The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - November 10, 1999

November 10, 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


Annelid Resources
ANNELIDA (mailing list)
Polychaetologist Dr. Geoff Read of New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) provides this stupendous resource on Annelid worms. Full of content-rich, research-driven information, this resource serves as a major hub for experts and students interested in annelids. In the Research section, users will find current information on Polychaetes, Oligochaetes/ leeches, and annelid-allies, in addition to useful software and "some miscellaneous taxonomy links." The Taxonomy section covers background information including geographical faunal lists of Annelid species as well as Annelida phylogenies, with a link to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) for those wishing to query Annelida taxonomic hierarchy. The Field Trips section provides external links to sites from Polychaete researchers and research labs, in addition to a series of interesting (and less-scientific) links to field sites featuring curious fauna, such as Vent and Seep fauna. In addition, Dr. Read maintains and moderates the ANNELIDA mailing list, the only annelid-related list, archived and searchable at the URL above. [LXP]
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University of Illinois Department of Mathematics Preprints [.dvi, .ps, .gz]
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Mathematics Home Page contains an archive of current and previous preprints dealing with Algebraic Number Theory, K-Theory, and the department's Faculty and Graduate Student Research Reports. Each of these sections is frequently updated. Some recent K-theory titles include "Higher Intersection Theory on Algebraic Stacks" and "On the K-theory of Local Fields." Algebraic Number Theory titles include "An Explicit Algebraic Family of Genus-one Curves Violating the Hasse Principle" and "A Generalization of Eichler's Criterion for Fermat's Last Theorem." Unprocessed new submissions are also accessible. A link to the department's homepage provides information on the various types of math research being conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [KR]
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Four Online Journals from The Entomological Society of America
Annals of The Entomological Society of America [.pdf]
Environmental Entomology [.pdf]
Journal of Economic Entomology [.pdf]
Journal of Medical Entomology [.pdf]
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is providing full access to the 1999 issues of four online journals for free through December 1999. Online journals include abstracts and the full text of Annals of The Entomological Society of America,Environmental Entomology,Journal of Economic Entomology, and Journal of Medical Entomology. To access each online journal, users must complete a simple registration form. Note that five issues for 1999 are currently available for each journal, either for viewing online or for downloading (.pdf format). New issues are posted as soon as the printed version is available. [LXP]
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Three Geology Journals [.pdf]
Journal of the Geological Society
Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Petroleum Geoscience
Ahead of the intended January 2000 target date, three Geological Society journals are now available online. Hosted by Ingenta Journals, the Journal of the Geological Society, the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, and Petroleum Geoscience are all available free of charge to everyone "until sometime in 2000." All 1999 volumes for each journal are online. New issues are being added as they are released, and the Geological Society hopes to add 1997 and 1998 issues soon. To access each journal, users may either log on with the user name and password guest, or if they have subscription rights (through an institution or otherwise), they can click on the direct access button at the bottom of the screen. Articles are available as .pdf files, and Ingenta has a detailed help screen for those who have trouble downloading or viewing them. [KR]
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Five Newly Online Journals from University of Chicago Press
The University of Chicago Press Journals Division
The American Naturalist
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
The Journal of Geology
International Journal of Plant Sciences
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (formerly Physiological Zoology)
The University of Chicago Press has recently placed online five scientific journals. While subscription fees will apply once online subscriptions are "activated" (no date specified), until then, the full text and abstracts of current issues of these important journals may be browsed free of charge. Online coverage for The American Naturalist currently includes tables of contents since 1992 and full-text (with figures) since January 1999 (Vol 153, No 1). The Journal of Infectious Diseases currently contains online coverage in the form of tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since November 1998 (Vol 178, No 5). The Journal of Geology's online coverage currently includes tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since January 1999 (Vol 107, No 1). Online coverage for the International Journal of Plant Sciences currently includes tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since November 1998 (Vol 159, No 6). Finally, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (formerly Physiological Zoology) includes online tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since January/ February 1999 (Vol 72, No 1). For those interested in eventually subscribing to these online journals, this undefined "trial" period may be of particular use. [LXP]
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NN-Online [.ps, .pdf, .gz]
NN-Online provides a source for the physics community to access the work of current and former members of the Theoretical High Energy Physics Group of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The work found here emphasizes the baryon-baryon interaction, including the nucleon-nucleon interaction, hyperon-nucleon interaction, antinucleon-nucleon interaction and pion-nucleon interaction. Researchers can use the interactive capabilities of the site to "instantaneously calculate and plot phaseshifts, scattering amplitudes and observables for several models of the NN interaction." They can also access the world database of low and intermediate energy nucleon-nucleon scattering data. Other features include an interactive Hyperion-Nucleon data page and an E-prints archive containing downloadable papers from 1970 through 1999 (.txt, .ps, .pdf). [KR]
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Learning Resources

