According to an article in the May 2008 issue of Geotimes, students taking Earth science classes in high school in the United States peaked at 28% in the 1970s compared with only 8% today. Why are there so few students taking Earth science? Of the approximately 8.25 million students attending a four-year college program in the United States, almost 20 000 are geoscience majors. This compares favorably with the 19 000 physics majors but is far below the 44 000 chemistry majors. Why are so few students majoring in geoscience with the starting salaries currently offered to graduates?

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