The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - August 18, 1999

August 18, 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


Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network
The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network is a consortium of more than 20 US ecological research centers dedicated to understanding "ecological processes operating at long time scales and over broad spatial scales." Established in 1980 by the National Science Foundation, the LTER Network "promotes synthesis and comparative research across sites and ecosystems and among other related national and international research programs." The LTER homepage offers background information on the LTER Network including research summaries and direct links to many of the LTER research centers. Additionally, users may access LTER data through the Network Information System (NIS); policies for data use are included at the LTER site. This straightforward homepage serves as a helpful gateway to one of the most important ecological initiatives of the millennium. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World: South America
The US Geological Survey has recently posted this detailed chapter on South American glaciers as part of the Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World. Edited by Richard Williams and Jane Ferrigno, this ambitious project incorporates LANDSAT images, aerial photographs, and maps "to produce glacier inventories, define glacier locations, support on-going field studies of glacier dynamics, and monitor the extensive glacier recession that has taken place and is continuing in many parts of South America." Based on an impressive collection of images from the 1970s, this resource provides a permanent historic record of the glacial coverage of the planet. Further, the atlas may be used as a standard for comparison with current and future data. Specific sections of the resource cover the glaciers of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

Archives -- SFF [.zip]
Silva Forest Foundation
This collection of fully downloadable documents (.zip format) is provided by the Silva Forest Foundation (SFF), a nonprofit organization based in British Columbia (Canada). Dedicated to developing "diverse forest uses, which protect, maintain and restore forests," SFF's archived documents reflect a strong commitment to pro-forest activism. However, forestry researchers and educators interested in alternative forestry techniques may also find these photo-illustrated documents insightful. For a description of SFF research projects, and access to data summaries and color images of featured forests, see the Silva Forest Foundation homepage. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Select Articles in the Chemical Sciences [.pdf]
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) Chemical Sciences Website maintains this series of select, online articles in the Chemical Sciences. Featured articles represent current cutting-edge research in physical, analytical, biophysical, materials, and surface chemistry. At present, 21 articles are available, covering "Pulse-stacked cavity ring-down spectroscopy" and "Improved energy transfer in electrophosphorescent devices," among other topics. Online articles are selected from five peer-reviewed journals: The Journal of Chemical Physics,Journal of Applied Physics,Applied Physics Letters,Review of Scientific Instruments, and Chaos. All articles are available in .pdf format only and may be downloaded for browsing or printing. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

Interactive Statistical Calculation Pages [Java, JavaScript]
John Pezullo, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Biostatistics at Georgetown University, has helped compile this monstrous metasite of freely accessible multi-platform statistical software. With links to pages around the world, the table of contents includes access to calculators, plotters, random number generators, and programs that perform literally hundreds of calculations. Hosted by America Online, the site also includes links to online statistics books, tutorials, and downloadable software. This is a virtual treasure trove of statistical calculation pages for mathematicians and statisticians. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources

Scientific Expedition to the Rio Pastaza -- CI
Conservation International (CI), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting the "Earth's biologically richest areas," offers this Webpage as a (nearly) real-time educational resource on tropical aquatic biology, botany, and geomorphology. Available in English or Spanish, the site offers viewers Web access to an ongoing (July 12 to August 20, 1999) scientific expedition to a river in the Peruvian Amazon. At the site, users can read about the region, the scientific expedition (a Rapid Assessment Program), and the researchers involved. A particularly noteworthy educational feature is the photo-illustrated section The Latest Field Reports, where users may access the most recent research field information. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

The Virtual Classroom
Created by Dr. James Hardy of the University of Akron, the Virtual Classroom contains complete materials for nine separate chemistry courses. Undergraduates can access lecture slides and animations for courses like General Chemistry or Concepts in Biochemistry. Graduate offerings include online materials for a course in modern chromatographic methods or chemometrics, among others. Ancillary materials are comprised of an interactive periodic table, a scientific calculator, slides outlining the major metabolic pathways, and a hazardous chemical database with information on over 1,900 chemicals. Presented in a simple, no-frills manner, this exceptional site provides complete lessons to supplement undergraduate and graduate university chemistry courses. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

