The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - February 4, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

February 4, 1998

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

Internet Journal of Chemistry
This new ejournal, launched on January 1, 1998, provides readers with current research papers in all fields of chemistry. One advantage of an ejournal for chemistry is the ability to include graphics, especially three-dimensional images of molecules. The first volume contains eight articles dealing with a variety of subject matter, including quantum Monte Carlo simulations and dual fluorescence. IJC is free, with the option of registering to customize the format of the journal. [KH]
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Power Analysis of Monitoring Programs: How Many Samples?--PWRC USGS
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (US Geological Survey) provides this site, which is co-sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the State University of New York at Syracuse, The National Park Service, and Pennsylvania State University. Bringing clarity to a complicated and often confusing topic, this user-friendly site walks the reader through a step-by-step technique to determine sample size called "Power Analysis." Because monitoring programs must rely on "large enough" samples in order to detect changes in animal/plant populations, this site serves as a welcome tutorial (or review) for scientists designing research projects. The site contains several illustrative examples, a power analysis bibliography with links to other scientific/statistical resources, and a free power analysis program (MONITOR), downloadable from the site, by SUNY Assistant Professor Dr. James P. Gibbs. [LXP]
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WebAda provides the user with the ability to write and compile programs using the Ada language without the need for additional software. Page one includes an introduction and a brief overview of the features, plans, documentation, and credits for WebAda. Users can then link to the development environment where a program may be written and compiled in the Ada language. Note that programs cannot be run, but only compiled. Additional information for the Ada language is available under LRM, the Ada 95 Reference Manual; Q&S, the Ada Quality and Style Guide; and Lovelace, an Ada 95 tutorial. The GNAT Reference Manual is also available for downloading. GNAT is the GNU Ada 95 Compiler and part of Ada Core Technologies, Inc. [KH]
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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
NCEAS is a nationally recognized center dedicated to identifying major ecological patterns and understanding the processes that generate them. Some of the top researchers in the country, NCEAS scientists conduct collaborative research, synthesize existing data and information, and subsequently make those data available in accordance with the NCEAS data policy. NCEAS's home on the web contains full descriptions of research projects (and proposals), a searchable Directory of Water and Wildland Expertise, links to other ecological research centers, and a stimulating idea forum entitled EcoEssay. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the State of California, and the University of California at Santa Barbara, NCEAS provides exceptional educational opportunities to graduate students and young scientists and fosters new techniques to model complex ecological phenomena. [LXP]
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Geoid, Gravity, Deflection, and Data Coverage Grids
These datasets were prepared by the National Geodetic Survey for the Solid Earth Geophysics Division of the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). The data elements are written in ASCII and can be downloaded in compressed format. Geoid height, deflection of the vertical, N/S and E/W components, terrain corrected free-air gravity anomalies, and number of gravity data per cell are available for the conterminous US, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and Mexico. The Geoid height using the G96SSS Geoid Height Model is available for the conterminous US. Descriptions and formats are available for each data set separate from the data file. [KH]
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Conservation Ecology--ESA
Conservation Ecology is a new, exclusively electronic, peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Resilience Alliance, with content ranging from the applied to the theoretical. Topics covered by the journal include: "the conservation of ecosystems, landscapes, species, populations, and genetic diversity; the restoration of ecosystems and habitats; and the management of resources." This site includes the full text version of the articles (including past issues), as well as instructions on how to submit papers and how to subscribe. Currently, subscriptions to Conservation Ecology are free of chargeand all materials are available for browsing without cost. Edited by ecosystem ecology expert, Dr. C. S. Holling, Conservation Ecology breaks new ground in an important, emerging science. [LXP]
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Learning Resources
The Last Word--New Scientist
The Last Word is an archive of questions from readers of the New Scientist, a magazine of science and technology. The answers to the 350+ questions in the archive come from readers. Visitors can browse through nine categories of questions, including Plants and animals, Around the house, and Gadgets and inventions, in addition being able to Search the site using key words. [KH]
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The Virtual Embryo
This site, created by Dr. Leon W. Browder at the University of Calgary, Canada, is highlighted by Dynamic Development: A Modular Resource to Facilitate Learning in Developmental Biology. From gametogenesis to genetic regulation of development, each subject heading is fully explained, followed by associated graphics and suggested readings. This highly educational site is complimented by Learning Resources, Research Resources, and History of Developmental Biology sections. [LXP]
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Learn Physics Today
