The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 19

September 17, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo

The Earthquake Research Institute (ERI) at the University of Tokyo acts as the primary association for fundamental geophysical research in Japan and oversees the Earthquake Predication Center and the Volcanic Eruption Prediction Program. The website offers the latest earthquake and volcano news. While a few of the research projects are described only in Japanese, visitors can learn about the Ocean Hemisphere Network Project, Special Project for Earthquake Disaster Mitigation in Urban Areas, and the Marine Seismic Survey. The web site offers links to numerous earthquake databases and to the Institute's many research centers. [RME]

Stockholm University: Glaciology at the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology

The Glaciology group at Stockholm University's Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology addresses its research mainly to the past, present, and future climatic aspects of glaciology. The website offers concise summaries of its many research projects such ice dynamics and mass balance. The site introduces the Tarfala Research Station and the many monitoring programs associated with it. At the World Glacier Monitoring Service link, visitors can find more in-depth materials about the internationally coordinated glacier variation monitoring. Throughout the site, users can find links to biographies of the researchers involved with this group. [RME]

US Global Change Research Program [jpeg, pdf, Microsoft PowerPoint, Windows Media Player, RealOne Player]

The homepage of the US Global Change Research Program offers a great deal of material about its research to understand, assess, and predict global change. Users can find links to the many governmental organizations participating in research about global carbon cycle, land use and land cover change, atmospheric composition, and other investigations on the interactions of natural and human-induced changes in the global environment. Visitors can learn how the organization is planning to address the phenomenon's potential impacts on the environment and society. The website offers numerous links to important new and archived online documents. Researchers can discover upcoming conferences and workshops. [RME]

The Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin - Madison [pdf]

The Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin - Madison provides this website to describe its many research initiatives to "develop clean, safe, and economical fusion energy sources" and to "create near-term commercial products that use fusion energy to enhance the quality of life." The research projects are divided into three main categories: Magnetic Confinement Fusion, Inertial Fusion Energy, and Other Applications. For each project, users can find a short description, related links, and a list of publications. The website offers downloads of numerous poster sessions and talks. [RME]

The Princeton Ocean Model [pdf, jpeg, gif]

The Princeton Ocean Model (POM), a sigma coordinate, free surface, ocean model, can be "used for modeling estuaries, coastal regions, basin, and global oceans." Users can find helpful guides on how to use the freely distributed POM. The web site offers downloads of the proceedings of past meetings. Researchers can find links to data sources, national agencies and labs, and organizations. The Applications link offers numerous examples of organizations that have used POM in their research projects. [RME]

Institute of Experimental Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences [pdf]

The Institute of Experimental Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences' website addresses its experimental and theoretical research primarily about the "physical chemistry of minerals, melts, and fluids under the conditions of the Earth's crust and mantle, fluid-rock interactions," and mineral synthesis. The site offers downloads to some of the listed publications produced by the researchers at the Institute. Users can find many databases and datasets including the Mineral Crystal Structure Database and the Database of Supercritical Fluids Solubilities. [RME]


The American Chemical Society: Molecule of the Week

Each week, this American Chemical Society (ACS) website presents educational materials on a new drug, a chemical in the news, or a common household chemical. Educators and students can find two- and sometimes three-dimensional images of the chosen molecule along with descriptions of the molecule's characteristics, its molecular formula, and other interesting facts. Each Molecule of the Week since 2001 is archived in an alphabetical list. Users can discover how to suggest a new molecule for the website to cover. [RME]

The University of Chicago: An Introduction to the Cosmic Microwave Background [pdf]

Wayne Hu at the University of Chicago provides this online tutorial to educate students about the basic principles and concepts related to the cosmic microwave background. Through a series of colorful slides, users are introduced to concepts such as cosmic expansion, gravitational instability, seeing sounds, and music of inflation. Visitors can find pdf files for old and updated talks about the subject. At the end of the tutorial, the author provides a series of links to additional tutorials where users can find more in-depth information about concepts connected to cosmic microwave background. [RME]

NOVA: The Elegant Universe [QuickTime, RealOne Player, Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

This NOVA website "introduces string theory and Albert Einstein's dream of unifying the forces that underlie all phenomena in the physical universe." Visitors can learn about the concept's possible role in unifying the four forces of nature. Students and educators can watch fascinating slide shows of physicists working with particle accelerators; interesting animations of resonance affects on cotton string; the three-hour mini-series, The Elegant Universe; and much more. The Teacher's Guide can help users take full advantage of the educational value of the materials. Anyone curious about the idea that the world can be made of numerous dimensions and made out of strings will enjoy this site. [RME]

NASA: Teaching Earth Science [pdf]

The goal of this NASA website is to inspire the next generation of explorers by sponsoring "educational activities at all levels of formal and informal education to provide opportunities for learners to investigate Earth system processes using unique NASA resources as they progress through the academic pipeline and continue on their individual paths of lifelong learning." Visitors can find a colorful online book discussing the basics of the Earth's atmosphere and its importance to life on Earth. Students can learn about the discoveries of scientists in the monthly Earth Explorers Series. Educators can find out about the latest earth science news, events, research, and resources in the online articles and by subscribing to the Education Update Newsletter. The site offers the newly updated Earth Science Education Plan, an Education Resource catalog, and a biannual review by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies of NASA's educational products. [RME]

