The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - October 13, 1999

October 13, 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


Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC) -- UNH
The Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC) at the University of New Hampshire investigates "the effects of human disturbance on the Earth's biogeochemical processes." Specific emphasis is on the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle, forest decline and land-use change, nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, and processes contributing to changes in atmospheric chemistry and climate. The site's main content may be found in the Projects section, where a dozen research and education projects are described in varying detail. Each Project has its own link accompanied by a description of research and highlights of recent findings. Additional sections at the site include Publications, Associated Projects, and Graduate Education, among others. [LXP]
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MIT Plasma Science & Fusion Center [.pdf]
Considered one of the leaders in the physics and engineering aspects of magnetic confinement fusion, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Plasma Science & Fusion Center offers comprehensive information on the research being conducted at the center. Within the Physics Research section of the site, the Levitated Dipole Experiment Website provides details (including research documents) on the levitation of a half-ton superconducting ring as a means of exploring "the physics of plasma confinement in a magnetic dipole field." Other areas of research include the Alcator Project and a waves and beams division. A preprint archive, accessed by way of a link to the center's library, holds downloadable documents from 1997 to 1999. [KR]
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IRIS Consortium
The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is a consortium of 91 US Universities with research interests in seismology. IRIS was established in an effort "to develop and operate the infrastructure needed for the acquisition and distribution of high quality seismic data." One highlight is the Data Management System, which incorporates six data collection centers to coordinate data inflow from the 128 seismic recording stations that make up IRIS's Global Seismographic Network (GSN). Other features include a seismic monitor link for a quick view of current seismic activity. The SeismiQuery Database allows users to search out available data by day, month, station, event, and more. Further, a station book "contains information about stations from all networks that contribute data." Finally, this fine site also features Special Event Pages, an excellent collection of links to specific sites, graphics, and general information on recent earthquakes (see the September 1, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). [KR]
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Nobel Prize Announcements: Medicine, Chemistry, and Physics
The 1999 Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology/ Medicine were announced on Monday, October 11. The Nobel Prize in Physics is jointly shared by Professor Gerardus 't Hooft, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Professor Emeritus Martinus J.G. Veltman, Bilthoven, the Netherlands; the two researchers placed particle physics theory on a firmer mathematical foundation. Professor Ahmed H. Zewail of California Institute of Technology at Pasadena won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, "for showing that it is possible with rapid laser technique to see how atoms in a molecule move during a chemical reaction." The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Gunter Blobel for the discovery that "proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell."
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Journal of Geology [.pdf, .ps]
From the University of Chicago Press's Journals Division, the Journal of Geology is currently available online free of charge (note: subscription fees may soon apply, but no initiation date is provided). This first-rate technical journal, which publishes "research and theory in geophysics, geochemistry, sedimentology, geomorphology, petrology, plate tectonics, volcanology, structural geology, mineralogy, and planetary sciences" has been in print form since 1893. All of the 1999 issues of the Journal of Geology electronic edition are available here. Internet users can access full-text articles with internal links to references and figures (html, .pdf. .ps). [KR]
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Learning Resources