The Watershed Game
Provided by Minnesota IDEALS of the Bell Museum of Natural History (University of Minnesota), The Watershed Game is an excellent science-based learning resource for students and teachers of grades 4-8 (and above). To enter the game, visitors type in a user name and then select between two levels: Novice or Intermediate. Learning sessions in the Novice category provide a basic lesson on water and watersheds. Modules in the Intermediate category are interactive and applied, covering watersheds in National Parks, Agriculture, Neighborhood, and City. Educators at all levels could benefit from examining this excellent Website; the concise, illustrated text and attention to real-life situations makes it especially worthwhile. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

SLAC Virtual Visitor Center
Provided by the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), (described in the October 16, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), the SLAC Virtual Visitor Center is an outstanding educational resource for those interested in the science of accelerators and particle physics. Intended for students and educators, the site teaches visitors about various accelerator components and how they work, the current theory of fundamental particles, and applications of high-energy physics research, among other things. Eight main sections include Accelerators, Applications, Detectors, Experiments, History, Nobel, SSRL (Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory), and Theory. Featuring photo tours of the facility and its environs in addition to a hypertext glossary and internal links, this site is clear, informative, and comprehensive all at once. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

Environmental Media Services (EMS)
Environmental Media Services (EMS) is a nonprofit communications clearinghouse committed to the expansion of media coverage on critical environmental and public health issues. True to their mission, EMS staff "build relationships with top scientists, physicians, and other experts to bring journalists the latest and most credible information." EMS's modest homepage is free of clutter but full of content. While several sections are under construction and updates (currently) appear irregular, a series of available articles provides useful summaries of important environmental news issues over the past six months. Current articles include "The impacts of global warming on the oceans" and "Cool companies," among others. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

The COG Shop [.ps, .pdf, .ftp, .gzip, QuickTime, RealPlayer, .mpg]
As part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Cog Shop is a well-planned Website devoted to the research and development of Cog, a humanoid robot. Combining robot mechanics with artificial intelligence, Cog is the closest thing yet to Star Wars's C3PO. Highlights of the site include an in-depth research section with links to papers on relevant topics (PostScript, .pdf); downloadable publications including theses, tech reports, and symposium papers (.pdf, .ftp, PostScript, gzipped); and finally, a high-resolution video library with discussions and demonstrations of Cog (QuickTime, RealPlayer, and MPEG). This detailed site will be fascinating for humanoid robotics enthusiasts as well as for researchers and educators in robotics and related fields. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

The Natural History of Oman & Arabia
The Natural History of Oman & Arabia Webpage is provided by the Germany-based Oman Studies Centre, an independent, non-governmental and nonprofit academic institution that facilitates research on Oman. Modest in presentation and content, this specialized Website gathers together published information (citations) and links to Web resources related to the "botany, climate, conservation, ecology, geology, marine biology, meteorology, palaeoclimate and zoology" of the region of Oman and Arabia. Also at the site is a Contact List of scientists with an interest in the Natural History of the region. For students or researchers planning to work in Oman or Arabia, this site will be a helpful resource. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Research Ship Information and Schedules
This unusual resource for Research Ship Information and Schedules is maintained by the University of Delaware's Ocean Information Center (OCEANIC). Complete with a searchable database of schedules and characteristics of deep-water scientific research vessels, this site is an excellent example of the range of eclectic and specialized information available on the Web. Information on facilities, research capabilities, layouts, schedules, and much more is organized by country and ship name; for US research vessels, information is also listed by agency and institution. Other features include links to a staggering array of related research ship information sites. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

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:

Tomorrow's Professor Listserv
Tomorrow's Professor Listserv, from the Stanford University Learning Laboratory, is a free, electronic current awareness resource, distributed bi-weekly to over 5,000 subscribers. Designed for early career academics in the sciences, Tomorrow's Professor covers a wide array of issues including "Elements Found in Most Successful Proposals," "Applying for Academic Positions," and "Teaching Large Classes: Strategies for Improving Student Learning." More general subject headings include Academia, Preparing for Academic Careers, Managing Your Academic Career, Teaching and Learning, and Research. For graduate students about to embark upon an academic job, this may prove to be a particularly useful resource. [KR]
To subscribe, send email to:
In the body of the message, type:
    subscribe tomorrows-professor
[Back to Contents]

New Publications

"Lake Superior LaMP" [.pdf]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environment Canada have posted a final report on the Lake Superior LaMP (Lakewide Management Plan). Available in English or French, the report covers Lake Superior History (Background and Chemistry), Pollutant Levels, and Management Goals. A host of appendices (.pdf format), figures, and tables provides summary statistics and supporting data. [LXP]

