The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - June 23, 1999

June 23, 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


LINK: Online First [.pdf]
The newest addition to Springer-Verlag's evolving Journals Preview Service, LINK Alert (discussed in the January 9, 1998 Scout Report), now offers Online First, a series of full-text articles (.pdf format) slated for print publication in the coming months. Currently, Online First offers articles from the following journals: Applied Physics A,Applied Physics B,European Physical Journal C (EPJ C), Inventiones mathematicae,Mathematical Programming,neurogenetics,Supportive Care in Cancer, and Theoretical Chemistry Accounts: Theory, Computation, and Modeling. Articles are placed online as they are accepted. This is an incredible service for academics wishing to follow the cutting edge of science, as these publications appear online well before they appear in print. [LXP]
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Aladdin Database Server
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces the new Aladdin Database Server, a numerical database for fusion energy research and other plasma science and technology applications. The Aladdin Database Server contains four databases: Collisional Database, H Neutral Beam Database, Particle-Surface Interactions, and Elementary Processes in H-He Plasmas. A Glossary is provided to elucidate symbols used in Aladdin. Due to the technical content of these databases, this site is specifically for researchers in fusion energy or plasma science. [JJS]
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Aquatic Ecology & Ecotoxicology [Frames]
Provided by the Aquatic Ecology & Ecotoxicology Department at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Aquatic Ecology & Ecotoxicology Homepage describes research under several main themes: Functional relations between microorganisms, Sediment eco(toxico)logy, and Responses of macroinvertebrate populations to environmental stressors. Research projects are described in abstract format, with links to project investigators. Also at the site are a bibliography of publications by UvA researchers from 1990 to present and links to Biology Faculty at the University of Amsterdam (in Dutch and English). [LXP]
[Back to Contents] e-Print archive [.dvi, .gzip, .pdf, .ps, .tarz]
Although the title does not allude to the site's content, this Los Alamos National Laboratory Website is an example of one of the best uses of the Web. Here, the newest results from science experiments in Physics, Mathematics, Nonlinear Sciences, and Computer Science are reported, often before (or as) the results emerge in print. Over 100,000 articles on specific subjects are currently available, with most recent additions posted first. Cross referencing makes the site even more useful; if a user clicks on an author, all of the other titles by that author in the archive will be found and listed. Abstracts and full papers may be viewed online (.pdf format), or downloaded in a variety of formats (.dvi, .gzip, .pdf, .ps, .tarz). [JJS]
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Theoretical Ecology Preprint Registry -- ESA
The Theoretical Ecology section of the Ecological Society of America provides the Theoretical Ecology Preprint Registry, a preprint testbed intended "to facilitate communication among ecologists by providing a mechanism for rapid dissemination of new research results that are destined to be submitted for publication." Currently offering fourteen preprints (mostly abstracts), the Registry includes on-site instructions for adding a preprint and is searchable by title, author, or abstract phrase. Although it is modest in size, the registry may expand its scope "to include submissions from the entire discipline of ecology," if enough interest is expressed and the testbed appears useful and viable. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

