The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 10

May 14, 2004

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Topic In Depth


TAO: Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Project [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf, gif]

NOAA's Tropical Atmospheric Ocean (TAO) Project collects "data from moored ocean buoys for improved detection, understanding, and prediction of El Nio and La Nia." Using Macromedia Flash Player, the link to The TAO Story, provides a spectacular, animated introduction to El Nio, La Nia, TAO's equipment, research, data, and benefits. Those looking for a more in-depth description of the project's work can find technical information on TAO's moorings, sensors, and data as well as materials on its field operations. Researchers and students can view summary, time series, and latitude-longitude plots, and animations of the data. Users can request to receive the data as well. [RME]

GISS: Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York [tar, pdf]

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) presents its work in the prediction of climatic and atmospheric changes in the 21st century. Users can learn about GISS's many research projects in Global Climate Modeling, Planetary Atmospheres, Atmospheric Chemistry, and more. The website provides news releases of its work for the general public. Visitors can download many software packages including the latest GISS coupled atmosphere ocean model, called ModelE. Researchers can find a wide range of data sets of earth observations, climate forcing, global climate modeling, and radiation. The Publications link offers almost 1500 citations and abstracts as well as over four hundred online publications. Students can discover how to become involved with GISS's research activities. [RME]

NASA Research at Station

This NASA website offers information on past, present, and future projects at the International Space Station. Users can view the many experiments and facilities by time periods or topic. The research areas include bioastronautics, physical sciences, fundamental space biology, and space product development. For each experiment, students and researchers can find information on the significance of the project, descriptions of the operations, its results, and much more. The website provides flight schedules and information on facilities. Throughout the site, visitors can enjoy numerous images from space. [RME]

SNS: Spallation Neutron Source [pdf, mpg, rm RealOne Player, Microsoft PowerPoint]

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is an accelerator-based neutron source currently being built by the United States Department Energy. Users can find out about upcoming workshops, conferences, and other events dealing with the accelerator, which is scheduled to be completed in 2006. By downloading a series of materials, users can learn about SNS's benefits and mechanisms. Researchers can discover SNS's mission, instrumentation, moderators, and detectors. The website provides live video of the construction site. Visitors can also learn about employment opportunities. [RME]

Sokol Research Group [pdf]

The Sokol research group at Penn State University focuses "on the microscopic structure and dynamics of condensed matter using x-ray and neutron scattering techniques." After reading an introduction to the group's research, users can download a few of the group's articles about topics such as inelastic neutron scattering and rotational dynamics of H2. The website supplies a lengthy list of over 80 of the group's publications. Students can also find a link to Ask Prof. Science, where they can receive answers to their science and technology questions. [RME]

The University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry

The University of Pennsylvania Department of Chemistry's website is devoted to its research and educational opportunities. Users can learn about the department's work in biological, inorganic, organic, and physical and theoretical chemistry. Within the gallery of projects link, students and researchers can find numerous images explaining its exciting efforts. The website offers information on the department's facilities and resources including the Center for Molecular Modeling and the X-ray Diffraction Facility. Visitors can read about awards won by department faculty and other recent news. [RME]


Passport to Knowledge: To Mars with MER

This Passport to Knowledge website presents fun, educational materials on NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. Users can find information on Mars, the MER mission, and the research team. The website features many hands-on activities designed for the home or school including Rocket Science 101 and Solar System Distance Activity. Students can find interactive puzzles, concentration games, and word searches. Visitors can learn about and view TV-broadcasted programs. Users can discover Mars-related events taking place in their local communities as well. [RME]

Wisconsin Weather Stories [wav, mp3, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, RealOne Player]

University of Wisconsin meteorologists and folklorists along with Wisconsin teachers created this website to offer classroom materials "that integrate earth science, social studies, language arts, and math." Students can learn about severe weather and the importance of forecasting by listening to and reading people's accounts. Each lesson contains benchmarks and standards for grades four, eight, and twelve; as well as many fun activities. The website features a concise glossary and many links where teachers can discover more resources. Visitors who remember the weather discussed, such as the Ice Bowl of 1967, can find out how to submit their accounts to the website. [RME]

University of Georgia Stratigraphy Lab's Online Guide to Sequence Stratigraphy

The Online Guide to Sequence Stratigraphy created by the University of Georgia addresses the relevance of sequence stratigraphy on outcrops. With a series of helpful figures and great images, students and educators can learn about parasequences, stacking patterns, chronostratigraphy, and much more. The glossary assists users with the terminology used within the materials. For those interested in more detailed materials, the website provides a lengthy list of popular scientific books and papers. This website provides a great tutorial for novice stratigraphers. [RME]

Cloud Types [Macromedia Flash Player]

This NASA website uses Macromedia Flash Player to educate users about clouds. After a short introduction, students can learn about four levels of clouds: low, mid, high, and multi. The website describes how to determine cloud level as well. Throughout the tutorial, students can listen to the explanations while viewing informative images. Users can also choose to view the text associated with the audio. While this tutorial was created for schools participating in the S'COOL project, everyone can learn a great deal about clouds from this website. [RME]

