The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - June 7, 2000

June 7, 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


Mammalogy Section
Nine of the world's 29 orders of mammals are found in the state of Washington, including bats, primates, rodents, marine mammals, and carnivores, among other groups. For a plethora of information on mammals in Washington state and beyond, check out this Webpage from the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (University of Washington-Seattle). In the Mammals of Washington section of the Website, nine mammalian orders are described in 148 separate species's accounts. Each account gives the natural history of the species (characteristics, diet, behaviors, habitat), as well as its geographic distribution, and in some cases, phylogeography. In the Burke Mammalogy Research section, current research on the Biogeography of Pacific Northwest Mammals is described, with details of other research projects (in Chile, Mexico, and China) still under construction. The Burke Mammal Collection section contains information on the Museum's 44,000 specimens, including history and composition of the Collection and Database, use of the Collection and Database, and Publications and Theses (related to the Collection). The Website is beautifully conceived, easy to navigate, and highly informative, making it an excellent learning or research resource. [LXP]
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Sloane's On-line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences
This mathematical resource, provided by AT&T and authored by AT&T Fellow Neil J.A. Sloane, contains a searchable database of integer sequences along with information about classic integer sequences and puzzles. The main table is a collection of number sequences arranged in lexicographic order of absolute values. Each sequence entry contains the beginning integers, name, description, formula, references, and authors of the sequence. The database is intended to help users identify an unknown sequence or to obtain more terms, references, formulae, etc. for a familiar sequence. Also, users may contribute their own sequences to the site. The page of tips for entering sequences makes the site extra user-friendly, and a French version of the site is also available. [HCS]
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Seven Journals From JSTOR
Ecological Applications
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Participating JSTOR Institutions
Back issues of seven scholarly journals have just been made available to researchers through JSTOR (Journal Storage). JSTOR offers free online access to numerous scholarly journals on a "moving wall" basis -- in which users may download the full text and figures of each article that is at least three-years-old. Currently, JSTOR coverage includes Ecological Applications, Vols. 1-6, 1991-1996; Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vols. 329-351, 1990-1996; Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 354, 1996; Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Vols. 241-263, 1990-1996; Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 452, 1996; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vols. 77-94, 1980-1997; and Science, Vols. 207-266, 1980-1994. Newer articles are continually added on a moving wall basis. Access is limited to participating institutions, a list of which is provided at the JSTOR site. [LXP]
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Fluid Power WWW Virtual Library
Providing links to sites about hydraulic and pneumatic power transmission and control, The WWW Virtual Library for Fluid Power is run in association with Fluid PowerNet (an international network of fluid power R&D laboratories). Academic and industrial research sites, discussion groups, and personal Websites dealing with fluid power can be accessed, along with a regularly updated listing of conferences and events. Simulation, conditions monitoring, control engineering, failure modes, and effects analysis are a few of the topics covered. [HCS]
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Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
The Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University conducts multi-disciplinary research in ecosystem science, with the purpose of improving knowledge of "the complex interactions between humans, management activities, and ecosystems." The recently launched homepage, which is still under construction, includes background information on NREL; descriptions of research projects (a substantial and diverse list); publications, reports, and data; teaching and outreach; and contact information. [LXP]
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The Langley Atmospheric Sciences Data Center [Java, FTP]
This collection of radiation budget, cloud, aerosol, and tropospheric data from the Langley Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contains recent and archival data sets. The data are free, but users must register and log in for access. Downloads from the NASA Water Vapor Project, the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Pathfinder, and the Airborne Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (AirMISR) are among the offerings (Java, HTML, FTP). The site also features pages on software, Langley Center activities, news, and a FAQ page. [HCS]
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Learning Resources

