The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - February 2, 2000

February 2, 2000

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


Chemistry Journals Hosted in the ChemWeb Library
ChemWeb has recently added seven materials chemistry titles from Elsevier Science to its Library page, which currently allows users to access seventeen free journals (all of which require a no-cost membership). The journals Carbon,Diamond and Related Materials,Journal of Alloys and Compounds,Materials Chemistry and Physics,Materials Research Bulletin,Materials Science and Engineering: C, and Solid State Ionics will all be available free-of-charge for three months. In addition, users may search, browse, and in many cases, view abstracts within all of ChemWeb's journals for free. Clicking on a journal title brings up a page where new non-members may join and existing members may log on. For other ChemWeb Websites, see The Alchemist and Beilstein Abstracts. [KR]
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Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA)
Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the aim of GIWA is "to produce a comprehensive and integrated global assessment of international waters." GIWA will accomplish its mission by assessing the ecological status and causes of "environmental problems of shared water areas in the world." Though some sections are still under construction, the GIWA Website details the backbone of this initiative, including a summary of objectives and background (in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish); links to the three global assessments already published (biodiversity, climate change, and stratospheric ozone); a list of GIWA partners; thorough information about and maps of the world's water regions (9 megaregions, 66 subregions); a description of five focal Causal Chain Analyses (freshwater shortage, pollution, unsustainable fisheries, habitat modification, and global processes); and links to related resources, including publications. For anyone researching or interested in the future of the world's water resources, this is an important site with a wealth of relevant synthetic information. [LXP]
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Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) [.ps, .pdf]
Designed and built by Johns Hopkins University, the FUSE satellite was launched on June 24, 1999 and lately has been returning important data on the Milky Way galaxy. In collaboration with NASA, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of California at Berkeley, among others, FUSE uses "the technique of high-resolution spectroscopy in the far-ultraviolet spectral region" to provide data for exploring questions relating to the Big Bang and the chemical evolution of galaxies. The mission's Homepage contains a Technical Info section with online scientific and technical papers (.ps, .pdf). The User Support section holds information on instrument updates and timeline plots (.ps) and contains a FUSE data archive. Also, the site offers a thorough general information section with contacts, FAQs, photos, and press articles. [KR]
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Center for Spatial Technologies And Remote Sensing (CSTARS) [.PNM, Xv software]
Based at the University of California at Davis, CSTARS conducts research devoted to "interpretation of remote sensing imagery, applications of geographic information systems, and landscape modeling of vegetation, hydrology, and climatology." The main contribution of the homepage is the collection of research papers (many with hyperlinks) and reports, ranging across the fields of landscape ecology and remote sensing. A substantial list of CSTARS project summaries/ publications is provided in the Projects and Publications sections. Also at the homepage are descriptions of software used by CSTARS researchers, and Image, Spectral, and Georeferencing tutorials (PNM format, Xv software). [LXP]
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National Resources Inventory [.pdf, 703K]
From the National Resources Conservation Service and the US Department of Agriculture, the recently released 1997 National Resources Inventory provides a statistically-based account of "conditions and trends of soil, water, and related resources" on US non-federal lands, including data on wetlands, conservation practices, farmland, land use, and more. The makers claim, "it is the most comprehensive database of its kind ever attempted anywhere in the world." The site provides the complete report (.pdf format), as well as links offering discussion in the form of an introduction, background, data gathering, statistical design, statistical estimation, a glossary, and results and analysis. Individual sections contain additional documentation. This is an unusual and comprehensive resource for those in need of national resources statistics. [KR]
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FishBase [.zip]
Subtitled "A Global Information System on Fishes," this site does indeed seem to offer everything you ever wanted to know about fishes. The heart of the site is two databases, FishBase and LarvalBase, the first containing information on over 23,000 species (91,000 common names), 41,000 synonyms, 18,000 pictures, and 17,000 references; the latter featuring 400 species, 500 pictures, and 700 references. Both databases can be keyword searched or browsed by common name or scientific name. Entries include family, order, class, English name, distribution, biology, environment, climate zone, and additional information. Entries also offer a number of links for more species-specific data such as synonyms, countries, key facts, pictures, FAO areas, spawning, reproduction, predators, diet composition, and more. The search page for each database features a searchable glossary and reference database, and information by topic. In addition, the main FishBase page offers downloads, a Fish Forum, a biodiversity quiz, and a link to the expanded LarvalBase at the University of Kiel. [MD]
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Learning Resources