"Preliminary Report on the Geotechnical Engineering Aspects of the June 15 and June 21, 1999, Mexican Earthquakes of the Churches" [.pdf]
On June 15, 1999, an earthquake registering seven on the Richter scale shocked Central Mexico -- to be followed less than a week later by a quake of 6.3. The "Preliminary Report on the Geotechnical Engineering Aspects of the June 15 and June 21 1999 Mexican Earthquakes of the Churches" summarizes earthquake reconnaissance efforts conducted by students and faculty from the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The report (html and .pdf) focusses on seismic geotechnical considerations and the effects that quakes of this magnitude have had on the outlying cities and their structures. This substantive report is beautifully enhanced with charts, photographs, and maps. [KR]

"Climate Talk: Who's Who?: International Negotiating Groups"
This latest publication from Resources For the Future (RFF) identifies important international negotiating groups involved in the ongoing climate change discussions. The article is the latest in a series of essays that "track and describe the evolving and emerging vocabulary of climate change policy." [LXP]

Open Spaces
Featuring articles by leading experts on topics from science policy to ecology (such as Bruce Babbitt and Jane Lubchenko), this new publication from Portland, Oregon attempts to incorporate synthetic, broad perspectives with a host of (familiar) environmental topics. Although not all articles are posted at the Open Spaces Website, several interesting sample articles are currently available for free online viewing. Science writers and scientists interested in widening their perspectives will find this an intriguing resource. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]


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 Today -- Classified Ads
Physics Today the online magazine from the American Institute of Physics (AIP), has added a Classified Ads section. With links to AIP's other jobs listings, academic, government, and industry positions are posted here. [KR]
[Back to Contents]


Water Environment Research Foundation: 2000
The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) of Alexandria, Virginia, funds research in the broad areas of "collection and treatment; human health effects; beneficial biosolids reuse; water reuse; watershed management; and ecosystem management." Research projects for the year 2000 will focus on "improving the efficiency and effectiveness of wastewater treatment, advancing business processes, protecting health, exploring water reuse, and beneficially using biosolids in an environmentally sustainable manner." A complete list of funding opportunities for 2000 and instructions for applying are available on-site. [LXP]

GEM Fellowship Programs
In an effort "to enhance the value of the nation's human capital," the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM) is offering fellowships for graduate minority students. Summer internships and fellowships are available at the Master's level, and several academic fellowships are offered at the PhD level and beyond. GEM Fellowships are valid only at GEM member institutions and corporations (a list of members is provided at the Website under the GEM Directory). Applications, accepted from September 1st until December 1st, are also available online. [KR]

American Geological Institute: 2000-2001 Congressional Science Fellowship
The American Geological Institute Congressional Science Fellowship gives successful candidates a unique opportunity to work in the office of a member of Congress or a congressional committee. The fellowship provides entrance into the federal legislative process and allows young scientists an opportunity to "make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resources, natural hazards, and federal science policy." Eligibility requires a broad geoscience background, excellent written and oral communications skills, and a Master's degree with at least three years of post-degree work experience, or a PhD at the time of appointment. All materials must be postmarked February 1, 2000. [KR]
[Back to Contents]


Seventh International Polychaete Conference
The Seventh International Polychaete Conference will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland, July 2-6, 2001. Major topics of the conference include "Polychaete diversity, phylogeny, taxonomy and systematics, genetics, molecular biology, evolutionary ecology, population and community ecology, and applied research." Deadlines include November 1, 1999 (first call for intent to attend the conference) and February 1, 2001 (submission of abstracts). [LXP]

2000 Joint Conference on Water Resources Engineering and Water Resources Planning & Management
In association with the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), the 2000 Joint Conference on Water Resources Engineering and Water Resources Planning and Management will take place July 30-August 2, 2000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Symposia will address the conference theme of building partnerships in areas of Sedimentation Engineering, Modern Velocity and Discharge Measurement Techniques and Applications, River Restoration, Well Hydraulics, and Paleofloods. The deadline for electronically submitted session proposals and paper abstracts is October 15, 1999. [KR]

Thirteenth Australia New Zealand Climate Forum
CSIRO Marine Research Laboratories, in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology and the Antarctic CRC-Hobart, will host the Thirteenth Australia New Zealand Climate Forum in Tasmania, April 10-12, 2000. Entitled Climate Science: Farming Land and Water, the three-day forum will be "an annual review of directions in research and the extension of outcomes into the Australian and New Zealand communities." Abstracts are due in October 1999 (day not specified), and registration is available online. [LXP]