Botany 301: Taxonomy of Flowering Plants
This spectacular learning resource is provided for Web viewers by botanist Dr. Hugh Wilson of Texas A&M University, also host of the Flowering Plants Gateway (reviewed in the September 25, 1998 Scout Report). Botany 301, currently underway at Texas A&M, is a Web-enhanced, mid-level introductory course on the taxonomy of flowering plants. Geared towards undergraduates, the heart of the site includes illustrated, hyperlinked Lecture Notes; illustrated Laboratory Notes (includes Basic Classification, Nomenclature, and Keys; and Family Studies from Magnoliopsida through Liliopsida), two Floras (The Navasota and Texas Endemics), and On-line Data (local and global). Educators and students of flowering plant taxonomy will find this learning site invaluable. [LXP]
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Thursday's Classroom
Every Thursday, this NASA-created learning resource presents a new topic with the aim of providing "a lasting connection between NASA's latest research and the classroom environment." Prior lesson topics have included the recent solar eclipse, the Mars Polar Lander, and organisms that survive in extreme conditions and their implications for the possibility of extraterrestrial life. For each lesson, there are links to news reports and a range of lesson plans and activity sheets designed for different age groups. The site also contains an archive/ schedule of prior and future lessons. [KR]
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Skull Module [QuickTime]
The Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico, provides this introductory Website on (human) cranial skeletal anatomy. Users may access information for each of the individual bones of the skull by clicking on a color-coordinated graphic of a human skull or by clicking on a hyperlinked list of bone names. Each bone of the skull is described using text, several illustrations, and a color photograph. A QuickTime movie of a rotating human skull gives a close-up look at the real thing. Note that the elements of the inner ear (Malleus, Incus, and Stapes) and individual teeth are excluded from this introductory resource. [LXP]
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WebSpectra: Problems in NMR and IR Spectroscopy
From the University of California at Los Angeles's Chemistry Department, WebSpectra provides chemistry students with a searchable library of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy problems. According to the makers of this innovative site, "Interpretation of spectra is a technique that requires practice - this site provides 1H NMR and 13C NMR, DEPT, COSY and IR spectra of various compounds for students to interpret." A set of instructional documents are entitled Solving Spectral Problems, Overview of NMR Spectroscopy, Notes on NMR Solvents, Types of NMR Spectra, Introduction to IR Spectra, and a Table of IR Absorptions. A wide variety of compounds and their spectra are available for interpretation and have been organized in categories from Beginning to Advanced. Spectrum for each compound may be magnified 16X by clicking on peaks. This is an outstanding learning tool for students coming to grips with interpreting NMR and IR spectra. [KR]
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Colorado River: Have You Ever Seen a River That Stops for a Border? [.pdf]
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) provides this colorful resource on the Colorado River, emphasizing the area south of the US/ Mexico border. Based on the recent EDF report entitled "A Delta Once More: Restoring Riparian and Wetland Habitat in the Colorado River Delta," (.pdf format), this report teaches about "the Colorado River delta, the story of water in the lower Colorado River, and what needs to happen to preserve this haven for wildlife." The report covers the delta's natural and cultural history, recent scientific findings regarding the delta's partial recovery, the current political context surrounding the delta's status, and recommendations "for securing, assuring, and managing existing flows to further benefit and sustain the delta's remnant wetland ecosystems." An executive summary of the report is also provided (in English and Spanish) at the Website. [LXP]
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General Interest

Centre for Computer Based Learning in Land Use and Environmental Sciences (CLUES)
Based at the University of Aberdeen, UK, the Centre for Computer Based Learning in Land Use and Environmental Sciences (CLUES) aims to "enhance the quality of learning and increase the effectiveness of teaching in subjects relating to land use and environmental sciences ... through the application of computer-assisted learning (CAL) and other appropriate information technologies (IT)." At the CLUES homepage, users will find information on CLUES projects, publications, and resources. Although many of the offerings of CLUES are in the form of priced software (listed under Resource Directory and CLUES' Products), the text accompanying each product description gives insights into creative ways of using computer-based learning in the fields of Land Use and Environmental Sciences. [LXP]
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NASA's Planetary Photojournal
A collaboration between NASA's Planetary Data System Imaging Node, the Solar System Visualization Project, and the Jet Propulsion Lab's Media Relations Office, NASA's Planetary Photojournal offers user-friendly, continuously-updated access to approximately 2,000 images from various solar system exploration programs. Users can select from a number of spacecraft/ instruments for different images of each of the planets in the solar system. Photos come as thumbnails and in full resolution TIFF format. A New Releases link contains the most current pictures. [KR]
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Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry, and Conservation [.pdf]
The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has placed online this entire (1996) textbook entitled Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry, and Conservation. Edited by David Ellis, George Gee, and Claire Mirande, the textbook contains thirteen chapters by the world's leading crane experts, covering general biology, husbandry, behavior, artificial insemination, pest management, and conservation, among other topics. In addition to the text, numerous illustrations capture the majesty of these birds. Chapters may be downloaded separately, or browsed online. For anyone interested in cranes and their conservation, this resource is definitely required reading. [LXP]
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ChemGlobe [.pdf]
Paul Kremer, a student at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (translated in German as Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule) provides this excellent, user-friendly periodic table of elements. By clicking on an element within the table, users are transported to another page containing details on physical data, isotopes, and background information for each element. Physical data includes electronic, thermal, and steric (having to do with spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule) data. Simple and complex forms of the table are available for download (.pdf). This nicely constructed resource is also offered in German. [KR]
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Estuaries [.pdf]
Formerly entitled Chesapeake Science,Estuaries is the continuing journal of the Estuarine Research Federation (ERF), an international organization dedicated to promoting research in estuarine and coastal waters. Estuaries contains scientific articles detailing "research results and management studies on natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay region." Currently, the 1999 issues of Estuaries may be browsed online (or downloaded in .pdf format), and article titles may be searched for issues since 1996. Note that ERF expects to add the contents of "all remaining issues of Estuaries and Chesapeake Science" to the searchable database shortly. [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 The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