Research Link 2000
An ambitious project of The Council on Undergraduate Research, Research Link 2000 has harnessed the creative powers of college biology faculty "to select, develop and disseminate a group of field-tested, experimental systems and instructional materials that will support the introduction of research-based experiments in introductory biology courses." To that end, the Research Link 2000 homepage acts as a gateway for high-quality, online teaching resources, all of which target biology undergraduates. The heart of the site is the Research Systems section, where users may read about the various ecological systems/ organisms that are featured or follow links directly to the learning sites. Given the limited amount of high-quality, online information with direct utility to college laboratory instructors, this collection of resources promises to be a gold mine. [LXP]
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Manipula Math with JAVA [JAVA]
IES Inc. (International Education Software) provides Manipula Math with JAVA, an interactive math education site that uses animated applets (JAVA) to illustrate mathematical concepts. Each concept is introduced with a step-by-step explanation accompanied by graphics. A highlight of the interactive images is that users can increase or decrease a variable and see how the graphs change. Updated about every three weeks with new additions, Manipula Math archives the 196 older applets in the following categories: Middle School, Trigonometry, Calculus, and Miscellaneous. Some topics in the Miscellaneous section include Area of a Parallelogram, Problem of Quadratic Functions, Menelaus's Theorem, and Division Vector. Although useful to those with expertise, this site lacks in-depth explanatory text and will be most helpful to those seeking illustrations of concepts to which they have already been introduced. [JJS]
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Center for Academic Transformation
The Pew Foundation founded the Center for Academic Transformation "to serve as a source of expertise and support for those in higher education who wish to take advantage of the capabilities of information technology to transform their academic practices." Featuring several initiatives, the Center Website offers concise information on The Pew Learning and Technology Program (including a grant program, a symposium, and a newsletter), The Leadership Forum (which includes workshops and resources for academic leaders), and -- the heart of the site -- Center Resources, a collection of articles, monographs, and Websites. The more than two dozen articles cover (broadly) the theory and implementation of technology into the classroom; monographs cover the implications of virtual learning and academic productivity; and Websites point users to dozens of useful sites. [LXP]
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Pro/ENGINEER Tutorials
The Graphics Communications Program at North Carolina State University provides Pro/ENGINEER Tutorials. Pro/ENGINEER is a mechanical design automation program "based on a parametric, feature-based, fully associative architecture that delivers a comprehensive suite of solutions for all areas of the development process, from a product's conceptual design and simulation through manufacturing." Eight illustrated tutorials take users step-by-step through the basics of using Pro/ENGINEER. Other sections of the site are Pro/E v20 Icon Guide, Changing Feature Specification, Creating Relation, and Creating Assemblies. [JJS]
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General Interest

West Coast Salmon and the Endangered Species Act: Extinction is NOT an Option
The Northwest Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has recently launched this Website on endangered species listings for Pacific Coast salmon. The site includes West Coast Salmon Listings, Fact Sheets, Species Maps, Federal Register Notices, Reports and Publications, and a What's New section, providing news updates, progress reports, and detailed maps. The site features the five salmon species (Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, Sockeye), Steelhead, and Coastal Cutthroat Trout, with color images, international range maps (US and Canada), status/ descriptive text, critical habitat descriptions, and protective regulations for each Evolutionarily Significant Unit (distinctive group of fish). This is an excellent place to find current information on endangered West Coast salmon. [LXP]
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Groundwater Atlas of the United States [.eps]
The US Geological Survey describes the location, extent, and geologic and hydrologic characteristics of major aquifers in the United States in the Groundwater Atlas of the United States Website. The groundwater resources of the US are broken down into specific regions, which are described in chapters. Some of the chapters are not available online, but the chapters that are available include regional geology and aquifer systems summaries, figures (.eps), and illustrations. [JJS]
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Science and Creationism Homepage
Science and Creationism: A View from the NAS
The National Academy of Science (NAS) provides this searchable site on Science and Creationism, providing "resources about evolution and the nature of science." The site is organized into several sections: Statements from the NAS, Science Organizations, For Teachers, Related Links and Resources, and Books and Videos. Visitors may suggest a link or resource (organized by topic area). For teachers, one of the most useful resources at the homepage is the new edition of the book "Science and Creationism: A View from the NAS." Like the 1984 edition and the more recent companion publication (discussed in the April 29, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), this new edition "summarizes key aspects of several of the most important lines of evidence supporting evolution." In addition, it describes "some of the positions taken by advocates of creation science and presents an analysis of these claims. As such, this document lays out for a broader audience the case against presenting religious concepts in science classes," based on the premise that "science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience." [LXP]
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Research Randomizer [JavaScript]
The Research Randomizer, made available by the Social Psychology Network (SPN), is a program (JavaScript) that assists researchers and students "who want an easy way to perform random sampling or assign participants to experimental conditions." A tutorial at the site works through example situations and explains how to use the Research Randomizer. The Research Randomizer is an excellent tool for researchers desiring simulations of random sampling in experimental situations. [JJS]
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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 The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Protected Areas of the Balkans and Kosovo
Protected Areas of the Balkans and Kosovo: Links
Western Balkans: Topography and Protected Areas [.pdf, 3 MB]
Western Balkans: Forests and Wetlands [.pdf, 3 MB]
Yugoslavia: Forests and Protected Areas [.pdf, 2 MB]
Kosovo: Forests and Wetlands [.pdf, 300 KB]
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre has launched this collection of pages on Kosovo and The Balkans. At the Links page, numerous sites offer information on the situation in Kosovo, from news briefs to maps, all with emphasis on the ecology of the area (including impacts of the war). Each of the maps provides a colorful overview of relevant areas, delineating topography, river/ watersheds, and protected areas. [LXP]
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Provided by the Lower Saxony State and University Library, Gottingen (SUB) and the University Library of the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (UBF), GeoGuide is "a subject gateway to online information sources on Earth Sciences (including Thematic Maps and Geography)." At this metasite, users may view a listing of new sites or browse other sites by subject or source type. GeoGuide lists sites with diverse information in various formats, including full articles, maps, databases, current research projects, and job opportunities. GeoGuide provides a wealth of information of interest to undergraduates through faculty in earth sciences. [JJS]
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New Publications