Created by students and their coaches at Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Lima, Peru for the 1997 ThinkQuest Contest, this site uses Java applets to help illustrate basic physics concepts related to mechanics, light and waves, and electricity. The site is divided into fifteen chapters and also provides a basic skills tutorial and a scientific calculator. Self testing quizzes are available. [JS]
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Poisonous Plants Web Pages
Spearheaded by Dr. Mary C. Smith and Professor Dan Brown of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Animal Science respectively, Poisonous Plants Web Pages contains color images of poisonous plants and affected animals, and provides information concerning the biological mechanisms, diagnosis and prevention of animal poisoning due to toxic plants and other natural flora (fungi, etc.). Pictures and information can be accessed through an alphabetical list of Latin botanical names (common names are also included), a list of the specific type of poisons present, or a list of species of animals commonly affected. Additionally, there are several links to related poisonous plant sites. Although text is not yet complete for many species, pictures for each plant and links to related sites are provided. [LXP]
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Welcome to Zona Land...Education in Physics and Mathematics [VRML, Java, Javascript]
Zona Land, created by Ed Zobel, is a science and mathematics resource site for students and teachers. The site illustrates mathematical and physical principles by the use of Java applets and VRML simulations. The Science section contains the Physics Department (mechanics, waves and light), EZ Graph, and EZ Evaluator. EZ Graph allows the user to view the graph of a desired function. Evaluator is an online calculator that has trigonometric capabilities. The Mathematics section has four subject areas plus the Graph and Evaluator tools. Graph Paper allows the user to examine the effects of different scales on pre-designed linear, cubic, quadratic, and sine functions. The Function Institute begins with an optional tour of the definition of a function. Also available at the Institute are graphs of linear and polynomial functions. The Geometry Section has three areas of resources: Common Shapes, Fractals, and Coordinate Geometry. Trigonometry Realms has a simple yet comprehensive introduction to trigonometry. Help is available for all of the different resource applications. [KH]
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General Interest
Blast From the Past--NMNH
A recently recovered deep-sea core supports theories that an asteroid collided with the earth 65 million years ago, around the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History's new site, Blast from the Past, contains details on this cataclysmic event. Colorful graphics provide conceptual illustrations of the asteroid impact and aftermath, accompanied by photographs of the deep-sea core. Text summaries, followed by bibliographic references, describe the asteroid hypothesis, the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary, and the utility of deep-sea cores. With links to other paleobiological sites and related museum exhibits, this site is a useful resource for those wanting to know more about fateful asteroid impacts. [LXP]
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Tracking El Nino--NOVA Online Adventure
The latest installment of PBS' NOVA Online discusses El Nino, the second strongest influence on global weather. Four main areas allow users to discover what makes El Nino so interesting. Written by Mark Hoover, Dispatches follows the day-to-day effect of El Nino. Satellite images enhance the textual descriptions. Visitors can learn about the science of El Nino in Anatomy of El Nino. El Nino Now provides real time effects of El Nino. Four different presentations will provide information on storm tracking, the weather and the jetstream, mapping, and advance warnings. The current El Nino's Reach allows users to read and see the world wide effects of El Nino. Visitors can select from over twenty countries or areas worldwide. Upcoming Reaches includes a timeline of El Nino's effects and their influence on living things. [KH]
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John Muir Exhibit--Sierra Club [RealPlayer, VivoActive Player]
Compiled by Harold Wood and Harvey Chinn and hosted by the Sierra Club, this site features interesting information on the father of modern conservation and founder of the Sierra Club. The site contains a list of Muir's publications, favorite quotes, and many other Muir-related items such as: study guides, information on historic sites, live dramatic presentations of Muir, places named after Muir, and songs and music related and dedicated to Muir. Also included is a section on Muir scholarship including an annotated bibliography. Multimedia items include video clips (RealPlayer or VivoActive Player) from portrayals of Muir, and RealAudio recordings of some of the many actors currently performing live portraits of Muir. [DF]
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Hydromechanics Directorate (Formerly David Taylor Model Basin)--NSWC [QuickTime, MPEG]
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division Model Basin, is celebrating its centennial in 1998. The official celebration began January 30 when the Basin was dedicated as a national historic mechanical engineering landmark. The Basin serves as a testing laboratory for Naval ships, submarines, and other marine-related technologies. Under Facilities Specs and Capabilities, users can find information on the basin's five main testing areas as well as five additional facilities. More detailed information, including plans and statistics, is available through the data sheets on the Core Facilities page. The Multimedia Project Gallery includes pictures (JPEG) as well as a few movies (MPEG and QuickTime) of materials in action. The site also includes listings of technical reports from the Model Basin, a phone book, structure of the organization, employment opportunities, and additional web resources. [KH]
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The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network--Environment Canada