ScienceWeek: Spotlight
ScienceWeek Spotlight is a recently added service of ScienceWeek (mentioned in the July 21, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering), a weekly digest of the news of science. The Spotlight features concise, well-written summaries of recently published literature; each week, a new topic is highlighted. Recent topics include Theoretical Physics: Field Theory & the Ether, and Molecular Biology: Molecular Evolution, among others. Also at the site, an internal search engine assists users in locating other (archived) topics of interest. For researchers seeking brief syntheses of the most recent scientific literature on "hot" topics, this is an excellent resource. [LXP]
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Three on Declining Whales
"PCBs Blamed for Increase in Whale Deaths"
"Whales In The Wild"
"The Northern Right Whale" -- CRS
A recurring topic in the media is declining whale populations, now thought to be increasingly caused by increased contamination of the oceans. These three resources address declines in wild whale populations. The first article, from National Post (October 8, 1999), blames PCB contamination for "the dramatic increase in the number of killer whales found dead around the southern end of Vancouver Island." The second, from World Wildlife Fund, is a report on the status of wild whales, with emphasis on threats from whaling, fisheries (by-catch), and chemical pollution (DDT and PCBs). The third resource is a Congressional Research Service Report (1995) on the status of the "most endangered" species of large whales, the Northern Right Whale. [LXP]
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New Publications

"US Methane Emissions 1990-2020: Inventories, Projections, and Opportunities for Reductions" [.pdf]
Reports on Climate Change
The Environmental Protection Agency has released the 1999 report on national methane emissions, entitled "US Methane Emissions 1990-2020: Inventories, Projections, and Opportunities for Reductions." The report (EPA 430-R-99-013) may be downloaded in .pdf format either as a complete document or in separate sections: Cover, Executive Summary, and Introduction, 361K; Landfills and Appendix II, 130K; Natural Gas Systems and Appendix III, 145K; Coal and Appendix IV, 101K; Livestock Manure and Appendix V, 130K; and Enteric Fermentation and Appendix VI, 80K. Further information is provided on the Reports page. [LXP]

"The False Crisis in Science Education"
From the October 1999 issue of Scientific American, "The False Crisis in Science Education," by W. Wayt Gibbs and Douglas Fox, is a select, Web-enhanced article available free at the Scientific American Website. With many hyperlinks to sites pertaining to points raised in the article, the piece discusses what the authors perceive as a "largely mythical decline in the quality of science education in U.S. public schools" and the nature of the reforms that followed. Still, the article says the US could do a better job preparing children for the future. [KR]

Recent Publications of the Southern Research Station [.pdf]
The USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station provides over 1,500 online, full-text articles that have recently appeared in print. Covering everything from mountain roads and water quality, to carbohydrate metabolism of peaches, to reintroduction of red-cockaded woodpeckers, this collection of scientific articles and book chapters is updated frequently. The Recent Publications page lists papers in order of their addition to the database. All articles are in .pdf format, and may be downloaded from the page (click on title). [LXP]

Science's Next Wave Career Development Center
From Science's Next Wave (a project of the journal Science), the new Career Development Center for Postdocs and Junior Faculty offers free access to articles concerning professional issues such as time management at scientific conferences, a grant writing series on the NSF grant review process, reprints of useful articles, and a weekly advice column called Grant Doctor. Also, check the Jobs section of this Scout Report for Science and Engineering for a link to Science's Next Wave JobsNet. [KR]

Four from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
"Estimating Nest Success: When Mayfield Wins"
"Piping Plovers and Least Terns of the Great Plains and Nearby"
"Effects of Harness Transmitters on Behavior and Reproduction of Wild Mallards"
"Habitat Management for Migrating and Wintering Canada Geese: A Moist-Soil Alternative"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has recently made available these four articles in electronic format. Already published in print within journals, books, and symposium proceedings, these online articles are now freely available on the Web, with full text and figures. The first article (1990), on Mayfield estimates, is by Douglas H. Johnson and Terry L. Shaffer. The second, by Robert K. Murphy and others (1990), is a draft protocol "for assessing piping plover reproductive success on Great Plains alkali lakes." Pamela J. Pietz and others wrote the third article on Mallards, published in 1993 in the Journal of Wildlife Management. Jane E. Austin and others wrote the 1998 book chapter on Canada Geese. Full text, figures, tables, appendices, and citations are provided for each article. [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]

