The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - October 25, 2000

October 25, 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


Verified Syntheses of Zeolitic Materials
From the International Zeolitic Association comes this online version of the special issue of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 22, Issues 4-6, featuring a "cookbook" of "recipes" for making zeolites. Zeolites, of which there are over 100 structure types, occur naturally in some cases, but usually are prepared synthetically. Few are available commercially so researchers wanting to test a zeolite in a new application often must attempt the synthesis of the base zeolite in the laboratory. This book is intended to assist in this endeavor, says the editor, Dr. Harry Robson of Louisiana State University. The recipes can be accessed by material name or structure type. A preface, introductory and explanatory notes, and safety information are provided. The recipes include information on source materials, batch preparation and crystallization instructions, product phase, and XRD characterization. The contributor's name, date of entry, and references accompany each recipe. [HCS]
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National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR)
NERR Centralized Data Management Office
Established in 1972 through the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR) is a network of protected areas representing different types of estuaries and biogeographic regions. Operated by coastal states with input from local communities and regional groups, NERR studies address coastal watershed management issues. The homepage provides an overview of the NERR System with links to specific information on (most) reserves, detailed case studies on six focal reserves, publications and research resources, educational materials, and links to related resources. For reserve data and data on water quality (and associated metadata), see the NERR Centralized Data Management homepage. [LXP]
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International Association of Hydrogeologists
The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) is "a scientific and educational organisation which exists to promote the study and knowledge of hydrogeological science and its application for the common good throughout the world." IAH is an affiliate of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), and their homepage is geared toward scientists and engineers in the field of water resources. Online access to the IAH newsletter, conference schedule and links, and a comprehensive bibliography of all IAH publications are included at the site. The Publications page contains links to free online articles and abstracts. IAH puts out Hydrogeology Journal and International Contributions to Hydrogeology; in addition, IAH publishes Hydrogeology: Selected Papers and IAH Congress Memoirs. IAH's site also features a search engine, addresses of IAH affiliates, and links to other hydrogeological organizations, universities, companies, and sites containing data, maps, and software. [HCS]
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Rotenone Stewardship Program
This Website tackles an important, albeit controversial, tool in fisheries research and management: the use of rotenone, a commonly used chemical piscicide that effectively eradicates all fish in a treated body of water. While piscicide use raises eyebrows from the animal rights community (and others), alternatives are not so obvious. Given the once widespread practice of introducing exotic fish into lakes and streams across the globe (to improve fishing), the first step in restoring these manipulated systems often requires the complete removal of exotic fish, if any approximation of a natural balance is to be recovered. This Website tackles some of the issues associated with the use of rotenone and offers a manual on rotenone use in fisheries management, abstracts from a symposium on the pros and cons of rotenone, a list of experts (and contact information), a discussion forum, and a collection of related links. Provided by the American Fisheries Society, the Website comes from a fisheries perspective but attempts to include other views, as well. [LXP]
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University of Minnesota School of Statistics Software Links
This site, overseen by the School of Statistics at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus), features a variety of links to free statistical software pages. Brief descriptions of the software capabilities and download information are given. FIRM (Formal Inference-based Recursive Modeling), a program that fits dendrographic models, and MacANOVA, a statistical analysis and matrix algebra tool, are two examples of the seven software links provided. [HCS]
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Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory (SBML)
The USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland maintains this research laboratory on the systematics of fungi and vascular plants. SBML research emphasizes biocontrol agents "essential to solving problems in sustainable and conventional agriculture," and asks questions at the morphological, biochemical, and molecular levels. The lab's Website describes SBML's research focus and activities, but its wider value to researchers is the series of links to useful resources on systematics, and the databases on vascular plants and fungi. [LXP]
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Learning Resources [MS Word, .pdf, .zip]
The Microsoft Academic Cooperative Website features curriculum ideas, product information, grant opportunities, free downloads, and resource lists for college-level computing faculty. This site is sponsored by Microsoft corporation so only Microsoft tools are covered. The curriculum section offers tutorials, sample projects and case studies for lessons in Windows, C++, J++, InterDev, Visual Basic, Microsoft Office, Windows CE Toolkits, and SQL Server 7.0. These are downloadable in various formats (.doc, .pdf, .zip), and some of them link to free "online seminars" from Microsoft. Although the site's layout is dense with tiny text, users will find here a number of good links to professional development sites, software documentation, and training and certification programs. [HCS]
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Water Conflict Chronology [.pdf]
Water is the limiting factor for terrestrial life on earth, and as human populations have grown and expanded through the centuries, access to clean water has become increasingly political. To chronicle this process, Dr. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security has compiled this chronology of water conflicts. The resource describes water conflicts starting in 1503, including the date (year), parties involved, basis of conflict, violent conflict, description, and source(s). Water Conflicts are categorized in six ways: Control of Water Resources, Political Tool, Terrorism, Military Target, and Development Disputes. The Chronology is available in HTML or .pdf formats. [LXP]
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Electronics Tutorials
This site offers free tutorials about amplifiers, oscillators, ham radio, filters, power supply, transmitters, receivers, and radio and electronics design as well as basic electronics (Ohm's Law, voltage, resistivity, etc.). The topical pages provide fairly non-technical, clear text with hyperlinks to related topics, schematics, and formulae. For example, the tutorial page for Small Signal Amplifiers has circuit schematics of AC/DC and class A amplifiers, equations for R and Z, and links to pages on Ohm's Law, resistant current, resonant circuit, emitter degeneration, and broad band amplifiers. The "Basics" tutorials each give definitions, formulae, and examples for each of nineteen general electronics terms. Links to equipment specifications for selected amplifiers and receivers, a free monthly newsletter, and a recommended book list (note: takes user to are also featured. The site's administrator is electronics buff Ian Purdie, a licensed radio amateur and former college instructor. [HCS]
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A Web Atlas of Cellular Structures Using Light and Confocal Microscopy
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) hosts this Web Atlas of Cellular Structures, created by UIUC's Imaging Technology Group. Cellular structures are featured in glorious detail in both light and Confocal micrographs, and include multiple images of Nucleus and Microtubules, Actin and Microtubules, Nucleus and Actin, Endoplasmic Reticulum, The Golgi Apparatus, and Stages of Mitosis. In addition to the images, brief summaries give viewers a clear idea of what they are looking at and its significance to a cell. As a learning tool, these Web images and accompanying summaries will be welcome additions to any introductory biology course. [LXP]
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Micro Electric Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Test Structures: 3-Point Analysis
This page offers a program that calculates strain due to change in length of a beam. Written by Janet Marshall of the Micro Electric Mechanical Systems (MEMS) division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), this three-point formula program is the result of research on multi-layered microelectronics such as silicon chips. The program is intended for use by MEMS lab workers but would work well as part of a college-level engineering class exercise. Users can choose either a cantilevered or a fixed-fixed beam and then input sample data (a sample data set is provided) into a form to get an output of strain gradient and out-of-plane curvature. A link to a page showing the formulae used is provided. [HCS]
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General Interest