Microbiology Course
Dr. Gary Kaiser of The Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville (Maryland) put together this Lecture/ Lab teaching resource on Microbiology. Organized into four units, the main topics in the Lecture Guide section include Bacteria and Fungi; Protozoa, Viruses, and Nonspecific Body Defenses; Immune Responses; and Microbial Genetics/ Metabolism. Each unit contains a brief summary of the topic, with several links to color illustrations or animations. The online Microbiology Lab Manual covers 22 full labs, from the basics of microscope use and the sizes/ shapes of microorganisms through parasitology. While the site connection is a bit slow, the content/ layout is decent, making this a useful overview and solid introduction to microbiology. [LXP]
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From the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and MCI Worldcom, Science NetLinks "strives to be a 'comprehensive' homepage for K-12 science Educators." The metapage is organized by topics, which aim to satisfy learning goals for each age group. Among the twelve topic areas are the Nature of Science, the Nature of Mathematics, The Living Environment, and The Human Organism. After selecting a topic, users should choose an age group and a section within the topic. Each topic has four sections: an introduction, lessons linked to Websites, online resources, and a benchmarks section with an outline of what students should know for their age. This site is an excellent resource for educators looking to incorporate the Internet into their lessons. [KR]
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Amazon Interactive
As an extension of his graduate research, geography graduate student David Schaller of the University of Minnesota has put together this resource on "indigenous ecotourism in the Ecuadorian Amazon." Using online games and activities, users explore the geography of the Ecuadorian Amazon and learn about the rainforest and its inhabitants. Through a series of questions and color photos, the site leads users down several lines of thought until they are eventually planning and managing a locally-controlled ecotourism project. While the site represents a well-intentioned learning tool and addresses several important points, the content (and Right/ Wrong format) is decidedly biased towards ecotourism and can tend to elide the conflicting complexities of such enterprises. Overall, this site could be a nice teaching tool, however, especially if its "Developed country" perspective is discussed (and not obscured) as part of the learning exercise. [LXP]
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Statistical Mechanics [QuickTime]
From the University of California, San Diego's Wilson Squier Group, these Statistical Mechanics pages offer slide shows to explain "the macroscopic thermodynamic properties in terms of microscopic properties of chemical systems." Sections include an Introduction to Statistical Mechanics, Boltzmann Distribution Function, Relations of Statistical Mechanics to Thermodynamics, Introduction to Polymers in Statistical Dynamics, and Biopolymers in Statistical Dynamics. Each section contains slides to be viewed in order, and the site features a few short movies (QuickTime) that put aspects of the lesson in motion. This site is best used by professors and students in conjunction with an existing course. [KR]
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Autecological Accounts
Botanist Mark Atkinson put together this no-frills collection of single species (or several similar species) accounts, each providing detailed information on the biology and ecology of a plant species. Organized alphabetically, the master list of species currently draws on three series of accounts -- Biological Flora of the British Isles, Biology of Canadian Weeds, and Biological Flora of Coastal Dunes and Wetlands -- among other sources. Clicking on a species (scientific) name brings up scientific reference information (and, in some cases, additional online resources). Intended as a reference tool, this resource currently covers several hundred species, from Abies amabilis to Zostera marina.[LXP]
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General Interest

