The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - February 3, 1999

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering

February 3, 1999

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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


American Journal of Botany [.pdf]
HighWire Press
The American Journal of Botany is "an internationally recognized journal accepting refereed research papers on all aspects of plant biology." Now available online from the Botanical Society of America, full-text content begins with the September 1998 issue and will expand with each month's new issues. Abstracts and .pdf files are online beginning January 1997. The free trial period for the online version of the American Journal of Botany runs through April 2000. The journal is produced electronically in conjunction with Stanford University's HighWire Press. [LXP]
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Two New Chemistry Journals
Acta Chimica Slovenica [.pdf]
Fluorine Notes [.zip]
These two journals are now available online. The first journal, Acta Chimica Slovenica, publishes "original scientific and review papers" in chemistry and related sciences, industrial achievements, chemical society news, and announcements. Abstracts (html) and full-text articles (.pdf format) from January 1998 are available. This journal can also be viewed in Slovenian. The second journal, Flourine Notes, is the first online journal dedicated to fluorine chemistry in Russia. Archived published abstracts of reports (.zip format) from the Chemistry, Technology and Applications of Fluorocompounds conference held in 1997 and full-text articles (html format) from September 1998 are available. This journal can be viewed in both English and Russian. [SN]
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The National Pesticide Loss Database: A Tool for Management of Large Watersheds
Four researchers from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station put together this scientific poster on the National Pesticide Loss Database. Designed as a "look-up table for estimates of pesticide losses from farm fields in leachate and runoff," the National Pesticide Loss Database was intended "for use in conjunction with watershed models to target priority areas that may be in need of additional conservation practices." The Website contains a nice overview of the database, several dozen excellent color maps, and five tables depicting soil types and areas where leaching and runoff could exceed water quality thresholds for humans or fish. In addition, four databases (all related) may be accessed directly. [LXP]
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Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD)
PSRD is a Website dedicated to providing the discoveries made in planetary and space sciences through NASA-funded research. The NASA Cosmochemistry Program and the University of Hawaii sponsor this Website. Interesting aspects of the site are the Current Contents and Archive sections. Articles in the current contents section, which are accompanied by images, cover topics of current interest -- presently a conference on the origins and history of the Earth and Moon, and the composition of chondrules, spherical objects found in meteorites. Each article links to additional resources, and the section also offers a list of general links. The Archive section organizes previous Current Contents articles by topics such as Mercury, Earth, Moon, Mars, Mars Life Issues, The Jupiter System, Meteorites, Comets, and Origins. The Website also provides a searchable (by keyword) database and links to related resources. [SN]
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ForNet: Forest Remote Sensor Applications [JavaScript, Java]
Minnesota's DNR provides this site, which offers "a variety of innovative geospatial data delivery applications" for the state of Minnesota. The site includes Air Photos Online (aerial photography holdings for "selected portions" of the state that can be browsed, downloaded, or ordered), ImageView (enabling "interactive browsing of satellite images" covering the Minnesota landscape), ForestView (an interactive interface of GIS data and satellite imagery), ChangeView (highlighting areas of "recent, relatively major changes" to the forested landscape), and the Minnesota Forest Fire Information Center (a seasonally available collection of "the latest information on forest fires" in Minnesota). Though most of the site's features have "basic" versions for those with older systems, users with Netscape or Internet Explorer version 4.0 or higher and 800 x 600 monitors supporting at least 256 colors will get the most from the site. [LXP]
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Paleomagnetic data at NGDC
The June 1998 (Version 3.3) paleomagnetic databases of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) at the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) are now available. Scientists interested in Earth's ancient magnetization now have online access to data of palepole positions and paleomagnetic directions. The six following databases, complete through 1997, are included: Global Paleomagnetic Database, Magnetostratigraphy Database, Paleointensity Database, Polarity Transitions Database, Secular Variation Database, and the Paleosecular Variation From Lavas 0-5 Ma. These databases are complete up to 1997 and can be downloaded (via FTP) at no charge. [SN]
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Learning Resources