Online Map Creation [Postscript, Adobe Illustrator]
Online Map Creation (OMC) is an amazing resource for geologists, geographers, or anyone needing to make a map figure for a research paper or conference talk. Here you can create Postscript-formatted maps of just about any locality by inputting geographical coordinates. OMC is a subset of GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) software developed by scientists at University of Hawaii and NOAA. Mercator, equidistant cylindrical, polar stereographic, lambert azimuthal equal-area, azimuthal equidistant, and orthographic projections can be made. Political boundaries, rivers, bathymetry, and topography can be displayed on maps along with tectonic features such as faults and ridges. Specific Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) and Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) sites can also be displayed. Once you enter your desired parameters, a full-color (or b/w if you want) map will be presented as a .gif image or for download in Postscript or Adobe Illustrator format. Neat! Step-by-step instructions are provided. [HCS]
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Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas
Weeds Gone Wild is a project of Plant Conservation Alliance (reviewed in the January 19, 2000 Scout Report for Science & Engineering--}), a consortium of federal and non-federal agencies dedicated to protecting native plants. Targeting viewers ranging from the general public to researchers, this site provides information on "the serious threat and impacts of invasive alien (exotic, non-native) plants to the native flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems of the United States." To that end, the site includes a compiled national list of many invasive plants (Aquatics, Herbs, Vines, Shrubs and Trees); comprehensive background information on invasive species; illustrated fact sheets with plant descriptions, native range, distribution, and habitat in the US; management options and suggested alternative native plants; and other information. A collection of links of experts and organizations rounds out this well-conceived site. [LXP]
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An Introduction and Virtual Field Trip to the Permian Reef Complex, Guadalupe and Delaware Mountains, New Mexico-West Texas
Dr. Peter Scholle, a professor of geology at New Mexico Tech, oversees this site showcasing the geology of the Permian reefs of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The Salado Formation, part of this sequence, has been in the spotlight lately because it contains the newly discovered, 250 million-year-old, salt-dwelling bacteria (see this week's Scout Report's In the News). The classic sedimentary sections of the Guadalupe and Delaware mountains have been well studied because of their magnificent exposures of Permian aged carbonate platform and slope deposits. Each year, geology students flock to the region to learn about sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, and tectonic history, among other things. At this information-rich, well-illustrated site, everyone gets a chance to see and learn about these rocks. Sections of the virtual guidebook feature text with links to the bibliography, and color diagrams and photographs. The site is divided into the following sections: General Settings, Previous Studies, Structural History, Stratigraphic Setting and Nomenclature, Depositional Patterns, Diagenetic Patterns, Recent Models, Oil and Gas Production, and Field Trip and Safety Notes. Especially useful to those planning a field trip are road logs and field stop descriptions of road cuts between El Paso and Carlsbad, McKittrick Canyon, Walnut Canyon, and Dark Canyon-Sitting Bull Falls-Rocky Arroyo. Take a moment to discover the beauty and amazing geology of these classic Permian Reefs. [HCS]
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Hosted by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), BioWurld is a "semi-automated index of resources in the fields of bioinformatics and molecular biology." The searchable resource (keyword or phrase) includes annotated links to Academic Institutes, Departments, and Projects; Commercial Sites and Services; Conferences and Courses; Databases; Educational Resources; Employment; Journals and Newsletters; Miscellaneous; Online Tools and Services; Research; and Software. The hierarchical organization of information at this site makes it a particularly useful resource for a wide range of viewers. [LXP]
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Two on "Snakebots":
Serpentine Robotics Project [.mpeg, QuickTime]
Snake [.mpeg, QuickTime]
One of the latest developments in robotics is flexible, snake-like machines that could be used for such activities as Martian landscape exploration because they are highly flexible, adaptable, and maneuverable into tight spaces and over relatively large obstacles. NASA's Serpentine Robotics Project page furnishes detailed text on assembly, surface exploration, and collective robotics of serpentine robots. The highlight of the site is the movie page, where users can view .mpeg and QuickTime movies of these slithering, sidewinding robots. The second site, Snake, comes from robotics engineer Gavin Miller who developed his own "snakes" with inspiration from his work on physically-based computer animation at Alias Research, Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc. (Note: this private site is not affiliated with those corporations.) Visitors to Miller's site can see color videos, with audio, of his incredibly life-like serpents (.mpeg). Links to other snake robot sites are provided along with information about upcoming museum exhibitions and articles. [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:

Tagish Lake Meteorite [QuickTime, .pdf]
In January 2000, a meteorite struck the Earth in Tagish Lake, Ontario. The Tagish Lake meteorite has resurfaced in the news because recent results of mineralogic and isotopic analyses on it have revealed that it is comprised of some of the oldest matter from the solar system to be recovered and is a rare carbonaceous chondrite. This Website from the University of Western Ontario (part of a consortium for study of the meteorite with University of Calgary and NASA/JSC) is dedicated to the Tagish event and subsequent research. Brief overviews of the satellite equipment used, classification and mineralogy of the meteorite, and a .pdf-formatted reprint of the resulting paper by Brown, et al., printed in the October 13, 2000 issue of Science , are provided. Other information available includes a schematic and table of the bolide's inferred orbit, a summary of eyewitness accounts, and links to other sites featuring this impact. The recovery effort that took place on the frozen lake is recounted with accompanying photos and map (.jpeg). In addition, users can view video footage and photos of the flash, dust, and clouds formed from the meteorite (.jpeg, QuickTime). [HCS]
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Climate Change Shifts Frost Seasons and Plant Growth
This month's issue of Ecology Letters adds new evidence to the effect of climate change on ecosystems. In a paper by Professor of Biology Dr. David Inouye of the University of Maryland, global climate change appears to influence early and late frost events, which in turn, "inhibit growth and possibly damage many plants." This news brief from describes the recent finding and comments on its wider significance. [LXP]
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New Publications

