The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - October 29, 1997

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

October 29, 1997

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

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Science & Engineering is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the sciences, and related fields such as math and engineering, that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given field of study.

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue
The Scout Report
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

Antarctic Research Facility--FSU
The Antarctic Research Facility, part of the Florida State University Department of Geology, is a repository of polar geological core and dredge samples collected from the Antarctic and the subantarctic marine regions. Types of rock and sedimentary materials cores include piston, trigger, phleger, gravity, and rotary cores. The cores come from over ten different projects and cruises including USNS Eltanin surveys, International Weddell Sea Oceanographic Expeditions, and the Ross Ice Shelf Project. Users can search samples via two methods: a core or sample search. A core search allows the user to search for a core using criteria such as latitude or water depth. The sample search allows users to view how often a core has been sampled and by whom. Samples of the cores are available to National Science Foundation funded researchers usually upon receipt and to non-NSF-funded researchers upon approval by Antarctic geoscientists. Descriptions of material cores are available free of charge upon request; a sample request form is available online. Information about staff members and the facility location is provided in addition to related links. [KH]
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The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Journal Online
EMBO and Oxford University Press are offering the full content of each issue online, including all figures and tables, for a free trial period running through 1997. After that, it will be available to subscribers. Currently, full-text versions are only available from January 1997, but these archived issues will expand with each new issue of the Journal. Tables of contents and abstracts of the 1996 issues are also currently available online. The full text is searchable by author and keyword, and references include hypertext links to Medline and to other online journals. [DF]
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Internet Software Guide for Engineers
A consultant for 100Folhas Web Design created this listing of downloadable software for use by engineers primarily in the fields of hydraulics, hydrology, and environmental applications. A significant portion of the environmental software is provided by the EPA and USGS. Resources are also provided for Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic for Applications, Numerical Methods, Pascal, Fortran, and Object Oriented languages. [KH]
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Amphibian Information Website--USGS
Dan Rasay of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (US Geological Survey), in collaboration with the National Park Service and the US Environmental Protection Agency, has developed a web-based searchable database system for amphibian related information. The site contains searchable bibliographic data, web links, and researchers' names. Projects can be located using a search based on genus or keywords. The creators of this new site are looking for feedback on its usefulness, particularly to the conservation community. [DF]
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Chemistry Journals Online
BetaCyte Consultants created a list of International online Chemistry journals. Over 350 journals are listed under three categories: complete online journals (currently free of charge) contains 35 links; online journals with some limitations contains over 60 links; and journals showing only the abstracts and/or Table of Contents of the printed journal contains over 250 links. Journals range from general science, such as Scientific American, to specialized, such as the Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. Users can also sign up for an alerting service to be notified when new journals are added to the list. [KH]
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The Nucleic Acid Database (NDB)
Designed by John Westbrook, and housed at Rutgers University, the goal of the NDB is to assemble and distribute structural information about nucleic acids. The database contains the coordinates of nucleic acid-containing crystal structures, including a searchable atlas of structures, Protein Finder, a search-engine for locating protein structures in the PDB database, a macromolecular crystallographic information file, and archived reports about the structures contained in the database. This site provides information of general interest to researchers in the field, and develops and distributes standard geometry information for use in refinement and molecular modeling programs. Users can also subscribe to the NDB electronic newsletter. [DF]
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Learning Resources
Physics Modules & Simulations--Syracuse University [Java, VRML]
This site, from the Physics department at Syracuse University, contains a series of educational modules and simulations. Of particular interest are the Science for the 21st Century and the VRML Gallery of Physics sections. Science for the 21st Century contains eight modules of information on topics ranging from the brain, biology, and health, to global climatic changes. The VRML Gallery of Physics includes two modules written by Rob Salgado, Electromagnetism and a Light Cone. The Gallery of Electromagnetism features 15 sections of principles including unit vectors, charged spheres, Faraday Law, and line integrals. The Light Cone is an introduction to relativity. Included in the module are an introduction and sections on primeval, special, and general relativity. [KH]
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Nestedness Temperature Calculator Program
A nestedness "temperature" (signal-to-noise) calculator was developed some time ago to assess nestedness in natural ecological situations and the extinction risk of individual populations within an archipelago of islands on which the species assemblages live. The Nestedness Calculator "measures the extent of the order present in nested presence-absence matrices, as well as provides a risk assessment of the extinction probability of the various species' populations isolated on islands of fragmented habitat". This program (Windows only) can be downloaded from this site at this time. Nearly three hundred presence-absence matrices taken from the primary ecological literature accompany the calculator. Rob Vosper of Chicago's Field Museum, along with AICS Research, Inc., have made this tool accessible to ecologists doing work in island biogeography, reserve design, and theoretical ecology. [DF]
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The Four Color Theorem
