The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - September 16, 1998

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

September 16, 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
Geologic Hazards
The Geologic Hazards section of the US Geological Survey (USGS) conducts research into the causes of geological phenomena such as landslides and earthquakes. The homepage connects visitors to the Geologic Hazards team's three main areas of endeavor. Geomagnetism provides links to the National Geomagnetic Information Center; Magnetic Observatories, Models, and Charts; and the Geomagnetic Information Node, which receives geomagnetic observatory data from around the world. The Landslide group studies the "causes and mechanisms of ground failure" to prevent "long-term losses and casualties." Their section provides links to the program and information center, publications, events, and current projects. The Earthquakes department hosts a wealth of information, including neotectonics, engineering seismology, and paleoseismology. Interactive maps are also provided. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and fifteen federal agencies have collaborated to create this "common reference for people who are involved in planning, designing, and implementing stream corridor restorations." Preceding the release of the printed version (October 1998), this online version includes full text, color graphics, a slide show on stream corridors, three case studies from streams in New Mexico and Washington, and a collection of useful links to related sites in education, research techniques, and river management. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT
Combining basic and applied science, the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) investigates "electronics and optics, communications and signal processing, and 'living systems,' particularly language, speech, and hearing." The RLE homepage provides an introduction to, as well as a history of, the RLE. Visitors can learn about the people and research groups involved with the many aspects of electronics research. Also provided on the homepage are links to the annual progress report, newsletters, and publications. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Histology Pictures: Update
BIODIDAC provides these histology images as part of their impressive digital resources for teaching biology (reviewed in the May 30, 1997 Scout Report) Contributed by University of Western Ontario Zoologist Richard Harris, these updated Histology images cover Mitosis, Glandular tissues, Haemopoiesis, and Sensory structures, among many other subjects. Each image is accompanied by a brief annotation describing the source and preparation technique. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Southeast Asian Science Policy Advisory Network (SEA-SPAN)
The "ultimate goal" of the Southeast Asian Science Policy Advisory Network (SEA-SPAN) is "to help the scientific and policy communities develop a better understanding of each other" in order to deal with global change. A discussion list allows parties to share their knowledge with others, but also to mine the knowledge of the group's members. Subscription information is available on the homepage. An archive of messages posted to the list is divided into nineteen categories for easy browsing. SEA-SPAN has also included a list of useful sites, both general and country-specific. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS)--EPA
Created in 1997 as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's national commitment to "improve public access" to EPA's information resources, the new Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS) Website "provides access to integrated information on environmental quality, status and trends." Available at the site are Environmental Profiles (for each US state, county, and territory), a substantial, searchable Digital Library of Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Atlas, offering "full-color, national and state maps ... covering a wide range of natural resources." This impressive Website will prove valuable to researchers and educators, alike. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources
Navstar: Global Positioning Satellite [QuickTime]
This tutorial is part of WebPhysics, a site "devoted to teaching and learning physics with World Wide Web technology." The first lesson teaches visitors about orbital mechanics. The second and third lessons delve into the theory and science that make global positioning satellites a reality. Each of the three lessons contains sections on Exploration, Application, and Theory. The clearly articulated lesson objectives combined with the interactive exercises in the Exploration and Application sections are sure to make this site popular with students and teachers alike. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Crustaceans of Southern Australia
This intriguing resource on the Crustaceans of Southern Australia is provided by Dr. Gary Poore of the Museum of Victoria. Hundreds of images offer a peak into the diverse and colorful underwaters of Australia; images are accompanied by concise text, offering solid introductory information on the biology of marine crustaceans. Users will find this a worthy educational tool to learn more about Australian crustaceans from barnacles to crabs, ghost shrimps to lobsters. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

The Journey of Garbage, From the Recycling Bin to the Store Shelf
The Marquette High School Science Club created this presentation to teach fellow students about the cycle of common garbage items. This site provides the script of the presentation, acknowledgements/resources, and additional facts that can be used to stress the importance of recycling. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Internet Detective [frames]
A central concern of the Internet Scout Project and anyone who uses the Web as an information-gathering tool is quality. The ability to critically analyze Websites and evaluate their quality and usefulness is essential to successful and efficient surfing. The Internet Detective, an online tutorial developed by staff at The Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) at the University of Bristol (home of SOSIG), is an excellent resource for developing these skills. With clearly written overviews, interactive quizzes, and worked examples, the tutorial teaches users the key elements of quality Internet information and offers practical tips for evaluating a variety of online resources. Free registration is required to allow users to return to the site as necessary and work through the tutorial at their own pace. [MD]
[Back to Contents]