International Network Conference 2000
Organized by the University of Plymouth's School of Electronic, Communication and Electrical Engineering, the International Network Conference 2000 will be held July 3-6, 2000 in Plymouth, UK. The conference intends "to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and findings in a wide range of areas related to IT [Internet Technology] networking." Authors are invited to submit full papers, "no longer than eight pages," by November 30, 1999. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

New Data

Pfam: Version 4.1
The Washington University (at St. Louis) Department of Genetics provides Pfam, "a large collection of multiple sequence alignments and hidden Markov models covering many common protein domains." Based on the Swissprot 37 and SP-TrEMBL 9 protein sequence databases, the newly released (July 1999) Version 4.1 contains "alignments and models for 1488 protein families." For a general overview and specified updates, or to get started, see the Information and Help on Pfam section; familiar users may conduct direct Protein HMM or DNA HMM Searches or browse and search the Pfam database. FTP access to Pfam is also available, and instructions are outlined on-site. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Current Earthquakes Maps
The US Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) provides this Website for current earthquake maps (for a related USGS site of geologic hazards, see the September 18, 1998 Scout Report). Taken from the NEIC's Near-Real Time Earthquake Bulletin, maps of the world, hemispheres, continents, and sub-continents provide location and phase data for the most recent seismic events. More detailed maps and charts can be accessed by clicking on earthquake locations on the larger maps. [KR]
[Back to Contents]

Bibliography: Climate Change and Impact on US Water Resources
The Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security has compiled a comprehensive and searchable (keyword) bibliography of "the peer-reviewed literature dealing with climate change and its effects on water resources and water systems of the United States." The bibliography currently contains over 750 citations, ranging from Regional Impact Assessments to Theoretical Studies on Climate and Water. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

In The News

Plants in Trouble
1. World's Biodiversity Becoming Extinct At Levels Rivaling Earth's Past "Mass Extinctions"
2. XVI International Botanical Congress
3. An Action Plan To Conserve the Native Plants of Florida
4. Earthshots -- USGS
5. A Survey of the Plant Kingdoms
6. Botanical Society of America (BSA)
7. American Journal of Botany
Earlier this month, more than 4,000 scientists from 100 countries convened at the International Botanical Congress (IBC) in St. Louis, Missouri to discuss the latest results of research on plants -- including extinction rates of plant (and animal) species. Dr. Peter Raven, President of the International Botanical Congress and highly respected botanist, presented one major finding of the Congress. Alarming in its conclusions, Dr. Raven's research predicts that "between one-third and two-thirds of all plant and animal species, most in the tropics, will be lost during the second half of the next century." Raven thus calls for a seven-point "plan to arrest species loss within plant ecosystems." While Dr. Raven's work is not the first to predict (or warn of) future extinctions, his results highlight the importance of plants (and plant extinctions) to other species, and demonstrate that current mass extinction rates exceed previous extinction rates by a large margin. This week's In The News highlights the recent International Botanical Congress and the importance of plant species; the seven sites above offer research and educational resources on the IBC and botany.

The first resource, from, is a news brief describing highlights from the recent International Botanical Congress (1). Further information on the International Biological Congress is available on the IBC homepage (2), which provides background information and links to related resources. For an example of a state action plan to conserve plants, see this site (3) from the Center for Plant Conservation. Earthshots (4), from the US Geological Survey (described in the January 7, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), offers satellite images of human-induced environmental change -- much of which is leading to animal and plant extinctions. A Survey of the Plant Kingdoms (5), from the Department of Biology at Manhattan College, is an educational resource describing the diversity of the major plant groups. The next site (6), from the Botanical society of America (BSA), provides links to a wide variety of topics in botanical research. Botanists and amateurs alike may wish to take advantage of the online journal American Journal of Botany (7), produced by the BSA with assistance from HighWire Press. At present, all articles of the journal may be accessed completely free (through April 2000). [LXP]
[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
Rachael E. Bower
Laura X. Payne
Krishna Ramanujan
Travis Koplow
Paul M Schwartz
Managing Editor
Production Editor

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report for Science & 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 & Engineering, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999.

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, 1994-1999. 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.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

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

© 1999 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.