The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - December 6, 2000

December 6, 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


Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC)
A collaborative project of CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) and NOAA (the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC) strives "to identify the nature and causes of climate variations, on time scales ranging from a month to centuries" so as to predict future climate. The homepage offers a host of online information, from a broad overview of climate diagnostics, to research summaries on interseasonal/ interannual climate variability or Hydrologic Cycle Studies, to a What's New? section giving the latest research results and current job opportunities. For researchers and students alike this Webpage will be a useful information hub. [LXP]
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The Scientific Web
Scientific Web, a metasite posted by German computer scientist Stefan Steinhaus, is an excellent resource for people interested in learning about software available for a variety of scientific disciplines. Biology, chemistry, math, and statistics are among the disciplines for which software descriptions and links are available. The site is in table format: under each discipline heading is a hyperlinked list of software packages. Click on the software package name, and you are taken to a page displaying the product maker, system requirements, data and graphics format, and a one- or two-paragraph description of the software's capabilities. Scientific Web also provides links to pages with software demo versions, product announcements, lists and usergroups, test reports, and more. Scientific Web is available in its original German language format or in English (the imperfect English does not detract from the site's utility). [HCS]
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JSTOR: Ecology & Botany Collection
List of JSTOR Participants
JSTOR (Journal Storage) has created this excellent new collection of online journals in cooperation with the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The Ecology & Botany Collection contains full backruns of 29 scholarly journals, and joins JSTOR's two other major science collections: Arts & Sciences I, and General Science. Like the other collections, all backrun journals of the Ecology & Botany Collection are accessible to researchers and students via site licenses at academic libraries. To determine if your academic institution is a JSTOR participant, see the list of JSTOR participants. [LXP]
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Perfectly Scientific, Inc. [.pdf, .ps, .dvi]
This site features free electronic copies, in .pdf, .ps, or .dvi formats, of certain technical papers dealing with algorithms. Perfectly Scientific, Inc. (PSI), the site's provider, is a company dedicated to providing free or economical access to computer algorithm software and publications. "PSI offers software, documents and books on the subjects of: compression, FFT, general transforms, wavelets, color graphics, Monte Carlo, fractals, convolution, signal processing, matrix algebra, genetic algorithms, number theory as used in factoring & cryptography." Papers available for download cover some of the above topics, and the majority of them are authored by PSI's owner, Dr. Richard E. Crandall of Reed College. They are in varying states of review (under review, in press, published). [HCS]
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Molecular Visualization for the Masses
This review article, from HMS Beagle's (described in the February 14, 1997 Scout Report) David J. Marcey, provides an excellent overview of free software for molecular visualization. From RasMol, an interactive program that allows viewing and manipulation of molecules, to more recent programs (RasMol derivative) such as Protein Explorer, this excellent article offers advice and perspective -- plus hyperlinks to the programs, themselves -- on the various molecular visualization tools that are freely available. Note: To access HMS Beagle, users must register (for free) as BioMedNet members. [LXP]
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The Probability Web
The Probability Web is a metasite located at the University of Queensland, Australia. It deals with probability theory and applications, providing links to abstracts, journals (not all free), electronic mailing lists, newsgroups, people, jobs, societies, software, books, and conferences. The site also has a basic search engine. Available in graphical or non-graphical versions, The Probability Web is a rich resource with many informative and interesting links for mathematicians. [HCS]
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Learning Resources

