The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 8

April 15, 2005

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




Topic In Depth


Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University

The Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University discusses its goals to understand human's impacts on the Earth and to teach students how to maintain the environment at this website. The Research Divisions and Centers link introduces the School's three main research groups: Coastal Systems Science and Policy, Earth and Ocean Sciences, and Environmental Sciences and Policy. Through the eleven links to research centers, visitors can find details about the goals, publications, and results for countless research projects. Researchers can discover the School's facilities and technology as well as upcoming conferences and seminars. [RME]

Brooks Astronomical Observatory [gif]

The Brooks Astronomical Observatory, located at Central Michigan University, was built for research and public use. The website presents the history of the Observatory and its technological capabilities. Users can find a long list of scientific publications based on research performed at the observatory. The numerous astronomical topics researched include asteroids, stellar clusters, occultations, and light pollution. Individuals can view fantastic images of comets, planets, and other space phenomena collected at the Observatory. [RME]

Mississippi State University's Department of Physics and Astronomy [pdf]

Mississippi State University promotes its Department of Physics and Astronomy's research in astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, computational physics, physics education, nuclear physics, and theoretical optics at this website. Within each research interest link, users can find summaries of the projects and information on the faculty members. Educators and industry workers can learn about physics and technology outreach programs. The website offers links to the Howell Observatory, employment opportunities, and fellowship opportunities. [RME]

Council for Central Laboratory of the Research Councils: The Nuclear Physics Group

The Nuclear Physics Group (NPG), part of the Council for Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, supports and contributes to the UK's Nuclear Structure research program by designing and installing equipment around the world as well as performing research. The website features upcoming and recent nuclear physics events. Users can find synopses of research interests and results along with a list of NPG's publications since 1996. Individuals can learn about the NPG's development of computer software and its computer support. Through the website, visitors can also find out about other UK groups involved with nuclear physics research. [RME]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Fu Research Group [pdf, gif, jpeg]

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) publicizes the Fu Research Group's four main chemistry project areas: asymmetric nucleophilic catalysis with planar-chiral heterocycles; new chiral ligands for transition metal-catalyzed reactions; palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions; and chemistry of boron heterocycles. For each project link, visitors can find concise descriptions with helpful diagrams and selected publications in pdf format. Visitors can also view images of the Group's laboratory facilities. [RME]

NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory [pdf, jpeg]

The NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) presents its weather, climate, and air quality investigations. Visitors can discover ETL's theoretical and field observations and sensor and model developments to address complex environmental issues. The website provides detailed descriptions of the Study of Environmental Artic Change (SEARCH), the Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean Experiment (RICO) project, and other 2005 programs. Teachers can find educational resources for elementary, middle, and high school. [RME]

California Climate Data Archive [gif, pdf, Microsoft Word]

The California Climate Data Archive website, a project of the Western Regional Climate Center, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the California Energy Commission, offers a variety of climate data, products, and forecasts. Users can view climate data by station locations or by data type. Researchers can find links and scientific articles of numerous climate research groups including the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC), the Mountain Research Center, and the Livermore Lab Heat Island Group. The website offers archives of monthly climate articles and a series of climate maps. [RME]

National Undergraduate Research Observatory [gif]

The National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) at Northern Arizona University and Lowell Observatory "is a consortium of primarily undergraduate institutions which have joined together to provide hands-on training and research experiences for undergraduate students." While the Key Projects link is under construction, users can find out about past student projects at the Undergraduate Research Experiences link. Researchers and students can request observation time and find planning and observing information. The website offers an image gallery and links to the consortium's member schools. [RME]


Atmospheric Visualization Collection

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Atmospheric Visualization Collection's (AVC) goal "is to develop a digital library collection based on the visualization of atmospheric data." Educators can search through the numerous, fun lesson plans by grade (kindergarten through undergraduate) or keyword. After registering, the Wiki server allows teachers to interactively modify the lesson plans in the Lesson Plan Sandbox. The topics of the activities include cloud characterization; measuring water vapor, cloud heights, and wind; and producing weather reports. Undergraduate and graduate students can learn about research and fellowship opportunities. [RME]

BBC: Supervolcano [jpeg, Macromedia Flash Player]

As a follow-up to a recent television broadcast, the BBC offers fascinating articles and interactive modules about supervolcanoes. Students and educators can learn about the supervolcano in Yellowstone that erupted 2.1 million years ago and produced 2,500 times more ash than Mount St. Helens. Users can play an interactive game to learn how they should respond to a disaster. The website describes how volcanoes and other natural disasters occur and how people and the environment are affected. After reviewing the materials, students can test their knowledge about natural disasters. [RME]