The Bridge: Ocean Sciences Education Teacher Resource Center [Frames]
Provided by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The Bridge is an annotated metasite offering online information for marine science educators and students. With sections on Biology, Physics, Geology, Chemistry, Climate & Atmosphere, Technology, and Use & Management, the site will not disappoint educators. Learning resources vary from the K-12 to college levels, although most are general in nature. The site has plenty more to offer, as well: a Resource Pavilion (includes publications, data, etc.), People & Places (organizations, researchers, and contact information), Professional Development (grants, awards, and professional organizations), Research (how to get involved or contribute information to The Bridge), and Discussion Lists (including Ask an Oceanographer). For teachers or students, this site is worth a visit. [LXP]
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Dave's Math Tables
Dave's Math Tables is an excellent mathematical resource. The mathematical reference tables include General Math, Algebra, Geometry, Odds and Ends, Trigonometry, Calculus, Statistics, and Advanced Topics. In addition, the site features an interactive area for posting and answering mathematical questions and a list of related Internet resources. This site is also available in Spanish, and an English-Spanish math dictionary is provided. [SN]
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Critical Thinking Community: CThink
One of the major learning steps of young scientists is to think critically. This fascinating site offers insight into the various aspects of critical thinking. Supported by the educational nonprofit Foundation for Critical Thinking, CThink targets two levels: the college and university, and the primary and secondary education communities. The site is further organized into Library, Resources, and Events sections. Within the Library section, users may choose to browse examples of the basic elements of critical thinking, the role of questions, the critical thinking process, or a (modest) glossary of critical thinking terms, among others. Resources contains guidelines and lessons on how to integrate critical thinking into the curriculum, and Events offers information on upcoming conferences, seminars, and academies, and gives information on CThink inservices. [LXP]
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Introduction to Computational Chemistry
Michael Calvin, a quantum chemist in the Computational Biochemistry Group at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL), provides the Introduction to Computational Chemistry Website, which includes brief historical background information along with an overview of computational chemical methods and the general terminology of computational chemistry. Calvin supplies diagrams, graphs, images, and molecular equations to facilitate the understanding of computational chemistry. A listing of related Internet resources rounds out the site. [SN]
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Two on Wind Tunnels
Wind Tunnel Webpage
8x6/9x15 Wind Tunnel Complex
These two sites from NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio provide detailed introductory information on "aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics" through the medium of wind tunnels. The first site, geared for K-12 classrooms, describes the history of wind tunnels, how to build your own wind tunnel, wind tunnels on the Web, and several other aeronautics-related lessons. The second site provides extensive information about and color pictures of the eight-by-six foot supersonic Wind Tunnel, "NASA's only transonic propulsion wind invaluable tool to researchers as they explore the higher regions of flight." [LXP]
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General Interest

Species 2000
An international endeavor, the Species 2000 project aims to enumerate "all known species of plants, animals, fungi and microbes on Earth as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity." Though an ambitious task and still incomplete, parts of Species 2000 are functional; the current databases (bacteria, legumes, plant fossils, corals, fishes) may be searched by major group of organism or scientific name. Typical returns include scientific and vernacular names, number of subspecies, geographical records, habitats, descriptors, uses, literature references, and/or other fields. Also at the homepage are links to the project's scientific and technical teams, as well as links to mirror sites. [LXP]
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Glossary of Nuclear Science Terms
The Glossary of Nuclear Science Terms is provided by the Nuclear Science Education Committee from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Definitely more than a glossary, this site is educational and interesting for anyone wanting to learn more about nuclear science. Topics such as Antimatter, Nuclear Structure, Fusion, Fission, and Radioactivity (alpha, beta, and gamma) among a plethora of others are discussed at the site. Each of these sections includes diagrams along with a summary of the topic. Nine simple experiments, appropriate for high school teachers and students, are also available to be used in chemistry or physics classes. [SN]
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Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
Established in 1992 by nine countries, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) project aims "to conserve Arctic flora and fauna, their diversity and their habitats; to protect the Arctic ecosystem from threats; to seek to develop improved conservation management, laws, regulations and practices for the Arctic; to collaborate for more effective research, sustainable utilization and conservation; [and] to integrate Arctic interests into global conservation fora." To that end, the CAFF homepage describes its efforts in Arctic habitat and species conservation. Here users can access technical reports, publications, and project overviews. A beautiful color map of Protected Areas in the Circumpolar Arctic may be viewed or downloaded at the site. [LXP]
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SimScience has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The objective of this project is to develop and provide interactive multimedia educational modules incorporating advanced scientific modules. The Website is divided into four modules covering topics such as Membranes, Fluid Flow, Cracking Dams, and Crackling Noise. Each module includes an introduction, images with brief descriptions, and a help screen. In addition, all of the modules are available in three versions: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The beginning level is accessible to kindergarten students, while the intermediate and advanced levels are geared towards high school and freshman college students. Although some sections are still under construction, this site is still worth a visit. [SN]
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National Journal of Young Investigators (JYI)
Over the past year, more than 50 undergraduates from around the US have collaborated to establish the National Journal of Young Investigators (JYI), "a faculty and student reviewed, peer edited and published, national journal" of science and engineering. Designed to showcase undergraduate research and serve as a hub for up-and-coming scientists, JYI's staff is composed entirely of undergraduate students from academic institutions across the US. The journal's scientific articles are organized in three subject areas: Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Basic Engineering Sciences. The full text of current articles may be viewed online, and interested contributors will find instructions for article submissions on-site. [LXP]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

