The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - August 5, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

August 5, 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
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News
Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana
Bignoniaceae: family account and key
Clusiaceae: family account and key
The Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana is "the first full scientific account of a botanically rich and geologically ancient part of South America." Comprised of several volumes, the publication includes Vegetation and Topographical maps, color plates, black-and-white photos, line drawings, and detailed accounts for thousands of species--a few of which are offered on-site. The Flora is based in part on the field expertise of Alwyn H. Gentry, arguably the leading authority on the botany of tropical America, who met an untimely death in 1993 when his small airplane crashed into a remote mountain ridge in western Ecuador. Although we lost "one of the greatest plant explorers and botanists of all time," several of the fruits of Gentry's labors are now available on the Web. Botanists will want to study Gentry's impressive Bignoniaceae account (Volume 3 of the Flora) and Denis Kearns and others' Clusiaceae account (Vol 4 of the Flora). [LXP]
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first created BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources) in 1996 as an aid to water resource planners concerned with water quality and watershed analyses. The strength of BASINS is its integration of "a geographic information system (GIS), national watershed data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools." The updated version of the program, BASINS 2, can be downloaded from this site. [KH]
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Protocols for Measuring Biodiversity: Arthropod Monitoring in Terrestrial Ecosystems--EMAN
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (discussed in the February 4, 1998 issue of The Scout Report for Science & Engineering) provides this newly revised resource on the monitoring of arthropods in terrestrial ecosystems. Arthropods, which include crabs, microscopic insects and crustaceans, ants, crawfish, and lobsters, as well as a host of other organisms, are generally considered "the most diverse group of organisms in most ecosystems." One of the main goals of this resource is to develop "a standard that will permit comparison of arthropod datasets collected at different sites, by different workers, for unrelated studies." The site includes an introductory section followed by sampling design, soil arthropod protocols, surface and vegetation arthropod protocols, canopy arthropod protocols, sample processing information, data management, expert contacts, equipment sources, and references. [LXP]
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Analytical Sciences
From the Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry, Analytical Sciences is a completely free journal covering topics related to "the theory and practice of analytical sciences, including fundamental and applied, inorganic and organic, wet chemical and instrumental methods." Full-text content is available beginning 1998 (Vol 14); Table of Contents begins December, 1992 (Vol 8). [KH]
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Five New Journals from Highwire Press
Biology of Reproduction--SSR
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy--ASM
Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology--ASM
Clinical Microbiology Reviews--ASM
Journal of Clinical Microbiology--ASM
HighWire Press
The full texts of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR)'s journal and four journals from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) are now available online. SSR's journal, Biology of Reproduction, covers original research on topics in the field of reproductive biology, as well as reviews of current or controversial topics. Online full-text content begins with the July 1998 issue; abstracts begin with 1982 issues and the free trial period for Biology of Reproduction extends through February of 1999. The four ASM journals contain online full-text content beginning with the January 1998 issue; online abstracts begin with January 1992 issues. Full text of the ASM journals is freely accessible through December 1998. All five journals are made available through Stanford University's HighWire Press. [LXP]
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Learning Resources
Climate Change: Methane and Other Greenhouse Gas--EPA
This new site from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "addresses methane's contribution to global warming; trends in emission of methane, nitrous oxide, and fully fluorinated compounds; and economic analyses related to stabilization of these greenhouse gases." The site offers several information-rich sections (Topics in Brief, Reports, Questions & Answers) and descriptive links to further resources (Voluntary Programs, Resources, Calendar). The information provided here is user-friendly without sacrificing detail, making this a worthwhile stop on the Internet. [LXP]
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Online Mathematics Applications
A contestant in the Think Quest contest, this site strives to interest students in mathematics through "real world situations." The site gives lessons on the math skills necessary in such familiar areas as Investing, Music, Science, and Road Trips. Each lesson provides copious amounts of information related to the subject, followed by quizzes to test visitors' newly acquired knowledge. A History section reviews the major developments in mathematics over time, and a simulated stock market game allows students to play at playing the market. [KH]
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Sustainable Development Timeline--IISD [Flash]
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) provides this interactive timeline of sustainable development events. Beginning in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," the timeline tracks international events culminating with the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Students and educators interested in the historical context of sustainable development and the environmental movement will find this hyperlinked summary of events useful. The site may be viewed in [.html] or Flash. [LXP]
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Created by team members from Kapi'olani Community College and Leeward Community College, this site provides educators and students with a colorful background lesson in oxidation and reduction. The site is divided into concepts, exercises, and everyday examples of oxidation and reduction. Each exercise allows users to check all answers. [KH]
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General Interest
About Water Levels, Tides & Currents--OPSD/NOAA
Oceanographic Products and Services Division (OPSD)
The Oceanographic Products and Services Division (OPSD) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) "collects, analyzes and distributes historical and real-time observations and predictions of water levels, coastal currents and other meteorological and oceanographic data." This wonderful site explains the science behind the tides and changing water levels, gives historical background on tidal predictions and tidal machines (including several fascinating old photographs), and details the challenges of measuring water currents. The combination of engineering, history, and oceanography ensures that students and educators will learn much here. For access to tidal data, a tidal and current glossary, and an interactive tidal prediction page, users may follow links from the OPSD homepage. [LXP]
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Physics 2000
Provided by the Chemistry and Physics Departments at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Physics 2000 is a non-threatening introduction to physics. In Einstein's Legacy, cartoon characters guide visitors through visual and conceptual lessons on X-rays, Cat Scans, and Microwave Ovens. A third lesson, Lasers, is still under construction. The Atomic Lab explores two physics phenomena: the two slit experiment and Bose-Einstein condensation. Applets are used throughout the site to allow visitors to interact with animations to demonstrate physics principles. Users can, for example, stretch and shift two waves to learn about wave interference or adjust the frequency of laser beams to cool and trap atoms. [KH]
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Two on Dragonflies and Damselflies
Checklist of Kansas Odonata: Dragonflies and Damselflies (124 Species)
Checklist of Oklahoma Odonata: Dragonflies and Damselflies (135 Species)
Roy J. Beckemeyer created these informative checklists of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Oklahoma and Kansas, based on data from George Bick and others. Though still in progress, the checklists offer source data, detailed notes, historical data, species lists (ordered by family), and many photographs and color distribution maps. Both students and researchers will find these checklists to be a useful reference tool for hundreds of species of Odonates. [LXP]
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Schools Going Solar
An online guide from the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group as part of their Going Solar campaign, Schools Going Solar describes just that--examples of schools in the US and Australia that have instituted solar energy systems. The site argues for solar energy as a "clean and limitless" source of power and emphasizes the learning opportunities going solar can afford a school. Before diving into the examples, users should read about the Solar ABCs and the Going Solar project. A separate section details the use of solar power for moving vehicles. [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:

