The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - February 18, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

February 18, 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

Toxic Substances Hydrology Program: Midcontinent Herbicide Project--USGS
A twelve-State area in the upper Midwest is the focal region of this US Geological Survey study on the occurrence, transport, and fate of agricultural chemicals. The goal of this study is "to provide the general scientific basis needed to develop agricultural management practices that protect the quality of the region's water resources." The site contains color images of the study area (with unique symbols for small streams and large rivers, reservoir outfalls, shallow ground water, and precipitation), hyperlinks to status reports of particular investigations, a list of on-line publications, and links to other information sources. [LXP]
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SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, v. 14-52, 1966-1992--JSTOR
List of Participating Academic Institutions
SJAM is a continuation of the Journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Available volumes include v. 1-13, 1953-1965 for JSIAM and v. 14-52, 1966-1992 for SJAM. Visitors can search or browse the journals. Note: access to JSTOR contents is currently available only on a site licence basis to academic institutions. A list of institutions with site licenses is provided. [KH]
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Palaeontologia Electronica [.pdf]
The first electronic, paleontological, peer-reviewed journal Palaeontologia Electronica has just released its inaugural issue and is now accepting papers for the second issue (for June, 1998). The journal includes technical contributions in the form of papers, editorials, announcements, book reviews, etc. on any topic from any branch of paleontology or related biological disciplines. Current research articles include "Identification Key for Holocene Lacustrine Arcellacean (Thecamoebian) Taxa", and "Application of the Modern Analog Technique (MAT) of Sea Surface Temperature Estimation to Middle Pliocene North Pacific Planktonic Foraminifer Assemblages," among others. In addition to the full text of all articles (available in HTML and Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format), this site contains sections on Grants and Resources, Annotated Web Sites, Call for Papers and Instructions for Contributors, and File Format Instructions. [LXP]
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The International Space Station: The NASA Research Plan [.pdf, 50p.]
This National Aeronautics and Space Administration report, available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format or an online version, describes how the International Space Station (ISS) will be used to further NASA's mission of scientific research and exploration of space. The research plan is divided into five sections with the heart of the report contained in Putting Space to Work the World Over. This section is subdivided into categories dealing with the benefits offered by the ISS. The other four sections are: Excerpts From the Research Agenda for the International Space Station, Serving Our Customers, Research Capability Evolution, and an Appendix of Additional Reading. The document is filled with a wealth of information on how the ISS benefits society, from engineering to biotechnology. [KH]
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Mycological Resources on the Internet
Maintained by Kathie T. Hodge, a Ph.D. student at the Dept. of Plant Pathology at Cornell University, this WWW Virtual Library site covers Internet resources related to Mycology (the study of mushrooms and fungi). The homepage directory points users to numerous sites including graphical collections of fungi; mycology research groups; discussion groups, books and newsletters; and related research information (i.e. molecular genetics). This is a well-maintained hub of information for researchers and educators seeking information on or related to fungi. [LXP]
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MatWeb: The Online Materials Information Resource
MatWeb, provided by Automation Creations, Inc., provides information on over 2,000 engineering materials, including polymers, aluminum and titanium alloys, steels, ceramics, and other metals. Information can be retrieved via three search mechanisms-property match, category/property match, and property group. Properties used for searches include electrical resistivity and a variety of hardness classifications. Searches can also be limited by specifying one of over 50 material categories. MatWeb also provides links to related sites and a chart for converting between metric and English units. [KH]
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Learning Resources
Ordination Methods for Ecologists
Dr. Mike Palmer, an Associate Professor of Botany at Oklahoma State University, put together this site as an instructional resource for a graduate-level course. Ordination, which means, literally, "the ordering of a set of data points with respect to one or more axes," is often used to generate hypotheses about the relationship between species composition and the underlying environmental gradients at a given location. While ordination is an advanced technique used mainly by experts, this site does an outstanding job of informing the reader without alienating those with less expertise. Viewers are well-supplied with a newly-updated, hyperlinked glossary; numerous links to software suppliers and other ordination pages; several colorful illustrations; and thorough explanations of ordination methods and related topics. [LXP]
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National Engineers Week
Less Graphical Entrance
National Engineers Week is February 22-28, 1998. This site, provided by the National Society of Professional Engineers, provides information on how to participate and make the most out of this week for engineers and engineering students, teachers, and K-12 students. Also provided is a link to an electronic roundtable, "Engineering the Workplace of the Future," hosted by Engineering News Record on February 19. Visitors can also read about the winner of the 1997 Charles Stark Draper Prize, Vladimir Haensel. Other features of the site include lessons on snowboarding, engineering sports, profiles of selected engineers, and a chance to explore the International Space Station. [KH]
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Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program for Teachers
Brought to you by the prestigious Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the WWLPT provides leadership development courses (referred to here as "Institutes") and materials for teachers in the general sciences. The web site's Teacher Resources section includes an impressive selection of curriculum and lesson plans in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Environment, Mathematics, and World History. Lesson plans vary in scope and approach from the specifics of how to teach Embryogenesis to the effective use of role-playing in discussions of Bioethics. For teachers committed to improving their skills, especially in areas outside their expertise, this website offers a solid launch pad. [LXP]
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General Chemistry Online!
General Chemistry Online, created by Frederick Senese, a professor at Frostburg State University, is a guide and resource for introductory chemistry students. This site provides five areas of information: The Chemistry Home Companion, Just Ask Antoine!, Chemistry Exam Survival Guide, Tutorials, and a Featured Article. The Companion is a study guide covering the basic concepts of an introductory general chemistry course. Topics include measurement, molecules and compounds, and the quantum theory. Just Ask Antoine! allows students to post their chemistry questions. An archived list provides questions and answers for the past year. The Exam Survival Guide provides tips on passing exams, checklists of objectives and skills, and two online practice exams. The Tutorial currently contains only problems and quizzes for the measurement topic. The featured article for February is about Anandamide, a "messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory, and fertility." [KH]
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Materials for Calculus [.pdf, Java, DVI]
E. Lee Lady, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Hawaii, authored these notes to help students learn how to use, not just understand, the concepts of calculus. A total of fifteen topics are covered and include max-min problems, exponential growth, and the derivation of Kepler's second law. The materials are available in DVI, .pdf, or Java versions. Each topic can be obtained as a separate file. [KH]
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General Interest
Essays on Science and Society--Science Online
1998 marks the 150th anniversary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In honor of this anniversary, Science is publishing a nine month series of essays concerning science and its influence on society. The essays, beginning with the February 6th essay by Stephen Gould, will be written mainly by scientists, but will also include teachers, journalists, philosophers, critics, and schoolchildren. The full text of the articles are available online. [KH]
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Division of Fishes--SI NMNH
This site provides a link into the largest collection of preserved fishes in the world, a collection maintained by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Profiling a searchable, catalogued database of specimens and detailed instructions on how to request specimen loans, the Division of Fishes homepage has recently included a new addition: The Albatross Philippine Expedition, with fish illustrations by Kumataro Ito. In observance of the 90th anniversary of the famous Philippine collecting expedition, and in conjunction with a 1997 symposium on the Albatross held at a meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the feature page provides a retrospective look at the great expedition and its legacy. [LXP]
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1997 National Environmental Scorecard--LCV
The League of Conservation Voters produces a scorecard showing how members of Congress vote on environmental issues. The latest edition of the Scorecard provides information on how the 105th Congress voted on "environmental health and safety protections, resources conservation, and spending for environmental programs." Users can search the scorecard by state, member name, or area code. Summaries on the voting of the House and Senate and descriptions of each topic are also available. Topics range from public lands to international/population. Information is also provided on committee assignments, previous environmental scores, and contact information. [KH]
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LightHawk is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the documentation of international environmental management from a birds-eye view. Founded in 1979 by Michael Stewart, LightHawk's novel approach to conservation now employs the services of over 150 volunteer airplane pilots. LightHawk's volunteer pilots fly politicians, decision-makers, activists and scientists over natural areas slated for development or exploitation, and provide passengers with an unprecedented large-scale view of the activities affecting the ecosystems below. LightHawk's home on the web includes a flight schedule of upcoming missions in the Western Hemisphere, a superb collection of aerial photographs from past fly-over sites, hyperlinks to over 30 conservation organizations, and a pilot's page, where several pilots are highlighted and instructions are provided for interested potential pilots. Given the current rapid state of deterioration of the earth's wild areas, this unusual organization's site is worth the visit ... and their photographed perspectives worth the gain in altitude. [LXP]
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The African Water Page
Created by Len Abrams, the goal of the African Water Page is to "increase communication on the Continent of Africa between people working in water." Issues for discussion include "water policy, water resource management, water supply and environmental sanitation, water conservation and demand management." Visitors to this page can find information about recent policy initiatives in South Africa, water related documents concerning South Africa, Zimbabwe, the African continent, and some international topics. Also included are links to South and Southern African and International sites. [KH]
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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:

