*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
What causes landslides? The USGS Landslide Hazards Program conducts research needed to answer major questions related to landslide hazards. Where and when will landslides occur? How big will the landslides be? How fast and how far will they move? What areas will the landslides affect or damage? How frequently do landslides occur in a given locality? Investigate the patterns of landslide occurrence in your area. Are they related to locations, geology, or topography? Are they more frequent after rainy weather? You can also investigate smaller instabilities. What is a sink hole? Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or other rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them. Are there areas near you that meet these conditions and could become a sink hole? (USGS, 2006)
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Just as a doctor uses tools and techniques, like X-rays and stethoscopes, to look inside the human body, geoscientists explore deep inside a much bigger patient—planet Earth. Geoscientists seek to better understand our planet, and to discover natural resources, like water, minerals, and petroleum oil, which are used in everything from shoes, fabrics, roads, roofs, and lotions to fertilizers, food packaging, ink, and CD's. The work of geoscientists affects everyone and everything.
Not all dirt is created equal. In fact, different types of soil can make a big difference in some very important areas of our society. A building constructed on sandy soil might collapse during an earthquake, and crops planted in soil that doesn't drain properly might become waterlogged and rot after a rainstorm. It is the job of a soil scientist to evaluate soil conditions and help farmers, builders, and environmentalists decide how best to take advantage of local soils.
Emergency Management Specialist
There will always be both manmade and natural disasters, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and terroist attacks, that affect public health and safety. Emergency management specialists are the officials that plan for these disasters—imagining and preparing for the worst—and then coordinating the emergency responses. Emergency management specialists work for local, state, and federal governments, as well as for law enforcement, the military and private agencies to ensure that people have the basic necessities, like clean water, food, temporary housing, sanitation, and first aid in a timely manner after a disaster. They also coordinate clean-up efforts. Emergency management specialists prevent or ease the human suffering, as well as the social chaos and instability that commonly follow a disaster.
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