The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - July 19, 2000

July 19, 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


Two on Weather from NOAA
The Perfect Storm
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides these two Websites on weather. The first site serves as a major hub for information related to weather, with links to primary data sources, forecasts, maps, images (such as the latest satellite imagery for North America), and a wealth of other data, including space weather. Researchers will also find links to national weather research centers and other related agencies. The second site is narrower in scope but still of interest to weather researchers and to the public at large. Here, NOAA offers historical information, satellite images, and detailed text on the agency's coverage of the now-famous monster storm of October 1991, which sank the Andrea Gail.[LXP]
[Back to Contents]

The Carbon Cycle Science Program [.pdf]
The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) provides this site with the purpose of supplying "critical unbiased scientific information on the fate of carbon dioxide in the environment to contribute to the ongoing public dialogue." The USGCRP's focus for the fiscal year 2000 is on determining the location, magnitude, and use of carbon sinks in North America. Sections of the site include Current Research Activities, Contacts, Program and Science Planning, and Meetings and Workshops. Users can download The Carbon Cycle Science Plan in .pdf format and also obtain specific, current information on the background and goals of the Carbon Cycle Science Program initiative. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

The Postcode Plants Database
The Postcode Plants Database, highlighting native plants and wildlife of the UK, is maintained by the Natural History Museum, London (described in the September 17, 1997 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). A joint project of Flora-for-Fauna and the Natural History Museum, the database attempts "to encourage gardeners and other horticulturists to plant the native trees, shrubs and flowers which are local to their areas." The Postcode Plants Database also serves a useful function to botanists and ecologists. By querying a postal district (Postcode), users may access flora and fauna lists for "any of the 2670 Postal Districts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including the Orkneys, Shetlands (including Fair Isle) and Hebrides, the Isle of Man and the Scilly Isles." This impressive database may also be searched by common or scientific name, and includes information on Family and Provenance, and where available, Form, Conservation status, Protected status, Garden status, and a color photograph. Note that the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands are not yet included. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Long Valley Observatory
The still active Long Valley Caldera, California, the topic of this site, is under study and monitoring by the US Geological Survey (USGS). Featured data of this Website include current conditions, long-term outlook, volcanic activity of the Mono Lake area, and earthquake, deformation, and gas emission and geothermal activity. The graphs, figures, and tables are updated regularly with the newest data. Examples include pressure/ strain graphs, maps of seismic activity, and water level and barometric changes in wells. The image gallery contains nice shots of the caldera rim, volcanic flows, and the stunning scenery of the area. This is a good resource for geoscientists interested in volcanic monitoring. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

West Nile Virus Maps
One of the potential effects of global climate change is the spread of disease to new areas, as the vectors of those diseases (e.g., mosquitoes, birds) expand into new locations in response to shifting climate conditions. Although the direct cause of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the United States is not known, the National Atlas of the US Geological Survey (reviewed in the June 26, 1998 Scout Report) has recently launched this new resource on WNV distribution. First documented in the US during the summer of 1999 and previously limited to Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and the Middle East, the West Nile Virus is of danger to humans as it interferes with "normal central nervous system functioning" and can cause encephalitis. This site describes WNV Surveillance Activity for the year 2000 and offers a series of maps highlighting the US distribution of WNV cases found in humans, wild birds, chickens, mosquitoes, and veterinary clinics. A series of links point to further information on the virus. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources

Three Internet Resources from Wiley InterScience
Wiley Anatomy Website
Wiley Neuroscience Website
Wiley Genetics Website
Wiley InterScience (described in the October 3, 1997 Scout Report) is the online journal service for John Wiley & Sons. As part of their contribution to the information highway, InterScience offers three separate Internet resource centers featuring anatomy, neuroscience, and genetics. Each Website is intended as a gateway for researchers and educators in relevant disciplines, and includes discussion about and links to Wiley publications (journals). While access to all Wiley publications is not free, several sample articles are provided for each journal. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Global Ice Core Research
This informative site from the US Geological Survey (USGS) covers the latest ice-core research projects from around the world, including sites in Nepal, Norway, and Kyrghyzstan. Authored by researchers at the Global Ice core Research Office, the site contains an overview of the mid-latitude and polar glaciers, isotopic methods in glacial research, and applications to paleoclimatology. Links to maps, figures, and in some cases, full-text articles (HTML) about specific glaciers are available, and the site is peppered with color photos of glacial environments. Links to biographies of the scientists involved in the project, contacts, and other snow and ice sites are also listed. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Killer Whales [QuickTime]
The SeaWorld Education Department maintains this useful learning resource on Killer Whales. Organized into a dozen categories, the site covers Scientific Classification, Habitat and Distribution, Physical Characteristics, Senses, Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment, Behavior, Diet and Eating Habits, Reproduction, Birth and Care of Young, Communication and Echolocation, and Longevity and Causes of Death. In addition, there is a listing of Books for Young Readers, a Bibliography, a hyperlinked Index/ Glossary, and classroom activities for grades 4-8. Although the sections contain mainly text, there are several crisp black-and-white photographic images, color illustrations, film clips (QuickTime), and a live cam recording of killer whales in San Diego's SeaWorld. For curious beginners or anyone wanting to learn a lot about killer whales, this is a fine baseline resource. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Chemistry Functions
Perform molar conversions, balance equations, study an interactive periodic table, all with the click of a mouse at Stanford University's Chemistry Function site. An ideal resource for undergraduate chemistry students, this site features a number of straightforward pages that allow users to perform chemistry tasks. For instance, users can perform molar conversions by entering enter grams, moles, or particles and use a lookup table for atomic weights. Another page allows users to enter an unbalanced equation (instructions provided), push the "Balance" button and see their equation solved. Cooperatively authored by professors at Stanford, the Chemistry Functions site is an excellent study aid. Note that some features are still under construction. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

Antimicrobial Pesticides -- EPA
This newly launched site from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a variety of resources describing how the EPA regulates antimicrobial pesticides. Antimicrobial pesticides are used in a huge variety of household and commercial products to "disinfect, sanitize, reduce, or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms" and to "protect inanimate objects (for example floors and walls), industrial processes or systems, surfaces, water, or other chemical substances from contamination, fouling, or deterioration caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae, or slime." Intended mainly for a regulatory audience, the site includes Antimicrobials Science Policy Documents, Antimicrobials Registration Policy Documents, Label Review Manual, Chemical/ Registration Number Indexes, and Antimicrobial PR notices. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Digital Tectonic Activity Map [.ps, .tiff]
NASA explains that their new site: "The Digital Tectonic Activity Map (DTAM) is a new visualization tool for both researcher and educator alike to better understand tectonic activity of our planet for the past 1 million years. DTAM is a Geographical Information System (GIS) that displays a realistic synoptic view of present global tectonism by filling in the cartographic gap between conventional geological maps and plate reconstruction maps." Maps displaying seismic, interferometry (VLBA), digital tectonic activity (DTA), and global tectonic activity (GTA) can be downloaded in postscript, .gif, or .tiff formats. The DTAM team is under the direction of NASA's Goddard Space Center. This site is an extraordinary resource; for the first time these maps are available in digital format, making current seismic data easily accessible. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

Water Resources Center Archives
Founded in 1957, the Water Resources Center Archives (WRCA) of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) maintains a collection of current and historic water-related materials. The searchable WRCA site provides information on the Center's collections, including Print, Archival, Photograph (sample photos are online -- and are spectacular!), Map, CD-ROM and Video collections. In addition, the site offers information about the WRCA's publications and services, links to relevant Internet resources, and other information. While access to Water Resources Abstracts is restricted to UCB faculty/staff/students, the site's broad coverage of historical and current water information has plenty to offer to other viewers. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Metamath Proof Explorer
Theoretical mathematicians, behold the wondrous Metamath Proof Explorer! This site consists of interconnected Webpages containing over 3,000 completely worked out proofs in logic and set theory. "Each proof is pieced together with razor-sharp precision using simple rules, allowing almost anyone with a technical bent to follow it without difficulty. With point-and-click links, every step can be drilled down deeper and deeper into the labyrinth until axioms will ultimately be found at the bottom. Armchair mathematicians can spend literally days exploring the complex tangle of logic leading, say, from 2 + 2 = 4 back to the axioms of set theory," says the site's coordinator, MIT alumnus Norman Megill. The site makes available basic user instructions, lists of axioms, starting point suggestions, a complete list of theorems (520K), and even a game using the Proof Explorer. This site is ideal as a diversion for mathematicians or for use in advanced, university-level mathematics classes. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]

