The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - December 20, 2000

December 20, 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

New from Internet Scout


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News

New from Internet Scout

Scout Report Archives and More
We're proud to announce the debut of a new service from the ISP team, the Scout Report Archives. The Scout Report Archives will provide enhanced facilities for searching through thousands of past entries from all four Scout Reports. The new facilities include an upgraded QuickSearch engine, based on the latest htDig search technology, and a new browsing interface using CYRUS, a Web-oriented classification scheme developed at Scout. The Scout Report Archives will replace Signpost, although a static version of Signpost will still be available for demonstration purposes.
Along with the Scout Report Archives we're introducing a number of updates across the entire ISP site that are intended to make the site easier to use. Two of the key changes are a revised menu system, which provides a more intuitive interface for navigation, and optimized graphics, which should improve page load times. We've also added a new "Jobs At Scout" page, in case you or someone you know might be interested in joining the Internet Scout Project team!

Last but not least, we have changed the name of the Scout Report for Social Sciences to the Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities to more accurately reflect the content of the report.

As always, we welcome your feedback on these new additions and changes, and on any aspect of the Internet Scout Project's work. If you would like to share your thoughts please send us a note at
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Five Free Online Databases from Syracuse Research Corporation:
1. Compilation of Ozone Depletion Potentials and Global Warming Potentials
2. Toxic Substances Control Act Test Submissions (TSCATS) Search
3. Logkow Program
4. The Environmental Fate Database
5. The Physical Properties Database (Physprop)
Five databases are available for free online from the Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC) a not-for-profit research and development firm. The ozone depletion potentials database (1) contains experimental Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) and Ozone Depletion Potentials (ODPs) compiled from the open literature. It is searchable by CAS Registry number, and a lookup table for CAS numbers is provided. The Toxic Substances Control Act Test Submissions (TSCATS) database (2) is a collection of unpublished technical reports submitted by industries to the Environmental Protection Agency since 1985. Both environmental effect and health effect studies on over 8,000 chemicals are included. It's searchable by CAS number, chemical formula, or study type. Results give the experimental abstract, if available. The Logkow Program (3), an interactive demo, will calculate log P (octanol-water partition coefficient) and retrieve experimental log P data from an experimental database of 13,000 compounds. Because the database uses SRC's LogKow/KowWin program, inquiries should be submitted in SRC's SMILES notation (an example page is linked) but can also be submitted as CAS numbers. The Environmental Fate Database (which was reviewed previously in the March 29, 2000 Scout Report for Science and Engineering) contains five subcategories of data on the environmental fate of toxic substances. Finally, The Physical Properties Database (5) contains chemical structures, names, and properties for over 25,000 chemicals. Entries are arranged by CAS number. [HCS]
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The echinoids
The Natural History Museum of London (UK) provides this magnificent Website on sea urchins. Well-written and beautifully designed, the primary purpose of the site is "to provide a taxonomic resource for the scientific community in which the genera and higher taxa of echinoid can be simply and rapidly identified." Spectacular color images form the basis of the identification keys, highlighting the important distinguishing characteristics of each Family or Genus of sea urchin. In addition, an introduction and orphology section provide beginning users with useful background information, and an Index to taxa offers detailed information for a subset of taxa. For scientists or anyone else interested in learning more about these beautiful marine invertebrates, this site is an excellent window into their taxonomy. [LXP]
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Pseudospectra Gateway
Visitors to this metasite can find links to software, applications, examples, publications, theories, and histories of pseudospectra in investigation of non-normal matrices and operators. The Introduction page states, "Numerous tools have been suggested to describe non-normality and analyze its effects. These include classical tools of matrix and operator theory, such as the numerical range, the angles between invariant subspaces, and the condition numbers of eigenvalues. This web site is devoted to describing and illustrating pseudospectra, a further tool that has proved useful in a variety of circumstances." A list of publicly available software, with links, brief descriptions, and references is a highlight of the site. Most of the sections, including history, bibliography, and applications, are linked to MathSciNet and The Examples page is particularly informative and contains formulae and color figures. Pseudospectra Gateway is a diverse, comprehensive resource for computational theorists. [HCS]
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Environmental Fate Data Base
The Environmental Fate Data Base is provided by Syracuse Research Corporation, an independent, not-for-profit firm that conducts "scholarly research in environmental chemistry, toxicology, and risk assessment." The Environmental Fate Data Base is a compilation of searchable databases featuring environmental fate data, exposure data, microbial toxicity data, and biodegradation data. Five main resources form the heart of the site: DATALOG (a bibliographic file indexed by Chemical Abstract Service that contains records for over 16,400 chemicals), BIOLOG (Microbial Degradation/ Toxicity File with detailed information), CHEMFATE (physical/ chemical property information on commercially important chemical compounds), BIODEG (properties of biodegradable substances), and BIODEG Summary (evaluates different chemical tests, including biodegradability, under aerobic and anaerobic conditions). Databases are searchable by chemical formula, name, CAS#, or parameter type. [LXP]
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Engineering Weather Data Products [.pdf, .csv]
Weather data arranged by locality are accessible at this searchable database compiled by the Air Force Combat Climatology Center (AFCCC). Temperature extremes, humidity, heating and cooling degree-days (from the Department of Energy), and average annual freeze-thaw cycles are some examples of the datasets available. Users can search by station name, number, longitude, latitude, country, continent, or OWS region. Downloads are in both .pdf and .csv format. This site provides a handy way to access basic weather data from around the globe. [HCS]
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Three Newly Online Journals from HighWire Press
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
Plant and Cell Physiology [.pdf]
CV Surgery Online
HighWire Press
Stanford University's HighWire Press has announced the online publication of several journals. The Association for Molecular Pathology, co-sponsored by The American Society for Investigative Pathology, publishes the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (JMD), which is produced online in conjunction with HighWire Press. Full-text content and abstracts begin November 1999; the free trial period for JMD Online ends March 2001 (day not specified). The journal Plant and Cell Physiology, published by the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists, is also newly online, with full text (.pdf format) of articles from 2000 issues, and abstracts since 1997. Plant and Cell Physiology Online is free to all users until January 2001. Third, CV Surgery Online offers "a fully searchable online compilation of articles pertinent to the cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon from the 5 American Heart Association Journals: Circulation,Circulation Research,Hypertension,Stroke, and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Surgery." Published by the American Heart Association in conjunction with HighWire Press, the free trial period for CV Surgery Online ends December 31, 2000. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