Tidepool is the news branch of Inforain, "the Bioregional information system for the North American rainforest coast," providing information and data on the Pacific Northwest's bioregion, watershed and community. Updated every week day, Tidepool covers timely issues from global warming (see the special El Nino section) to forest management and fishing rights. Three sections offer focal topics: Environment, Community, and Economy. Though not exclusively a "science" news source, Tidepool addresses many of the complex environmental issues of the ecologically rich and socially charged Pacific Northwest. [LXP]
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From Science Matters, a company aiming to increase scientific knowledge of every individual, is a gathering of information on current space topics. General knowledge categories include spacecraft, mars, space, and solar; content in each category, most of which consists of hyperlinks to other sites, ranges from news releases to high quality photo images to background information on relevant topics. Chat and Multimedia sections give users the opportunity to visit chat sites, view videos, and listen to recordings. [KH]
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New Publications and Reports
Proposed Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 1998
This new release, by Teeming With Wildlife (discussed in the March 4, 1998 issue of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering), marks the advance of the Wildlife Funding Proposal to review and consideration by Congress. The intent of the proposal is to secure "permanent funding, rather than annual appropriations," for the management and conservation of the nation's wild resources. Funds would be raised through "a small user fee on outdoor recreation equipment,... allow[ing] everyone with a stake in our wildlife resources to make a natural investment." [LXP]

GeoScience Books: Catalog 98R, Regional Geology
GeoScience Books, a bookseller of "out-of-print books in geology and related sciences" publishes their catalog on the Internet. The Summer Quarterly catalog was released July 20, 1998. [KH]

Report of the Agricultural Task Force for Resource Conservation and Economic Growth in the Central Valley
This report addresses "the issue of rapid population growth in the Central Valley (of California) and its impact on agricultural resources." The report, which offers a decidedly agricultural perspective (farmers and ranchers), identifies several challenges to population-driven changes in resource conservation, namely "an accelerating loss of productive agricultural land; fiscal problems in Central Valley cities and counties due to insufficient planning for growth; and increasing conflict between farmers and their urban neighbors at the urban/agricultural edge." The task force recommends policies "to conserve and protect resources vital to the long-term economic health and productivity of agriculture in the Central Valley." [LXP]