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:

2MASS Second Incremental Data Release Gallery
The Two Micron All Sky Survey at IPAC
2MASS Homepage
On July 14, NASA announced the public release of a huge collection of images (1.9 million) from the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), the most thorough census of stars ever made. Using two automated, 51-inch telescopes, one in Arizona and the other in Chile, the three-year-old survey has so far taken images of half a million galaxies and 162 million stars. By its completion in 2001, the survey's catalogs will contain more than 300 million objects. A sampling of these images has been placed online at the 2MASS site at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at the California Institute of Technology. The twelve-page gallery contains some amazing images, including the center of the Milky Way, the Sombrero galaxy, the Crab Nebula, and the Dark Nebula, offered as large thumbnails which link to a full-sized image. Users can learn more about 2MASS at the survey's homepages at Caltech and the University of Massachusetts. [MD]
[Back to Contents]

Latest News: North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
This current news site, from the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), is an excellent way to keep track of environmental and regional issues related to trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This news page includes hyperlinked, dated entries for each specific issue. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

New Publications

"Report of the National Drought Policy Commission: Preparing for Drought in the 21st Century" [.pdf]
The National Drought Policy Commission has released this final report. Available for online reading or for download (.pdf format), the report "presents the basis for national drought policy and calls for commitment and resolve in providing sufficient resources to achieve the policy goals." [LXP]

"United States Invasive Species Draft Management Plan: Preparing for the Future" [.pdf]
The National Invasive Species Council, in conjunction with the (non-federal) Invasive Species Advisory Council, has just released the first draft of a national invasive species management plan. The document, in .pdf format, describes "the conceptual framework and preliminary recommendations for federal actions to prevent and control the spread of invasive species within the United States and among other countries." Public comments are welcomed; an email address for commentary is provided in the Foreword. [LXP]

Quantum Information Science Workshop: Proceedings -- NSF
Proceedings from an October 28-29, 1999 workshop in Arlington, Virginia on the emerging field of Quantum Information Science are now online at this National Science Foundation page. The workshop proceedings include text and color figures and provide a substantial overview of the emerging field of "interdisciplinary research and education in science and engineering." [LXP]

Free Access to Three Issues of Trends in Analytical Chemistry [.pdf]
Volumes 6-8 of Trends in Analytical Chemistry are available online for free to members of ChemWeb (no charge, registration required). The special June issue covers Nanoscale chemical analysis. Articles can be downloaded in .pdf format or read as HTML files. [HCS]

Condensed Matter Physics [LaTeX]
Founded in 1993 by the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the journal Condensed Matter Physics is a peer-reviewed, English-language journal covering such aspects of condensed matter as phase transition theory, statistical mechanics of spin and spin-electron systems, metals and alloys, liquids, solutions, electrolytes, surface phenomena, and plasma physics. Selected issues of Condensed Matter Physics from January 1994 to March 2000 are now available free, online in LaTeX format. [HCS]
[Back to Contents]


Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Positions
[Back to Contents]


Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Early Career Award for Applied Ecological Research
Deadline: September 1, 2000

Focused Research Groups in the Mathematical Sciences -- NSF
Letter of Intent Deadline: September 18, 2000
Application Deadline: October 18, 2000

Engineering Information Foundation Grants Program
Deadline: September 30, 2000
[Back to Contents]


Seventh International Symposium on Vaccinium Culture
December 4-9, 2000, Chillan, Chile
Abstract deadline: August 15, 2000

American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Annual Conference
April 23-27, 2001, San Diego, California
Abstract deadline: August 21, 2000

The Alluvial Archaeology of North-West Europe and The Mediterranean
December 18-19, 2000, University of Leeds, UK
Abstract Deadline: August 31, 2000

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
December 15-19, 2000; San Francisco, CA
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2000 (mailed submissions), September 7, 2000, 1400 UTC (Web submissions)
[Back to Contents]

New Data

A Global View from Space
NASA offers this impressive (though slow to load) collection of real-time satellite images of the Earth. Complete with an introductory tour through the geostationary and orbiting satellites that are collecting specific real-time images, the Website offers a series of user-selected views of the Earth's regions. To see the latest real-time satellite images of a certain region, spin the Earth's image in the direction desired, then click on a country outline. For researchers seeking real-time global weather data, or simply for curious Earthlings, this is a worthwhile and interesting data site. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