Chemical Bonds, Molecular Shapes, and Molecular Models
This site, designed by doctors Anna Cavinato and David Camp, teaches students how to construct models of molecules using model kits. Definitions of molecular shape, electron pair geometry, and nonmetal bonding patterns begin the tutorial. After students build a knowledge base, they can then proceed to the demonstrations and specific examples of the models. A self-assessment quiz allows students to test their newly acquired knowledge of chemical shapes. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest
The Edwards Aquifer Home Page
The Edwards Aquifer is a groundwater system upon which the people of South Central Texas depend for "agricultural, industrial, recreational, and domestic needs." This dependence has caused a depletion of the water in the aquifer, while demand for the water continues to increase. The aquifer's homepage provides a map of the aquifer and its location in Texas, a wonderful introduction to the aquifer, its hydrogeology, and issues surrounding the aquifer. The site provides a plethora of additional information including images and essays, charts and graphs, endangered species, laws and regulations, an extensive glossary, and bibliography. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Jurassic Reef Park
Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder of the University of Stuttgart, Germany created this interesting site in English and German, offering a "virtual trip to the reefs of the Jurassic Period." In the Introduction, viewers will find background material and comparisons of modern and ancient reefs. Further information is provided in the sections on reef architecture, reef formation, Jurassic reefs, and reefs and global climate change. Although the English language is slightly quirky, the content and images more than compensate, making this a worthwhile site. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

The Exhibition of Knots
The Exhibition of Knots, created by the University of Wales in Bangor, provides an in-depth look at knots. After reading about How Mathematics Gets into Knots, students can learn the background and techniques for tying bowlines and crossovers, knotting numbers, the arithmetic of knots, and applications of knots and knot theory. Additional resources are provided for the truly intrigued. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Introduction to Grain Elevators [VRML]
In keeping pace with this fall's harvests, the US Department of Agriculture has recently placed online this series of presentations on grain elevators. The presentations (VRML 2.0) demonstrate "the operation of an export elevator; the operation of a bulkweighing scale and the procedure for performing a build-up scale test; a description of electronic control systems; a 3-dimensional model of a shipping bin and diverter gates; and a simulation of a gate limit switch test." Demos include animated color images with fully labeled parts and summary paragraphs. From agricultural students to design engineers, as well as those who have always wanted to know, visitors will obtain a solid introduction to grain elevators from this informative resource. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

How Stuff Works
Ever wonder how your car engine works? Or how electricity is transferred from the source to your house? Then surf over to How Stuff Works by Marshall Brain, a former Computer Science teacher at North Carolina State University. The site is divided into ten categories covering topics such as electronics, public works, and digital technology. A special section provides an inside look at everyday devices like a TV remote control and digital cell phone. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

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:

Published daily since November 1995 by the Grassroots Environmental Effectiveness Network (GREEN), GREENLines is a one-page newsletter that keeps subscribers abreast of "wildlife and public lands issues." Recent topics include appropriations bills and the everglades. Readers can subscribe to the newsletter or read the articles online. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

New Publications
Materials Flow and Sustainability [2 pg, .pdf]
This short, two-page document from the US Geological Survey uses graphs and flowcharts to illustrate the flow of materials, from origin to final product. One graph in particular shows the dramatic increase in the consumption of raw materials in the US. [KH]

Report on the effects of exposure to tree marking paint [.pdf]
The US Forest Service has placed online this report by Richard Driscoll and others on the risk of exposure to tree-marking paint. Targeting regional foresters, the report (.pdf format) addresses health hazards related to tree marking paint. [LXP]

New GCRIO Documents
The US Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) periodically releases reports on climate change and related issues. Nearly twenty publications may be requested using the GCRIO Document Request Form; recent additions for 1998 include "People and Pixels: Linking Remote Sensing and Social Science" and "Our Changing Planet: The FY 1999 US Global Change Research Program" (discussed in the July 8, 1998 Scout Report for Science and Engineering). [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