eFunda, which stands for Engineering Fundamentals, provides a single source for mechanical engineering reference information. Managed by a group of PhDs and others with extensive experience in the working world of mechanical engineering, the site is divided into six main areas: Materials, Processes, Formulas, Design Center, Units and Constants, and Mathematics. Among the useful material at this site, the Materials section provides a convenient listing of mechanical and thermal properties for different types of steel. For another example of the material found here, the Formulas section contains quick reference and refreshers for beam equations, and formulas pertaining to fluid mechanics and heat transfer, among others. This comprehensive, searchable site is neatly organized and should be a handy source of information for mechanical engineers. [KR]
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Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC)
The University of Utah's Genetic Science Learning Center offers "excellent genetic science curriculum, training, and resources" through virtual (Internet-based curriculum) and actual (training programs for classroom teachers) programs. Two of the Website's main sections may be of special interest to educators: Basic Genetics (introductory materials) and Thematic Units (curriculum information). The site also offers two sections on Genetic Disorders and Genetics in Society, and lists of specialized resources for Teachers, Students, or Family (the general public). This page has much to offer as a reference for beginning genetics. [LXP]
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Microscale Gas Chemistry
Created by Professor Bruce M. Mattson, PhD, of Creighton University's Department of Chemistry, the Microscale Gas Chemistry Website "provides instructions for the generation of gases on a microscale level along with instructions for chemical demonstrations and student laboratory experiments with the gases." The no-frills site, designed for high school and university chemistry teachers, contains clear and careful instructions for experiments with carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, ethene, chlorine, carbon monoxide, and more. An introduction offers two low-tech methods for gas generation. Data pages for relevant gases are linked to each experiment. [KR]
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"Beyond Bio 101" [.tar.z, .tar.gz, .zip, .exe, .sea]
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) published this report entitled "Beyond Bio 101: the transformation of undergraduate biology education." The online version of the report (which may be downloaded in several formats) covers six chapters and highlights the problems and opportunities of the current undergraduate biology educational experience. Based on feedback from educators at 220 colleges and universities that received grants from the HHMI, the online report provides synopses and overviews of the US biological education system under different institutional settings. Although biology teachers will be familiar with many of the topics covered here, new professors or up-and-coming graduate students may benefit from the broad overview provided in this report. [LXP]
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Global Water Sampling Project
The Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) has developed this project for middle school and high school students around the world to team up and test fresh water. Educators may use this project to demonstrate the dynamics of scientific collaboration. Students will be required to identify organisms, assess water quality, and look for larger relationships and trends based on overall global findings. Over the course of the project, participating classes are required to submit a letter of introduction, data, and a final report. The project will run every spring and fall with the next run occurring between March 6 and May 26, 2000. [KR]
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General Interest