Three from NSF
What Is The Debt Burden Of New Science and Engineering Ph.D.s? [.pdf]
Industry Trends in Research Support and Links to Public Research [.pdf]
A Report on an Evaluation of the National Science Foundation's Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program [.pdf]
The first National Science Foundation's publication (available in HTML or .pdf) provides "information about the indebtedness of new doctorate recipients from their undergraduate and/or graduate education: tuition and fees; living expenses and supplies; and transportation to and from school." The second publication (available in HTML, .pdf, or ASCII) addresses "the capability of US industry to develop new products and processes" and the increasing link between patents granted in the US and public research. The third, from NSF's Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) program, summarizes and evaluates the program's impact on research and education with regards to improving "undergraduate education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET)" through the use of cutting-edge laboratory equipment. [KH]

Report: 15 Most Endangered Wild Lands--TWS
This report, recently released by the Wilderness Society, describes the "15 most endangered wild lands" and the threats to each. The list includes Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Badger-Two Medicine, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Cascade Crest, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges, Mojave Desert, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Owyhee Canyonlands, Petroglyph National Monument, Routt National Forest, Utah Wilderness, and Western Maine Woods. [LXP]

Academia Book Releases--Baker & Taylor: August 1998
Baker & Taylor has announced their book releases for titles scheduled to be available to the public in August 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. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Water Online-Job Search
Water Online is a publication for professionals in water-related fields. The job search page allows searches in a variety of engineering and science fields. Searches can be refined by specifying state or country. [KH]

From New Scientist magazine (discussed in the March 22, 1996 Scout Report ) comes this searchable job resource listing "more than 300 European and Australian science, technology and academic vacancies every week." Most listings, which may be searched by job sector or area of interest, are for the United Kingdom, although a smattering exist for other locations. Note that a searchable archive covering the current "two weeks' worth of jobs" is available online. [LXP]

ASTC Job Bank
Provided by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), this Job Bank offers listings in science museums and related fields. Jobs are listed and may be browsed by category: Development, Education, Management, Exhibit/Curatorial, Internships, and Miscellaneous. Also at the site are instructions for employers on how to post job openings. [LXP]
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Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships--NSF
The National Science Foundation has announced the Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, "designed to permit awardees to choose research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development." Funding covers 24 months; applications are due October 16, 1998. [LXP]

Two on the Internet
Internet Technologies Program
Connections to the Internet
The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advanced Networking Infrastructure Program is accepting proposals, on a continual basis, that support the program's three research goals, "research for advanced networking technologies, network testbed development, and development of revolutionary science and engineering research applications that require advanced networks." Connections to the Internet is an NSF matching-grant program to increase the use of the Internet in all education arenas, including K-12 institutions, libraries, museums, and higher-education facilities. Proposal deadlines are January and July 31 of each year. [KH]
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Conferences and Courses
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) Annual Meeting
The 58th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from September 30 to October 3, 1998. Symposia topics cover Vertebrate Fossils, The Armored Dinosaurs, Ecology of Extinct Vertebrates, Gondwana Dinosaurs, and Eocene Vertebrates, among others. Note that the early registration deadline is August 14, 1998. [LXP]

Large Scale Structure Formation
The Mazandaran University in Babolsar, Iran will host this conference to discuss topics such as big bang cosmology, origins of fluctuations, supersymmetric inflation, and large-scale structure formation. Interested participants must register by September 15 for the January 23-February 4, 1999 conference. [KH]

State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC)
The State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) will be held in Buffalo, New York, October 21-23, 1998. The SOLEC conference is hosted every two years by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada, and is "intended to provide a forum for exchange of information on the ecological condition of the Great Lakes and surrounding lands." Additional information is available at the site. [LXP]

17th International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems
The Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing in Heidelberg hosts this conference to explore the "interrelationship between rate processes of energy deposition in compressible media and their flow fields." Deadline to submit abstracts is December 1, 1998; the conference will be held July 1999. [KH]

1998 Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
The Entomological Society of America will hold its 1998 annual meeting in conjunction with the American Phytopathological Society in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 8-12. Registration information is provided online; the deadline for registration is September 28, 1998. [LXP]