Science's Next Wave JobsNet
Another useful, free site from Science's Next Wave (a project of the journal Science), JobsNet provides a network of science job listings. A good compilation of links to science job lists for North America, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific Rim can be found here. Science's own Professional Network is one of many resources annotated in this convenient metasite for job seekers. [KR]

ASLO: Positions Offered
The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) maintains this job listings site. With several dozen jobs listed each month, this frequently updated job resource offers listings for academic positions, ranging from graduate student assistantships through faculty or directorships. [LXP]
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2000 Embrace-A-Stream Program
Administered by Trout Unlimited's (TU) National Office, Embrace-A-Stream (EAS) is "a one-to-one matching grant program that awards funds to TU chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation projects." Three types of projects are considered: resource, research, and education. Note that while project types have different focal areas, all must incorporate fund-raising, volunteer participation, and technical support. EAS awards are for single-year grants only. Applicants may request a maximum of $10,000, and all "applicants must match, on a one-to-one basis, the EAS grant request." The deadline for EAS grants is December 23, 1999. [LXP]

NSF Arctic Research Program Opportunities
The National Science Foundation and the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) offer yearly funding for arctic research conducted by institutions in the US. The NSF Arctic Research Program aims to "gain a better understanding of the Earth's biological, geological, chemical, and socio-cultural processes, and the interactions of ocean, land, atmosphere, biological, and human systems." A wide range of funding is available for these purposes. Researchers with affiliation to US universities, research institutions, and local and state governments are eligible to apply. Deadlines occur on a rolling basis on February 15 and August 1 of each year. [KR]

The Global Environment: Invitation for RITE Research Proposals
Japan's Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) invites basic research proposals for the year 2000. Research proposals should address (the resolution of) global environmental problems. The deadline for FY2000 proposals is October 29, 1999. Examples of past funded research and proposal guidelines are available at the site. [LXP]

2000 Postdoctoral Appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
Through its Advanced Study Program, The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) offers an ongoing program for postdoctoral studies in the atmospheric sciences and global change. The program aims to help improve the expertise of highly qualified recent PhD "physicists, chemists, applied mathematicians, engineers, and specialists from disciplines such as biology, geology, science education, economics, and geography, as well as atmospheric science." While fellows may choose their own research projects, they are encouraged to participate in NCAR research interests. The application deadline is January 5, 2000. [KR]
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2000 Spring Meeting: Integrative Geoscience Solutions: A Start for the New Millennium
The American Geophysical Union, The Geochemical Society, and The Mineralogical Society of America are sponsoring a conference on Integrative Geoscience, to be held May 30-June 2, 2000 in Washington, DC. The Spring Meeting is unique in its highly interdisciplinary structure, offering "an outstanding opportunity for researchers, teachers, students, and consultants to review the latest issues affecting the Earth, the planets, and their environment in space." The deadlines for receipt of abstracts are March 2, 2000 (via regular Postal Service) and March 9, 2000 (electronic abstracts). [LXP]

219th ACS National Meeting
220th ACS National Meeting
The 219th ACS National Meeting will be in San Francisco, CA, March 26-30, 2000. The Deadline for papers varies for subject area, but many of them occur on November 1, 1999. The 220th American Chemical Society's National Meeting will take place in Washington, DC, August 20-24, 2000. Deadlines for submitting papers have not yet been posted at this site. If researchers miss the San Francisco meeting, they can plan to present a paper for the Washington meeting later in the year. [KR]

Twelfth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference
The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) announces the Twelfth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference to be held in Austin, Texas, July 31-August 2, 2000. The conference "will highlight successful applications of AI technology; explore issues, methods, and lessons learned in the development and deployment of AI applications; and promote an interchange of ideas between basic and applied AI." Details on submitting papers are available at the site. The deadline for papers, invited talk nominations, and panel proposals is January 18, 2000. [KR]
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New Data