EPA and Bird Conservation
Although wildlife management is not the central focus of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission, numerous EPA programs complement and support efforts to conserve birds and their habitats. To that end, the Office of Water at the EPA has launched this new Website to point interested users towards related EPA (and other) programs. From wetlands to water quality, the specific EPA sites highlighted here cover topics that are bird-relevant in subject (e.g., wetlands, coasts) or geographical (e.g., Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico) context. Four main sections form the heart of the site: Overview, Bird Conservation Initiatives, Related EPA Programs, and What You Can Do. In each section, summary information and a careful selection of related resources are provided. Students of bird conservation will find this site particularly helpful, especially those interested in relevant federal programs. [LXP]
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Destination: Earth -- NASA [.pdf, QuickTime]
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Destination: Earth, strives to better understand climate patterns in an effort to "predict and respond to environmental events - such as floods and severe winters - well in advance of their occurrence." At this site, space technology and its uses for understanding earth systems are described in the form of news stories, explanations, links to scores of science missions, striking Earth Science images, and a section for kids. A multimedia library contains a few sharply produced promotional videos [Quicktime]. The level of information at this site ranges from highly technical reports of science missions to entertaining videos and images. [KR]
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NOAA's Coral Reef
In an effort to centralize information on Coral Reefs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched this site on Coral Reefs. The site serves both as a news resource (see the frequently updated News Releases section) as well as a basic information resource (see Year of the Reef 1997 and Coral Reef Photos) on coral reefs. For information on current research (scientific and citizen), see the Coral Health and Monitoring Program, the Great American Fish Count, or the Coral Reef Initiative sections. Additionally, a dozen Coral Reef Links point users to further resources. For the pure enthusiast or beginning college student, this site serves as a fine entry-way into learning about Coral Reefs. [LXP]
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Communication Skills for Chemists
Although not recently updated, this site on Communication Skills for Chemists contains information that is always useful and relevant. Compiled by Professor P.D. Bailey, Sara Shinton, and Ross Mackie of Heriot-Watt University, this brief reference manual offers suggestions for writing lab notes, lectures, short reports and full research reports, and talks. There is also a section featuring a few key information retrieval resources. This is a useful site for chemists as well as other scientists and students who need help presenting their ideas. [KR]
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Wildlife Conservation Society
Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the re-named Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) works "to save wildlife and wild lands throughout the world." WCS has five public facilities in New York City, where zoologists, veterinarians, zookeepers, teachers, health technicians, trainers, and others care for over 1,000 species of animals. These facilities promote "conservation education, breeding of endangered species, and understanding wildlife health and science." WCS also maintains an International Conservation program, overseeing (and funding) field conservation projects in 52 countries. Although the site targets the general public, several projects of interest to researchers are listed in the Science section, and conservation programs are outlined in In The Wild. [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:

1999 UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize
On November 17, 1999, one of the world's most prestigious environmental awards will be presented to scientist, 1996 Nobel laureate, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Mario J. Molina for his "pioneering investigations on the chemistry of the ozone layer, which have led to a better scientific understanding of the effect of human activities on the atmosphere." The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Sasakawa Environment Prize recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the management and protection of the environment at the global level. This brief news release from UNEP provides further information on Mario J. Molina's impressive work. [LXP]
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Papers Submitted to Selected Astronomical Publications
From the University of Chicago Press Journals Division, this site gives researchers a chance to view the "titles, authors, dates of submission, and sources for preprints for manuscripts submitted to eight astronomical journals." Users can look up this information based on the most recent 10-day or 30-day period, or they can find an article by matching a key word. The journals for which this information is available include The Astrophysical Journal, Part 1,The Astrophysical Journal, Part 2,The Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series,The Astronomical Journal,Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Studies,Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific,Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica, and The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Email addresses for article authors are also available. [KR]
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New Publications

Two from Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center [.zip]
"First Record Of Coccidiosis In Wolves, Canis lupus"
"Effects of Predator Exclosure Design on Duck Brood Movements"
Two publications have recently been added to the Biological Resources section of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center site. The first, by L. David Mech and Harold J. Kurtz, was published this year in the Canadian Field Naturalist (Vol 113.2: 305-306). In it, the authors document "the occurrence of coccidiosis in three Wolf pups from two litters in the Superior National Forest, and the death of at least two of them from this disease." The second resource, by Pamela J. Pietz and Gary L. Krapu, was originally published in 1994 in the Wildlife Society Bulletin (Vol 22: 26-33). Pietz and Krapu showed that installing "ground-level exits in predator exclosures with mesh fences" improved predator exclusion while reducing delays in brood leading (from nests to wetlands). Both resources may be browsed on-site or downloaded as complete files (.zip). [LXP]

