The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - March 15, 2000

March 15, 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


Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)
Based at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, this Website is the US Department of Energy's "primary global-change data and information analysis center" and is a central source for many Carbon Dioxide-related resources. Among those resources are several we have reviewed, for example, the Catalog of Databases and Reports (reviewed in the June 24, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) and Carbon Dioxide Emission Estimates (reviewed in the March 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The CDIAC site offers a wealth of information, including "records of the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radiatively active gases in the atmosphere; the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases; emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; long-term climate trends; the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation; and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea level." To get a feel for the research summaries and data available at the CDIAC site, see the Products section (describes the research projects associated with CDIAC as well as links to those data sets); the New section (offers a hyperlinked list of new data products); the Top 10 section (offers a hyperlinked list of Frequently Requested Global Change Products); or any of the specific project sections: FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment), NARSTO (a non-binding, tri-national, public/private alliance), OCEANS (Survey of CO2 in the Oceans), or AmeriFlux (long-term CO2 flux measurements of the Americas). This is an outstanding resource for those seeking global data (or research summaries) on the status of carbon dioxide in several components of the earth's ecosystems. [LXP]
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HighWire Press Announces Free Access to over 130,000 Articles
Free Online Full-text Articles
Press Release
HighWire Press
In yet another major step forward in the provision of free scholarship online, Stanford University's HighWire Press (last reviewed in the February 16, 2000 Scout Report) has announced that publishers of the science, technology, and medicine journals it hosts now provide free online access to the full text of more than 137,000 articles. This makes HighWire "the second-largest free full-text science archive in the world - and the largest in the life sciences - with three entirely free journals, 51 journals offering free back issues and 32 offering free trial access." Please note that the availability of back issues and length of the free trial period vary widely by journal. Users can consult the site for a list of participating journals, the back issues they offer, and the ending date of the free trial period. Click on the journal's name to access the articles. As an additional service to users who subscribe (as individuals or through their institution), some journals offer "toll-free linking" of articles, which allows users to access the full text of related articles from other journals whether or not they subscribe to those journals. [MD]
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J-STAGE [.pdf]
Developed by the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), J-STAGE (The Japan Science and Technology Aggregator, Electronic) is a recently launched electronic journal center that publishes and disseminates Japanese electronic scientific journals. At present, the site hosts four journals (one of which is Japanese only), but expects to add over a hundred in the near future. The three available English-language journals include the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, the Journal of the Physical Society of Japan, and SHIGEN-TO-SOZAI, a journal of the Mining and Materials Processing Institute of Japan. The full-text articles are available free of charge with searchable back issues also available. [KR]
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MBARI: Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Based in Moss Landing, California and funded privately by the Packard Foundation, MBARI is dedicated to conducting "research and development of oceanographic technology [and applying] that technology towards scientific missions and goals." To that end, MBARI's Website describes research projects in engineering, mapping (e.g., Hawaii Multibeam Data), greenhouse gases, seismology, acoustics, biogeochemistry, unmanned submersible research platforms (ROV Tiburon), and benthic ecology, among other areas. The site also offers a news section, an online library with restricted access to several top scientific oceanography (or related fields) journals, an educational section, and links to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, MBARI's sister organization. [LXP]
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Global Soil Moisture Data Bank [FTP server, .pdf]
From the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, highlights of this site include data sets from soil moisture observation stations in Eurasia (including China, India, Mongolia, and the former Soviet Union) as well as the slightly less exotic locales of Iowa and Illinois. These data sets are available by clicking on a map of Eurasia and the two US states. Links to other data sets include those for Australia, Brazil, Europe, Russia and Ukraine, and the US. The site also offers abstracts and full-text papers on soil moisture research. Finally, additional sections lead to carefully selected links for model calculations, related projects, and soil moisture measurements. [KR]
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MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories [.pdf]
This interdepartmental lab, working under the umbrella of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's School of Engineering, supports research on "solid state devices, integrated circuits and systems, materials for electronic applications, novel process technologies, MicroElectroMechanical devices (sensors and actuators), biomedical applications, and computer-aided fabrication." The Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) Homepage (in frames) provides detailed coverage of a variety of research. Within MTL, the Intelligent Transportation Research Center offers overviews of projects and the Integrated Circuits and Systems includes selected downloadable recent conference papers and tutorials. Also available for download are '98 and '99 annual reports containing in-depth descriptions of research. A seminars page with a list of seminar series abstracts, and an outreach and links page with useful connections to related work round out the site. Note, the link to the MEMS Center appears to be faulty. [KR]
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Learning Resources