1995 Water Use Data
Data Dictionary
The US Geological Survey has recently placed online these data for water-use information in the United States in 1995. Dedicated to understanding "the demand side of the water supply and demand equation," the National Water-Use Information Program provides these data on water use by homes, farms, and industry. Data files are organized by state and may be downloaded for county and/or watersheds as tab-delimited files (.txt format). The accompanying Data Dictionary, also downloadable (.txt), explains the data elements and column headings for the data files. The approximate size of each file is indicated in kilobytes. [LXP]
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Volcano Watch Satellite Images [Java]
The University of Wisconsin's Space Science and Engineering Center displays these satellite images of the world's ten most active volcanoes. Users can view images of the Colima Volcano in Central Mexico or Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy. The latest images are updated every half-hour. Also, a Java animation feature splices together the last four images to show a simulation over a two-hour period. [KR]
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Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Images
Experimental SST Contour Charts
SST Anomaly Charts
NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) maintains these three data sites, offering very recent Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data in the form of spectacular color images (temperature-coded), contour charts (temperature-driven contours), and climate anomaly charts (color-coded images). Data summaries capture sea surface temperature conditions during the previous week to the present. Geographic areas are organized by oceans (e.g., Atlantic, Pacific) and regions (e.g., Bering-Chukchi Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Great Lakes, Hawaii). For researchers interested in tracking ocean temperature changes, this is an exceptional resource. [LXP]
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The Animal Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands: Checklist of Species
Dr. Miguel Angel Alonso Zarazaga, of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, Spain, headed this recent checklist of species for the Iberian Peninsula and surrounding areas. Organized by Phylum, the checklist covers all species from Porifera (sponges) to Chordata (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, etc.). Available in English and Spanish, the clickable database includes species name and relevant taxonomic information (e.g., date, author). Additional information on the Iberian Fauna Project may be accessed by following links to the homepage. [LXP]
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In The News

October 12, 1999: The Day of Six Billion
1. "6 Billionth Earthling Was Born Today" -- Environmental News Network
2. "The Challenges Ahead for a Population of 6 Billion" -- Christian Science Monitor
3. The State of World Population 1999
4. The World at Six Billion
5. Popexpo [Shockwave]
6. Day of 6 Billion!
7. Essay on the Principle of Population
8. Facing The Future
9. United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN)
10. Population and Environment Linkages -- National Library for the Environment
It took almost all of human history (until 1804) for the Earth's human population to reach one billion. But more recently, during just twelve years, humans increased their numbers by one billion from 1987 to the present. These and other statistics are of supreme interest to scientists and others, as we attempt to predict environmental conditions and biological responses to future population growth. This week, October 12th, 1999 was declared "The Day of Six Billion," based on The United Nations's estimates of human population growth. Although the true expectancy date for the Earth's six billionth human being is (of course) unknown, this symbolic date serves as a focal point for issues associated with the world's human population -- and the environmental impacts. To that end, this week's In The News focuses on human population growth, from the basic to the sophisticated. The ten resources listed above provide background information, summary statistics, future projections, and a plethora of informative resources related to human population growth and the resulting influences on the environment.

The first resource, from Environmental News Network (ENN) (1), announces the birth (and implications) of the world's six billionth human being. The Christian Science Monitor offers the second resource (2), a special report on the challenges ahead for a population of six billion. For background information on human population growth (e.g., Cairo Consensus, Reproductive Health), see this solid United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) resource on the state of the world's human population (3). Next, the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat, offers this synthesis site, with substantial text and a plethora of figures and tables on human population growth (4). For educational resources, check out this excellent interactive (Shockwave) Website from the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France (5) (reviewed in the July 7, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). Also designed as an educational resource, the Day of 6 Billion! site from Population Action International provides human population statistics and information in a colorful format (6). The next site, dedicated to "thought along Malthusian topics -- Conservation, Population, and Limits" offers Thomas Robert Malthus's famous 1798 Essay on the Principle of Population(7). Facing The Future, a nongovernmental organization, offers this online Guide to Population Issues, Impacts, and Solutions (8). At the homepage, users will find resources on human population impacts, solutions, educational materials, and references (including links to related sites). For a host of excellent resources on population growth (including a multilingual dictionary of demographic and reproductive health terminology, a worldwide directory of population institutions, long-range world population projections, and recent news), see the United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN) homepage (9). Finally, for a wealth of superb resources on the link between human population growth and the environment (including reports, data, book chapters, links to Websites, etc.), see the National Library for the Environment (NLE) site on Population and Environment Linkages (10). [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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