"Carbon Dioxide, Hydrographic, and Chemical Data Obtained During the R/V Hesperides Cruise in the Atlantic Ocean (WOCE Section A5, July 14-August 15, 1992)" [.for, .dat]
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has recently posted this report on Carbon Dioxide, Hydrographic, and Chemical Data obtained during a 1992 research cruise in the Atlantic Ocean. Conducted as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the R/V Hesperides oceanographic vessel measured total carbon dioxide (TCO2), total alkalinity (TALK), and pH at hydrographic stations throughout the cruise. The report includes methods and data files, in .txt, .dat, and FORTRAN formats. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Water Quality of San Francisco Bay
This data site, from the USGS San Francisco Bay and Delta program, contains several online databases for the San Francisco Bay and Delta region. The site offers newly online nutrient data (for 1984 through 1997), as well as CTD and discrete measurements (1969 to present), daily estimate Delta Outflow Index data (1988 through 1997), and hourly Tidal Height Data (1980 through August 1999). Two query options (Easy/Expert) allow users to search the database by location, date, or data type, and further instructions are provided online. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

In The News

Solar Radiation Storm
1. "Biggest Solar Storm in Six Years Strikes Earth"
2. "Space Radiation Storm"
4. Solar Max 2000 -- Exploratorium
5. Solar-Terrestrial Physics
6. "Fire in the Sky" -- Scientific American article
7. Stanford Solar Center
8. Solar Web Guide
9. Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC) [.mpeg]
10. Sunspot Cycle Predictions
11. NASA: Space Environment Center
This past week has offered much excitement for space weather scientists and enthusiasts, alike. On Friday July 14, a major flare shot off the surface of the sun, pummeling Earth with a massive solar-radiation storm that interfered with satellite and radio communications and delayed a Russian space launch. The flare was one of the most powerful of the current eleven-year solar cycle (and the biggest solar radiation event since 1989) and was followed by a coronal mass ejection -- "a blast of billions of tons of electrically charged atomic particles and magnetic energy hurled in the Earth's direction at 3 million miles an hour" (1). When a very powerful coronal mass ejection hits the Earth's magnetosphere, a shock wave can compress the magnetosphere and unleash a geomagnetic storm -- causing interference with electric power transmission and triggering beautiful aurorae. Friday's flare was one of three storms last week, and the biggest since a small solar storm made the news in June (see the June 9, 2000 Scout Report for additional resources). Although this weekend's storms have diminished, more activity is anticipated as the sunspot group that is producing flares (region 9077) will continue to face the earth for another week.

The first resource, from, describes the recent solar storm and offers images and background information (1).
NASA's news release also provides text and several spectacular images describing how and why solar flares occur (2). For further information on space weather, this site from offers current news, images, and links to related resources (3). The Solar Max 2000 site from the Exploratorium (4) (previously featured in the February 18, 2000 Scout Report) offers further information and images of the sun, with numerous links to additional sites. For those looking for more technical information, the following sites should be of interest, especially to researchers: the Solar-Terrestrial Physics site from the National Geophysical Data Center (5), offering "data pertaining to solar activity, the ionosphere, and geomagnetic variations"; a June 20, 2000 Scientific American article on solar flares (6); Stanford University's Solar Center homepage (7); and the Solar Web Guide (8), which contains a collection of links on solar physics in conjunction with the Yohkoh Observatory (Japan). Further scientific resources, current images, and movies (.mpeg) may be found at the Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC), maintained by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (9), and sunspot cycle predictions are given at this site from the Marshall Space Flight Center (10). Finally, NASA's Space Environment Center (11) is a reliable source for space weather alerts, warnings, and forecasts. [LXP]
[Back to Contents]

Scout Report for Science & Engineering Subscription Instructions

To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering every other Wednesday, join the SRSCIENG mailing list. This is the only mail you will receive from this list.

Internet Scout team member information

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

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.

Susan Calcari
Travis Koplow
Laura X. Payne
Krishna Ramanujan
Hilary Sanders
Pat Coulthard
Alan Foley
Managing Editor
Technical Specialist
Website Administrator

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report for Science & Engineering.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report for Science & Engineering, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2000. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 2000 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.