Field-Tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG)
In today's educational system, most science and engineering graduate students enter teaching careers with little or no teaching experience, and then are buried with so many competing responsibilities that their teaching skills take many years to improve. At the same time, incoming college students bring years of accumulated learning experiences (and attitudes) to their learning expectations. This Website offers classroom-tested methods for assessing the learning environment in college classrooms -- the first step to better teaching AND learning. Provided by the National Institute for Science Education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the FLAG Website is intended for college and university instructors in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) disciplines. The Guide offers up-to-date assessment tools "for instructors who have an interest in sharing and implementing new approaches to evaluating student learning, attitudes and performance." Four main sections encompass the site's main objectives and resources. For an explanation of why assessment is useful and necessary, see Getting Started. Setting course goals and matching those goals with Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT)s are described in the subsequent sections; discipline-specific assessment techniques are contained in Searchable Tools; and the Resources section provides additional materials on assessment. This Website offers excellent and much-needed material, and will be useful to any educators (new or seasoned) who wish to improve their class learning levels. [LXP]
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Glossary of Plasma Physics
From the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's FusEdWeb: Fusion Energy Educational Web Site, this glossary of plasma physics "seeks to provide plain-language definitions of over 3600 frequently used technical terms in Plasma Physics (all areas) and Fusion Energy Research." The glossary is intended to help facilitate discussion "between experts and non-experts, and even between experts in different subfields." Users may search, submit new terms for review by editors, or browse alphabetically for terms in fields including scientific vocabulary, names of research facilities, experimental machines and devices used, names of researchers, key mathematical symbols, and acronyms. Over a thousand of these terms are fully defined on-site, and references are provided for looking up most of the remaining terms. [KR]
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The Orchid Weblopedia
The Center for Conservation Biology Network at Rice University houses this Website on orchids. The site offers several useful orchid resources, including "An annotated check-list of the genus Paphiopedilum" by Dr. Harold Koopowitz (originally published in 1995), "Lycaste Species: The Essential Guide" by Dr. Henry F. Oakley, and a description of newly discovered Paphiopedilum species (from 1996). Also at the site is an Orchid-Related Links section (including academic links), the Orchid Weblopedia Bulletin Board (an active forum for orchid-related discussion), and the Orchid-Epiphyte Reference Databases (temporarily offline, but check again soon). While not exhaustive, this site offers a variety of resources that, in combination, are of interest to a wide audience (scientists through students). [LXP]
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General Chemistry I
From Dr. Michael Bleber of Florida State University's Department of Chemistry, this page contains a virtual guide for a first semester undergraduate course in general chemistry. The site features lecture notes, practice homework, practice exams, homework assignments, useful tables, and a FAQ. The variety and depth of materials at this site make it useful for educators looking for teaching aids, as well as students in search of additional course information. [KR]
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A Guide to the Eight Orders of Trilobites
This large site contains a great deal of information regarding one of the most preserved species in the fossil record, namely trilobites. Created by zoologist Dr. Sam Gon III, the site offers information on "trilobite morphology, ecology, systematics, and development (ontogeny), as they relate to the classification of trilobite species." Also provided here are galleries of trilobite images, a glossary of terms, links, a family listing, and more. Source materials are clearly cited on each page. [KR]
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General Interest

