FIGURE 3.1 Conceptual framework illustrating the types of programs and experiences (tapering polygons) that help move individuals along a pathway from awareness of earth science (base of the triangle) to the earth science workforce (apex of the triangle). Relevant programs include those provided as part of a student’s formal education, educational programming offered outside of the formal system, and informal learning opportunities. Polygons are not drawn to scale, but their vertical extent is intended to show that some education opportunities span more than one stage of the framework and their relative horizontal extent is intended to show that more individuals participate in awareness activities than in professional preparation activities.

gramming at lower levels. The general stages that students follow through the system are described below.

Federal Programs in the Context of the Framework

Federal education and training programs contribute to all stages of the framework, from interesting students in earth science to education and outreach programs to providing internships, traineeships, and research opportunities within federal agencies. Figure 3.2 shows the federal earth science education and training programs described in Chapter 2 in the context of the committee’s framework. The roles of these programs in the various stages of the framework are described below. Although many of the programs span more than one stage of the framework, each is given as an example only once below.


Awareness arises from activities that bring earth science to the attention of an individual. A robust set of educational pathways includes a diversity of mechanisms for bringing earth science awareness to the widest possible spectrum of individuals—including K–12 and undergraduate students, and parents and other adults—at different times. Converting awareness to interest may

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