The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - September 2, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

September 2, 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
SeaWiFS, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor Project, is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE), designed "to look at our planet from space to better understand it as a system in both behavior and evolution." Specifically, SeaWiFS provides "quantitative data on global ocean bio-optical properties," showing subtle changes in ocean color; these changes indicate varying "types and quantities of marine phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants)," which in turn reflect ocean temperatures and productivity. The site contains introductory and background information on the project, technical reports, a teacher's section, and a spectacular data section. Data include up-to-date color satellite images of plankton blooms, chlorophyll concentrations, vegetation index, and widespread fires, among others. Those who want further details on SeaWiFS should look through the on-site "Flipbook," a collection of briefing slides for managers. [LXP]
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Environmental Laws
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has compiled a list of the seventeen major environmental laws which govern their agency and the programs they administer. Users can link to summaries or the full-text version of each law, provided, for the most part, by Cornell University. Those new to the subject may want to visit the Introduction to Laws and Regulations section, which explains how environmental laws come into being. Additional sections of the site--Regulations and Proposed Rules, Codified Regulations, and Current Legislation and Laws--link to further information such as Federal Register documents issued by EPA and the Code of Federal Regulations database. [KH]
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NOVAGate, the Nordic Gateway to Information in Forestry, Veterinary, and Agricultural Sciences, is "a quality-assessed database of Internet resources, aimed principally at the higher education and research communities." Selected resources are briefly annotated (in English and a Nordic language) and may be searched by keyword or browsed; first-time users should access the Help section. Initiated in 1988, the database is a collaborative project among "the veterinary and agricultural universities in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden." Note that, at present, the database covers Nordic resources only, but will soon expand to encompass international resources. [LXP]
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Plasma Science and Technology
Maintained by Tim Eastman at the University of Maryland, this site is a good place to start your search for information about plasma science and technology. The homepage provides very brief descriptions of the definitions, applications, and multidisciplinary nature of plasma science. The heart of the site is its connections to plasma information resources; references; societies, forums, and journals; education and public outreach; and a direct link to the newsgroup sci.physics.plasma and its archive. In addition, Eastman provides a listing of the nearly 200 topical areas that are considered part of plasma science and technology. [KH]
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Learning Resources
The Genomics Lexicon--PhRMA/FGM
Provided by PhRMA (The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) and FGM (The Foundation for Genetic Medicine), the Genomics Lexicon is a new online research tool for obtaining definitions. Users may click on A through Z to find a specific hyperlinked word or may browse a complete listing of terms, from "acquired genetic mutation" to "zygote." This resource is a worthy addition to reference webliographies. Note that definitions for some terms are still being added; however, most of the terms in this several-hundred word lexicon are fully hyperlinked, with additional internal hyperlinks. [LXP]
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Advanced Calculus and Analysis
Dr Ian G Craw, a professor at the University of Aberdeen, provides these lecture notes on Advanced Calculus and Analysis. The notes cover the following topics: Sequences, Monotone Convergence, Limits and Continuity, Differentiability, Infinite Series, Power Series, Differentiation of Functions of Several Variables, and Multiple Integrals. [KH]
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Clockwork: Hands On For Habitat [.pdf]
Clockwork is "a self directed, theatre-based education package about biological diversity." Produced by Vox Bandicoot in collaboration with the Biodiversity Group (Environment Australia), the Clockwork site offers four sections: Midnight, an introduction to and philosophy of biological diversity, Mainspring, a hands-on lesson in critical concepts about threatened species and habitats, Big Hand and Little Hand, curriculum support material for classroom teachers, and Cog and Spindle, general science and ecological background about Australia. Though depth of content varies, environmental educators will be interested in this fresh and creative approach. [LXP]
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Nelson Chemistry Resource Page
Allan Lariviere, a high school science teacher in Alberta, Canada, created this site, a collection of online chemistry resources, to accompany the textbook Nelson Chemistry. Although the arrangement of the online resources accords with the book's chapters, all chemistry students will find this site a useful supplement to their chemistry course. Lariviere has compiled more than 150 Web resources for topics such as the periodic table, famous chemists, chemical reactions, and electrochemistry; resources are listed (sometimes with a brief description) under the textbook's fifteen chapter headings. [KH]
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General Interest
Archaeology in Arctic Canada
This virtual slide show, from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary (Canada), offers an interesting overview of "archaeological research carried out in the Canadian High Arctic over the last 5 years." Images show ruins of villages, middens, excavated (and unexcavated) houses, tools, carvings, and other artifacts, offering a glimpse into "the lives of the Dorset people who expanded throughout the region at around 500 AD." [LXP]
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Northern California Regional Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology And Chemistry
The Northern California Regional Chapter (NorCal) of the Society of Environmental Toxicology And Chemistry (SETAC) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a "forum for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of environmental problems, management and regulation of natural resources, education, research and development, and manufacturing and distribution in Northern California." Their homepage includes information about the organization, conferences and workshops, and headlines for both the group and region. [KH]
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Florida Ecosystems--FICUS
Provided by FICUS (the Florida Internet Center for Understanding Sustainability) and the University of South Florida, this gem of a site covers Florida's native upland, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Streamlined in organization but solid in content, Florida Ecosystems offers introductory information and photographic images of a dozen ecosystems, ranging from Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairies to Mangrove Swamps and Coral Reefs. For students and educators interested in subtropical ecosystems, this is a nice place to start. [LXP]
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Indian River Lagoon
Located on the eastern coast of Florida, the Indian River Lagoon is a barrier island and lagoonal system which has been impacted by human development. This site, created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), details how the system works, its history, human impacts on the system, and the area's future. In addition, visitors can learn about the habitats, plants, and animals found in the Indian River Lagoon. [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:

Funding First: Comment
Comment is "a bi-weekly commentary by decision makers and thought leaders on current issues affecting biomedical research." A resource from Funding First (a medical research initiative honoring Mary Woodard Lasker), Comment focuses on "the interaction between science and policy." Each thematic issue summarizes and analyzes biomedical issues and events and includes background material, interviews with key players, and explanations of "how current issues will shape the future of the biomedical research enterprise." Issues are archived in a subject-browseable database; recent topics range from infectious diseases to the human genome project. [LXP]
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As part of the Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) initiative, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created this site to keep the public informed about air pollution and its effect on health. Recently, the EPA added a map of the full domain of their pilot-scale program, 21 Eastern and Midwestern states, so that visitors can view ozone levels from Missouri to Maine. The site provides daily, regional ozone maps, health facts, real-time data by state, and ozone forecasts. Past ozone maps are available in Map Archives. Citizens who are interested in reducing air pollution will benefit from the EPA's tips. [KH]
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New Publications
Insight: For Environmental Training Professionals in Central and Eastern Europe -- Spring/Summer 98
EMTC (The Environmental Management Training Network) has recently posted the Spring/Summer issue of Insight, with brief articles on environmental training issues in Aarhus, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia; and a summary report on Women in Management. Also listed are upcoming training courses for September to November, 1998. [LXP]

Abstracts: Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
Abstracts are now available for the Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting, held at the University of Maryland, College Park from July 28 to August 2, 1998. Abstracts may be searched by keyword or concept. Topics range from Chromosome Dynamics to Signal Transduction. [LXP]

User's Manual: Avian Richness Evaluation Method (AREM) for Lowland Wetlands of the Colorado Plateau
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Research Laboratory has recently placed online this manual for evaluating avian richness. The manual, by Paul Adamus and Mary Kentula, introduces and thoroughly describes AREM, provides select references, and supplies data forms. [LXP]

Preliminary Report on the Costs of Reducing US Methane Emissions [.pdf]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted its preliminary report on the Costs of Reducing Methane Emissions in the United States. The report "provides cost analyses for four key sources of methane emissions in the United States." [LXP]