State of the Cryosphere
From the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the new State of the Cryosphere Website discusses the cryosphere and its close relationship to "climate variability." Cryospheric regions, or areas where water is found in solid forms, are highly sensitive to changes in temperature. This is because snow and ice "exist relatively close to their melting point and frequently change phase from solid to liquid and back again." The implications of climate change and fluctuations in Northern Hemisphere snow cover, sea ice, mountain glaciers, and sea level are explored here. The site contains helpful links, an introduction, a glossary, and references. [KR]
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Ecosystem Approach -- USFWS
During the 1990s, federal and state agencies engaged in the important (but complex) process of reorganizing the country's management units to reflect ecological, rather than political boundaries. To that end, these pages from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) reflect that agency's "ecosystem approach to fish and wildlife conservation." Users will learn about the principles behind ecosystem-based management and the USFWS's priorities for actions intended to "strengthen the ecosystem approach." A hyperlinked map displays the 53 ecosystem units (ecoregions) comprising US watersheds. While some links are still under construction, this site serves a useful purpose for those conducting research in applied ecology in the US. Here, outlined in varied detail, are the agency's management ecoregions, all of which are based on hydrologic units/ maps. Also at the site are links to related sites, as well as to various recent publications including "The Ecosystem Approach from a Practical Point of View," by USFWS Director Jamie Rappaport Clark, and a report assessing the ecosystem approach by Ohio State University, among others. [LXP]
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Two on Smart Road
Smart Road Pavement Research HomePage
Roanoke Times Smart Road Page
Dubbed "the Smart Road" by Virginia's Department of Transportation, this full-scale facility for pavement research and evaluation of high-tech transportation systems uses computers, electronics, and satellites to create a realistic environment for collecting traffic and environmental data under controlled conditions, "and should advance the general understanding of the engineering behavior of pavement systems." The first of these two sites, from the Virginia Tech Civil Engineering Materials Program, provides information from the researchers who have designed the Smart Road. The page contains a description of the project's current status, an explanation of objectives, construction photos, a detailed description of the instrumentation used, and data. Note, the research plan and testing links are still under construction. The next site, from the Roanoke Times, features a Smart Road Page with good reference information on the project. The site contains FAQs, links, news clips, maps, and more. These sites introduce an interesting project for highway and transportation engineers. [KR]
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Weeds on the Web -- TNC
The Wildland Invasive Species Program of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) hosts this interesting and light-hearted page on the invasive plants currently threatening the biodiversity of wild lands in the US. Appropriate for undergraduates, educators will find much here on weeds (what they are, which ones are worst), weed control methods, and suggestions for including action in lesson plans. For starters, click on any state in the US map to find out about the worst invasive plants in that state. Those seeking detailed information should consult the Element Stewardship Abstracts, which describe over 100 species in terms of Scientific and Common Name, Description of Characteristics, Biology/ Ecology, Global Range, Stewardship Profile, Threats Posed by this Species, Biological Control, Research Needs, and more. Also at the site are lists of effective weed tools, weeds in the news, and links to weed-related events. [LXP]
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ENC Focus: A Magazine for Classroom Innovators
From the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, located at The Ohio State University, Focus is a free "electronic magazine for K-12 classroom teachers striving to improve mathematics and science education." In the current issue, a variety of articles and Web resources explore topics like The Reality of Change (about the challenges of change math and science teachers face), Integrating Technology in the Classroom, Inquiry and Problem Solving (about how teachers around the country have attempted to foster the desire for inquiry and problem solving in their students), and Innovative Curriculum Materials (includes articles on how educators are "creating, choosing, and using, unconventional and innovative science and math resources"). With a grants section, an Internet resources section, and free subscription to the print version, this site is a useful and informative source of ideas for science and math educators at the K-12 level. [KR]
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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:

Climate of 1999 - Annual Review
From the National Climate Data Center, the Climate of 1999 - Annual Review Website provides detailed data and discussion. Globally speaking, 1999 proved to be the fifth warmest year on record since 1880. The site provides Global Analysis, US National Analysis, US Regional/ Statewide Analysis, a page on Extreme Events, and 1999 and 1998 Monthly Reports. Charts showing annual anomalies for temperature and precipitation are included at the site. [KR]
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Botanical Electronic News (BEN)
The electronic newsletter BEN contains recent news about research and researchers in botany. Produced at least once a month by Dr. A. Ceska, the focus of BEN is primarily botany in British Columbia, Canada, and the adjacent Pacific Northwest (US). The BEN homepage offers users access to all issues of BEN back to 1995 (issue 115); articles vary in depth but often include links to substantial online information, such as publications, keys, or other useful resources. [LXP]
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New Publications

Two New Molecular Science Journals Calling for Papers
International Journal of Molecular Sciences [.pdf]
Single Molecules [.pdf]
Published online by MDPI (Molecular Diversity Preservation International), the International Journal of Molecular Sciences has posted its first issue as of January 2000. This peer-reviewed quarterly aims to provide "an advanced forum for chemistry, molecular physics (chemical physics and physical chemistry) and molecular biology," while also publishing reviews and short notes. The first issue is brief, and currently, the journal is calling for papers. The journal is free for the time being. To gain access, users are required send in an email to obtain a free user-ID and password. Also, another new journal, Single Molecules, from Wiley Interscience, "will provide researchers with a broad overview of current methods and techniques, recent applications and shortcomings of present techniques in the field of single molecules." With temporary free access, the journal's latest issue contains a few full-text articles, with more articles being regularly added. This journal is also currently calling for papers. [KR]