Road Management Homepage -- USDA Forest Service [.pdf]
The US Forest Service has launched this new Website on road management, in concert with the proposed new policy (announced March 2, 2000) to manage Forest Service roads. The policy would shift the emphasis "to maintenance and reconstruction of existing roads rather than on building new roads." One hundred ninety-two million acres of the National Forest System are roaded, totaling more than 380,000 miles of roads. However, for lack of funds, many roads are not well maintained, and among those that are, some are improperly constructed. Increasingly recognized as a critical issue among wildlife biologists and watershed ecologists, roads and poor road maintenance can "increase the risk of erosion, landslides, and slope failure, . . . allow for the entry of invasive plants and animals that threaten the health of native species, increase human-caused fire, disrupt habitat connectivity," and endanger the health of watersheds that provide drinking water "to millions of Americans and critical habitat for fish and wildlife." Additionally, the building of roads ultimately invites human presence and impact, leading to the eventual alteration and humanization of pristine areas. While the Website offers the (expected) Forest Service perspective, it also provides information on roads, including summary statistics; numerous documents (.pdf format) related to forest service roads; and links to associated sites, including the Roadless Initiative. Those interested in commenting on the proposed policy may do so at the Website. [LXP]
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Landolt-Bornstein Millennium Campaign [.pdf]
From LINK, the digital library of the scientific publishing house Springer-Verlag, researchers around the world can now obtain free access for the year 2000 to Landolt-Bornstein volumes published before 1990. These 129 subvolumes of Landolt-Bornstein, "the largest chemistry, physics, and technology data collection," consist of basic research data for elementary particles, nuclei and atoms, molecules and radicals, condensed matter, physical chemistry, biophysics, geophysics, and astrophysics and astronomy. The information has also been integrated into the LINK search engine to make finding specific data easier. To obtain access to this outstanding resource, users are required to complete a registration form to receive a personal access code. Note, to open files after obtaining a password, click on the desired file in the table of contents, and then click on the link here at the bottom of the page that pops up.
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Intelligent Satellite Data Information System (ISIS)
The Intelligent Satellite Data Information System is "the central user interface" to the data archived at the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) and offers descriptions of (and facilitates access to) numerous online resources. For general information about remote sensing and the ISIS site, see the News section (including announcements of upcoming electronic resources), the Thesaurus (containing synonyms for about 7,000 important scientific terms), and the Infoboard section (including tutorials in English and German, a list of data products, and an array of links to related resources). The ISIS homepage also offers a new WWW-Gateway to the Data, in which users may search or browse Earth Science data "from various participating archive centers around the globe." For the latest satellite images, see the Special section, which features spectacular color images of The weather in Europe, Temperatures and vegetation, and Ozone-concentration, electron-density and chlorophyll-content. [LXP]
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EPA Sector Notebook Reports [.pdf]
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Compliance disseminates this expert-reviewed series of environmental profiles or notebooks on a number of major industries. Each of these well-researched notebooks contains comprehensive environmental profiles, industrial process information, pollutant release data, bibliographic references, descriptions of research methodology, and more. Included among the 28 industries covered to date are profiles of the aerospace industry, the air transportation industry, the inorganic and organic chemical industries, the iron and steel industry, and the electronics and computer industry. An added feature includes a Sector Notebook Data Refresh presenting updated data for Notebooks published in 1995 and 1997. A few of the notebooks are also available in Spanish. These notebooks are an outstanding resource for researchers interested in comprehensive overviews of environmental policies and practices of major industries. Note: EPA is updating their site, so access may be difficult at times. [KR]
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The Office of Water Online Reference Library -- EPA
The Office of Water Online Reference Library is one of the Environmental Protection Agency's continuing efforts to post current information on the Web. Organized as a series of subject headings with links to online documents, the site currently contains Policy and Guidance documents (.pdf format). The current postings are part of an ongoing project to list online documents by subject, and complement electronic publications already posted by each office (the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, the Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Wastewater Management, and the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds). [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:

Snake River is this year's Most Endangered River (again)
Each year, a collection of US grassroots organizations spearheaded by American Rivers, the nation's leading river conservation organization, works closely to identify US rivers that are endangered (usually by human activities). A list of endangered rivers is compiled and published in an annual report entitled "America's Most Endangered Rivers" (see the April 15, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The report draws national attention to the rivers on the list, sending a powerful wake up call "to mobilize the public and policymakers to take significant action before it is too late." This year's full report will be released on April 10, but the organization has already declared the most endangered river to be the Snake River, in Washington State. Last year, the Snake River also ranked at the top of the list. [LXP]
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Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and US Landfall Strike Probability for 2000
From Colorado State University's (CSU) renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray, this page offers year 2000 Atlantic seasonal hurricane predictions. For this year, Dr. Gray anticipates "above average hurricane activity...though less active than the recent years of 1995, 1996, 1998, and 1999." The report, based on data through November 1999, forecasts eleven named storms and seven hurricanes. For previous Atlantic seasonal forecasts, see CSU's Atmospheric Science Department's Forecasts Page. [KR]
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New Publications