National Invasive Species Management Plan
.pdf format
In February 1999, an Executive Order by President Clinton established the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) to take a leadership role in dealing with invasive species issues. As part of that order, NISC has prepared a plan "to minimize the economic and ecological impacts and the harm to animal and human health associated with invasive species." This document, "National Management Plan: Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge," is posted on the NISC Webpage, with public commentary invited through November 18, 2000. [LXP]

Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 1996-2000
Wetlands International (Asia Pacific) and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (Japan Committee) joined forces to produce this report on a conservation strategy for migratory waterbirds. The report offers background information, an overview of waterbird status and issues, priority actions, and a framework for implementation of the strategy. Also included are figures, tables, and appendices. [LXP]

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication #66: Marine Authigenesis: From Global to Microbial [.pdf]
Individual papers from SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication 66, Marine Authigenesis: From Global to Microbial, are available for free download online (.pdf) courtesy of the University of Hawaii. This volume features a holistic approach to marine authigenesis. Recent advances in knowledge concerning the occurrence and origins of phosphorites, glauconites, dolomites, siderites, manganese-iron associations, barites, ironstones, and other early-diagenetic minerals and the way that they relate to global elemental cycling are discussed. The Webpage presents a hyperlinked table of contents from which users can download any of the 33 papers. [HCS]

Realizing the Potential of Plant Genomics: From Model Systems To The Understanding Of Diversity
This newly posted report from the National Science Foundation synthesizes recent developments and future directions in the field of plant genomics. [LXP]

A First Look at Logging in Gabon [.pdf]
This newly released report [.pdf format] from Global Forest Watch (World Resources Institute) takes a first look at Gabon's forestry practices. The report describes how forests are rapidly being conceded to "a handful of logging companies" which export primarily one species of tree to a narrow range of countries. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

American Women in Mathematics Advertisements

European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Outstations: Job Vacancies in Europe
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National Center for Research Resources
Deadlines: Various

Growing Greener: Innovative Technology Grant (Pennsylvania) [.pdf, MS Word]
Deadline: December 15, 2000

EPA/ NSF: Joint Program on Phytoremediation
Deadline: January 22, 2001

Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships -- NSF
Deadlines: December 4, 2000

American Women in Mathematics Programs
Deadlines: Various
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Sixth International Congress on Vertebrate Morphology
July 21-26, 2001, Jena, Germany
Abstracts Due: October 31, 2000

Association of Systematics Collections: Annual Meeting 2001
June 8-9, 2001, Chicago, Illinois
Abstracts Due: November 20, 2000

Seventh European Workshop on Modern Developments and Applications in Microbeam Analysis
May 6-10, 2001, Tampere, Finland
Abstracts Due: November 15, 2000

Consumption and the Environment
Wilmington, Delaware, March 9, 2001
Abstracts Due: December 1, 2000
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New Data

New Bathymetry for Lake Erie and Lake Sinclair
Online previews of posters and data of the lake floor topography of Lakes Erie and Sinclair are available from the National Geophysical Data Center. Here users can view full-color .jpeg images of the bathymetry, meter-scale lake floor topography, and partial samples of gridded and vector data. [HCS]
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Key to the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) of Canada and Alaska
Key: [.pdf, 38 pp.]
Gerald A. Mulligan, Research Associate of the Eastern Cereal & Oilseed Research Centre (Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada), has put together this dichotomous key for plants in the mustard family ("Brassicaceae" or "Cruciferae"). Covering North America's northernmost ecoregion, the 38-page document includes a Key to Genera as well as a Key to Species (from Alliaria petiolata to Thysanocarpus curvipes). The full resource was updated this summer and represents a current tool for mustard plant identification. [LXP]
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March 2000 Seismicity Animation
An animated map of seismic activity in southern California during March 2000, part of a series of monthly seismicity reports and images, is available from the Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC). This is particularly interesting because over half of the 1,626 earthquakes detected in the region were aftershocks from the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. Color still maps and tables of seismic activity for April-August have also been added recently. [HCS]
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NORTHWOODS Wildlife Habitat Database
Created through a joint effort of the USDA Forest Service's North Central Forest Experiment Station (NCFES) and seven national forests in the Upper Great Lakes Region, NORTHWOODS is a wildlife habitat database featuring "information about the habitat needs of 389 species of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals in the Upper Great Lakes Region." The database compiles common and scientific names, species occurrences in 20 aquatic and terrestrial habitat types, species abundances and seasonal use in seven national forests, and species conservation status. The NORTHWOODS database is available in tab-delimited ASCII file format. [LXP]
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In The News