NASA: Kids [Macromedia Flash Player, gif, QuickTime]

Through this NASA website, kids will enjoy learning about astronomy through fun games, articles, and activities. Through online storybooks, users can learn about ancient sundials and our sun. The website offers matching games, a short video about Earth's daily cycle, and crossword puzzles. Students can learn how to make sundials, models of planets, solar oven, and many other space science-related tools and phenomena. The website furnishes links to kids' websites for many of NASA's missions, where users can find numerous additional activities, interesting stories, and fun facts. [RME]

Guidelines for Safe Laboratory Practices in the Department of Chemistry Yale University [pdf, Microsoft Word]

Yale University offers an online comprehensive guide for safety in chemistry laboratories at this website. Students and teachers can find information about the best procedures to employ when in the lab and when operating lasers. Users can learn how to deal with chemical spills, personal injury, and other laboratory accidents. The website offers a safety checklist, a monthly inspection list, and a lab safety information card to ensure that laboratories are continuously maintained. The website also offers an extensive list of other safety websites. [RME]

The GLOBE Programme: International Environmental Education using the Internet [gif, pdf, Microsoft Word]

The GLOBE Programme aims to enhance environmental awareness, scientific understanding of the Earth, and students' skills in science, geography, and additional subjects. Teachers and students can find hydrology, atmosphere, soil science, and GPS activities. The website offers monthly and daily atmospheric data collected from participating schools. Educators can learn how their students can become apart of GLOBE's worldwide hands-on science program. Through the interactive map, visitors can discover the schools collecting environmental data throughout the world. [RME]

EDF Energy: Power Up! [Macromedia Flash Player]

This website, developed by the UK's EDF Energy Company, offers Macromedia Flash Player-enhanced tutorials to educate students about the key concepts of electricity. Through fun games and modules, the wizard Celldric teaches seven- through eleven-year-old students about the objects that use electricity, the properties of batteries, circuits, the National Grid, and much more. Students eleven through fourteen years old can learn about electricity's affects on human bodies, electricity consumption of different appliances, fossil fuels, Faraday's experiment, and much more. [RME]

The Center for Earthquake Research and Information [gif, pdf]

The Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis offers an assortment of educational materials about earthquake causes, impacts, and safety. Educators and students can find science fair ideas, lesson plans, earthquake survivor stories, and much more. Within the technical information link, users can find seismic data, information on recent earthquakes, and materials on the seismic networks. The Public Awareness link furnishes interesting earthquake myths and folklore, facts about the New Madrid Fault System, and tips on how to survive an earthquake. The website also presents the many research projects at CERI. [RME]

World Year of Physics 2005 [Microsoft PowerPoint, pdf, jpeg, gif, tiff]

Because of the decreasing numbers of physics students and declining general interests in the subject, the World Year of Physics 2005 was created during the World Congress of Physical Societies in 2000 by 40 physical societies from around the world. Educators can learn about international physics activities and projects and get ideas about how they can stimulate their students' interests in physics. The website features presentations of European events, meetings about the World Year of Physics 2005, and contacts for the coordinators throughout the world. This website presents a great example of a worldwide effort to excite visitors about the importance of physics in our lives. [RME]


GIS Day 2005 [pdf]

"GIS Day [November 16, 2005] is a grassroots event that formalizes the practice of geographic information systems (GIS) users and vendors of opening their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of this important technology." Visitors can find event information, a schedule of events, the latest news, and a registration form. Educators can find tips on how to host a successful GIS Day Event. Users can obtain links to discussion forums and GIS software. The website also offers links to GIS Day websites from around the world. [RME]

DIS 2005 XIII International Workshop on Deep Inelastic Scattering [pdf]

DIS 2005, the thirteenth International Workshop on Deep Inelastic Scattering, will "review the progress in the field of DIS and QCD" and will "discuss and lay the groundwork for the future." Users can find contact information and detailed agenda for the many working groups, including Diffraction and Vector Mesons, Heavy Flavors, and Spin Physics. Participants can find presenter information, the social program, and links to lodging. The links to past workshops offer a glimpse into the advancement of research in the Deep Inelastic Scattering (DIS). [RME]

The Stony Muse [jpeg]