Elements and Atoms: Case Studies in the Development of Chemistry

Carmen Giunta at Le Moyne College created this website to offer a series of articles by the pioneers in the science of atoms and elements. The author provides background and commentary on the work in order to educate users about how scientists work. The website is divided into four parts: elements, atoms, classification of atoms, and back to atoms. Students can find links for definitions of archaic chemical terms throughout the articles. Those interested in the history of chemistry will find fascinating materials on Aristotle, Lavoisier, Soddy, and many more prominent scientists. [RME]

Genesis: Science Modules [pdf, QuickTime, Macromedia Shockwave Player, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel]

This NASA website supplies numerous education modules about the Genesis spacecraft for kindergarten through twelfth grade students and educators. Users can find online lesson plans, activities, and user guides. Students can learn about solar wind, theories on the formation of our solar system, data collection processes, and much more. Each module contains helpful background and scientific information to help users get the most out of each activity. Visitors can view archived issues of the Genesis Mission Electronic Newsletter. This website will surely help teachers invigorate their curriculum. [RME]


California's Office of Mine Reclamation [pdf]

California's Office of Mine Reclamation offers assistance "for reclamation planning and promotes cost-effective reclamation." The website features materials on abandoned mines, mine pollution, and mine monitoring. Mine operators can learn about financial assurances. Users can download the quarterly Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) issues. While this website provides information for policies for California, everyone can learn about the dangers of mines, protocol for dealing with abandoned mines, and more. [RME]

Canada - France - Hawaii Telescope Corporation [jpeg]

The Canada - France - Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) is a non-profit organization managing a 3.6 meter telescope located on the dormant Hawaiian volcano, Mauna Kea. Visitors can read HOKU: An Online Newsletter for Educators and Parents. Researchers can learn how to prepare proposals to submit to CFHT, prepare an observation run, and observe at CFHT. Visitors can discover the CFHT's many research projects and can find links presenting scientific results. The website features amazing new images every month as well as many archives educating users about astronomy. [RME]

IGA: International Geothermal Association [pdf]

The International Geothermal Association's (IGA) goal is "to encourage research, development, and utilization of geothermal resources worldwide through the compilation, publication, and dissemination of scientific and technical data and information." The website offers a multitude of information about geothermal energy around the world. Students can find educational resources about the history, nature, classification, utilization, and exploration of geothermal systems. Through an interactive map, users can find data on geothermal energy. Researchers can discover journals and upcoming conferences. Visitors can also learn how to take part in the IGA panel and discussion group. [RME]

Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency [pdf]

Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to protect and enhance the environment for the future. Users can learn about the EPA's monitoring of the air, water, and soil. Using the interactive maps, visitors can learn about river water quality and air quality. The expansive website features EPA's many research projects in topics such as cleaner production, climate change, and socio-economics. Special interest groups and the general public can find technical information and documents. The Waste link provides numerous materials on waste types, waste prevention, and seminars. [RME]

California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) [pdf]

The California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) was formed to serve emergency response, engineering, and scientific communities with a better understanding of the earthquakes and mitigation. After learning about CISN's mission and organizational layout, visitors can discover upcoming seminars and other events. At the Earthquake Info link, users can find earthquake maps, felt reports, and data. Visitors can view and download shake maps, which represent the ground shaking produced by an earthquake. The website offers the latest and archived earthquake-related news and alerts. [RME]

The National Academies Space Studies Board [pdf]

The National Academy of Sciences' "Space Studies Board (SSB) provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications." Users can learn about the Board's many new projects including Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars and the Astrophysical Context of Life. Students can learn about the Space Policy and the National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Internships. The website offers downloads of the Board's reports, Annual Reports, and Space Science Bulletins. Users can find out about the Board's involvement in eight committees as a way of managing space research disciplines. [RME]

Topic In Depth


GOSA: The Geyser Observation and Study Association
CO2 Driven, Cold Water Geysers
About Geysers
Old Faithful WebCam [RealOne Player]
Infrared Yellowstone: Geyser Runoff
Mini-geyser with Liquid Nitrogen [Windows Media Player]
Geysir and Strokkur Image Gallery

First, the Geyser Observation and Study Association's website provides numerous materials and images about geysers all over the world (1). Students and educators can find a helpful glossary and a fun, short quiz titled Guess the Geyser. Next, the USGS provides a concise explanation and fantastic image of a geyser (2). Visitors can discover where the leading geysers are found and how eruptions can occur. At the third website, J. Alan Glennon at the University of California, Santa Barbara educates users about the processes associated with the rare, cold water geysers (3). Visitors can view many amazing images of Crystal Geyser in Utah. The fourth website, also created by Alan Glennon furnishes an enlightening introduction to geysers (4). Users can learn how normal geysers work. Next, the National Park Service provides a real-time still image of Old Faithful. (5 ). If visitors don't want to wait for an eruption or are visiting the website at night, they can view archived images of Old Faithful. The sixth website, created by Caltech's Infrared Astronomy Center (IPAC), provides three normal and infrared images of geysers erupting (6). Through the images, visitors can learn about the geothermal processes of geysers. Next, Georgia State University supplies a simple experiment simulating a geyser eruption (7). The website features a short video illustrating the experiment for those who do not have access to liquid nitrogen or who would like to see how the experiment is conducted. Lastly, the artist, Harri Eliasson, supplies numerous fascinating images of two geysers in Iceland: Geysir and Strokkur (8). Interested users can also find amazing images of other aspects of Icelandic environment. [RME]

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