The Status and Trends of the Nation's Biological Resources -- USGS [.pdf]
The online version of this recent two-volume book from the US Geological Surveys provides "the first large-scale assessment of the health of the nation's plants, animals, and ecosystems and is intended for use by managers, scientists, policy makers, and the general public." The Status and Trends of the Nation's Biological Resources is organized into two parts: Factors Affecting Biological Resources (abiotic and biotic) and Regional Trends in Biological Resources (presented by region). Each of the 22 chapters is authored by an impressive list of experts within each field. The entire document, which is illustrated with color photographs, may be viewed online; interested users may also download the introduction (.pdf format). A glossary, indices, and appendix of common/ scientific names follow the main text. [LXP]

Effects of Fire on Bird Populations in Mixed-grass Prairie [.zip]
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has recently placed online this resource by Douglas Johnson, originally published in 1997 as a chapter in Ecology and Conservation of Great Plains Vertebrates (Knopf and Samson, Eds.). The bird species considered in this publication showed three general types of responses to burning and successional changes in vegetation. The resource covers study area, methods, and results and discussion; a proposed conservation strategy and references follow. The text may be viewed online, or downloaded as a .zip file. [LXP]

Federal Funds Survey, Fields of Science and Engineering Research to Universities and Colleges Historical Tables, Fiscal Years 1973-99 [.pdf]
The National Science Foundation has released the Federal Funds Survey, Fields of Science and Engineering Research to Universities and Colleges Historical Tables, Fiscal Years 1973-99 (.pdf), which is only available online. The Federal Funds Survey is the primary source of information about federal research and development funding in science and engineering in the United States for the fiscal years 1973-99. The survey contains data organized into three tables: total research, basic research, and applied research. Each table details the amount of funding from various Federal agencies. [JJS]

Global Variations in Droughts and Wet Spells: 1900-1995
Palmer Severity Drought Index
This scientific article, by Aiguo Dai and others, was originally published in September 1998 in Geophysical Research Letters (Vol 25 No 17, Pps. 3367-3370). The authors calculated the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) globally, "using gridded monthly air temperature and precipitation." Since the late 1970s, the authors found, tracking El Nino cycles, that there were large changes in dry and wet areas. However, these changes "are qualitatively consistent with those expected from increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." The article is available in full-text, including figures and references. [LXP]

Survival of Postfledging Mallards in Northcentral Minnesota [.zip]
Ronald Kirby and Glen Sargeant of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center wrote this paper on juvenile Mallard duck survival. The results of this study are based on data collected during 1972-74 and suggest that hunting is the greatest cause of mortality for mallard populations in northcentral Minnesota and "the relative importance of nonhunting mortality of fledged birds is probably not substantially greater now (1999) than when our data were collected." The report may be viewed online, or downloaded as a .zip file. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education
Although the Chronicle of Higher Education charges a fee to access the current week's job listings, extensive postings for the previous week are freely available. [LXP]