BIOS Scientific Publishers: New Books
New BIOS titles include, among others, Stable Isotopes: The integration of biological, ecological and geological processes, and Mammalian Anatomy: The Cat. Brought to you by a specialist publisher of biology and medicine titles based in Washington, DC, and Oxford, UK, BIOS currently publishes 30-40 new titles each year, with particular focus on anaesthesia, genetics, plant science, and molecular biology. BIOS publications include "textbooks for undergraduates, practical manuals and reference guides for postgraduates and professionals, and authoritative, cutting-edge review volumes by leaders in the field." This site maintains a searchable publications database, with search options of Title, Author, ISBN, or Keyword. [LXP]
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NSF/Tokyo Report: The Science System in Japan
Dr. William Blanpied, a Senior International Analyst at the National Science Foundation, reports on his experiences as a Visiting Research Fellow in Japan. The goal of the fellowship was to examine impacts from the Science and Technology Plan as it relates to science policy, research, and education. The report is an informal narrative describing Dr. Blanpied's findings. [KH]
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North American Benthological Society: What's New
This section of the North American Benthological Society site provides current awareness information surrounding the study of aquatic organisms that live on, in, or near the bottom of water bodies (lakes, streams, oceans). International and national meetings, symposia, graduate research assistantships, job announcements, recently released educational materials, and important new publications are all posted here. This page is an excellent resource for researchers and educators in all branches of the aquatic and entomological sciences. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education

