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From the Editor

During a recent publisher’s meeting, it dawned on me how different EARTH Magazine is from most other popular magazines and that I suspect many of our readers don’t even know it.

EARTH benefits from being a publication of the American Geosciences Institute, a nonprofit educational organization with a major goal of improving public understanding of the geosciences. Likewise, EARTH strives to bring the latest in the geosciences to our broad readership, which ranges from geosciences faculty to petroleum industry executives to retirees, students, congressional staffers and the intellectually curious.

I think I am most proud of our investments in the future of the geosciences. Did you know that EARTH has hosted dozens of interns and published scores of stories written by students and aspiring science writers, giving them their first major clips? These individuals range from geology majors who like writing to English majors who find geosciences interesting.

Did you know that your subscription does not cover the full cost of our publication? We want to make the magazine accessible, and as a focused title, we don’t benefit from a sizeable advertizing base. Rather we try to deliver you a first-rate magazine at a reasonable cost, while at the same time providing substantial discounts for students and K-12 teachers — in order to enhance awareness of the geosciences.

Did you know we are one of the few publications that still has a staff of dedicated, formally trained science writers? Our staff members each have degrees in both the geosciences and writing, and we joke by saying “no one ever retires from EARTH.” We see our writers and interns picked up by the likes of Science, Smithsonian, Science News, National Geographic and others. We are helping the geosciences infiltrate the “mainstream!”

And with that, I note that this month sees the departure of Associate Editor Kathryn Hansen who is heading to join NASA’s communications team. At the same time, we are welcoming Timothy Oleson to our staff, a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a doctorate in geology and a master’s in journalism. Both Kathryn and Tim have previously passed through our office as interns, and have also shared their talents far and wide in communicating science.

What amazes me most is the commitment of our staff. Our staff is a quarter of the size for similar publications, but the mission is fun and a cause to which all are dedicated.

As you peruse the pages this month, note the names of a lot of excellent young talent who are working to spread good science. And if it so moves you, you can always visit our website ( or click the link below and make a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts in developing the next generation of science communicators.

Christopher M. Keane, Ph.D.

EARTH Editor

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