Tunneling Under the Hudson River
Though we rarely call our readers's attention to pages sponsored by individuals (rather than institutions), Tunneling Under the Hudson River, by S.D.V. Burr, A.M., originally published by John Wiley and Sons in 1885, is a fascinating historical record of an engineering feat. The illustrated, online book, made available on Terrence M. Kennedy's Consulting Page, provides a first-hand account of the engineering challenges, difficulties, and experience gained from undertaking a tunneling venture of such magnitude in the late 1800s. [KR]

Issues in Ecology: No. 4 [.pdf, 968K]
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has released Number 4 of the series Issues in Ecology. Designed to present, "in language understandable to non-scientists, the consensus of a panel of scientific experts on issues relevant to the environment," the newest report (.pdf format) is entitled "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Maintaining Natural Life Support Processes." [LXP]

_Implications for Earthquake Risk Reduction in the United
States from the Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake of August 17, 1999_ [.pdf, 6 MB]
This glossy circular from the US Geological Survey, entitled Implications for Earthquake Risk Reduction in the United States from the Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake of August 17, 1999, examines some of the similarities between the Kocaeli Earthquake along the North Anatolian fault system and the San Andreas fault system in California. The brochure delves into some insights that might be provided by the disaster in Turkey. The large document contains 58 glossy figures and references. [KR]

Three from The Nature Conservancy
"Guidelines for Representing Ecological Communities in Ecoregional Conservation Plans" [.pdf, 1578K]
"Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Ecological Classification for Conservation" [.pdf, 2686K]
Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States [.pdf]
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has recently posted three publications on their Website. The first, by Mark Anderson and others, is entitled "Guidelines for Representing Ecological Communities in Ecoregional Conservation Plans." The second, entitled "Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Ecological Classification for Conservation," provides in-depth information on the types of natural vegetation encountered across the US landscape. Finally, TNC offers the publication Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States in two volumes -- representing "the first standardized classification of the terrestrial ecological communities of the United States ever developed at a scale fine enough to be used in making local, site-specific conservation decisions." All three publications are available in .pdf format. [LXP]

Catalog of Hazardous and Solid Waste Publications [.pdf, 2260K, ASCII]
Recently made available online, this twelfth edition of the Catalog of Hazardous and Solid Waste Publications "lists hazardous and solid waste documents released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Solid Waste (OSW)." The select list covers publications that have been frequently requested. It is not intended as a comprehensive list. Current through July 15, 1999, the catalog contains shortcuts to Office of Solid Waste Websites, Other EPA Sources for Hazardous/ Solid Waste Materials, an Alphabetical Listing of Titles, an Alphabetical Listing of Subjects, a Numerical Listing of Publications, Ordering Information and Forms, and an Acronyms section. [KR]

Biosafety Resources on the Internet
The Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy has put together this metapage on Biosafety Resources on the Internet. Most links are functional and point users to a variety of publications and Internet resources related to regulation of biotechnology as it relates to biological diversity. [LXP]

Rangeland Desertification
Two publications resulting from an international workshop on Rangeland Desertification (held in Iceland in September 1997) are now available on the Internet. The first volume, titled simply Rangeland Desertification, focuses on concepts and principles; see the Abstracts section for an idea of content. The second volume, entitled Rala report No 200, is comprised of proceedings from the 1997 meeting, documenting rangeland desertification in Iceland as well as many other countries and regions of the world. [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]

Earthworks contains listings of "worldwide career and employment opportunities in the geosciences and sciences." Updated several times per day, the site contains comprehensive listings organized by discipline. Earthworks services include fee-based resume posting, free short resume posting, and free resume viewing. [KR]

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Find a Job
This page offers a considerable listing of positions available at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Subheadings for employment include Regular, Limited-Term, Postdoctoral, Graduate Student, Undergraduate Student, High school Student, and Contract/ Secretarial Pool. [KR]
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The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Auxiliary Scholarship and Loan Information [.pdf]
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) gives out scholarships and loans to undergraduate, graduate, and international students. Selection is based on academic performance, character, need, and ASME participation. Most scholarships apply to US citizens only, with the exception of the Rice-Cullimore Scholarship for International students. All necessary application materials are available for download at the site (.pdf). The deadline for all scholarships is March 15, 2000. [KR]