The Status of Pluto
The University of Maryland has published this article discussing the status of Pluto. Debate has been brewing for the past ten days whether Pluto should be considered an extrasolar planet, as opposed to being a part of our solar system, or whether it should be considered a planet at all. This article is divided into topics such as Why has the Question Arisen, Historical View of Pluto, Other Trans-Neptunian Objects, So What is Pluto, What is a Planet, and the Process Within the International Astronomical Union (IAU). [SN]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]
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Nature: Feature of the Week (update)
The scientific journal Nature continues to highlight new scientific findings in their excellent Feature of the Week section. Recent features include "Probing the deep mantle," an in-depth look at the interior of the Earth using seismic waves. Past feature sections may also be accessed online at this site. [LXP]
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New Publications

Two Biological Resources from NPWRC
Wetlands of the United States: Their Extent and Their Value To Waterfowl and Other Wildlife [.zip]
Interpreting Carnivore Scent-Station Surveys [.zip]
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has placed online two more biological resources. The first of these is a 1956 US Department of the Interior publication on the early attempts to inventory and classify US wetlands. While results of this 1956 publication "have been superseded by more recent and exhaustive efforts, this hard to find publication is widely cited in waterfowl and wetlands literature." At this site, users may access the full text of the original report (including the glossary of plant names, list of references, and other appendices), and all associated figures, tables, and plates. Secondly, NPWRC has added a 1998 scientific publication from the Journal of Wildlife Management (Vol 62(4):1235-1245) entitled "Interpreting Carnivore Scent-Station Surveys." In it, the authors analyze a subset of data from the Minnesota carnivore scent-station survey collected during 1986-93, "to determine statistical properties and to examine analyses of scent-station data." Both resources, of interest to wildlife managers, may be downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]

Radio-Quiet X-Ray Pulsars In Supernova Remnants And The "Missing" Pulsar Problem
Eric Gotthelf, of Columbia University, provides this article, Radio-Quiet X-Ray Pulsars in Supernova Remnants and the "Missing" Pulsar Problem. The article was presented at the 193rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Austin, Texas, January 5-9, 1999. The paper discusses the observational properties of radio-quiet neutron star candidates associated with supernova remnants and suggests that alternative evolutionary-paths exist for young pulsars. The abstract along with the full-text article is available online. [SN]

Environmental and Economic Costs Associated with Non-indigenous Species in the United States
In this new report from Cornell University, researchers David Pimentel and others discuss how "invading non-indigenous species in the United States cause major environmental damage, public health problems and cost the nation more than $122 billion per year." The report assesses the magnitude of the environmental impacts and estimates economic costs associated with non-indigenous species invasions. [LXP]

In Situ Quasi-elastic Neutron Scattering Study of Hydration of Tricalcium Silicate [.pdf]
The National Institute of Standards has published the article, In Situ Quasi-elastic Neutron Scattering Study of Hydration of Tricalcium Silicate, online. The paper focuses on the application of "quasi-elastic neutron spectroscopy to study the reaction mechanism between tricalcium silicate and water." The abstract (html) and full-text article (.pdf) are available. [SN]

Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone -- EMAN
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network has released this 1998 publication entitled "Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone." Extending from the eastern Rocky Mountains in Alberta to the western slope of the Cascades in British Columbia, the Montane Cordillera Ecozone is Canada's sixth largest ecozone, covering "more than 49 million hectares." Diverse in topography and climate, the ecozone's landscape ranges "from alpine tundra to dense coniferous forests, grasslands, riparian woodlands, dry sagebrush and Canada's only true desert." The report covers environmental history, habitat types, and human use of the area, in addition to emphasizing species diversity (namely insects, mammals, fish, plants, fungi, birds, and amphibians and reptiles). [LXP]

CRS Reports
Twenty-one new Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports and thirty-five updated CRS reports have been posted at the National Library for the Environment site. The reports cover water quality issues, wetlands mitigation, cloning, commercial fishing, pesticide legislation, the National Environmental Education Act, environmental protection, the Conservation Reserve Program, and the National Estuary Program, among other topics. [LXP]

Academia Book Releases: February 1999 -- Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor has announced their book releases for titles scheduled to be available to the public in February 1999. 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. [LXP]
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Employment Opportunities
The Department of Statistics at the University of Washington provides this employment opportunities site. Listings are for both academic and industry positions in mathematics, statistics, and related fields. A list of World Wide Web resources rounds out the site. [SN]

Geotechnical Jobs
Sponsored by Oklahoma State University, the Internet Geotechnical Engineering Magazine (iGEM) provides a geotechnical jobs page. The job listings are for both academic and industry positions. [SN]
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Engineering Sciences for Modeling and Simulation-Based Life-Cycle Engineering
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) announce a research initiative, Engineering Sciences for Modeling and Simulation-Based Life-Cycle Engineering. The objective of this program is to "advance the fundamental science and engineering base of the United States, including a commitment to the further development of engineering processes using validated computer modeling and simulation." Sandia and NSF are seeking proposals in areas such as Thermal Transport, Solid Mechanics, Engineering Design, and Computational Intelligence and Engineering Systems. Detailed information about each topic area is available at the site. Two-page abstracts of all proposals must be submitted via email by April 12, 1999. [SN]

Wireless Information Technology and Networks
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a new initiative, Wireless Information Technology and Networks. NSF is seeking research proposals that "investigate system design approaches and principles addressing the unique requirements and characteristic of future high throughput, mixed traffic, highly mobile communication systems." Topics of interest include network topologies for supporting integrating services, adaptive data flow at the physical and higher layers, joint optimization of multiple adaptive subsystems, dynamic resource allocation schemes, means for exploiting mobile/ base unit asymmetry, security/ privacy across the layers, and dynamic support for quality of service. The proposal deadline is April 30, 1999. [SN]
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Sixth Scientific Conference of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project -- IGAC [Frames]
The Sixth Scientific Conference of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project will be held September 13-17, 1999, in Bologna, Italy. The International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project (IGAC), the European Commission, and the Consiglio Nationale delle Richerche Istituto FISBAT fund this conference. The goal of the conference is to "discuss current knowledge regarding the measurement and modeling of the concentration and distribution of gases and aerosols in the atmosphere, chemical reactions among atmospheric species, sources and sinks of important trace gases and aerosols, aqueous phase atmospheric chemistry, transport of gases and aerosols throughout the atmosphere and improved methods for measuring the concentrations of trace species and their fluxes into and out of the atmosphere." The deadline to submit abstracts is March 1, 1999. [SN]

The Fourth Biennial International Workshop in Russia: Fullerenes and Atomic Clusters, IWFAC'99 [Frames]
The Fullerenes and Atomic Clusters, IWFAC'99 workshop, is sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technologies of Russia and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. This workshop will be held October 4-8, 1999, in St. Petersburg, Russia and will focus on the latest progress in the fullerenes and atomic fields. The program includes oral and poster presentations and lectures by keynote speakers. The abstract submission deadline is June 1, 1999. [SN]
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New Data