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

Employment available in Crystallography World Wide
The International Union of Crystallography and the Crystallography World Wide Web compiles this list of available jobs, both academic and non-academic, in the area of crystallography. Jobs are searchable by type of position and country. [KH]

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse
The site will be moving to a new location in the near future, but those eager to find a job in GIS can still swing by the Clearinghouse. Job listings are divided by month posted, currently July, August, and September 1998. The site also provides additional online resources for finding a GIS job. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Engineering Research Centers: Partnerships with Industry, Academe, and Government for Next-Generation Advances in Engineered Systems Research, Technology, and Education
The National Science Foundation is seeking proposals from institutions to set up Engineering Research Centers (ERC). An ERC should "provide an integrated environment for academe and industry to focus on next-generation advances in complex engineered systems." The deadline for notice of intent to submit a proposal is November 2, 1998, with the full proposal due June 30, 1999. Full instructions and description are available at the site. [KH]

CISE Research Infrastructure Program--NSF
The National Science Foundation's CISE (Computer and Information Science and Engineering) Research Infrastructure Program solicits proposals "to aid in the establishment, enhancement, and operation of major experimental facilities planned to support all of the research areas in the CISE Directorate." Proposals may also include "activities for integration of research and education." The deadline for submission of proposals is November 24, 1998. [LXP]

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Solicitation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is now accepting proposals for their Small Business Technology Transfer program. Projects should involve "innovative, commercially feasible, cooperative research with a nonprofit research institution partner." Proposals are due December 14, 1998. [KH]

Biotic Surveys and Inventories Program Announcement--NSF
National Science Foundation's Biotic Surveys and Inventories Program (BS&I) supports research "to record the species-level diversity of life on earth as a prologue to investigations of patterns and processes and the development of plans for conservation of that diversity." The majority of BS&I awards fund biotic surveys; however, long-term, large-scale inventories are also encouraged. Proposals are due the first Friday in November, annually. [LXP]

POWRE: Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education--NSF
POWRE is a National Science Foundation program "designed to increase women's prominence in science and engineering and to enhance their professional advancement by providing women with funding opportunities not ordinarily available through regular research and education grants." Proposals are due December 9, 1998. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Conferences and Courses
Upcoming Science Programs--Penn State
This concise listing of upcoming conferences and courses, hosted by the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), is targeted at researchers and technicians. Listings include summaries and are hyperlinked to a more detailed description of each event. Currently listed courses and conferences cover varied topics, such as analytical chemistry, biotechnology, salivary biomarkers, ichthyology and herpetology, and electromagnetics, among others. [LXP]

The 1999 Atlantic Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Conference
The 1999 Atlantic Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Conference (AUPAC) is hosted by the University of Prince Edwards Island, February 5-7, 1999. The conference will include talks and posters by students, as well as a keynote speaker. Registration information will be available online, as will presentation and poster information. [KH]

Population Viability Analysis Conference
The University of California, Berkeley and the Western Section of the Wildlife Society will co-sponsor a conference entitled Population Viability Analysis: Assessing Models for Recovering Endangered Species, from 15-16 March 1999 in San Diego, California. The conference will focus on "issues in the development and application of demographic and genetic PVA models for conserving threatened and endangered species." The deadline for abstracts is November 15, 1998. [LXP]

International Conference on Multimedia Computing and Systems
Held in Italy in June 1999 and sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, this conference covers a variety of topics, including operating system support; distributed multimedia; human-computer interaction; and multimedia databases, tools, and applications. Papers may be submitted in any of these areas. Submittal deadline is October 15, 1998. [KH]

Complexity Between the Ecos: From Ecology to Economics
Complexity Between the Ecos: From Ecology to Economics is the fourth in a series of conferences on Complex Systems. This conference will be held from November 30 to December 3, 1998, at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