HerbMed is "an interactive, electronic herbal database" that provides scientific and general information on the biochemical action of herbs. A project of the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc., HerbMed includes a searchable interface, as well as a manual option for browsing the HerbMed database by plant Genus. From Achillea (Yarrow) to Ziziphus (Jujube), the HerbMed database provides detailed information on each herb's biochemical action, the mechanism of action, and warnings for human health. Of special interest to researchers will be the hyperlinks to abstracts in PubMed (reviewed in the July 18, 1997 Scout Report), providing published evidence of the scientific information contained in this database. For researchers and educators alike, HerbMed promises to be a useful resource. [LXP]
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Microscopy and Imaging Resources on the WWW
This metasite, provided by the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy Experimental Pathology Services Core, lists a variety of microscopy-related links that are categorized into beginning and advanced topics. Examples of links include sites on the history of the light microscope, glossaries, and a handy "Tips and Tricks" archive of instrumentation techniques. The Microscopy and Imaging section covers histology, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, and digital imaging. Links to free publications, electronic mailing lists, and thirteen educational sites are also included. This site is a good resource for scientists for whom microscopy is a primary investigative tool. [HCS]
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Ongoing Biology: A Research Communication Service for Biologists
The journal Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, based out of the University of Perugia (Italy), has published original research in the field of theoretical biology since 1919. In May 2000, a new free service called Ongoing Biology was launched, with the intent of collecting and publishing, online, the latest "theoretical and experimental research communications." Communications are in English, with Italian summaries. Although this free service is in its infancy and only a few contributions have been posted to date, instructions for sending scientific contributions are provided at the site. [LXP]
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On-line Introductory Chemistry
Provided by Dr. Walt Volland of Bellevue (WA) Community College, this online course is an excellent resource for instructors looking for general chemistry experiments and exercises appropriate for high school and introductory college students. Weekly lessons complete with helpful figures, self-tests, problem sets, and answer keys are provided. In addition to the lessons, the site provides descriptions of experiments designed to be run at home using consumer products. Detailed outlines of materials needed, preparation required, and step-by-step instructions are given for each experiment. Topics Volland covers include crystalline structure, energy and equilibrium, and ionic compounds, among others. [HCS]
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Evolution Website -- BBC Education [RealPlayer]
The BBC offers this site as one of their newer online educational resources. Organized into nine sections, Evolution Website gives the viewer lessons of "4,000 million years crammed into one website." Sections include The Man And His Legacy (Charles Darwin), The Origin Online (full text of Darwin's famous publication), Bibliography (including electronic resources), Debate (contributions from an earlier debate on Evolution), Alife (the game Biotopia), Life on earth (text from David Attenborough's famed series), Extinction Files (all about extinctions), Fossil Roadshow (with RealVideo fossil coverage), and Natural Selections (a series of short films on especially inspiring animals). For anyone interested in teaching evolution, this collection of educational materials includes numerous helpful learning tools. [LXP]
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General Interest

Interactive Health Ecology Access Links (IHEAL)
Created in 1999 by non-governmental organizations seeking to implement the Principles of the Aarhus Convention (described on-site), the Interactive Health Ecology Access Links (IHEAL) metasite is "an international service network dedicated to improving the presentation of information about health and the environment to the general public and non-governmental communities." The IHEAL Website offers links to over 600 electronic databases and other resources that fall within the environmental and health information fields. Resources may be located directly via an internal search engine, or by browsing via theme/ subject, organization, tool, or geographic location. [LXP]
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Two Online Physics Courses from University of Toronto:
Earth Observations from Space [.pdf]
Radiation in Planetary Atmospheres [.pdf]
Professor Boyd Tolton of the University of Toronto has posted these pages giving course notes, problem sets, and solutions (.pdf). The problem sets are printer-ready. The first course deals with topics such as satellite orbits, radiative transfer, and remote sounding. The second course covers the laws of solar and planetary radiation and the climatic effects of radiation. This is a good resource for acollege student seeking practice problems. [HCS]
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From special reports on current climate-related topics (e.g., La Nina, Antarctic ice) to recent updates on storm conditions across the globe, the Australian Website offers an up-to-date, educational adventure for the general viewer. By reporting on current, wind-related human events (such as sailing and ballooning), the site emphasizes the influence of global climate on local events. While the site does not attempt to describe the complex science behind every climate patterns or event, some sections are very informative, and the intriguing twist that accompanies each story makes this a useful learning supplement for a more in-depth course. [LXP]
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Millennium Prize Problems [.pdf]
At their May meeting in Paris, The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts (CMI) named seven "Millennium Prize Problems," including The Poincare Conjecture and the Navier-Stokes Existence and Smoothness problem. Each solution is worth a $1 million prize from the Board of Directors of the CMI. The strict rules of competition (for example, a proposed solution must be published in a refereed mathematics journal of worldwide repute and also have general acceptance in the mathematics community two years before being considered for the prize) as well as a statement of purpose are available at the site. The historical background given on Hibert, the German mathematician who formulated 23 classic problems that "have inspired and guided the minds of mathematicians throughout the last century," is an insightful read for scholars of mathematics. [HCS]
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Tour Canada from Space
The Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing, an internationally recognized leading center for use of earth-observation data, (described in the May 24, 2000 Scout Report for Science and Engineering) offers this tour of Canada from space. Satellite images of such features as national parks, Arctic islands, and even cityscapes are presented. The main page contains a clickable map of Canada for speedy access to the images. Every province is represented, and new images are indicated. For each image displayed, users can click hypertext to highlight fluvial features, agricultural plots, etc. on the image. Also, an explanation, with links, of the remote sensing technology used for each image is provided. [HCS]
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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:

Biology in the News -- NBII
The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) maintains this nice metasite of current science news sites. The sites listed here offer daily science news stories, features on hot science topics (emphasizing US Geological Survey findings), and links to scientific magazines and newsletters. For researchers, educators, and students interested in following the cutting edge of science news, this metasite covers the best. [LXP]
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Arctic Asteroid!
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) news service provides this report on the composition of the meteor that put on a brilliant sky show before landing in Western Canada this January. The fragments of the meteorite fell into a frozen lake, so they were not recovered for study until the lake began to thaw this April. Analyses of the pieces that were recovered suggest that the fallen object had a relatively rare composition and was "...about seven meters across and 200 to 250 metric tons. This wasn't your average meteoroid -- it was basically a C-class asteroid detonating in the atmosphere over the Arctic!" says Dr. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. Visit the site for the full report. [HCS]
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New Publications

Five from Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) [.zip]
1. "Denning Behavior of Non-gravid Wolves"
2. "Twenty-year Home-range Dynamics of a White-tailed Deer Matriline"
3. "Lack of Reproduction in Muskoxen and Arctic Hares Caused by Early Winter?"
4. "Collecting on the Prairie: Early Oologists in North Dakota"
5. "Uncommon Breeding Birds in North Dakota: Population Estimates and Frequencies of Occurrence"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has posted five newly online resources at the Center's homepage. These scientific articles were originally published in print journals, but are fully (and freely) available here, complete with figures. The first resource, by L. David Mech and others, was published in 1995 in Canadian Field Naturalist [110(2):343-345]. The paper describes denning behaviors of pseudopregnant and ovariectomized wolves. The second resource, by Michael E. Nelson and L. David Mech, was published in 1999 in Canadian Journal of Zoology [77:1128-1135]. The paper examines home-range dynamics and seasonal migration of a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) matriline. The third paper, by L. David Mech, was just published in 2000 in Arctic [53(1):69-71]. This article offers an alternative hypothesis (weather-based) for the 1997-98 decline in muskox and arctic hare populations on Ellesmere Island. The fourth paper, by Louis N. Hafermehl, was originally published in 1990 in North Dakota History [57(1):30-36]. The paper describes the early practice of oology (study of eggs), from 1800 to the early 1900s, in North Dakota. The final paper is by authors Lawrence D. Igl, Douglas H. Johnson, and Harold A. Kantrud, and was originally published in 1999 in Canadian field-Naturalist [113(4):646-651]. The paper presents statewide population estimates and frequencies of occurrence of uncommon species, based on surveys conducted in 1967, 1992, and 1993. All papers may be downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]

Solid State Sciences on Chem Web Library [.pdf]
ChemWeb has recently added Solid State Sciences from Elsevier Science to its Library page, which currently allows users to access seventeen free journals (users must register -- no-cost -- at ChemWeb to access the journals; once registered, proceed to the Library page). Full text articles (.pdf), beginning with January 2000 will be available until December 2000. [HCS]