Physics Job Announcements
Provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Physics Job Announcements Website displays current openings in universities all over the world. Postings are mainly for positions in academia, including postdoctoral, research assistant, and faculty openings. The most recent postings are at the bottom of the list. [JJS]

Geoscience Job Search Engine
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego provides the Geoscience Job Search Engine. The search engine lists academic, industry, and student opportunities in the US and other countries. Searchable fields range from aqueous geochemistry to environmental engineering to volcanology. [JJS]

Employment Opportunities in Statistics
The University of Washington Statistics Department lists Employment Opportunities in Statistics, ranging from tenure-track faculty positions to research specialist/ computer database professionals. Additional links to other job announcements and resources for statisticians round out the site. [JJS]
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NSERC Collaborative Research Opportunities Grants (CRO)
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) offers Collaborative Research Opportunities (CRO) grants, which "facilitate the participation of teams of Canadian researchers in major national and international research projects." Types of CRO projects may involve the coordination of efforts among countries, agencies, and sectors. The NSERC encourages "co-applicants from other sectors (government and industry) or countries." Letters of intent are due September 1, 1999, and applications are due October 15, 1999. [JJS]

Defense University Research Instrumentation Program
The US Department of Defense announces the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program to provide funding for the purchase of new research equipment for education and training in national defense at universities. Areas of research eligible for this program are Biosciences, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Materials Science, Mathematical and Computer Science, and Physics. Proposals must be received by August 19, 1999. [JJS]

Division of Physics Funding for FY 2000
The National Science Foundation Division of Physics announces target dates for proposal submissions to receive funding for disciplinary research activities in fiscal year 2000. Qualified scientists, engineers, and educators are welcome to submit proposals for funding in four program areas, each of which has a different deadline. Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Plasma Physics (AMOP) funding proposals are due September 15, 1999. A deadline of September 29, 1999 is set for Special Programs and Conferences. Theoretical Physics, Gravitational Physics, and Elementary Particle Physics proposals must be received by October 13, 1999. Nuclear Physics proposals are due November 3, 1999. [JJS]
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International Symposium on Restoration of Environments with Radioactive Residues
The International Atomic Energy Agency announces the International Symposium on Restoration of Environments with Radioactive Residues to be held in Arlington, Virginia, November 29 through December 3, 1999. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss the effects that radioactive residue from the use or application of radioactive substances has on people and the environment. The symposium is directed toward "health physicists, environmental engineers, radiation protection experts, officers having responsibilities for the application of remediation standards and radiation protection programs, licensees and government officials, including persons from regulatory bodies, user agencies, the industry, and senior policy makers at the ministerial level." Abstracts are due by July 15, 1999. [JJS]

2000 Ocean Sciences Meeting
Sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the 2000 Ocean Sciences Meeting will be held January 24-28, 2000, in San Antonio, Texas. Topics to be covered pertain to oceanographers, limnologists, meteorologists, and scientists working in the areas of atmospheric sciences, estuarine sciences, limnology, and oceanography. Abstracts may be submitted either through postal/ express mail (due September 23, 1999) or an interactive Web submission form (due September 30, 1999). [JJS]

Latin American Theoretical INformatics
The Latin American Theoretical INformatics Conference (LATIN'2000) will be held April 10-14, 2000, in Punta del Este, Uruguay. LATIN'2000 is the fourth in a series of symposia in theoretical computer science to be held in a Latin American context. Cooperation among SIGACT, EATCS, the IEEE Technical Committee on Mathematical Foundations of Computing, IFIP's new Specialist Group on Foundations of Computer Science, and some Latin American Computer Societies made this conference possible. Extended abstracts are due August 31, 1999. [JJS]
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New Data