Creswell Heritage Trust - Virtually the Ice Age

This website, produced by the Creswell Heritage Trust, discusses the characteristics of the climate and the environment of the Creswell Crags during the last Ice Age. By taking a survival test, users can discover the difficulties Stone Age people faced during this time period. The site offers a virtual tour of the Creswell Crags, which is one of the most northerly places on earth people visited between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago. Through a series of images, users can discover what Creswell and the Neanderthal's camp may have been like during this time period. [RME]

Dan's Wild Wild Weather Page

Dan Satterfield, a chief meteorologist for a local news station in Alabama, educates children between the ages of six and 16 about various aspects of meteorology at this fun website. With the help of amusing images, the site introduces the concepts of radar technology, tornadoes, lightening, humidity, forecasting, and much more. Users can listen to the sounds of storms, hurricanes, rain, wind, and snow. Students can participate in entertaining games, puzzles, and quizzes. Educators will appreciate the For Teachers link, which provides links to many outside meteorological resources. [RME]


World Meteorological Organization [pdf]

World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations Specialized Agency, is the "authoritative voice on the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources." Visitors can learn about the organization's mission, structure, many programs, and awards. The large website covers global climate issues, the major concerns of WMO, and other crucial topics. Users can find global forecasts and weather observations. Researchers can learn about upcoming meteorological events and meetings as well as the WMO library. [RME]

4th International Symposium on Retrieval of Bio- and Geophysical Parameters from SAR Data for Land Applications

This website discusses ESA and the Environmental Earth Observation (ENVEO) organization's upcoming symposium "to assess and review the most recent developments in the field of SAR data analysis and to foster the use SAR for land applications." After reading an overview of the conference, users can download the itinerary which will cover modeling applications in many biological and geophysical fields such as hydrology, glaciology, and geomorphology. Potential attendees can obtain information about registration and travel for the meeting to be held November 16 - 19, 2004. [RME]

The Goldman Prize [QuickTime, pdf]

Founded in 1990, The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world's largest prize program honoring environmental heroes from six continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America. At this website, visitors can find stories of the great work people have done to earn this important award. In the Media Center and Press Room links, users can read documents and view videos and images of the prize winners, keynote addresses, and environmental success stories. The site addresses frequently asked questions about nominations, the selection process, the meaning of grassroots, and more. [RME]

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services: OneStop Database [Microsoft Excel]

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) created the OneStop website to allow the public easy access to environmental data and information. The site is broken down into two main categories: OneStop Environmental Site Information and OneStop Project-Specific Information. In the Environmental Site Information component, visitors can find geographic information system (GIS) data, air stationary sources, environmental monitoring data, resources on solid waste sites, and more. The Project-Specific Information offers materials on specific hazardous waste transporters, water systems, shore land protection, various permits, and water wells. The website has helpful instructions embedded within it to help users easily navigate through the materials. [RME]

Perspectives on Plasmas

Dr. Timothy Eastman developed this website to address aspects of plasma science and technology for the general public and for research and education communities. In the Basics link, users can learn about plasmas and their functions in space, energy, the environment, businesses, governments, and in the home. The Applications link offers many resources about fields of plasma application and institutions involved with plasma technology. Educators can find many images illustrating fusion plasmas, space plasmas, and technology. The site provides a lengthy list of references as well as many helpful links to outside plasma-related educational and research sites. [RME]

National Maritime Museum: The Flinders papers

This National Maritime Museum website presents over 150 letters and documents of the English explorer Matthew Flinders. Users can search the transcripts by key word, date, type, author, or recipient. Along with each transcript, visitors can find links to a glossary providing more information about the subjects discussed and unusual terms used. The site offers images of a few of the maps created by Flinders such as the Terra Australis, a chart showing the Bass Straits, part of the south coast of New South Wales, and of Van Diemens Land. While some of the letters contain more personal information, many of the transcripts allow users to discover how explorers interpreted the regions they encountered. [RME]

Topic In Depth


National Hurricane Center
Hurricanes [pdf]
Hurricanes Online Meteorology Guide [Java, VRML Player, QuickTime]
Hurricane: Storm Science
Hurricanes [Macromedia Flash Player]
2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Hurricanes: Just for Kids
Flying into the Eye of a Hurricane [Java, jpeg]

First, the National Weather Service addresses the work of the National Hurricane Center "to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards" (1). At this vast website, users can find satellite imagery, current and archived advisories, hurricane awareness information, and much more. FEMA created the second site to inform the public about the hazards of hurricanes (2 ). After discovering the physical characteristics of hurricanes, visitors can find information about hurricane threats and the proper steps to take before, during, and after the storm. The third website, developed by the University of Illinois, discusses a hurricane's stages of development, structure, and movement (3). Users can follow past tropical cyclone activities and explore a 3-D hurricane. Next, the Miami Museum of Science furnishes a fun site where children can essentially travel inside a hurricane (4 ). Families who have experienced a hurricane will benefit from the Healing Quilt link and the family survivor stories. The fifth website, created by USA Today, provides the general public with the latest hurricane news, storm science, and safety (5). Visitors can view graphics of how hurricanes are created and can submit their hurricane questions to the site. Next, Florida State University supplies the latest advisories and forecasts for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean (6). Users can view images of the hurricanes and find a history of Florida hurricane landfalls. Environment Canada produced the seventh web site to educate children about how hurricanes form, how they work, and where they go (7). Students can learn how El Nio affects hurricanes. Lastly, the National Geographic presents children with an exciting article about the work of hurricane hunters (8). Users can view images of storm winds, paths, and damage. [RME]

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