The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - June 21, 2000

June 21, 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


The USDA UVB Radiation Monitoring Program [.pdf]
Initiated in 1992 through a grant to Colorado State University, the UVB Radiation Monitoring Program is a project of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). The program provides information on "the geographical distribution and temporal trends of UVB (ultraviolet-B) radiation in the United States." Given the increasing levels of ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere, researchers are interested in assessing the potential impacts of UVB on agricultural crops and forests. This interesting Website offers an overview of the monitoring program, including a clickable map of data collection stations throughout the US, recent UV data (UV-B, UVA, etc.), a summary of research programs, instrumentation used in monitoring UV, a primer on UVB radiation (.pdf format), and much more. The bibliography and the Related Links section point users to additional resources. [LXP]
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New York Journal of Mathematics [.pdf, .ps]
The New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM), based at the State University of New York, Albany, is the first electronic general journal of mathematics. This online journal is refereed by mathematicians at top North American universities and provides high quality articles (1994-present) covering topics in matrix and linear algebra, geometry, and other general math. Users can read the articles in a variety of formats (.pdf, .ps, .txt, .gif), and view the NYJM with full graphics or through the "no frills" option, ideal for readers with older browsers. A search engine, links to mirror sites and to authors (when available), and submission instructions are also available. [HCS]
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Land Margin Ecosystems Research (LMER)
Developed in the 1990s by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Land Margin Ecosystems Research (LMER) Program conducts research on the present and future function of coastal environments. The goals of LMER are "to increase the understanding of the organization and function of land-margin ecosystems, the linkages between these systems and adjacent terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and the impacts of major natural environmental perturbations in these regions." Four sites form the current emphasis of LMER research: Chesapeake Bay, Columbia River, Georgia Rivers, and Plum Island Sound. The LMER Website provides links to each of these homepages as well as to those of two former research sites (Waquoit Bay and Tomales Bay). Those interested in research descriptions, summary data, or publications should follow links to each focal site. [LXP]
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Optimization Technology Center [Java]
Provided by Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University, this site features a clever "Optimization Tree" from which users can explore different subfields of numerical optimization and view outlines of the major algorithms in each area by clicking on the "branches." Topics are arranged into discrete (e.g., integer programming), continuous constrained (e.g., linear programming), and continuous unconstrained (e.g., global optimization, nonlinear least squares) sections with the connections among them noted on the "tree." This site also contains a software guide with links, a search engine, a voluminous FAQ page, and wonderful interactive demonstrations (in HTML format with Java applets and AMPL pages also available). [HCS]
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CALFED Bay-Delta Program
The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is a collaborative effort of public, state, and federal agencies, working to "restore ecological health and improve water management" of the Bay-Delta system. A complex network of waterways that meet at the intersection of the San Francisco Bay (salt water), Sacramento River, and San Joaquin River (fresh water), the natural health of the Bay-Delta system has deteriorated due to water management and environmental problems. The CALFED Bay-Delta Program Website provides background information on the program's research foci (ecosystem restoration, storage programs, water use efficiency, etc.) and access to publications and reports, upcoming events (including a scientific conference), related news, and a useful collection of links. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

What is Photosynthesis?
The Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis (Arizona State University) maintains this exceptional metapage on photosynthesis. The page lists dozens of Websites, with brief descriptions of each site's contents as well as the target level of the information (middle school through undergraduate). Websites featured include online scientific articles, educational materials requiring varying levels of technical mastery, descriptions of research programs, and a collection of "brief bits of information and amazing facts." For students of photosynthesis and educators seeking high quality online information, this page will be a godsend. [LXP]
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Crystal Lattice Structures
The US Naval Research Laboratories (NRL) maintains this Website containing 2-D images (HTML) of 78 crystal lattice structures (e.g., body-centered-cubic, hexagonal-close packed, carbon, silicon). The index of structures can be searched by Pearson Symbol, Space Group, or Strukturbericht Designation. On each page, the structure can be viewed from different perspectives, and information about atomic number, vector diagrams, and atom coordinates is available. The site also contains a bibliography and a programming information page, both with hyperlinks. [HCS]
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The THCME Medical Biochemistry Page
Provided by Dr. Michael W. King of the Terre Haute Center for Medical Education, this stellar resource offers a wealth of biochemistry information, from the basic chemistry of biomolecules to Glycosaminoglycans and mucopolysaccharides. Designed with the undergraduate in mind, each section contains full-text descriptions of a particular subject with accompanying illustrations, tables, figures, and references. Users looking for further information on any topic can use the MedHunt search engine from the front page here to search multiple online medical sources. For any student of biochemistry, this resource will be a valuable asset. [LXP]
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Athena Oceans [Excel]
Athena Earth and Space Science for K-12 (sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) provides this online lesson in oceanography. Although the site is geared toward K-12 students, much of the material is suitable for introductory college courses. Students can learn how to read drifter buoy tracking data and false color satellite maps in the lessons provided. Teaching aids include color maps and downloadable data sets (Excel). The site's information, with links, about whale migration and life habits and the El Nino phenomenon make the study of oceanography particularly engaging. [HCS]
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General Interest