"The Stony Muse is a new cross-disciplinary program sponsored by the UW-Madison Geology Museum, aimed at exploring particular aspects of the relationship between geological science and the humanities, to commission original works of art that reflect this relationship, and to enhance the Geology Museum using it as a venue for special events and by incorporating art into its exhibits." Visitors can learn about recent and upcoming events such as The Rock Concert and The Color of Iron. The website offers clear descriptions about the science behind the exhibits including how zircons can be used to learn about the early environment of the earth. This website is an excellent means for users to discover the relationship between scientific and humanistic views. [RME]

American Water Works Association [jpeg, pdf]

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) describes its endeavors to improve drinking water quality and supply throughout the world. Visitors can find fact sheets on water pollutants, scientific and public articles, and information on conferences. The educational materials include scholarship opportunities, information about the Water and Wastewater Leadership Center, and a seminar schedule. Researchers can find out about the numerous AWWA's development of products and processes to improve public water quality. [RME]

Daylight Savings Time

The California Energy Commission summaries the history of daylight savings and why we use it at this website. Users can discover where and how other areas of the world change the time to deal with the varying sunlight throughout the year. The website summarizes Benjamin Franklin's and William Willett's ideas for saving energy. Individuals can discover how daylight savings can save energy, save lives, prevent traffic accidents, and prevent crime. Visitors can find a chart of the dates of daylight savings from 1990 to 2010. [RME]

National Geographic: SpaceShipOne [jpeg, QuickTime]

The National Geographic presents Burt Rutan's accomplishments with his rocketship, SpaceShipOne. Users can learn about the preparation and flight through a series of fascinating images and a concise article. The website features photographer Jim Sugar's experience covering the event. Visitors can find interesting facts and links to outside resources. For those who would like to discuss the topic, individuals can join in the online forum. Everyone should visit the Multimedia link to take a closer look at SpaceShipOne's cockpit. [RME]

The Geological Society of London [gif]

The Geological Society of London promotes "the geosciences and the professional interests of UK geoscientists." The website offers media, geological, and society news. Researchers can find out about upcoming conferences covering a variety of geological topics as well as information on a series of journals. Everyone interested in geology can find materials on geological careers, including required education, qualifications, and funding. The website provides teaching resources on volcanoes, geologic hazards, and other geological phenomena. [RME]

RealClimate [jpeg, pdf]

"RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists." The website offers context to the latest news stories and responses to developing stories. Visitors can contribute comments and suggest a topic to discuss. Users can search the archives by date since November 2004. Some interesting recent topics include Michael Crichton's State of Fear book about global warming and Artic Climate Impact Assessment. The website provides a great way for everyone interested in climate to share their opinions and knowledge. [RME]

Topic In Depth

Mass Wasting

Mass - Wasting and Mass - Wasting Processes [gif]
Mass Wasting [jpeg]
Mass Wasting Features of North Dakota [jpeg]
Introduction to Mass Wasting [jpeg]
Hillslope Processes and Mass Movement [jpeg, QuickTime]
Canadian Landslides [gif]
Landslides Hazards
Quiz on Mass Wasting

First, Professor Stephen Nelson at Tulane University provides a straightforward description of mass wasting and recent disasters around the world (1). Visitors can find helpful illustrations of slumps and rock slides as well as a chart depicting the different processes that occur with varying velocities and water content. The second website, provided by Pamela Gore at Georgia Perimeter College, presents the factors involved with mass wasting and mass wasting processes (2). Visitors can find excellent real-life images of creep, rock slides, and talus slopes. Next, North Dakota State University illustrates creep, earthflow, slope failure, and slumps (3). The website furnishes images of mass wasting processes and explains the physical characteristics of the landscape. Fourth, the California State University at Long Beach discusses the causes, prevention, and types of mass wasting (4). Visitors can learn about the mass wasting disasters that occurred at La Conchita, Portuguese Bend, Mount Huascaran, Cable Canyon, and Vaiont Dam. Next, Professor Pidwirny at Okanagan University College offers an online text describing hillslope stability and mass movement (5). Students can learn about soil creep through a simple animation. The sixth website, developed by Natural Resources Canada, furnishes an interactive map of landslides in Canada (6). Users can select to view historic landslides, bedrock geology, surficial geology, and more. Next, the USGS offers information on the National Landslides Hazards Program, the National Landslide Information Center, and recent landslide events (7). Users can find a tutorial on landslides, real-time monitoring active of landslides, and related research projects. Lastly, at the Oswego State University of New York visitors can test their knowledge of mass wasting processes through a short quiz (8). [RME]

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2005. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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