServ.
Lindsay Swain and Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlett
The news service relates occurrences from around the world of natural phenomena such as erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and major scientific discoveries. His goal is to give students an understanding that science is a real and relevant aspect of their everyday lives. Mr. Swain is helping other USGS District Chiefs get a similar newsletter distribution started in their states, including Iowa and Maryland. The importance of this effort is clear; over the last 15 years, a 60% drop-off in enrollment in geoscience academic programs has been noted by the American Geological Institute. Mr. Swain efforts foster students' awareness of the environment and interest in scientific studies and careers.