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) contains monitoring and research sites in Canada that are characterized by long term, multi-disciplinary studies. EMAN provides a national perspective on the status of Canadian ecosystems, scientifically defensible rationales for control and management activities of these ecosystems, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of current control programs. The Network tackles issues such as hydrology, weather, forestry, and agriculture, and operates from coast-to-coast with direct linkages to other North American and global monitoring and research networks. This informative site is highlighted by selected monitoring protocols, selected Canadian science assessments, and links to various datasets, software, and relevant people finders, among other features. [LXP]
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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:

Ecology Lab Researchers Discover New Species
ENN Feature Story
Dr. Barbara E. Taylor and colleague Adrienne DeBiase, two researchers at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, have just discovered a new species of copepod--a tiny, aquatic crustacean. Their discovery is featured in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, and was featured in an Environmental News Network story. No larger than a speck of dust, the newly described species was first collected in temporary, freshwater wetlands on the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Georgia. Copepods are important members of plankton communities, forming the base of the food chain; thus, many whales, fish, and even other invertebrates rely on them for food. [LXP]
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Termination of GDB Project
The well known GDB (Genome Database) project, in existence since 1989 and hosted by the Johns Hopkins University, has announced that it will be ceasing operations effective July 31, 1998, due to the fact that the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Research has made a decision to discontinue funding. The database will continue to be available to researchers after that time, but its content will no longer be developed. Complete details of the termination, as well as future data availability, are discussed in the termination notice. [JS]
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Academia Book Releases--Baker & Taylor--February 1998
Baker & Taylor announced their book releases for titles scheduled to be available to the public in March 1998. New titles are available in Agricultural sciences; Biological sciences; Chemical, Biotechnological, and Petroleum engineering; Earth Sciences; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mathematical Sciences; Mechanical Engineering; and Technology and Material Sciences. See the Science & Engineering Current Awareness Meta Page for links to individual new books sections. [KH]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education[JS]
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Professional Opportunities--AIBS
This searchable web site from the American Institute of Biological Sciences lists and describes scientific professional opportunities in four categories: faculty positions, fellowships and scholarships, research grants, and management positions. In addition, the society's homepage contains announcements of current events such as a new Congressional Science Fellowship for 1998-1999, and the Third Annual Science & Technology Congressional Visits Day (February 25-26, 1998). Although the professional listings are by no means exhaustive, the hyperlinks to other related job lists and organizations, as well as the link to AIBS' own journal, BioScience, make this a useful resource. [LXP]
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Funding Opportunity Information
Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence--NSF
This solicitation (NSF-98-55) has three main foci: knowledge networking; learning and intelligent systems; and new computational challenges. Details about the solicitation, including proposal due dates and eligibility rules, as well as further explanation of the solicitation, are available at the site. [JS]
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Plant Genome Research Program: Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Sequencing Project--NSF/DOE/USDA
This interagency program solicitation will continue "the systematic sequencing of the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana. The ultimate goal of this project is to sequence the entire Arabidopsis genome within a reasonable time frame, maximally by the year 2000." Details of the proposal, including submission deadlines, grant award amounts, and eligibility rules, are available at the site. [JS]
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding Opportunities
The US CDC maintains this site as a resource for its funding opportunities in various health-related areas. [JS]
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Advances in Digital Libraries Conference
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Alexandria Digital Library are two of the sponsors of this conference, designed to discuss a variety of issues in "digital library research and technology." The conference will take place April 22-24, 1998 in Santa Barbara, California. Current paper sessions include datamining, geospatially-indexed information, and publishing as they relate to digital libraries. Two tutorials, Software Agents for Information Retrieval and Building Geospatial Collections, will also be held prior to the conference. Pre-registration is being accepted now through April 1, 1998. [KH]
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ASLO Meetings and Events of Interest
The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography provides this site, which contains a selected list of upcoming relevant conferences. Conference descriptions and contact information are available. [LXP]
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Society for Ecological Restoration International Conference 1998
The theme for the 1998 conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration is "Ecological Restoration: Making Connections." The conference is scheduled for September 28-30, 1998 in Austin, Texas with the option of field trips both before and after the conference. Abstracts for presentations and posters can be submitted in a variety of fields, including urban wetlands and environmental justice. The deadline for abstract submission is March 15, 1998. Submission via the web is highly encouraged. [KH]
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New Data
Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessments 1996 [.pdf, 150p.]