Relativistic Heavy Ion Supercollider [.mpeg]
Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Supercollider (RHIC) facility provides this information-rich Website about the physics and engineering of the world's newest and biggest particle accelerator. RHIC made news recently when it produced an ion collision similar to one that might have occurred during the universe's "big bang." Highlights of this site include a virtual tour with full color photos and animations that provide an atom's-eye view of the collider's interior (MPEG). Secondary school and college students will find the site's lessons about the physics of heavy ion supercolliding and the physics primer page especially informative. Descriptions of RHIC's ongoing experiments, equipment, environmental impact information, and a cool fact sheet are also featured. Be sure to visit the First Collisions page for information about the news-making experiment. [HCS]
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Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG)
Crocodilian Photo Gallery
Operating under the auspices of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of IUCN, The World Conservation Union, the Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) is "a worldwide network of biologists, wildlife managers, government officials, independent researchers, non-governmental organization representatives, farmers, traders, tanners, fashion leaders, and private companies actively involved in the conservation of alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials in the wild." The CSG Homepage outlines the mission and goals of the Group, describes CSG programs on crocodile conservation, and lists numerous publications. Also at the site are links to scientific meetings, a crocodile newsletter, and the Crocodile Photo Gallery (correct link provided above). For anyone interested in crocodiles, this is an interesting and worthwhile resource. [LXP]
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Two on Amorphous Computing:
"Computing with Molecules"
MIT Amorphous Computing
These two sites cover the interesting new frontier of molecular computing, which links molecular biology with computer science. The article "Computing with Molecules" from Scientific American's June issue (available for free online) describes how researchers are using organic molecules to perform simple logic operations. This technology is important because it could be used to make extremely tiny computers. The second site is Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Amorphous Computing homepage. Amorphous computing is defined by the MIT amorphous computer engineers as "methods for instructing myriads of programmable entities to cooperate to achieve particular goals," and sometimes involves the use of organic molecules. In the News, Research, and Demos are among the pages available at the site. The demonstration of "gunk" software is particularly informative and unusual (HSLIM software required). [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:

Two Climate Updates:
"U.S. has its Warmest January-April on Record"
Mar-May climate in Historical Perspective
Although their record-breaking announcement was overlooked by many major news networks, NOAA announced that this year the United States recorded its warmest January-April temperatures ever. Results for climate conditions through May will be available in mid-June. Meanwhile, the NOAA news release at the first URL above offers descriptions of the nation's January-April climate status plus summary information on temperatures, precipitation, global data, and links to several data centers. The second site is also from NOAA and provides a global overview of climate from March through May of 2000 including reports on precipitation, temperature, wind, pressure, and extreme events such as drought organized by regions of the world and of the United States. Maps and charts available include the Palmer Drought Index, global mean surface temperature anomalies, and liquid water coverage, among others. [LXP][HCS]
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MacArthur Fellows 2000
Winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, or "genius grant," are chosen for their originality, independence, and display of promise for future endeavors in their field. This year's 25 winners represent a wide array of pursuits, from comic book art to marine conservation. The MacArthur Foundation offers this site containing biographies of the current Fellows as well as general information about the Fellowship and past winners. The colorful biographies are sure to inspire future geniuses. [HCS]
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New Publications