Digital Mapping Techniques '99: Workshop Proceedings
The 1999 Digital Mapping Techniques workshop included close to 100 experts from agencies, universities, companies, and state geological surveys. As a collaboration between the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and the US Geological Survey (USGS), and hosted by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, the goal of the workshop was "to help move the state surveys and the USGS toward development of more cost-effective, flexible, and useful systems for digital mapping and GIS analysis." From the proceedings, the 45 papers included here focus on methods for creating and publishing map products, developing the National Geologic Map Database, and building a standard geologic map data model. [KR]

"Nature's Monte Carlo Experiments in Sustainability" [.pdf]
This recent (1999) report by Charles W. Fowler of the National Marine Fisheries Service was originally published as Proceedings of the Fifth NMFS Stock Assessment Workshop (pps. 25-32 in: V.R. Restrepo, Ed., NOAA Tech. Mem. NMFS-F/SPO-40). Fowler uses Monte Carlo experiments on science, monitoring, and assessment in "1) documenting the normal ranges of natural variation among species and ecosystems, 2) monitoring human progress in finding a position within the normal range of variation, and 3) observing other species and ecosystems as they respond, presumably to regain positions within normal ranges of natural variation in reaction to human change, the change over which we have some control." The report is available in .pdf format, only. [LXP]

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons Working Group Series Online: Volumes 1-4 [.pdf]
Newly available online on the Association for the Environmental Health of Soils Website are four books from the Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) Criteria Working Group. Volume 1, Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbons on Environmental Media, "discusses and critiques analytical methods for quantifying TPH, petroleum mixtures and individual petroleum constituents in soil and water samples." The volume is intended as a reference tool for non-chemists. Volume 2, Composition of Petroleum Mixtures, provides excellent composition information for many petroleum products. Volume 3, Selection of Representative Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Fractions Based on Fate and Transport Considerations, "defines fractions of TPH expected to behave similarly in the environment." These fractions help simplify analysis at petroleum contaminated sites. Volume 4, Development of Fraction-Specific Reference Doses (RfDs) and Reference Concentrations (RfCs) for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), is intended to aid in "the Working Group's risk-based approach to establishing soil cleanup levels at petroleum contaminated sites." Each book is available for download (.pdf). [KR]

"Developing Countries & Global Climate Change: Electric Power Options in Korea"
Introduction and Overview:
Complete Report [.pdf]:
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has recently placed online the October 1999 report entitled "Developing Countries & Global Climate Change: Electric Power Options in Korea." Written by Jin-Gyu Oh and others, the report (.pdf format) discusses the implications of Korea's energy choices -- coal, gas, nuclear, or renewable energy -- and how the chosen "mix of policy, growth, and technology will affect investment costs and the local and global environment." [LXP]

"Seismically Active Zones in the Arctic"
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Geology and Geophysics site, this article entitled "Seismically Active Zones in the Arctic," by G.P. Avetisov, is a recent translation and update of a work previously available only in Russian. The article "contains and provides an analysis of the information on the history of seismic research into the Arctic, distribution of the Arctic earthquakes and stress mechanisms in the foci, and it also traces the relationships between seismicity and tectonics." [KR]
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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]

Geological Society of America Classified Ads
The Geological Society of America's Classified Ads section provides monthly listings of academic positions for specialists within geology. The listings offer detailed descriptions of the available jobs. [KR]

PhDs.Org Job Listings
PhDs.Org's Science, Math, and Engineering Career Resources Job Listing section posts academic as well as industrial positions. Starting with the most recent postings, a special feature lets users streamline the list to include only specific fields. Check the PhDs.Org searchable homepage for articles, news, advice, and additional job information links. [KR]
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Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Infrastructure Program -- NSF
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced funding for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Infrastructure Program. The CISE Program "provides support to aid in the establishment, enhancement, and operation of major experimental facilities planned to support all of the research areas in the CISE Directorate. It may also assist activities for integration of research and education." The proposal deadline is January 25, 2000; further details are provided on-site. [LXP]