ASME Jobs Database
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers offers this searchable and browsable (see database search tip) database of Mechanical Engineering related jobs. The database can be searched by location, title, company, or job responsibilities. [JS]
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Funding Opportunity Information
PMABS Summer Internships for Undergraduates
The Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences at the University of North Carolina provides this useful site for undergraduates. Currently, 50 different opportunities for undergraduates are posted here, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to The Rockefeller University Fellowship program. Internships are grouped by region of the country (Western, Southern, Eastern, etc.), and further grouped by university and topic. Note that many deadlines are in February; interested parties should act quickly! [LXP]

National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance -EPA
The US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development announces a number of 1998 grants at this site. In addition to a listing of grants and deadlines, the hyperlinked text leads readers to detailed information and application forms. [LXP]

Sloan Research Fellowships
This site describes the Alfred P. Sloan Foundations's Science and Technology Research Fellowships, two-year awards (of $35,000) granted annually to 100 young tenure-track faculty members. Established in 1955, these coveted fellowships are designed "to provide support and recognition to young scientists, often in their first appointments to university faculties ... often with little or no outside support." Note that candidates must be nominated; direct applications are not accepted (deadline is September 15). Fellowships are considered for Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Neuroscience and Physics. [LXP]
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INET '98: The Internet Summit
The Internet Summit, hosted by the Internet Society, is scheduled for July 21-24, 1998 in Geneva, Switzerland. It provides participants with the latest information about the Internet, its future, and the WWW. Papers at the conference will be presented in eight categories: 1) New Applications, 2) Social, Legal, and Regulatory Policies, 3) Commerce and Finance, 4) Teaching and Learning, 5) Globalization and Regional Implications, 6) Network Technology and Engineering, 7) User-Centered Issues, and 8) Health. The conference will also host one plenary speaker, Vint Cerf, the Vice President of MCI. Five pre-conference activities are planned; they include a K-12 Workshop, Developing Countries, Networking Symposium, Technical Tutorials, and a Networking Technology Workshop. [KH]