Principles of Modeling--EMAC
The Ecosystem Management Analysis Center (discussed in the May 27, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) has announced a course on the principles of natural resource modeling, to be held November 16-20, 1998 in Portland, Oregon. The course will focus on "techniques and concepts of natural resource modeling." Registration deadline is October 16, 1998. Note that another class will be held February 22-26, 1999 in Taos, New Mexico (registration deadline January 8, 1999). [LXP]
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New Data
Two from TIGR
The Treponema pallidum Genome Database
The Plasmodium falciparum genome
The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) has posted the complete gene sequence of Treponema pallidum (published in Science 281:375-388, 1998), as well as the sequence from Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 2 (in collaboration with the Naval Medical Research Institute). The newly available Treponema pallidum genome, directed by Dr. Claire Fraser, is searchable by name, TP number, sequence, and segment. Offerings at the site include a hyperlinked Gene Identification Table, RNA Gene Table, Paralogous gene families of Treponema pallidum, and instructions on how to download data. The Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria) genome sequence consists of "3 contigs: a central contig of 923 kb, and two telomeric contigs of approx.10 and 11 kb." Note that the sequence has been edited but "a few problem areas are being resolved, so as with previous releases of chromosome 2 data, these data should be considered as preliminary." Users may conduct similarity searches and download the data at the site. [LXP]
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Leg 173 of the Ocean Drilling Program
Data for Leg 173 of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) is now available to the public. For those seeking background information on ODP, information on-site includes descriptions of the Janus database and data collection techniques, a graphical map of the world with legs and sites shown (requires Java 1.1), and additional information, ship schedule, and cruise information. [KH]
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Forest Insect & Disease Leaflets (FIDL) Publications--USFS
The US Forest Service has made available these informative leaflets on forest insects and diseases. Users may browse the Master Directory by species common name or select the Western or Eastern directories. More than 170 leaflets are listed, from Mountain Pine Beetle to Two-lined Chestnut Borer; note that a few leaflets are available only in [.pdf] format, and not all are available online. Online leaflets offer text of life history, hosts, associated insects, and control techniques; color photographs and a reference section complete each account. Most accounts were written in the 1970's and 1980's, but much of the information is still widely applicable. [LXP]
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Volatile Organic Compounds in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and California, July-September 1997
This fact sheet by the US Geological Survey (USGS) provides the concentrations of nine volatile organic compounds (VOC) for twelve sites within Lake Tahoe and nearby lakes. The USGS, which undertook the study to determine "the occurrence of gasoline products" from watercraft and other sources, found "no exceedances of known drinking water standards or health advisories. The site also describes the sampling sites and procedures. [KH]
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In the News
The Tight Link: Beetle and Plant Diversity
1. A 300-Million-Year Old Twosome: The Cycad and Its Pollinator
2. Guide to the Palearctic Flea Beetle Genera
3. The Rainforest Database
4. Coevolution
5. Evidence for Coevolution between Mammalian Herbivores and Plant Secondary Compounds in Boreal Forests
6. Insects Did It First
7. Entomology and Plant Protection
8. Entomology Web Sites: Beetles
9. Coleoptera WWW site
This week's In The News focuses on the evolutionary link between beetle (Coleoptera) and flowering plant (Angiosperm) diversity. In an article published in the July 24, 1998 issue of Science, Harvard University evolutionary entomologist Brian Farrell shed new light on insect-plant evolution when he revealed "a tight link between plant and beetle diversity." Farrell found that the incredible diversity of beetles--a whopping 330,000 species are estimated today--is linked to the rise of the angiosperms some 100,000,000 years ago. According to Farrell, although some beetles maintained their preference for older plant classes such as cycads and conifers, "well over 100,000 new species of beetles arose because of that move to angiosperms." The significance of these findings, says Farrell, "show how moving into a new environment, where there's no competition, can free you for an explosive, adaptive radiation." The nine resources above offer insights and information on beetle and plant diversity, and several evolutionary resources as well.

(1) This July 31, 1998 news release by Dr. Dennis Stevenson of the New York Botanical Garden documents a tight relationship between pollinators (weevils and beetles) and plants (in this case, cycads). In this study, the complex and specific mutualism between weevil pollinators and cycad flowers highlights the long-term dependence of cycads on the weevils. (2) The Systematic Entomology Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers detailed information on the Alticine Genera of "flea beetles" at this site. Users will find a Key to Palearctic Alticine Genera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae), a generic index, flea beetle morphology details, a section on host plants, and an overview of the Palearctic Fauna. (3) The Rainforest Database, provided by the organization Living Earth, consists of a large collection of text and images for educational use. Though many images are still being transferred to the WWW, the site currently contains written information on the role of pollination and the "evolutionary war" between plants and insects, as well as some introductory information on "rainforest ecology." (4) For those interested in evolution, these course notes from evolutionary biologist Dr. David Fitch of New York University (NYU) offer a detailed introduction to coevolution. The course covers speciation, adaptation, systematics and phylogeny, and biogeography, among other topics. (5) This 1994 paper by Troy Gerhardt provides evidence for Coevolution between Boreal forest mammals and plants. (6) Entomologists, teachers, and the general public will appreciate this information-packed, light-hearted summary by Akre, Paulson, and Catts, describing some of the amazing adaptations that insects have evolved--and humans have only re-invented. (7) science.komm provides this hyperlinked list of insect journals on the Web. (8) Virginia Tech entomology graduate student Jun Fan has gathered this smorgasbord of beetle information: from background information to identification tips, common species, management challenges, and several notably "fun" sites. (9) Also from the USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory, this final site is a launch pad for beetle resources, offering descriptive information and links to other WWW sites. [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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