Know Your Environment
The Academy of Natural Sciences (at Philadelphia) and Environmental Associates (a group of leading industries) have combined forces to provide this informative Website, offering excellent articles that describe the science behind some of today's leading environmental issues. The articles provide in-depth, scientific explanations of many issues that appear in the popular media. The Academy's commitment to improving public understanding of important issues has led them to encourage "reproduction and redistribution of any text within a Know Your Environment article." For educators, researchers, and students, this site hopes to fill in some important knowledge gaps. [LXP]
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The Pictorial Periodic Table
This online periodic table of the elements is a fabulous find for students of chemistry. On the main page, a clickable periodic table allows users to choose an element and then view a page listing that element's electron configuration, atomic weight and number, isotopes and product elements, and a number of other physical properties such as ionization potential and boiling and melting points. Each entry is extremely thorough and contains links to related elements. The Pictorial Periodic Table is also easily searchable by atomic and covalent radius, density, boiling and melting point, electronegativity, ionization potential, heat properties, and atomic weight or number. In addition, users can perform keyword searches. Graphs and tables of element properties, alternative styles of periodic table (e.g., spiral, pyramid), a special page on isotopic properties, a printable table, and links to other periodic table pages are among the wealth of information provided. The site is provided by the Chemlab server of Phoenix College, AZ. [HCS]
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The Charms of Duckweed
The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBO) hosts this site on duckweeds, the world's smallest flowering plants. Sections include Botanical Facts (anatomy through population growth), Duckweed Illustrations (numerous color images of duckweed), Experiments & Projects (check out the several interesting laboratory experiments), and Practical Duckweed (using duckweed to clean polluted water via bioremediation). Written by Dr. John Cross, The Charms of Duckweed site offers introductory thorough in-depth information on this interesting family of plants. [LXP]
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Geology 101 at University of Washington
Created by teaching assistant Gwyn Jones for students of Geology 101 at the University of Washington, Seattle, this Website offers good introductory geology lessons and study hints. Here, users will find lab and lecture notes, study questions and answers, and abundant links. Besides links to pages relevant to study topics, Jones's favorite geological sites are linked and also a comprehensive list of recommended books is given. Rocks, minerals, geologic time, geologic mapping, and natural hazards are the introductory topics featured. Students new to geology and instructors looking for ideas should visit this site. Please note that because the site is not updated regularly some links might not work. [HCS]
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Evolution -- UCMP
This virtual evolution exhibit at the University of California at Berkeley (Museum of Paleontology) combines several of the best resources we've evaluated, such as Phylogenetic Systematics and the Talk Origins Archive, among others. In addition, the Evolution Website provides information on the Theory of Evolution (with links to further information including Timeline of Evolutionary Thought; Systematics; Dinosaur Discoveries; and Vertebrate Flight) and the History of Evolutionary Thought (including dozens of biographical summaries). For educators or students interested in reviewing or learning about evolution in a historical context, this Website will be of much use. [LXP]
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General Interest

International Association for Great Lakes Research
The International Association for Great Lakes Research is comprised of researchers studying the Laurentian Great Lakes and other large lakes of the world. The homepage serves as a centralized resource for Great Lakes research, featuring recent findings, news and announcements (from recently published books to legislation outcomes), upcoming conferences, and current job offerings. In addition, a discussion board invites communication among interested researchers and the public. [LXP]
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The UV Index, Weather and You! [RealPlayer]
This site from the Government of Canada provides educational materials on the UV index (created from data from thirteen monitoring sites across Canada), UV radiation, ozone, and issues in weather and ozone depletion. It is intended to create awareness of health risks of UV radiation by offering activities for children and reading materials for adults on the matter. A summary of UV radiation and ozone science, information on ozone and radiation monitoring activities by Canada and the US, and links to data sets and publications are given. Among the "bells and whistles" are a printable poster and coloring pages for children and RealPlayer movies. [HCS]
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Wildlife Australia: Endangered Species Program
This no-frills Website from Wildlife Australia contains a wealth of information on current efforts to protect endangered species in Australia. Resources included at this government site cover legislation, educational materials, action guides, state/ territory information, conservation networks, and information on current events and planned activities. Also featured are lists of endangered species, and species accounts providing distributional and natural history information. A substantial collection of links to important relevant resources rounds out the site. [LXP]
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High Flux Reactor Isotope Facility
Located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Tennessee, the High Flux Reactor Isotope Facility (HFIR) produces transuranium isotopes for research, industrial, and medical applications. It is also used for a variety of neutron flux experiments. The HFIR Website gives an informative overview of the science and engineering behind the reactor. Visitors can get acquainted with HFIR's history, facilities, and experiments. Other features of the site include illustrated sections on horizontal beam poles and neutron scattering as well as daily operation status of the reactor. Photographs and schematics of the reactor and control room are other interesting parts of the site. [HCS]
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Texas Tech University Chernobyl Page
Available in English, Russian, or Ukranian, this Website summarizes ecological research underway in the highly contaminated nuclear disaster zone of northern Ukraine. Results from some of the studies conducted by the Texas Tech University researchers indicate some animal populations have rebounded. This is thought, however, to be a response to the absence of human activity. Still unknown are the possible radioactivity costs to wildlife and plants living in this highly toxic environment. The Website includes several sections offering introductory and background information on the zone, as well as listings of recent publications, and posters summarizing some of the research. [LXP]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