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation offers a postdoctoral program in environmental chemistry. The program welcomes proposals from experts in environmental science for the training of PhD chemists and chemical engineers with interests in chemistry and the environment. The applicants who are awarded may then appoint a postdoctoral scientist to a two-year stint with a program that encourages the visiting scientist in the further understanding of an area of environmental research. "The program is open to all academic and other not-for-profit organizations that have well-established research efforts in environmental science or engineering." The application deadline is March 1, 2000. [KR]

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities
The Ford Foundation offers doctoral fellowships in a wide range of subject areas, "to members of six minority groups whose under representation in the professoriate has been severe and long-standing." Fellowships are available for US citizens or nationals (enrolled or planning to enroll in a research-based PhD program) in the following groups: Alaskan Natives (Eskimo or Aleut), Black/ African-Americans, Mexican-Americans/ Chicanas/ Chicanos, Native American Indians, Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesian/ Micronesian), and Puerto Ricans. The postmark deadline for submitting Predoctoral and Dissertation applications has been extended to November 24, 1999. [LXP]

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Auxiliary Scholarship & Loan Information
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) gives scholarships and loans to undergraduate and graduate students in an accredited, US mechanical engineering departments. Selection is based on academic performance, character, need, and ASME participation. There is also a scholarship for international students. The deadline for all scholarships is March 15, 2000. [KR]
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Meeting on Mangrove Macrobenthos
The EU-funded Macrobenthos of Eastern African Mangroves (MEAM) group has announced a Meeting on Mangrove Macrobenthos in Mombasa, Kenya, September 7-11, 2000. Contributions should focus on "the macrobenthos and the macrofauna living in association with mangroves for all or part of their life histories." Sessions will highlight the biology (including genetics and systematics), ecology, and exploitation/ aquaculture of these organisms. Posters and scientific presentations are invited; a pre-registration form is available on-site. [LXP]

International Conference on Magnetism
The International Conference on Magnetism, under the auspices of the International Union for Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), will be held in Recife, Brazil, August 6-11, 2000. The conference "is designed to bring together the international community of scientists and engineers interested in recent developments in all branches of fundamental and applied magnetism." The deadline for abstracts is February 1, 2000. [KR]

Promises, Breakthroughs & Lessons: A Conference on Problem-Based Learning in Undergraduate and Professional Education
Educators take note. Samford University and The Pew Charitable Trusts have combined forces to host a conference on problem-based learning in undergraduate and professional education October 29-31, 2000, in Birmingham, Alabama. Posters and presentations are invited, and guidelines will be posted on-site in January 2000. Although not specific to the sciences, the conference addresses learning techniques from a diverse perspective. [LXP]

American Geophysical Union 2000 Spring Meeting
The American Geophysical Union 2000 Spring Meeting will be held in Washington, DC May 30-June 3, 2000. The theme for the 2000 Spring Meeting will be Integrative Solutions: A Start for the New Millennium. The meeting's interdisciplinary focus aims to bring together scientists from different fields to discuss problems of common interest. The deadline for abstracts submitted by post is March 2, 2000 and, for those submitted electronically, March 9, 2000. [KR]
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New Data