Recent Publications of the Southern Research Station: Spring 2000 -- Forest Service [.pdf, MS Word]
The USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station has posted recent publications for the Spring 2000 period. The dozens of publications listed here cover a wide array of topics, including riparian ecology, plant polyphenols research, wildlife ecology, and much more. Abstracts are given at the site, and full articles may be downloaded as .pdf and Word files. [LXP]

Recent Publications of the Pacific Northwest Research Station: First Quarter 2000 [.pdf]
The US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station has released a summary (.pdf format) of publications for the period January-April 2000. Recent publications on Economics, Fire, Fish, Plant Ecology, and Silviculture may be downloaded in full as .pdf files (URLs are provided in the .pdf summary). Other publications for which abstracts (but not full-text) are available include Botany, Ecosystem Structure and Function, Invertebrates, Landscape Ecology, and Watershed Management, among other topics. [LXP]

"An Investigation of the Feasibility of Employing Hydroacoustic Monitoring as a Means to Detect the Presence and Movement of Large, Adult Eels (Genus Anguilla)"
This 1999 USGS research report by Alex Haro and others was produced in response to the possible decline in American eel populations. Prompted by the lack of information on the behavior of downstream migrant eels at hydroelectric dams and other obstructions, researchers used hydroacoustic monitoring to attempt to monitor "the spatial and temporal patterns of behavior of large (> 70 cm) eels in hydroelectric forebays." The report may be browsed online or downloaded as a self-extracting file (1300K). [LXP]

"Nature's Place: Human Population and the Future of Biological Diversity"
.pdf file [3900K]
Authors Dr. Richard Cincotta and Robert Engleman wrote this report on Human Population and the Future of Biological Diversity, available in part at the Population Action International (PAI) Website. The report tackles several key questions, including "Does human population growth really matter to species loss? Can policies and programs significantly influence human population trends, and can they do this while upholding the basic human right of couples and individuals to make their own decisions about reproduction, free from interference?" A Summary and selected sections of the report may be browsed at the Website. Users may download the full report as a .pdf file. [LXP]

Two Information Handouts from the USGS:
Environmental Processes that Affect Mineral Deposits in the Eastern United States
Stable Isotopes and Mineral Resource Investigations in the United States
The first site above offers a handout recently released from the USGS that focuses upon issues of acid mine drainage. The text emphasizes that remediation techniques must be tailored to a site's specific climatic and hydrologic setting. Preliminary research results on the following localities are discussed: Bald Mountain, Maine; Fontana and Hazel Creek Mines, Great Smoky Mountains; the Vermont Copper Belt; and Contrary Creek and Prince William Forest Park, Virginia. The second USGS handout is a page providing a good, brief summary of stable isotope techniques and applications in the geosciences. A map indicating the locations of current USGS stable isotopic studies accompanies the text. A discussion of mineral weathering effects and case studies from ore deposits in Maine and North Carolina complement the general overview. [HCS]

Careers in Ecology: for highschool students [.pdf]
Careers in Ecology: for undergraduate students [.pdf]
The Ecological Society of America has recently published two brochures on careers in ecology. Targeting highschool and undergraduate students, respectively, the brochures (.pdf format) describe the different fields of ecology and suggest ways of making steps towards becoming a professional ecologist. [LXP]

Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse: Newsletter
Launched in 1998 and funded by a combination of organizations, the Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse collects, compiles, and disseminates information on the tools, techniques, and strategies necessary to manage "growth" (human expansion) while promoting "the best land use practices." The Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse Newsletter is a free, weekly electronic newsletter that summarizes current news and provides links to related news stories and Websites. Users may browse issues online (archive is listed at the bottom of the last page) or receive issues through a free email subscription. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

BioView: Biopharmaceutical Jobs, News, and Information

Ecology and Conservation Jobs and Careers

American Mathematical Society (e-Math) Employment Listings
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Initiative on Sensing and Imaging Technologies for Multi-use Applications -- NSF
Deadline: September 15, 2000

The Merrill Lynch Innovation Grants Competition
Deadline: December 15, 2000

Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program for Research Related to Education
Application request deadline: October 6, 2000
Complete application deadline: October 18, 2000
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International Conference on Distance Sampling
July 30-August 3, 2001
St Andrews, Scotland
Registration: begins July 2000
Abstract deadline: TBA

Computational Physics
December 3-8, 2000
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Abstracts deadline: July 15, 2000