Are Exoplanets Really Planets?
This newsbrief, from Science magazine's electronic news source, Science now, airs the skepticism of three astronomers, who state that most of the 50 recently discovered "planets" orbiting stars other than our sun may not really be planets, but rather brown dwarfs. So, what are they? Read up, and form your own opinion. [LXP]
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Annotated List of 36 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Fiscal Year 2001
This list provides geographic location, activity categories, and descriptions of 36 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The descriptions are one-to-three paragraphs long, and links to Websites of each FFRDC and its sponsoring agencies (Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, etc.) are given. Also at this site is a listing of Decertifications, Closures and Renaming of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, 1968-2000. [HCS]
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New Publications

"Countryside Survey 2000: Accounting for Nature, Assessing Habitats in the UK Countryside" [.pdf]
The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (UK) has placed online the results of Countryside Survey 2000, a project designed to assess the condition of habitats in the UK and to summarize how these habitats are changing in response to human (and other) influences. The current report evaluates changes in three major landscape features (hedges, walls, and ponds) and describes changes and trends in these features relative to previous surveys. The executive summary of this interesting report may be viewed online, or the report may be downloaded in its entirety in .pdf format. [LXP]

Two ACS Journals Free Online
Crystal Growth and Design
Nano Letters
Electronic versions of these journals from the American Chemical Society are available for free through June 30, 2001. Crystal Growth and Design is "a new journal from the American Chemical Society, dedicated to publishing articles on the physical, chemical, and biological phenomena and processes related to crystal growth and design of new materials." Nano Letters is ACS's newest journal. It deals with "physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, processes and applications of structures within the nanoscale range." [HCS]

Three New Condensed Matter Physics Preprints [.dvi, .ps, .pdf]
"Study of a coupled Bose-Einstein condensate: Collapse for attractive interaction"
"Mott-Hubbard Metal-Insulator Transition in Paramagnetic V_2O_3: a LDA+DMFT(QMC) Study"
"Magnetic field-dependent interplay between incoherent and Fermi liquid transport mechanisms in low-dimensional tau phase organic conductors"
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has recently posted three electronic preprints in the field of condensed matter physics in its archive. The first, "Study of a coupled Bose-Einstein condensate: Collapse for attractive interaction," was accepted in Physical Review A; the second, "Mott-Hubbard Metal-Insulator Transition in Paramagnetic V_2O_3: a LDA+DMFT(QMC) Study," was accepted in the Proceedings of the American Chemical Society; and the third, "Magnetic field-dependent interplay between incoherent and Fermi liquid transport mechanisms in low-dimensional tau phase organic conductors," contains recent experimental results from researchers at Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Research Institute of Greece. The URLs take readers to the abstract page, from which the full text can be downloaded in .dvi, .ps, or .pdf format. [HCS]

Three on Wetlands and Birds -- NPWRC [.zip]
"Relationships of Habitat Patch Size to Predator Community and Survival of Duck Nests"
"Management of Northern Prairies and Wetlands for the Conservation of Neotropical Migratory Birds"
"Grays Lake Ecosystem"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has posted several new (or newly online) resources on wetlands and birds. The first resource by Marsha A. Sovada and others was recently published in Journal of Wildlife Management, 2000, [64(3):820-831] and examines the relationship between habitat patch size and duck nest survival as a function of predation rates. The second resource, on managing northern prairies and wetlands for Neotropical migrants, was first published by Douglas H. Johnson in 1996 as part of a Forest Service General Technical Report [NC-187], edited by F. R. Thompson, III. The third resource, from the US Geological Survey, focuses on the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and current and previous research conducted there on bird and plant species. The first two resources may be downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]