Neil Robertson, Daniel P. Sanders, Paul Seymour, and Robin Thomas created this page to provide a short description of their new proof of the four color theorem and a four-coloring algorithm. The four color theorem began as the concept that a map can be shaded so that no connected areas have the same color. On this page the creators of this new proof provide a history of the proof, the need for a new proof, and a brief overview of the proof itself. The full text paper is available as a downloadable postscript file or online at the Electronic Research Announcements of the American Mathematical Society (link provided in reference 8 at the site). Programs and data used in the proof are also available under the section Pointers. [KH]
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Learning Resource in Virology
Alistair Kidd of Umea, Sweden has designed an informative, fun, and intellectually challenging virology site containing interactive pages on virus-disease associations, virus families, virus incubation periods, solvable case histories (diagnostic challenge), and interactive quizzes on anti-viral drugs and medical virology. Although the site was designed for medical students, it contains information accessible to a broad range of users. This site offers a list of virology books, images, lecture notes and links to virology sites. Learning Resource in Virology is an excellent example of how even the most esoteric subjects can be made interesting and understandable through the use of creative instructional tools. [DF]
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NIX: NASA Image Exchange
NIX contains over 300,000 National Aeronautics and Space Administration images from eight research centers. Users can search the database via three methods. The first method, Browse, allows users to search through seven categories of images including aeronautics, information systems, and space. In the second method, Options, users select which research centers' databases to examine and the maximum allowable number of hits, images to display, pages, and response time. Research centers linked to NIX include Ames, Johnson, and Langley. The third method is a search interface that supports Boolean AND/OR/NOT searching. [KH]
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General Interest
The Cyclamen Society Web Page
The Cyclamen Page concerns a genus of plants containing nineteen species which are part of the Primulaceae or Primrose family, and are found throughout Europe and North Africa. Users can browse an annotated list of Cyclamen species, learn about propogation and cultivation, locate seed sources, access an identification key, or find out about Cyclamen expeditions to study these plants in their native habitat. [DF]
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SPOTLIGHT ON: Southeast Asia Fire and Air Pollution--US State Department
The US State Department has compiled a list of articles and fact sheets related to the recent fires in Southeast Asia. The list contains press statements and fact sheets from the State Department, satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, maps from the Forest Service, and background information on specific Southeast Asian countries. The information in Background Notes includes Geography, Economy, Government, and Political Conditions among others. Articles from leading news sources such as the Washington Post and CNN World News are also included. The list is continously updated as new articles and information become available. [KH]
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The Harmful Algae Page
Produced by the National Office of Marine Biotoxins and Harmful Algal Blooms and housed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, this site covers the dark side of the organisms that provide the foundation for almost all marine life. The site focuses on the small number of algae that produce potent neurotoxins that "can be transferred through the food web where they affect and even kill the higher forms of life such as zooplankton, shellfish, fish, birds, marine mammals, and even humans that feed either directly or indirectly on them." The site is divided into the following sections: photos of "Red Tide" blooms, species responsible for harmful effects, adverse impacts at higher trophic levels, human illness associated with algal blooms, and effects in your region. Researchers, educators, and people with interests in such recent headline topics such as the Pfiesteria scare can all find useful information at this site. [DF]
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EEK! Environmental Education for Kids--Wisconsin DNR
EEK! is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' way of bringing information about trees, wildlife, fish, air, water, land, and any other natural resource to kids in grades 4-8. Our Earth describes global warming, when open water freezes over, and the protection of wolves in Wisconsin. The current Nature Notes discusses trees and deer and invites users to offer their stories about trees. Kids can learn about natural resources jobs in the Get a Job section. A wildlife biologist is currently featured; a park ranger will be profiled soon. Cool Stuff is geared towards Wisconsonites seeking adventures within the state. This is also the place to write to EEK! or view the results of writing and drawing contests. The Riddler offers a chance for kids to win a prize for answering a question based on information found at the site. Future additions to the site are highlighted in the Coming Soon section. [KH]
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Abbey's Web
The cactus-spined font which serves as the title for this web site aptly suits the prickly American author to whom it is dedicated. Writing about nature and the American West that he loved and cherished, Edward Abbey's prose gave voice to the sublime or cantankerous subject. The best-known works of this "twentieth-century polemicist and desert anarchist" include Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang. Christer Lindh edits this site which serves as both an excellent introduction to the author's work and a repository of quotes, links and bibliographies for more avid Abbeyophiles. Users can access Abbey quotes, order books, download a spinning monkey wrench cursor, read related letters by Robert Redford and Kirk Douglas, or order a commemorative refrigerator magnet. [DF]
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Current Awareness
For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Table of New Nuclear Moments (Preprint) [.pdf, .ps, Excel]
Nicholas Stone of the Oxford University Physics Department's Clarendon Laboratory has compiled a Table of Nuclear Moments, which is a revision of the Table compiled by P. Raghaven (Atomic Data Nuclear Data Tables 42, 189 (1989)). The revised table is available at Brookhaven National Laboratory's National Nuclear Data Center in three formats: Adobe Acrobat .pdf, PostScript, and as a Microsoft Excel worksheet. The table is a preprint article for which the author invites comments. [KH]
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Cell Conferences and Courses
This site provides a list of meetings for micro- and molecular biology and related fields. Users can input a branch of biology, a geographic location and a restricted time period and generate a list of conferences that meet the selected criteria. Users can also register their meetings on the site and check the status of meeting announcements. [DF]
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Reports to the Nation on Our Changing Planet--Our Changing Climate
Reports to the Nation Series
Our Changing Planet [.pdf]