Two from NSF
NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently announced several funding opportunities for scientists. The first, from the Directory of Human Resources, offers "fellowships and associated training that will enable graduate students and advanced undergraduates in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology" to serve as experts in K-12 schools. The proposal deadline is May 1, 2000. The second opportunity is entitled EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), a cooperative research program intended "to identify, develop, and utilize a state's academic science and technology resources in a way that will support wealth creation and a more productive and fulfilling way of life for a state's citizenry." EPSCoR currently operates in eighteen states: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The deadline for submission of EPSCoR Grant proposals is February 17, 2000; the deadline for submission of EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement proposals (larger awards with non-federal matching funds) is July 15, 2000. [LXP]

Postdoctoral Scholar Awards in Ocean Science and Engineering
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is offers eighteen-month Postdoctoral Scholar awards for new and recent PhDs in the fields of "biology, molecular biology, microbiology, chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology and physics, as well as oceanography." The awards are intended to further the education and training of young scientists. Applications for the next awards will be due January 15, 2001. [KR]
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Pacifichem 2000
Cosponsored by the American Chemical Society, Chemical Society of Japan, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the fourth International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii from December 14 to 19, 2000. Over 6,000 people from more than 50 countries are expected to attend. Electronically submitted abstracts are due by April 14; paper submissions are due by April 3. [KR]

Land Conservation Summit 2000: Advancing the Debate in the New Millennium
The conference entitled Land Conservation Summit 2000: Advancing the Debate in the New Millennium will be held on July 28-29, 2000 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Focal themes of the conference include Land Use Controls, Conservation Easements and Sustainability; Rethinking Institutional Boundaries; Integrating Social and Economic Information with Ecosystem Services; Conservation Easements; and Tax Issues in Land Conservation, among others. Abstracts are due February 15, 2000. [LXP]

Fourth International Conference on Modern Practice in Stress and Vibration Analysis
The Fourth International Conference on Modern Practice in Stress and Vibration Analysis will occur at the University of Nottingham, UK, from November 5 to 7, 2000. Co-sponsored by the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the British Society for Strain Measurement, the conference is intended "to encourage the exchange of information and knowledge in the fields of stress and vibration analysis, and bring together researchers from various disciplines in industrial organisations and academic institutions." The deadline for abstract submission is February 15, 2000. [KR]

Euro Environment 2000
The conference entitled Euro Environment 2000 on Industry and Environmental Performance will be held in Aalborg, Denmark, October 18-20, 2000. Geared towards developing "visions, strategies and actions towards sustainable industries," the conference will be organized around six main themes: The Public and Political Agenda, Corporate Management, Strategic Environmental Management, Technology Innovation, Product Innovation and Design, and Stakeholder Communication. The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 15, 2000. [LXP]

New Directions In Academia: Leadership Through Research
The third annual Southern California Inter-Disciplinary Graduate Student Conference, subtitled New Directions In Academia: Leadership Through Research, will be held on April 1, 2000 at the University of Southern California. Although the Webpage states an earlier deadline, abstracts will be accepted through February 15, 2000. [LXP]

ISBE 2000: Eighth International Behavioral Ecology Conference
The Eighth International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) Congress will be held August 8-12, 2000 at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Featured plenary speakers, top-notch European scientists in the field, will cover topics such as kin selection, behavioral regulation of population size, and mate choice, among others. The abstract submission deadline is February 21, 2000. [LXP]
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New Data