"Colloid formation and metal transport through two mixing zones affected by acid mine drainage near Silverton, Colorado" [.pdf]
This is a publication originally published in Applied Geochemistry and recently made available online from the Water Resources Division of the US Geological Survey (USGS). It presents the findings from a study of concentrations and stream discharges of dissolved Al, Ca, Cu, Zn, Mg Mn, Pb, (SO)4, and silica in the Animas River, Colorado. The URL given takes readers to the abstract page from which the full text is accessible as a .pdf file. [HCS]

Three Scientific Posters from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada [.pdf]
The Species Groups of Nearctic Platypalpus Macquart (Diptera: Empidoidea; Tachydromiinae)
Changes in Soil Carbon under Long-Term Maize in Monoculture and Legume-based Rotations
Estimating Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in Central Canada Using Different Approaches
Three research posters have recently been posted on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Website. The first, by J.M. Cumming, examines species groups of flies. The second, by E.G. Gregorich and colleagues, focuses on changes in soil Carbon under several long-term crop rotations. The third poster is by J.S. Bhatti et al. and describes several techniques for estimating soil organic Carbon stocks in Central Canada. All three posters may be browsed online or downloaded as .pdf files. [LXP]

New CRS Reports
Fifty-eight new and fifty-one updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports were added to the National Library for the Environment Website last month. Reports cover many topics including animal agriculture, global climate change, the National Forest Roadless Area, NEPA requirements, NAFTA, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, among others. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

The First Society for Computing Career Opportunities

Great Lakes Research Jobs
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Collaborative Research in Chemistry (CRC) -- NSF
Letter of Intent Deadline: January 16, 2001
Proposal Deadline: February 26, 2001

Interagency Announcement of Opportunities in Metabolic Engineering -- NSF
Deadline: March 2, 2001

Scientific Computing Research Environments for the Mathematical Sciences (SCREMS) -- NSF
Deadline: January 18, 2001

Ron Brown Scholar Program (for highschool seniors of African-American descent)
Deadline: January 9, 2001
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International Association for Great Lakes Research Conference
Green Bay, Wisconsin; June 10-14, 2001
Abstract Deadline: December 15, 2000

Third International Conference on Mathematics and Computers in Physics
Rethymnon, Crete, Greece; July 8-15, 2001
Abstract Deadline: February 15, 2001

Pacific Seabird Group: 28th Annual Meeting
Lihau, Hawaii; February 7-11, 2001
Abstract Deadline: December 25, 2000

Third International Conference on Advanced Concepts for Intelligent Vision Systems: Theory and Applications
Baden-Baden, Germany; July 30-August 3, 2001
Proposal Deadline: December 22, 2000

Abundance, Diversity, Resemblance, and Scale Dependence: Theories, Methods, Applications
Balatonfrred, Hungary; August 28-September 2, 2001
Preliminary Registration: March 31, 2001
Abstract Deadline: March 31, 2001

North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC) 2001
Berkeley, California; June 26-July 1 2001
Abstracts Due: March 1, 2001
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New Data

TIGR BLAST Search Engine for Unfinished Microbial Genomes
The Institute for Genomics Research (TIGR) has launched this searchable Website providing unfinished genome data sets for Pseudomonas syringae and Entamoeba histolytica. The site includes a table listing of the status of unfinished microbial genome data, as well as a BLAST search interface for locating protein and DNA sequences. Note that the sequences of these unpublished genomes are unfinished and contain errors. [LXP]
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Sample Climate Maps from the Climate Atlas of the Contiguous United States
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has published (for purchase) a new CD Atlas containing 737 color maps of climatic elements, such as temperature, precipitation, snow, wind, pressure, etc., of the contiguous US from 1961 to 1990. Five of these maps can be previewed at NOAA's online store: Annual Mean Daily Average Temperature, Total Precipitation, Snowfall, Sea Level Pressure, and Sunshine Percentage. [HCS]
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FACE Data Summaries -- BNL
FACE, the Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment research program of Brookhaven National Laboratory, provides data summaries on a variety of FACE sites: North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Brauschweig (Germany). To access more detailed information, follow links to specific sites. [LXP]
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NASA Shuttle Status Report
On Sunday November 30, STS-97 Mission Specialists Carlos Noriega and Joe Tanner began the eleventh space walk in the history of the International Space Station. A daily status report on this mission is available from NASA's Johnson Space Center. [HCS]
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In The News