Enforcement Alert
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in their effort to keep the public informed, created this newsletter to "inform and educate the public and regulated community of important environmental enforcement issues, recent trends and significant enforcement actions." [KH]

Academia Book Releases--Baker & Taylor--September 1998
Baker & Taylor has announced their book releases for titles scheduled to be available to the public in September 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 Metapage for links to individual new books sections. [KH]

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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Job Exchange
Job Exchange, provided by BioMedNet (discussed in the February 14, 1997 Scout Report) is a searchable database of jobs in molecular biology, genetics, general biology, and the biomedical sciences. Employment opportunities are updated frequently and may be searched or browsed by position type (Academic/Research Institution, Government/Private Research, Hospital/Medical Institution, Industry/Other), international region, or specialty. Typical returns include full job details, including summary of duties, salary range, duration of position, and contact information. [LXP]

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC): Professional Opportunities
This small but current job site from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) posts specialized opportunities in environmental toxicology and chemistry. Current openings range from aquatic toxicologist (several postings) to risk assessor. [LXP]

BioCareer Employment Center
BioCareer is a joint effort by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and SciWeb, providing "one of the largest databases on the internet for jobs and resumes in the biotechnology industry." The site allows both searching and posting of jobs and resumes. Additional career information, such as Web and print resources, is also available. [KH]

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Engineering Research Centers Program Announcement and Guidelines for Submission of Pre-Proposals--NSF
National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Engineering Education and Centers is now accepting pre-proposals from academic institutions "to establish approximately six Engineering Research Centers (ERC) in FY 2000." A Notice of Intent is due November 2, 1998; Pre-Proposals are due January 14, 1999, and full-scale Proposals are due June 30, 1999. Complete information is available on-site. [LXP]

Cooperative Agreement for a Research Program to Study the Dermal Toxicokinetics of Methyl Parathion
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has announced funds to support research on "the dermal toxicokinetics of methyl parathion." The application deadline is September 23, 1998. Note that assistance will be provided "only to the health departments of States and their bona fide agents," but see details for university eligibility. [LXP]

Publication: A Guide to Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships in International Forestry and Natural Resources--USFS
This Webpage hosts the online version of the 1995 publication "A Guide to Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships in International Forestry and Natural Resources" [Document No. FS-584 by the US Forest Service]. The guide contains "a detailed description of grants, fellowships, and scholarships available to university students, scholars, and professionals seeking funding to undertake studies or research in forestry or natural resources." Each award listing links to the homepage of the funding organization (where available). [LXP]

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Monocots II: Second International Conference on the Comparative Biology of the Monocotyledons and Third International Symposium on Grass Systematics and Evolution
The Monocots II conference will be held at the University of New South Wales, Australia, from September 27 to October 2, 1998. Monocots II will emphasize "the latest research into the comparative biology and classification of the monocots, both at higher levels and within particular groups such as grasses, sedges, aroids, palms and orchids." Program information and scheduling is available on-site. [LXP]

ISCO: 10th International Soil Conservation Organization Conference, Sustaining the Global Farm
May 23-28, 1999, ISCO will host the tenth International Soil Conservation Conference, Sustaining the Global Farm, at Purdue University in West LaFayette, Indiana. The tenth ISCO Conference invites participation from land and water researchers, educators, policymakers, conservationists, practitioners, and advocates from around the world, "to exchange information and ideas ... on sustainability in land use." The deadline for abstracts is October 1, 1998. [LXP]

Conference for Women in Science
The Association for Women in the Sciences will host this conference, by and for Women, in Dunedin, New Zealand, from June 30 to July 2, 1999. Information on the program and an application form are available online. [LXP]