TIGR Drosophila Gene Index
TIGR, The Institute for Genomic Research, has announced the release of the Drosophila Gene Index (DGI). The Drosophila Gene Index, which may be searched by Nucleotide or Protein Sequence, Identifier (TC, ET, EST, GB) Tissue, cDNA Library Name or cDNA Library Identifier(cat#), or Gene Product Name, contains some 50,500 total sequences (ET, EST, TC, and singletons). Data may be requested free of charge by "researchers at non-profit institutions using it for non-commercial purposes;" instructions are provided on-site. [LXP]
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Images of Simultaneous Gamma-Ray Burst Optical Counterpart
Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE) Detects Simultaneous Gamma-Ray Burst Optical Counterpart
Astronomers have observed a visible light emitted at the same time as a gamma-ray burst for the first time on January 27, 1999. Six images of this gamma-ray burst are provided at the first site. The second Website, the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE) Detects Simultaneous Gamma-Ray Burst Optical Counterpart, provides detailed information pertaining to this discovery and ROTSE research in general. ROTSE's objective is to search for "astrophysical optical transients on time scales of a fraction of a second to a few hours." This project is sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the University of Michigan. [SN]
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1998 Hurricane Images -- NOAA
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has released its 1998 Hurricane Season wrap-up data. Contained within the wrap-up are several impressive images, including a ten-day montage image of Hurricane George as it made its deadly way across the Atlantic Ocean into the Mississippi. The images were acquired by GOES-8, NOAA's geostationary weather satellite. [LXP]
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Daily Arctic Ocean Rawinsonde Data from Soviet Drifting Ice Stations
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has made available the data set Daily Arctic Ocean Rawinsonde Data from Soviet Drifting Ice Stations. These measurements include wind direction and speed, atmosphere pressure, humidity, air temperature, geopotential height, and surface-based observations for cloud cover (amount, type, and height) from the Soviet North Pole for the period of April 19, 1954 to July 31, 1990. This data set is available via FTP. [SN]
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In The News

The Dead Zone: nutrients in the Gulf of Mexico
1. ENN News: Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico blamed on farmers
2. Potential solutions for Gulf of Mexico's dead zone explored
3. Death in the deep -- Scientific American
4. Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico -- USGS
5. Midcontinent Herbicide Project -- USGS
6. Gulf of Mexico Program
7. Proceedings: Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Management Conference
8. Nutrients National Synthesis -- NAWQA
9. Agro-Oceanic Nutrient Flux Center -- Iowa State University
10. Oxygen depletion in coastal waters -- NOAA
11. Mississippi River Basin/Hypoxia Homepage -- EPA
At last week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), scientists explored solutions to the "dead zone," an area of approximately 7,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. Each summer, this area becomes oxygen-depleted ("hypoxic"), when excessive nutrients (especially nitrogen) flow down the Mississippi River into the Gulf. Most of the nitrogen is washed into the Mississippi River from Midwestern farms using Nitrogen-rich fertilizers. Excess nitrogen triggers microscopic plants to bloom explosively, robbing the water of oxygen when they die and decay. According to USGS scientists, the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone does not even contain enough oxygen "to support most marine life for part of the year." This poses a threat, not only to the Gulf's commercial fisheries, but to all other marine life in the region, as well. The eleven resources listed above provide background information and insights on this complex environmental issue.

The first two news resources, from Environmental News Network (1) and Ohio University's Research News (2), provide brief summaries of the biological processes and economic consequences of hypoxia. Next, this special feature from Scientific American (3) provides a more in-depth treatment of the challenges involved in reversing the dead zone. Researchers will find useful information, data, maps, and bibliographies at the US Geological Survey (USGS) site on Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico (4) and their larger Website Midcontinent Herbicide Project (5). Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Gulf of Mexico Program (GMPO) (6) offers user-friendly information for educators, students, and the public. Visitors can learn about the GMPO's Nutrient Enrichment program, which includes links to related resources including the Proceedings from the First Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Management Conference (7). For further information on nutrient enrichment and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, see the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA/USGS) program's Nutrients National Synthesis page (8). Also useful is the research-oriented site from Iowa State University's Agro-Oceanic Nutrient Flux Center (9). The last two sites, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (10) and the EPA (11), provide substantial and current information on the science, economics, and challenges surrounding the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone. [LXP]
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