National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Bibliography [.pdf]
The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, which tracks "the status and trends in the quality of the Nation's ground- and surface-water resources," has posted an updated bibliography on their Website (.pdf format). The bibliography includes regional and national information on specific water quality issues, and is updated periodically. [LXP]

Physical Review Special Topics--Accelerators and Beams [.pdf, .ps]
Current and past issues of this free American Physical Society peer-reviewed, electronic journal are available here. The journal is published on an article-by-article basis, and new articles are added to the latest issue. March titles in Physical Review Special Topics--Accelerators and Beams include "Coherent off-axis undulato radiation from short electron bunches." [KR]

"Water-level changes, 1980 TO 1997, and saturated thickness, 1996-97, in the High Plains Aquifer"
The US Geological Service provides this report detailing water level changes in the High Plains aquifer. Underlying one of the major agricultural regions in the world, the High Plains Aquifer includes parts of eight States -- Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The report describes "(1) water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer from 1980 to 1997 and from 1996 to 1997, (2) the precipitation pattern in the High Plains region during 1996, and (3) estimated saturated thickness of the High Plains aquifer in 1996-97." [LXP]

"More than broken jars and roof tiles, the environmental legacy of a Roman mineral industry at Plasenzuela, Extremadura, Spain"
This interesting article from the US Geological Survey's Eastern Mineral Resources discusses the large metallurgical industry that was in effect 2000-2500 years ago. The authors of this article, Robert G. Schmidt, Cathy M. Ager, and Juan Gil Montes believe that "higher-than-normal metal concentrations in soils over a wide area are best explained as residues of air-borne deposits from the Roman smelting furnaces as they appear to have no geologic basis." [KR]

Online Literature Library -- Charles Darwin
While not offering new publications, this fun and handy resource does provide a glimpse into the possible future of libraries and publishing. has made available online four definitive volumes by Charles Darwin. These include The Voyage of the Beagle,The Origin of Species,The Origin of Species - 6th Edition, and The Descent of Man.[KR]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

PhDs.Org Science, Math and Engineering Career Resources

The Ecological Society of America: Job Announcements

Employment Opportunities for Minorities in Science
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National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program
Deadlines: Various

Chemical Heritage Foundation: Research Travel Grants
Deadlines: Ongoing

National Science Foundation
Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships
Notice of Intent Deadline: June 15, 2000
Preproposal Deadline: August 11, 2000
Full Proposal Deadline: April 2, 2001

National Science Foundation
Environmental Molecular Science Institutes (EMSI) and Collaborative Research Activities in Environmental Molecular Science (CRAEMS)
Letter of Intent Deadline: April 10, 2000
Proposal Deadline: June 8, 2000

National Science Foundation
Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI)
Letter of Intent Deadline: April 19, 2000, October 2, 2000
Proposal Deadline: June 9, 2000, February 2, 2001

Jurassic Foundation Research Grant
Deadline: October 15, 2000

New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative: New Jersey Standards in Science and Mathematics
Deadline: April 17, 2000
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Ground Water: A Transboundary Strategic, and Geopolitical Resource -- AGWSE/NGWA [.pdf]
December 13-14, 2000
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Abstracts Due May 5, 2000

Ice/Volcano Interaction Workshop
August 13-15, 2000
Reykjavik, Iceland
Abstracts Due May 21, 2000

Crabs in Cold Water Regions: Biology, Management, and Economics
January 17-20, 2001
Anchorage, Alaska
Abstracts Due May 15, 2000

Eighteenth International Conference on Operator Theory
June 27-July 1, 2000
Timisoara, Romania
Abstracts Due June 1, 2000
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New Data