Our Changing Climate is part of a series of reports entitled Reports to the Nation On Our Changing Planet. This new publication was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Our Changing Climate discusses the changing climate of the earth and how humans impact that change. Report topics include reasons why the earth's climate changes, the greenhouse effect, and predicting climate change. The publication is currently available in .pdf format, and will soon have an HTML version on line. Our Changing Climate features some great figures and background graphics. [KH]
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This link, off the main Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) site, provides users with information on the most recent developments in science. The Current Stories section covers headline subjects while the Week in Review section allows users to quickly browse stories from previous weeks. Beginning November 14, 1997, this will be a fee based service. [DF]
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Two Conferences
The 42nd International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication 1998
4th International Conference on Computer Simulation of Radiation Effects in Solids (COSIRES '98)
The first call for papers is available at the homepage for the EIPBTN conference. Abstracts are due January 12, 1998. The conference will be held May 26-29, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois. This year's conference theme is advanced processing technology and its introduction into manufacturing. Special focus sessions include Manufacturing Lithography for 130nm and Beyond and Atom Manipulation for Nanofabrication. Contacts and their email are listed for each special focus session. The American Vacuum Society, the Electron Device Society, and the Optical Society of America jointly sponsor this conference. The second announcement and call for papers is at the homepage for the conference which to be held September 15 - 19, 1998 in Okayama, Japan. The deadline for paper abstracts is June 1, 1998 with notification of acceptance at the end of June. Conference topics include interatomic potentials, ion beam mixing, and animation and visualization techniques. Preceeding the conference, on September 14, 1998, a one-day school of ion-beam technology will be offered. [KH]
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Ornithological Jobs Online--OSNA
Published for many years by the Ornithological Societies of North America in print, this newsletter has served as an important source for locating positions related to bird study and research. Now the same information is available online with US and international listings ranging from field assistants to professorships. Many graduate assistantships and post-doctoral opportunities are also posted. The Newsletter is edited by Kevin McGowan. [DF]
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New Data
Municipal Solid Waste Factbook 4.0--EPA
The US Environmental Protection Agency released version 4.0 of the MSW Factbook in August 1997. The Factbook is designed like a spiral bound notebook with chapter tabs at the bottom. The Factbook contains over 10 chapters dealing with topics of municipal solid waste such as recycling, combustion, materials, and solid waste information for each state. International figures are also available for amount of waste generated and amount of materials recycled, broken down by type of material. Countries studied include Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. Information from the Factbook may be freely distributed and used in reports or presentations; the Factbook itself can be downloaded without charge. It can only be installed on an IBM compatible computer with Microsoft Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 and 2 megabytes of RAM. All programs necessary for the Factbook will be installed on user's computer during the installation process. [KH]
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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center--What's New
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This well-known site at Northern Prairie has updated two databases and added two publication/abstract links: 1) Butterflies of North America, formerly Butterflies of the United States, now includes information for Delaware, Maryland, and northern Mexico. In addition, species accounts for two more families, Skippers and Brush-footed butterflies, have been added. 2) Sources of Information on Plant Selection and Plant Propagation have been added to the Frequently Asked Questions section. 3) A Review of the Problem of Lead Poisoning in Waterfowl examines the effects of lead toxicosis in waterfowl caused by ingestion of lead shot and compares the effectiveness of steel as an alternative shot material. 4) Research biologists and electronics experts from around the world met in Snowmass Village, Colorado, on 21-23 September 1997 to discuss recent technological developments for tracking and monitoring wildlife. Abstracts of presentations at the Forum on Wildlife Telemetry provide information on new telemetry techniques and field evaluations of telemetry equipment and techniques for a wide variety of animals. [DF]
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EML's Retrospective Stratospheric Databases RANDAB and TRACDAB--ORNL
Data Directories
Data Documentation
Overall Readme File
These two Oakridge National Laboratory Environmental Measurements Laboratory databases contain stratospheric and upper tropospheric radioactivity measurements obtained between 1957 and 1993 in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. RANDAB, the stratospheric radionuclide database, contains data from the projects ASHCAN, STARDUST, AIRSTREAM, and HASP (High Altitude Sampling Program) and analyzes 40 different radionuclides. The TRACDAB database contains information for over 1,000 samples analyzed for at least one of nine stratospheric trace gases including carbon dioxide and methane. Microsoft Excel and FoxPro (a database program) were used to create the final database, Ashstar.dbf. The Ashstart database was also converted into ASCII format. Plutonium isotopic ratio data is available as an Excel file in the Foxidata (PU59to70.xls) or DATAASCI (PU59to70.txt) subdirectories. Complete information about each file is available in the document/textasci subdirectory, appenda.txt, and appendb.txt. Users are urged to read the overall readme file in order to better understand the file structure of the various data. [KH]
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In the News
Global Warming
Third Conference of the Parties [.pdf]
Convention on Climate Change
Global Climate Maps
EPA Global Warming
Government Resources on the Web--What's New
Countdown to Kyoto
President Clinton's Address to the National Geographic Society on Global Climate Change [RealAudio]
White House Initiative on Climate Change
Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 1996
.pdf Version (142 p.)
Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Voluntary Reporting
This week's In the News covers global warming. The ten resources above are related to various aspects of this topic. Global warming has been in the news recently as the Third Conference of the Parties approaches. Global warming is caused by increasing quantities of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. Such gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and toxic pollutants. Estimates of temperature increase range from 2-6.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years. The sites listed here provide a very comprehensive amount of information on global warming.