CyanoBase [JAVA]
Cyanobacteria carry a complete set of genes for oxygenic photosynthesis, the most fundamental life process on earth. Maintained by Kazusa DNA Research Institute in Japan, CyanoBase provides the entire gene sequence for the unicellular organism Synechocystis 6803. Also available is CyanoMutants, a searchable database of mutants. CyanoBase data may be retrieved by keyword or similarity search, gene category, or DNA Database. Also available at the site are maps, images (JAVA or .gif), an up-to-date bibliography, and links to Cyano2Dbase, the Proteome project of Cyanobacteria (with protein-gene linkage maps). [LXP]
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Aladin Sky Atlas [JAVA]
The Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS) provides the Aladin Sky Atlas (JAVA), an interactive sky atlas that "allow[s] the user to visualize digitized images of any part of the sky, to superimpose entries from astronomical catalogs or personal, user data files, and to interactively access related data and information." Images (JAVA) may be selected from the Aladin Image Server or the following data servers: Simbad, VizieR Catalog Service, and NED. [JJS]
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MDPI Currently Available Compounds Database [.db, .sdf]
The Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) provides the MDPI Currently Available Compounds Database (.db, .sdf), which contains 7,387 samples up to May 27, 1999. MDPI is a non-profit organization that "coordinates and provides services for worldwide deposit, storage and exchange of chemical samples." This database contains all of the compounds registered with MDPI. Updates are added monthly and may be downloaded (.db, .sdf) to add to the database. A CD-ROM version of the database may also be ordered free of charge. [JJS]
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In The News

1. Scientists Study Lightning Patterns -- ENN
2. Human Voltage -- NASA Science News
3. Lightning Safety -- NPS
4. Satellite Helps Scientists Dissect Lightning -- ENN
5. Lightning & Atmospheric Electricity Research at the GHCC
6. Lightning Imaging Sensor Data
7. International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity (ICAE '99)
8. Space Shuttle Observations of Lightning: Mesoscale Lightning Experiment [MPEG]
9. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission -- NASA
Marking the arrival of the summer solstice and, with it, the official beginning of the Northern Hemisphere's lightning storm season, this week's In The News focuses on lightning. At this month's international conference on lightning (7), researchers presented findings on global lightning patterns, suggesting that lightning is more common in storms over land (than sea), during the afternoons, and that it moves as the seasons progress. Some of the researchers' findings were based on data gathered by instruments above the cloud tops. Currently, further analyses are hinting at the possibility that lightning patterns are influenced by El Nino and La Nina weather patterns. If that is the case, global lightning patterns might be one way to "take the pulse" of the planet's weather trends. The nine resources listed above highlight ongoing research and provide background resources related to lightning.

The first news release, from Environmental News Network (ENN), describes recent scientific findings on global lightning patterns (1). The second resource, from NASA's Space Science News (2), discusses lightning strikes from the perspective of human health, citing numerous statistics and providing links to other lightning sites. For those concerned with safety, the National Park Service provides this page (3) on lightning avoidance tips. Also from ENN, this article (4) briefly describes how satellite technology is being used to study lightning from space. The Lightening & Atmospheric Electricity Research site at NASA's Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) is an exceptional resource (5), providing everything from the basic characteristics of lightning, to a historical essay on lightning (Greek myths through Ben Franklin), to information on space-based lightning detection instruments. Users can access datasets and a wide range of research and news publications on-site. Also from GHCC, the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) site (6) offers users direct access to satellite data, featuring images "showing a graphical representation of the LIS orbit data for each day." For more results presented at the International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity (7), see these abstracts (located under Conference Schedule, organized by Session). The GHCC's Mesoscale Lightning Experiment page (8) provides Space Shuttle observations of lightning, with links to simple descriptions and movies (MPEG format). The last resource, NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) homepage (9), places satellite lightning imagery into context with the (tropical) storms that cause lightning. At this site, "spaceborne rain radar and microwave radiometric data . . . [detect] the vertical distribution of precipitation over the tropics," enhancing our understanding of how ocean, air, and landmasses interact to produce changes in global rainfall and climate. The site offers images, educational resources, several NASA documents, and a collection of links. [LXP]
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
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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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