"Climate Change Policy" -- RFF [.pdf]
Experts Jason Shogren and Michael Toman wrote this discussion paper (00-22) on the economics of climate change policy, recently posted on the Resources for the Future (RFF) Website. The paper (.pdf format) examines the risks of climate change, the benefits of protection from climate change, and the costs of alternative protection policies. Also included is a summary of key policy lessons and knowledge gaps. [LXP]

Lithogeochemical Character of Near-surface Bedrock in the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Thames River Basins
This newly released United States Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report covers the lithogeochemistry (carbonate/ clastic content, metamorphic type, and igneous type) of bedrock of Connecticut, western Massachusetts, eastern Vermont, western New Hampshire, and small parts of Rhode Island, New York, and Quebec, Canada. The lithogeochemical rock units also are grouped into nine lithologic and physiographic provinces and three major regions: (1) western highlands and lowlands, (2) central lowlands, and (3) eastern highlands. [HCS]

Unwelcome Neighbors: Civil Rights and the Environment
The Times-Picayune newspaper has posted this series of news articles on environmental justice, published in print from May 21 through May 24, 2000. Beginning with the phrase "History, geography and the legacy of latent if not outright racism have conspired to place factories, dumps and chemical plants next to the poor," the series covers environmental policy and politics, public health, and economic development issues. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jobs in Soil Science
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Young Scientist Programme -- INTAS/ NIS
Deadline: August 31, 2000

Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences
Preliminary proposal deadline: June 15, 2000
Full proposal deadline: September 1, 2000

Synthesis and Modeling Project of the U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (USJGOFS): The Role of Oceanic Processes in the Global Carbon Cycle -- NSF
Deadline: September 13, 2000

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance E-Team Program
Deadline: December 15, 2000
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Fifth International Symposium on the Biology of Terrestrial Isopods (Oniscidea)
May 19-23, 2001: Irakleio, Crete (Greece)
Registration deadline; June 30, 2000
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2000

Summit 2000: The Geological Society of America Annual Meeting
November 9-18, 2000; Reno, Nevada
Abstract deadline: Paper -- July 25, 2000; Electronic -- August 1, 2000

Ecology of Insular Biotas
February 12-16, 2001; Wellington, New Zealand
Pre-registration: June 15, 2000
Abstract deadline: October 1, 2000

Tenth International Symposium on Water Rock Interaction (WRI-10)
June 10-15, 2001; Sardinia, Italy
Abstract deadline: July 1, 2000
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New Data

Gridded Population of the World (GPW)
This multifaceted database from Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) offers best-available human census data in a newly revised, straightforward format. Designed "to facilitate the use of population data in interdisciplinary research," the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) database marks a breakthrough in data format (and therefore simplifies analyses) -- enabling researchers to incorporate human population distribution and density data into their efforts. The site contains numerous images of 1995 human population (at the global and continental scales), in addition to GPW data (including population estimates and densities for 1990 and 1995). Instructions for downloading data and images are provided online. [LXP]
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Seawinds on QuikScat Daily Wind Report [QuickTime, FTP]
"The goal of this effort is to process the QuikScat winds in near real-time (within hours after data acquisition) and make the wind information available to the general public in the form of QuickTime movies, Gif and Jpeg images, " says the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of their Daily Wind Report site. Visitors to this site, which is part of the JPL's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC), may view color animations of seawind movements and access wind data inferred from measurements of the SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikScat spacecraft (QuickTime, FTP). The animations, updated approximately every fourteen hours, cover East and West Pacific, Eastern US Seaboard, Indian Ocean, and Hurricane Alleys of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Users can view cloud overlays with each animation. The page contains an "under construction" warning, but no major problems exist. [HCS]
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Fungus 2000 Database
Launched by the British Mycological Society, the Fungus 2000 Database initiative was established "to record at least 2000 species of fungi from the British Isles in the year 2000 and, equally as important, to produce a millennium collection of one dried voucher specimen for each species recorded." The Fungus 2000 Database provides details on the first collections of species made during the year 2000, listed in alphabetical order (scientific name only). Each data entry describes the species name (scientific name only), associated organism(s), location of specimen, date of collection, reference data, and (in some cases) a distribution map for the species. As of early May, 2000, nearly 800 specimens have been included in the database. [LXP]
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Five New Data Sets from the National Snow and Ice Data Center [Java, .pdf]
The site includes data from Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project Digital Elevation Model (RAMP DEM); State of the Cryosphere; Previously Classified Imagery of the Arctic Ocean; the Historical Soviet Daily Snow Depth (HSDSD) Version Two; and a Summary of Ice-Motion Mapping Using Passive Microwave Data (.pdf). The RAMP DEM data are available in ARC/INFO, binary, and ASCII text formats. The State of the Cryosphere page features photographic and satellite images of sea ice thickness, snow cover, etc. The SHEBA (Surface Heat Balance of the Arctic) project provides the previously classified imagery of the Arctic Ocean. The new version of the HSDSD contains data spanning from 1881 to 1995, improved data quality control, an HTML interface, and a Java tool for data browsing and extraction (ASCII). Note: Data come in a variety of formats and may require special software to read. [HCS]
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In The News