NMITA: Neogene Marine Biota of Tropical America
Hosted by the Department of Geoscience, University of Iowa, and funded by the National Science Foundation, NMITA is an online biotic database "containing images and data for taxa used in analyses of Tropical American biodiversity over the past 25 million years." The Website offers Taxonomic Lists (with links to images and data for individual taxa), Morphologic Characters (currently for Zooxanthellate Corals and Elasmobranchs and Teleosteans), Identification Keys (currently for Zooxanthellate Corals), Occurrences in the Dominican Republic, and Instructional Aids. Images and data are provided for the following individual taxa: Bivalves, Gastropods, Bryozoans, Azooxanthellate Corals, Zooxanthellate Corals, Benthic Forams, Ostracodes, and Elasmobranchs and Teleosteans. Although Panama data will eventually be included, the site currently highlights data from the Dominican Republic. [LXP]
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Digitized Aeromagnetic Datasets for the Conterminous United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
These digitized aeromagnetic datasets from the US Geological Survey show variations in the Earth's magnetic field caused mostly by the distribution of minerals that make up the upper part of the earth's crust. The data may be accessed by clicking on the name of a state or territory. Users can download data for an entire state or obtain files by clicking on state maps showing location plots. [KR]
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Hawaiian Natural Resources Monitoring Database [.zip]
The University of Hawaii's Hawaiian Natural Resources Monitoring Database is a centralized database that includes monitoring data for Hawaii's natural resources. Designed to help meet the information needs of land managers in Hawaii, the database includes "standardized and fully-documented data collection efforts by federal, state, and private agencies." A license (free, with permission) is required to access the database. Recently, the site added an updated master species list for Hawaii and an update (from US Fish and Wildlife Service) on the Endangered/Threatened status of Hawaiian species (.zip format). [LXP]
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Half-hourly Measurements of CO2, Water Vapor, and Energy Exchange for Wheat and Tallgrass Sites [FTP server]
These four pages from the Ameriflux Measurement Network, a program under the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), offer half hourly measurements of CO2, water vapor, and energy exchange using the Eddy Covariance Technique. The first page houses 1996 data from a Northern Oklahoma wheat site. The second page contains 1997 data for the same site. The third page provides 1996 data from a Northern Oklahoma tallgrass site. And finally, the fourth page contains 1997 data for the same tallgrass site. The pages are available on CDIAC's FTP server. [KR]
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In The News

Warmest winter in history
1. "Winter Warmth a Record"
2. "Warmest USA Winter Ever" -- NOAA
3. "December 1999-February 2000 in Historical Perspective" -- NOAA
4. El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO): Diagnostic Advisory 2000/3
5. National Climate Data Center
6. Online Climate Data -- NOAA
7. The Climate of 2000 (US and Global Climate Perspectives) -- NOAA
For four days last week, the daily temperatures outside the Internet Scout Project office here in Wisconsin soared above 60 F (and on one day, above 75 F), and the lakes that surround Madison melted in one fell swoop, bringing winter to a lurching halt and restless thoughts of summer to the forefront. While such local temperature anomalies are not surprising (nor did other cities experience the same highs), in this case, they fit in with a global trend that continues to raise -- in some cases, anxious -- eyebrows. On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that this winter is the warmest on record. Surpassing recent warm winter records of 1997-1998, the winter of 1999-2000 has now clinched the somewhat dubious title of warmest winter in history. This news release comes on the coat tails of a January report from the National Academy of Sciences confirming what is already accepted among most scientists -- that global warming is real (see the January 14, 2000 Scout Report). For news and information on this warmest of winters, this week's In The News features seven sites, listed above.

The first site, a news release from The Washington Post, offers a lay person's description of the recent weather announcement (1). NOAA provides the second page (2), a more thorough (with hyperlinks) description of the warmest winter ever. For historical perspective, NOAA offers this page, placing the current winter's weather in a longer term context (3). A major influence on global climate is ocean temperature, tracked here (and with information for March 2000) at the Climate Prediction Center's El Nino/La Nina page (4). For full descriptions of climate research programs and global climate data, see the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) homepage (5), highlighting "land surface observations, ocean (marine) atmospheric observations, weather upper atmospheric observations, weather radar observations, and weather satellite observations (images or data)." Online climate data are available at this site (6), also from NCDC. Finally, NCDC/NOAA offer this site (7), with current information and predictions for the climate of 2000. [LXP]
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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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