Eighth International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME-8)
The Eighth International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME-8) will be held August 9-14, 1998 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It will emphasize "Microbial Biosystems: New Frontiers," reflecting the opportunities and challenges emerging from the cutting edge of microbial ecosystem research. Registration information, deadlines, and abstract submission guidelines are available. [LXP]
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New Data
HYDRO 1K: Elevation Derivative Database--USGS EROS
The Earth Resources Observation Systems' Data Center at the US Geological Survey developed this database from the 30 arc-second digital elevation model of the world. The database contains six raster data sets in tar file format: elevation data, shaded relief, slope, aspect, flow direction, and flow accumulation; and two vector data sets in tar or gzipped ARC/INFO Export file formats: drainage basins and streams. Data sets are currently available for North America and Africa. Future coverage is expected to also include South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. [KH]
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Man and the Biosphere Species Database
MABFauna [.zip]
MABFlora [.zip]
Updated List of Amphibian Species of the World
The US office of MAB has released this online database as a joint effort of MAB and the Information Center for the Environment (ICE). This worldwide database contains continually-updated lists of species and other site information particular to each Biosphere Reserve. The MAB database contains a downloadable vascular plant database (MABFlora) and a vertebrate animal database (MABFauna); these databases are available in .zip format. Also included is a recently updated List of Amphibian Species of the World. MAB database search options include: by Country, Reserve Name, or Species Scientific Name. Once in the database, reserve information includes reserve name, size (in acres and hectares), and year of designation; species information includes species name (order, family, scientific and common), presence, and residence status. Although many species' lists are still being completed, the current database offers a valuable contribution to scientific knowledge. [LXP]
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Index and Inventory of USGS Maps Using Microsoft Access Version 1.1--CSM [.zip]
Christopher Thiry and Cathy Van Tassel of the Arthur Lakes Library at the Colorado School of Mines have updated this database to provide bibliographic information on the US Geological Survey's (USGS) topographic maps of the US. Map information is available as database tables via state and scale. The various scales available are 1:24,000, 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, and 250,000. Information for each map includes map name and state, scale, year, map type, USGS file number, and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). The database is meant to be a finding aid to help libraries inventory their USGS map collections. Note that the compressed file is 5.11 Mb and the uncompressed database is 19Mb. [KH][LXP]
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In the News
Fishing Down the Marine Foodwebs
1. The Effects of Overfishing on Marine Biodiversity
2. Is Overfishing or Habitat Destruction the Key Culprit in Fishery Depletion?
3. Overfishing: A Five-Part Special Series on National Public Radio's All Things Considered [RealPlayer]
Select each day from August 25 to August 29 and use your browser's "Find" function to locate "Fish."
4. 1996 and 1995 Chum Salmon Fisheries Final Report - Seabird Bycatch Reduction: New Tools for Puget Sound Drift Gillnet Salmon Fisheries (Executive Summary)
5. WWF Endangered Seas Campaign
Fisheries Headquarters
Fisheries Strategic Plan
7. A summary of major laws implemented by NOAA--CRS
8. Sustainable Development/Economics: Fisheries
This week's In The News addresses overfishing, an international problem with new and urgent consequences. The nine sites listed above provide information and opinions on overfishing. According to a recent study published in Science (Feb. 6, 1998; Vol. 279), the commercial fishing industry is fishing harder at the lower end of the food web as larger and more commercially valuable species disappear. "Fishing Down," or the catching of second-level creatures normally preyed upon by larger fish, is the fishing industry's response to the depletion of prized species such as tuna, cod, and swordfish. The results of fishing "lower," scientists warn, is impoverished, less-valuable ecosystems. A further, alarming prediction is that this downward trend could lead to a wholesale collapse of marine ecosystems. Author Daniel Pauly and colleagues argue that there is an urgent need for marine protected areas, where fishing is prohibited.

(1) This site contains the full text of the article entitled "The Effects of Overfishing on Marine Biodiversity," written by scientists Mercedes Lee and Carl Safina, previously published in Current: The Journal of Marine Biology, in 1995. The authors describe the effects of fishing on genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity, and argue that "fisheries management is a matter of politics, not science." (2) Beth Baker contributed this article (originally published in Bioscience, Vol. 45 (11), 1995). (3) Geared for the general public, National Public Radio produced this five part special series between August 25-29, 1997, entitled "Overfishing." The series (RealPlayer format) discusses an overview of overfishing; the role of technology on overfishing; the difficulty in regulating marine fisheries; the global politics of overfishing; and a species comeback. (4) One important angle of the overfishing debate is the industry's attention (or lack thereof) to fishing equipment; this site provides the executive summary of a report by University of Washington researchers Edward Melvin and colleagues, entitled "1996 and 1995 Chum Salmon Fisheries Final Report - Seabird Bycatch Reduction: New Tools for Puget Sound Drift Gillnet Salmon Fisheries." Instructions for purchasing the full report are available at the site. (5) In response to the growing concern about overfishing, the World Wildlife Fund launched an Endangered Seas Campaign, described at this site. (6) These two sites provide information from the same source: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which in turn houses the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the agency responsible for regulating fishing in the United States. The sites provide an overview of the agency's role and the current Strategic Plan. (7) The US Congressional Research Service provides this summary of major fishing laws implemented by NOAA. (8) The final site, provided by Professor Tom Tietenberg of Colby College, adds an economic perspective to the topic by providing case studies describing the effectiveness of International Transferable Quotas (ITQ) in sustaining the fisheries of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, and the South Atlantic. Of these studies, Norway's cod fishery is a commonly-cited example of the process by which large-scale ecosystem depletion -- and economic cost -- is brought about by "fishing down." In addition, a sustainable economics bibliography is provided, with a section on fishing. [LXP]
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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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