Fire Under the Sea: Submarine Volcanoes, Ridges, and Vents
1. "What a Blast . . . Witnessing the Birth of an Island"
2. "Scientists Witness Birth of New Island" [RealPlayer]
3. "Fire from the Sea"
4. Submarine Volcanoes, Ridges, and Vents
5. Submarine Volcanoes
6. Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Vents Program [.mpeg, FTP, .zip, .dbf, .shx, .shp]
7. Vents Geology Program [.mpeg]
8. Petrological Database of the Ocean Floor [.pdf, Excel]
9. Hawaii Mapping Research Group: East Pacific Rise Online Data [.ps, .pdf]
10. On-line Database of The Field Museum's Collection of Hydrothermal Vent Invertebrates
11. "Active 14,000-Foot-High Submarine Volcano Found Near Samoa In South Pacific"
12. Axial Seamount Volcanic Event, January, 1998 [.mpeg]
To the excitement of the scientific community, geologists witnessed the birth of a new island in the Solomon Islands on May 26th. The island is being formed by the submarine eruption of Kavachi, an undersea volcano that had been dormant for nine years. This week's In the News covers the topic of submarine volcanoes and vents with press releases and photos of the most recent eruptions and a number of research sites containing physical, geological, and some biological information about these phenomena (for sites that concentrate on the biology of submarine vents, refer to the February 17, 1999 Scout Report for Science and Engineering).

The first two sites are related to the recent eruption of a new island in the Solomon Islands. (1) is the press release from the Sydney Morning Herald.(2) is from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and contains a (RealPlayer) video taken from the R.V. Franklin, the research vessel used to explore the eruption. The third site (3) is also a press release: Time Magazine Europe's coverage of submarine volcanoes of the Mediterranean. To obtain regularly updated information on submarine volcanoes and related structures, visit the site (4) provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The Submarine Volcanoes, Seamounts, and Mountain Chains section contains information about specific localities (Kavachi, Solomon Islands, for example). Other features of the site include a menu of volcano types, information about seafloor spreading and plate tectonics, and details of Hawaiian volcanoes. Another good informational site is the Submarine Volcano section (5) of Volcano World (the entire Volcano World site was described in the December 9, 1998 Scout Report for Science and Engineering). Two sites from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration provide details of current research: (6) is the main page of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Vents program, which conducts research on the impacts of submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal vents on the global ocean; (7) is the homepage of the Vents Geology Program. Both of these NOAA sites contain images, videos and data from NeMO (New Millennium Observatory Network) (.fli, .mov, .mpg). Lamont-Doherty Laboratory's Petrological Database of the Ocean Floor (8) and Hawaii Mapping Research Group's East Pacific Rise Online Data site (9) provide data sets from seafloor volcano and vent observatories. The Field Museum of Natural History Collections Department provides an online, searchable database of marine vent invertebrates (10) as a tool for potential users of the collection to obtain advance information about material available by loan or for on-site study. The hydrothermal vent-dwelling invertebrates were collected from the Juan de Fuca Ridge from the East Pacific Ridge. Finally, slightly older news includes an item about the gigantic submarine volcano found smoking off the coast of Samoa (11) and NOAA's account of the Axial Seamount eruption off the coast of Oregon (12) that includes color images and MPEG videos. [HCS]
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