The first site contains the provisional agenda and annotations for the Third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto, Japan, December 1997 (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only). The second site is the web site for the Climate Change Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (discussed in the October 24, 1997 issue of the Scout Report). Included at the site is background information about climate change, emissions and other data, official documents, and upcoming meetings and workshops, including the third Conference of the Parties in December, held in Kyoto, Japan. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has created Global Climate Maps which show rainfall, temperature, sunshine fraction, climate classification, the Koeppen Climate Classifications, and biomass potential. The Environmental Protection Agency site for global warming (discussed in the February 21, 1997 issue of the Scout Report) has an extensive amount of information on the climate system of the earth, the impacts of global warming, and actions being taken by states, the nation, and on an international level. Also included at the site are emission summaries of greenhouse gases and a section that provides recent news about global warming, such as speeches and upcoming events. The What's New section of the University of Michigan's Government Resources on the Web for October 23, 1997 contains documents about global warming, including the Pace Energy Project and press releases from the Department of Energy. In Countdown to Kyoto, the Natural Resources Defense Council maintains this page as an educational and informational stop for learning about global warming and what individuals can do about it. Included are Global Warming 101, How to Fight Global Warming, and links to other global warming sites. The next three sites concern President Clinton's recent announcement of the United States' position on global warming. Users can listen to President Clinton's address (RealAudio format) on global climate change as heard at the National Geographic Society (discussed in the October 24, 1997 issue of the Scout Report). A transcript of the speech presented at the NGS headquarters is also available. The Initiative on Climate Change presents the views of the White House on the Issue of global climate change. The last two documents, provided by the US Energy Information Agency, contain an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in the US in 1996, emphasizing recent increases in emissions, and summarize emission data reported for 1995 as part of the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program. [KH]
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is published every other Wednesday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The Internet Scout Project provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material.

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