The 1996 Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report (NMFS-AFSC-78) has been made available by the US National Marine Mammal Laboratory, (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only). Authored by P.S. Hill et al., the report includes a description of current and predicted population trends, current and allowable removal levels, and estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious injury due to interactions with commercial fisheries and subsistence hunters. The data in this report are to be used to evaluate the status of each fishery towards achieving its goal of zero mortality and serious injury of marine mammals. Note that the report is available only as a single 4MB download. [LXP]
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El Nino and the National Landslide Hazard Outlook for 1997-1998
The US Geological Survey (USGS) recently updated a series of maps showing the susceptibility of areas within the conterminous US to landslides. The maps also show the precipitation outlook for the US; they were created by combining precipitation forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and landslide incidence maps from the USGS. The site provides an overview of the maps and how to interpret them, along with references for further reading. Eight maps are available, covering October 1997-June 1998. [KH]
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HazDat: ATSDR's Hazardous Substance Release/Health Effects Database
HazDat, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Database, is a scientific and administrative database designed "to provide access to information on the release of hazardous substances from Superfund sites or from emergency events and on the effects of hazardous substances on the health of human populations." Most recently updated in mid-January, 1998, the HazDat database includes information on site characteristics, contaminants, exposure rates, and the environmental fate of hazardous substances. In addition, HazDat contains substance-specific information such as metabolites, interactions of substances, susceptible populations, and biomarkers of exposure and effects, among others. Additional data are included from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) database, and thus include site CERCLIS number, site description, latitude/longitude, operable units, and other site information. [LXP]
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In the News
1998-The Year of the Ocean
(1) Get Into It
(2) The Year of the Ocean--ENN [RealPlayer]
(3) NOAA Fisheries
(4) National Sea Grant
(5) Coastal Resources Center
(6) The Center for Marine Conservation
This week's In the News section deals with the Year of the Ocean. The six sites listed above provide information of various types about and related to this topic. The United Nations declared 1998 as the International Year of the Ocean to bring attention to the "importance of the marine environment."

(1) The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration's (NOAA) Get Into It is a site dedicated to the Year of the Ocean. The NOAA provides fact sheets on oceanic information, links to additional technical data and facts, information about individual states' contributions to the project, and ocean and federal agency links. (2) Managed by the Environmental News Network, The Year of the Ocean includes daily news clips concerned with the ocean, a link to the NOAA's site, RealPlayer movies about the marine environment, and an archived question of the day. (3) NOAA Fisheries, provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is the homepage of the NOAA's Fisheries Department. This site provides information about what's new at the NMFS, links to NMFS offices throughout the US, and a legislative guide to pertinent resource laws. (4) The National Sea Grant program is dedicated to protecting national marine resources. Visitors to the Sea Grant homepage can search the National Sea Grant Depository housed at the University of Rhode Island, read selected publications, read about research sponsored by Sea Grant, or learn about the various funding and fellowship opportunities. (5) The Coastal Resources Center, located at the University of Rhode Island, was founded to develop coastal management plans for Rhode Island, but then expanded into an international scope. The Center's homepage provides an impressive number of its research reports and publications online. The Intercoast Network Newsletter provides full text articles on coastal management. (6) The Center for Marine Conservation strives to protect the diversity and health of the oceans. The homepage provides information about the planet and its marine resources, a library and reference section, and resources for teachers and students. [KH]
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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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