Mineral Resources On-line Spatial Data
This site from the US Geologic Survey contains interactive online spatial data maps of mineral resources for the US, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, and the world. Each map provides "geologic, lithologic, geochemical, geophysical, and mineral deposit information in consistent, standard formats." By clicking on one of the map-viewing options, users may select from a list of data sets to be spatially represented on a map. Examples of available spatial data include active mines, cities, federal lands, geologic faults, value of mineral production, type of land cover, sediment chemistry, and more. Also available are spatial metadata files which contain detailed FAQs and documents describing the data found at this site. [KR]
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Drought Monitor: Current Conditions -- USDA
The US Department of Agriculture recently released these updated data summaries for temperature, precipitation, and vegetation condition in the US. Data summaries include the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), Crop Moisture Index, Standardized Precipitation Index, Drought Impacts in the US, Percent of Normal Rainfall, Daily Streamflow Map, Snowpack, Soil Moisture, Daily Soil Moisture Anomaly, and the Vegetation and the Temperature Condition Index. [LXP]
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January, 2000, Geomagnetic A and K Indices
Prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center, these data represent geomagnetic A and K indices from stations around the globe. Daily data are presented for each station and include geomagnetic dipoles (latitudes and longitudes), A indices, and 3-hourly K indices. [KR]
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The Tree and Shrub Genera of Borneo
James Jarvie of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Indonesian colleague Ermayanti of Conservation International have put together this database on the tree and shrub genera of Borneo. The illustrated database "offers a DELTA-based interactive key to the 534 tree genera of the island" and is available in English or Indonesian. Also included is a detailed, hyperlinked index of genera and a large selection of pen-and-ink images. [LXP]
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In The News

Insect Invaders Capture Headlines
1) "Fruit flies rock the evolutionary clock"
2) "War Declared Against Tree-Munching Beetle"
3) "Environmental and Economic Costs Associated with Non-indigenous Species in the United States"
4) "Harmful Non-Native Species: Issues for Congress"
5) Noor Lab Homepage
6) Asian Longhorn Beetle
7) Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
8) Invasive Species Home Page
Lately, a few insects not native to the North American continent have made headlines while making themselves at home. According to a recent study from the journal Science, a European fruit fly species, Drosophila subobscura, has replaced close to 95 percent of native North and South American fruit flies in the 20 years it has been in these climes. Even more striking is the fact that the non-native flies have evolved in the process. Over the last 10,000 years, European D. subobscura flies that lived in higher latitudes produced individuals with wing sizes that were four percent larger than their lower latitude counterparts. Strangely, in North America, it has taken less than two decades for the higher latitude fruit fly to grow to be four percent larger than those living south. In essence, the fruit fly population has transformed itself almost as fast as it has taken over its new environment. The findings point scientists to new questions regarding both the rapid evolution of an invader along with the ecological consequences of its arrival. Another recent report, from Reuters, describes the Asian long-horned beetle's devastation of trees in New York and Chicago. The beetle has been called the worst non-native pest since the gypsy moth, and the government is searching for solutions to this menace which bores holes into trees and damages their vascular systems. This week's In the News takes a closer look at these adaptable invaders and the problems of invasive species in general.

The first resource is a news article from the Environmental News Network (1) describing the new research on Drosophila subobscura fruit flies and their rapid evolution. The second resource (2) from Yahoo Science Headlines discusses the Clinton Administration's vow to increase vigilance against the Asian long-horned beetles that have ravaged trees in New York and Chicago. Next, a Cornell University study entitled "Environmental and Economic Costs AssoCiated with Non-indigenous Species in the United States," (3) estimates the financial burden inflicted on the nation as a result of invading non-indigenous species (first described in the February 3, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The fourth resource from The Committee for the National Institute for the Environment contains a Congressional Research Service Issue Brief entitled "Harmful Non-Native Species: Issues for Congress" (4) which provides in-depth analysis of the economic and ecological impacts of non-native species and information on various threatening species (first described in the June 9, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). For those interested in evolutionary and behavioral genetics, specifically with regard to the fruit fly, the Noor Lab Homepage at Louisiana State University's Department of Biological Science works with D. subobscura(5). The next resource, from the St. Paul Field Office of the US Department of Agriculture, is dedicated to the current issues surrounding the Asian long-horned beetle and contains data, maps, and reports regarding the infestation (6). For those interested in learning more about different types of invasive species, the US Geological Survey's page for Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (7) is a first-rate resource complete with reports, a species database, and links. Finally, for further investigations into the topic of invasive species, the National Biological Information Infrastructure Invasive Species Homepage (8) contains many links organized by species, geography, organizations, databases, publications, definitions, together with photographs, maps, and other visual resources. [KR]
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