Negotiating Protection of the Earth's Ozone Layer
1. "Ozone Layer Under Stress as Governments Prepare Next Steps" -- ENN
2. The Ozone Secretariat -- UNEP
3. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
4. "Ozone Depletion: When Less Is Not Enough" [.pdf]
5. The Science of Ozone Depletion -- EPA
6. "Environmental Indicators: Ozone Depletion" -- EPA
7. Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC) -- NOAA
8. Stratosphere: Southern Hemisphere Ozone Hole Size -- CPC
9. Aerosol Research Branch: NASA Langley Research Center
10. TOMS: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer -- NASA
11. Press release: "Severe stratospheric ozone depletion in the Arctic"
12. THESEO 2000
Next week, the twelfth Meeting Of The Parties To "The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer" will take place in Burkina Faso to negotiate multi-governmental cooperation in the protection of the earth's ozone layer. Given the recent collapse of the United Nations climate talks in the Hague, at which the US refused to agree to reduce global warming through stricter pollution controls (arguing instead for getting credit for carbon "sinks"), the importance of the upcoming meeting cannot be underestimated. The ozone layer exists in the stratosphere, a thin band of atmosphere 10-50km above the earth's surface. This thin band absorbs (and thereby protects the earth's surface from) harmful ultra-violet wavelengths (UV-B) that are produced in sunlight. The widespread use of human-produced chemicals that are ozone-depleting (such as chlorofluorocarbons -- used in air conditioning, or halocarbons -- used in fire extinguishers) has led to a reduction in stratospheric ozone, resulting in the massive ozone hole above Antarctica and South America. Although many of the most damaging ozone-depleting substances are being phased out of production, the time-lag from the release of these long-lasting chemicals to their damaging effect in the atmosphere means that the expected stratospheric peak of these chemicals will not occur until the end of this decade. In addition, this damaging process is exacerbated by global climate change, and requires political will to enforce cleaner air. Meanwhile, scientists have documented the first signs of a growing ozone hole over the Arctic -- with staggering implications for human, animal, and plant health. This week's In The News highlights the upcoming pivotal meeting in West Africa and introduces readers to some excellent resources on the ozone layer.

The first resource, from Environmental News Network, describes the upcoming international ozone meeting, its importance, and its scientific/political context (1). The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) hosts the second ozone resource (2), offering introductory information on the ozone layer and the policies that regulate its protection. For information on The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, see this site from the Secretariat of the Montreal Protocol (3). For background on the science of ozone depletion, chapter five of the National Safety Council's 2000 report on understanding climate change (4) offers a good review, as do the Environmental Protection Agency's hyperlinked general information site (5) and EPA's Environmental Indicators page (6). Atmospheric researchers should check out NOAA's Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC) Website, describing "a set of high-quality remote-sounding research stations for observing and understanding the physical and chemical state of the stratosphere" (7). Also of particular interest to researchers is the Climate Prediction Center's data gateway to current ozone hole conditions (8); the Aerosol Research Branch: NASA Langley Research Center, see the Lidar Research section (9); and TOMS (10). Finally, for recent evidence of stratospheric ozone depletion above the Arctic, see this new release from Europa, the European Union's official news server (11) and the associated data Website THESEO 2000 (12), representing the collaborative research initiative by European, US, and other atmospheric scientists. [LXP]
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The Scout Report for Science & Engineering
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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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