Sixth International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology
July 21-26, 2001
Jena, Germany
Pre-registration deadline: October 31, 2000
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2000

Joint Mathematics Meetings: AMS, MAA, AWM, and NAM
January 10-13, 2001
New Orleans, Louisiana
Deadline for special session contributed papers: August 8, 2000
Summary deadline: September 15, 2000
Abstract deadline: October 3, 2000

Riparian Habitat and Floodplains Conference
March 14-17, 2001
Sacramento, California
Abstract deadline: November 17, 2000
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New Data

Iceberg Images at AMRC (Antarctic Meteorology Research Center)
AMRC Real-Time Data
Recently, a new set of icebergs broke off the Ronne Ice Shelf. These data, centralized at the Iceberg Page (provided by the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), include the latest color-enhanced images of the Ross Ice Shelf Iceberg and links to additional resources. For a variety of Real-time data, see the AMRC Real-Time Data site. [LXP]
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A Tapestry of Time and Terrain [.pdf, .zip]
The US Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled existing topographic and geologic maps of the lower 48 states of the United States into a single digital tapestry. "The resulting composite is the most detailed and accurate portrait of the U.S. land surface and the ages of its underlying rock formations yet displayed in the same image." At this site, viewers may download the maps and the full dataset used. The link to the USGS's tapestry Website of the front page provides information on how the map was made (.pdf, .zip). [HCS]
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CRiSP1 Passage: Columbia River Salmon Passage Model and Data -- UW
The CRiSP1 Passage Columbia River Salmon Passage Model, developed by researchers at the University of Washington, "predicts downstream migration and survival of individual stocks of wild and hatchery spawned juvenile fish from the tributaries and dams of the Columbia and Snake rivers to the estuary." At the site, viewers may download the CRiSP1 Passage model (v1.6.0) in addition to PATH Spring and Fall Chinook Data Files (self-extracting files). [LXP]
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In The News

Banning Off-Road Vehicles from the Nation's Parks
1. "U.S. Park Service Orders Snowmobile Ban in Denali" -- ENN [free registration required]
2. "Park Service Bans Snowmobiles" -- ENN [free registration required]
3. "Watercraft Banned From Most National Parks" -- ENN [free registration required]
4. "Congress Moves to Protect Tranquility in National Parks"
5. "15 Most Endangered Wildlands, 2000": The Wilderness Society
6. National Park Service
7. Wildlands CPR (Center for Preventing Roads)
9. Bureau of Land Management: National OHV Strategy
10. National Parks Conservation Association
On June 9, the US Park Service ordered a ban on snowmobiles in a core area of Denali National Park. This announcement came in the wake of successful public outcry against Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) -- including the banning of snowmobiles from most US national parks (except Alaska) in late April, and a similar banning of jet skis in late March. At a time when most Americans are parking their fuel-efficient cars in favor of gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicles, the recent limitations placed on recreational vehicles are welcomed by many environmentalists. However, other environmental groups are disappointed by what they consider overly mild restrictions. This week's In The News takes a look at the June order and offers information on Off-Road Vehicle use and the US National Park system.

The first news resource from Environmental News Network (ENN) highlights the recent order to ban snowmobiles in Denali (1). The second and third resources, also from ENN, describe the ban on snowmobiles (2) and jet skis (3) from most national parks . For information on a March 2000 bill restricting tourist aircraft flights over some of the nation's parks, see this news release from the National Parks Conservation Association (4). An important factor behind the restriction on ORV use in national parks is discussed in this report, by The Wilderness Society (TWS). Outlined here (5) are TWS's fifteen most endangered wildlands of the US and the reasons these areas are considered most endangered. For a wealth of information on the National Park Service (NPS) and its mission, see the NPS homepage (6). The Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads (7) is a group of grassroots conservation activists and conservation biologists who work together "to protect and restore wildland ecosystems by preventing and removing roads and limiting motorized recreation." For the ORV perspective, this commercial Website (8) gives a proud profile of Off-Road Vehicles and the values of some of their more anti-environmental owners. This year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a national strategy "for ensuring environmentally responsible Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use on BLM-managed public lands." At the National OHV Strategy Website (9) users are given the option to comment on OHV use on BLM-managed public lands. Finally, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a nonprofit watchdog group for the National Park System, offers a wealth of information on National Parks (10) and how others can help protect them. [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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