New Data
Annual Estimates of Global Anthropogenic Methane Emissions: 1860-1994
David Stern and Robert Kaufmann, of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University, provide "the first estimates," by year, of human-made methane emissions from seven sources, including gas flaring, coal mining, and biomass burning. Data are available in ASCII or binary spreadsheet formats, and a graph shows the rise in methane emissions from 1860 to 1994. The site explains Stern and Kaufmann's methods, including mathematical equations. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature
From the Centre Interuniversitaire de Calcul de Toulouse comes the List of Bacterial Names. Updated with each new issue of the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, the List of Names "includes, alphabetically and chronologically, the official nomenclature of bacteria and the nomenclatural changes as cited in the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names, or published, or validated in the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology." The list is extensively annotated, clarifying the rules governing scientific nomenclature. A section that details the List's definitions and abbreviations makes the site more accessible . [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Carbon Dioxide, Hydrographic, and Chemical Data Obtained in the South Pacific Ocean: October 1992 to April 1993
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center provides these Carbon Dioxide data from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). Available are three data files (.dat), three files containing information about the three stations (.sta), a text file detailing the methods of the field collection and analysis, and two FORTRAN 77 files for data retrieval. Interested viewers may also wish to read the online abstract. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Reaction Gorge Fluctuation in Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)
Scientists Huan-Xiang Zhou, Stanislaw Wlodek, and Andrew McCammon created this animation showing "the 'breathing' motions of the gorge or channel that leads from the region outside the enzyme Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), to the active site." The enzyme AChE controls the communication among nerve and muscle cells. This animation demonstrates, for the first time, the role of molecular dynamics in enzyme specificity. It is based on "a combination of computational models and theoretical calculations," which were published in the August 4, 1998 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

In the News
The Mississippi River
1) Mississippi Headwaters Board and River Watch Project
2) The US Army Corps of Engineers--Mississippi Valley Division
3) Mississippi River Team Homepage
4) Mississippi River Basin Issues
5) Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
6) National Response Center
7) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Mississippi Delta Project
8) Troubled Waters--A Report on Toxic Releases into America's Waterways
The sites listed in this week's In the News chronicle the history of the Mississippi River's environmental plight and efforts by groups to restore the glory of the Mighty Mississippi. Draining 41% of the continental United States, the Mississippi River is in need of a massive clean-up effort. Joined by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Carol Browner, Attorney General Janet Reno pledged renewed effort to seek out those responsible for polluting the river. A recent settlement between Shell Oil and the EPA produced $1.5 million in fines and $10 million dollars to go directly towards environmental improvements along the river.

1) The Mississippi Headwaters Board is staffed by members from the eight counties surrounding the river's headwaters. Their site lets visitors know what makes the river unique and why it needs protection. Especially useful is the River Watch Project, which includes information on the quality of the headwaters. 2) The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the navigability of the Mississippi River. This site provides information about the division and the various districts from the headwaters to the mouth. 3) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) devotes a team of scientists to the study of the Mississippi River. The team homepage provides information about the team, its mission, maps, and reading materials. 4) Also from the EPA, this site deals with two important Mississippi River issues--hypoxia, or low dissolved oxygen levels, and water quality. 5) The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) maintains this site to keep visitors, both real and virtual, informed about the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge. The site includes regulations, district background information, waterfowl data, and water-level management information. 6) The National Response Center (NRC) is "the sole federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills." The NRC site allows users to view or download spill statistics. Onsite links explain how to report a spill and detail legislation relating to the NRC and the National Response System. 7) The ATSDR formed the Mississippi Delta Project because of concern about environmental and health hazards. The project aims to "shape public health, environmental, and educational interventions" to improve environmental quality and advance environmental research. 8) Troubled Waters is a report by the US Public Interest Research Group, known for its strong environmental advocacy. The report details toxic discharges, top polluters, and the most polluted waterways. [KH]
[Back to Contents]

Subscription and Contact Information

To subscribe to the Scout Report for Science & Engineering, send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe SRSCIENG

For subscription options, send email to:
In the body of the message type:

Internet Scout team member information:

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

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.

Susan Calcari
Laura X. Payne
Kathryn Harris
Travis Koplow
Michael de Nie
Managing Editor
Assistant Editor
Assistant Editor
Production Editor

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from the Scout Report for Science and Engineering.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From the Scout Report for Science and Engineering, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1998.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Science & Engineering
Back to the Science & Engineering Main Page

The Scout Report
Back to the Scout Report Main Page

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 1998 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.

Internet Scout Project
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project