SC98: High Performance Networking and Computing
Sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and ACM SIGARCH, SC98 will focus "on networking, distributed computing, data-intensive applications, supercomputing, scalable computing and other emerging technologies that push the frontiers of communications, computing and computational science." Orlando, Florida is the location for the November 7-13, 1998 conference. [KH]

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New Data
The World List of Threatened Trees--WCMC
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) has just posted online The World List of Threatened Trees, containing results of "the first survey of the conservation status of trees species worldwide." Included in this resource is the searchable Tree Conservation Database, hosting information "on over 7000 tree species of global conservation concern." To query the database, enter family, genus, or species name; typical returns list taxonomic information, threatened status, country, select references, and several detailed notes on ecology and economics. A section for data contributions and updates rounds out the site. [LXP]
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Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations
These data represent atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ppmv) derived from in situ air samples collected at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii between 1958 and 1997. [KH]
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European Southern Observatory Imaging Survey (EIS) Data Release Home Page
Located in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the European Southern Observatory (discussed in the June 10, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) boasts fourteen optical telescopes and a 15-m "submillimeter radio telescope (SEST)." Images from these telescopes are available as data (image, catalog, derived) and may be requested from the EIS Data release homepage. Recent images include all single frames for "the EIS-wide survey patches A, B, C and D" as well as the first ESO image of the newly discovered comet 1998 P1. [LXP]
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Upper Quaternary strata of the upper continental slope, northeast Gulf of Mexico
Biostratigraphic data from the Journal of Sedimentary Research detailing a sediment core from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico are available in HTML, text, and MS Excel formats. [KH]
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In the News
Life on Mars Revisited
1. Assessing Extraterrestrial Biomass
2. Researchers Assess Biological Potential Of Mars, Early Earth And Europa
3. Meteorite Yields Evidence of Primitive Life on Early Mars--NASA
4. Life on Mars?--NASA
5. Life on Mars
6. Mars Global Surveyor Mission: Overview and Status
7. Mars Global Surveyor
8. Welcome to the Mars Missions, Year 2000 and Beyond!
9. Mars
When NASA researchers from the Johnson Space Center and Stanford University announced they had found combined evidence in 1996 "that strongly suggests primitive life may have existed on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago," scientists buzzed with excitement at the possibility of life on Mars. Two weeks ago, the discovery of rock-eating microbes one mile beneath the ocean floor (published in the August 14, 1998 issue of Science) seemed to make that possibility more likely. But last week, new evidence based on geochemical models was discovered that indicates that, while basic geological conditions on Mars may meet life's minimal requirements, the biological potential of the red planet seems unlikely. The nine resources listed above provide background information, specifics, and commentary on the hunt for Life on Mars.

Two news articles, (1) "Assessing Extraterrestrial Biomass" from Access Excellence and (2) "Researchers Assess Biological Potential Of Mars, Early Earth And Europa" from EurekAlert!, report the new findings from the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. (3) "Meteorite Yields Evidence of Primitive Life on Early Mars" documents NASA's original 1996 discovery. (4) NASA's "Life On Mars?" homepage offers background information on Mars meteorites, fact sheets, and Audio coverage of the Life on Mars news conference. (5) (discussed in the August 5, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) provides this special page that is devoted to Life on Mars including background information on the planet, Pathfinder Journey coverage, and details of the Mars debate, among other information. (6) These eight recent articles from Science magazine will be useful to those interested in the scientific details of the Martian surface, Mars's thermal emissions, or Martian topography. (7) NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab provides this spectacular page, offering the latest images from Mars. Many previous pictures (in color and black-and-white) are listed by theme/topic, release date, or MSSS release number. (8) This site gives viewers a glimpse into current and future Mars Missions, from Mars Pathfinder to Mars Surveyor 2001. Check the Mars Exploration Education Program for curriculum information, fact sheets, slides, and external links. (9) The National Space and Science Data Center provides this site that lists Internet resources on and about Mars. Content ranges from K-12 information to geophysics data, to spectacular color images of the red planet. [LXP]
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