Atlas of Antarctic Research
Developed and maintained by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Atlas of Antarctic Research is intended as "a reference, an information framework, an education tool, and a research aid ... [to] promote greater geographic awareness of the continent and the digital geospatial data that describe it." Atlas parameters include Polar Stereographic Projection, units of meters, and Standard Latitude (71 degrees South), among others; source materials range from scales of 1:30,000,000 to 1:10,000 and come from several sources. The interactive Atlas map allows users to view, simultaneously or singly, several layers of ecological information -- such as Rock Outcrops, Lakes, Contours, or Streams. Note that the Map Browser requires screen resolutions of 800 by 600 pixels, 1,024 by 768 pixels, or higher. [LXP]
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Ocean Surface Winds
At the Ocean Physical Processes Teams Ocean Surface Winds Page, winds that meet the ocean are monitored by satellite-based sensors operating at microwave frequencies. With a number of different instruments to choose from, researchers can acquire current wind maps, wind speeds, and other data for locations around the world. [KR]
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Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL)
Developed and maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the SEPASAL database contains information on "wild" and semi-domesticated plants (of use to humans) which occur in tropical and subtropical drylands. With an introduction in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, the SEPASAL database is intended to "bring together diverse traditional and academic knowledge on useful plants of drylands," with the broader aim of evaluating and assessing plant species and transferring knowledge across broad geographic borders and disciplines. SEPASAL currently contains information on 6,200 dryland species, excluding major crops. The database has two levels of access: the public Web interface (where any user may query the database to determine Species/ Family content) and the log-in-required database (where authorized users may query the full database for species name, distribution, status, uses, ecological information, and cultivation details, among other fields). To obtain a log-in for full database use, interested users must fill out a form (linked to the homepage) regarding the intended use for SEPASAL data, their institutional affiliation and title, and other related information. [LXP]
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Vapor Pressure Data
Created by Professor Shuzo Ohe of the Graduate School of Chemical Engineering and the Science University or Tokyo, this site offers vapor pressure data. Available in graph form, data represent vapor pressure (mmHg) as a function of temperature (C, or F). Substances are listed alphabetically and include acetaldehyde, acetic acid, benzene, butane, carbon dioxide, and water, to name a few. [KR]
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In The News

Unearthing Important Fossils
1. "The Oldest Fish in the World"
2. "Field Museum Scientists Discover what appear to be World's Oldest Dinosaur Fossils"
3. "Okla. Bones Point to Huge Dinosaur"
4. The Academy Unveils Newly Discovered Dinosaur Fossils
5. Department of Vertebrate Paleontology
6. Department of Paleobiology
7. Vertebrate Paleontology
8. Early Dinosaur Studies in North America
9. Dinosaurs: The Inside Track (May 13, 1999) -- Nature
10. Paleontological Resources: Links
Over the past several weeks, a flurry of dinosaur and other fossil discoveries have reached the mainstream news. From the two 530-million-year-old fish-like creatures that could be the earliest known vertebrates found in China, to the bones of two dinosaurs in Madagascar that may be the oldest dinosaurs ever found, to the "60-ton giraffe-like creature" (3) found in Oklahoma (called Sauroposeidon proteles, or "thunder lizard"), paleontologists are immersed in discovery. The significance of the first discovery is triggering excitement among paleontologists, worldwide. In particular, the discovery of the two "fish-like" fossils in China (to be published in this week's journal Nature) indicates that fish (i.e., vertebrates) evolved much earlier than previously thought and that "the rates of evolution in the oceans during the Cambrian period must have been exceptionally fast" (1). This week's In The News discusses some of the recently unveiled discoveries and provides background information and resources on vertebrate paleontology.

The first resource is a press release from the University of Cambridge (UK), highlighting the recent discovery by Chinese paleontologists of the "oldest vertebrates" in the world (1). The second release, from the Field Museum of Natural History (published in the October 22 issue of Science), highlights the discovery of the oldest known dinosaur bones, from Madagascar (2). The third resource, from Infobeat (by Associated Press), describes the discovery in Oklahoma of Sauroposeidon proteles, a "60-ton giraffe-like creature" (3) (For more resources on the Oklahoma discovery, see this week's Scout Report). Those seeking further new discoveries may enjoy the subsequent page provided by the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia (4) on the Academy's recently unveiled dinosaur discoveries, including Theropod claws, Sauropod skull fragments, and an "unidentified meat eater." Research on paleontology at the of Academy of Natural Sciences is further described at the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology's Webpage (5). The Department of Paleobiology homepage (6), at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, offers background information on paleobiology with links to collections, exhibits, research programs, museums, educational institutions, and other resources. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Vertebrate Paleontology page (7) describes recent research and lists publications in addition to several educational resources. For historical background on dinosaur discoveries, see the University of California at Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology page (8) on the earliest reported dinosaur discoveries in North America (follow links to further information). For a series of recent scientific articles (9) on dinosaur ichnology (the "trace fossils they left behind"), see this special feature from the prestigious journal Nature. The final site (10), from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, offers a wealth of links to related Internet resources -- including museums and institutions, professional societies, journals, and other sites. [LXP]
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