Hundreds of Dead Sharks Wash Up Along Gulf Coast, Cause of Death Uncertain
1. "Florida Researchers Stumped by Dead Sharks"
2. "Shark Deaths Mystery"
3. "Shark Dissected After Beaching at Seaside" (June 14, 2000)
4. Florida Marine Research Institute
5. The Panama City Laboratory Shark Population Assessment Group
6. Shark Research Program at the University of Florida Museum of Natural History
7. American Elasmobranch Society
8. "Species at Risk in the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem"
9. Blacktip Shark
10. University of Maryland Pathobiology Center
On Wednesday October 18, decaying dead sharks washed up on Florida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. "I've never seen anything like this," said Dr. Enric Cortes, a biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Panama City. "Mass mortalities in sharks are very unusual." About 85 percent of the sharks were blacktips, and the rest were Atlantic sharpnose, Cortes said. Most were juveniles 3.5 to 4 feet long. The cause of death remains a mystery. No signs of injury from fishing nets or long lines could be detected. Pathologists are testing tissue from the dead sharks to determine if a "red tide" algal bloom could be to blame, but that seems unlikely because no other fishes or sealife died. Cortes speculates that the sharks may have died from a low level of oxygen in the shallow waters. In the News this week takes a closer look at sharks and marine studies of the Florida coast.

The first two sites, (1) and (2), are press releases from Reuters (via Yahoo!News) and the BBC respectively describing the incident. The third site (3) is a brief article that appeared in the June 14, 2000 Panama City News Herald about another shark beaching, this one a single bull shark. A photograph of Dr. Cortes examining the carcass accompanies the article (.jpeg). The centers most involved with study of the shark deaths are the Florida Marine Research Institute and the Panama City Laboratory of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center. The Florida Marine Research Institute (4), a division of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, has a site featuring research news and links for Florida's marine and coastal resources. Their Fish page contains a link to an interesting news piece about widespread mortality of hard-headed catfish during Summer 2000. The external symptoms associated with these dead catfish were red lips and belly spots. Other sections of the Florida Marine Institute site feature coral reefs, invertebrates, sea turtles, marine mammals, sea grasses, and GIS mapping. The GIS page provides color graphs of sea surface temperatures and reflectance in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Also at the Florida Marine Institute site, a page called ECOHAB: Florida, features remotely sensed maps and microscope images of harmful algal blooms -- one of the suspects in the recent shark deaths. The Panama City Laboratory Shark Population Assessment Group (5), the division of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in which Dr. Cortes works, maintains a homepage with information about its programs and facilities. Shark population dynamics, life history, juvenile abundance and distribution, nursery areas, and shark drift gill net observation are current projects of the Panama City Laboratory's Shark Population Assessment Group. A colorful, informative site about sharks (6) is brought to users from the Ichthyology Department of the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. An image gallery, news stories, the International Shark Attack File, and links to shark-related sites and references are found on the Ichthyology Department's shark page. Also featured are special looks at the Great White and the Megamouth sharks. The American Elasmobranch Society is a nonprofit organization for the study of living and fossil sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras. Its Website (7) contains abstracts of AES scientific papers and links to conservation, job, and general interest sites related to Elasmobranchs. The Website entitled "Species at Risk in the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem" (8) from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Museum contains ample information on endangered species of fish, invertebrates, and sharks including the Atlantic Sharpnose (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae). A bibliography, detailed text on conservation activities, and research results are other highlights of the "Species at Risk..." site. For information about the Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), see Mote Marine Laboratory's factsheet (9). Other fish kills, such as pfisteria outbreaks in the Chesapeake Bay, are discussed at the Website of the University of Maryland Pathobiology Center (10). [HCS]
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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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