"Rulers of the Jurassic Seas"
Available free from Scientific American's Website, this article takes a thorough and fascinating look at the marine reptiles known as Ichthyosaurs that lived during the Mesozoic Era. The text covers recent discoveries about the evolution of Ichthyosaurs from land dwelling reptiles, including limb adaptations. Highlights of the article are special sections about ichthyosaur eyes and diet, and color illustrations and diagrams. The text contains hyperlinks to related pages (, Tree of Life, American Cetacean Society, etc.). "Rulers of the Jurassic Seas" is a good read for students of paleontology or marine science. [HCS]
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Parametric Probability Distributions -- EPA
Exposure Factors Handbook -- EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a series of Parametric Probability Distributions to be used in conjunction with the previously released Exposure Factors Handbook. Whereas the Exposure Factors Handbook provides summaries of available statistical data on several factors used in assessing human exposure to toxic chemicals, the Parametric Probability Distributions document summarizes procedures to fit distributions to some of those data. Three factors (tap water intake, population mobility, and inhalation rules) are considered as test cases in the models, and recommendations are made for models that provide the best fit. For students of statistics, these documents could be used as supplemental examples, illustrating methods useful for addressing actual statistical challenges. [LXP]
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The Largest Known Primes
This page, provided by Professor Chris Caldwell of the Mathematics Department of University of Tennessee, Martin, contains interesting information about prime numbers. The Top Ten Record Primes, Complete List of the Largest Known Primes, and Euclid's Proof of the Infinitude of Primes are a few of the topics listed. The site's FAQ and glossary are especially helpful for readers in undergraduate mathematics courses, and throughout, text is hyperlinked to other relevant sections, the glossary, and the reference list. One neat part of the site is the Prime Curios Pages where readers can learn titillating facts such as: the number 5 is the smallest prime that is the average of its two neighboring primes, or that If n is greater than 15, then there is at least one number between n and 2n which is the product of three different primes. The Largest Known Primes, updated weekly, is a recently addition to Caldwell's The Prime Pages project that was reported in the August 4, 1999 Scout Report for Science and Engineering. [HCS]
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Kid's Science Page at the National Agricultural Library
The US Department of Agriculture hosts this site for kids, providing "lists of children's books and articles on specific agricultural subjects, science fair projects and supplies, careers and biographies of leading scientists, and 'learn by doing' 4-H youth projects." Five main sections introduce kids to some of the building blocks of modern agriculture: Animals, Environment, Food & Nutrition, General Science, and Plants. A series of educational materials and links to other resources fill out the site. [LXP]
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Sketches of a History of Classical Electromagnetism (Optics, Magnetism, Electricity, Electromagnetism)
Students and educators wishing to take a break from the lab and hit the history books should venture to this Website featuring a timeline of events in the world of electromagnetism. The site comes from the "Hyperjeff" network, the elaborate project of Jeff Biggus, a history of science (especially physics) buff. Well-organized and chock-full of links, Biggus's electromagnetism history timeline ranges from 300 BC to 1907. Visitors can read about the first compass (Chinese), the first written record of magnets (the Romans), and more. Sources, Links, and notes help make this timeline extra credible and informative. [HCS]
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General Interest

Sedimentary Mars
"December 4, 2000 -- In what ultimately may be their most significant discovery yet, Mars scientists say high-resolution pictures showing layers of sedimentary rock paint a portrait of ancient Mars that long ago may have featured numerous lakes and shallow seas." This exciting news comes from a recent NASA news article detailing the latest finds from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Nice, clear images of terraces possibly consisting of sedimentary rock layers accompany the text. [HCS]
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The Malacological Society of Australasia
The Malacological Society of Australasia (MSA) is dedicated to the study and conservation of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial mollusks. The MSA assists in the coordination of molluscan research and conservation efforts throughout Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and nearby countries in Asia and the Pacific) and produces a newsletter and research journal (Molluscan Research) to facilitate communication and to share research findings. In addition, MSA holds periodic conferences to bring together experts and amateurs with an interest in malacology. The MSA homepage provides descriptions of the Society, with links to publications and MSA events. [LXP]
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Fly-by QuickTime Movies of Selected Multibeam Surveys from the Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project [QuickTime]
The US Geological Survey's (USGS's) Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project (first reviewed in the July 22, 1998 Scout Report for Science and Engineering) has added select QuickTime movies created from multibeam surveys that "flyover" the mapped areas. The project uses digital multibeam systems to systematically map the sea floor, collecting bathymetric and backscatter (used to determine geology) data. So far the maps that have been made into fly-by movies are Lake Tahoe, the Los Angeles Margin, Crater Lake, and the Flower Garden of the Gulf of Mexico. Movie descriptions, which include the scale, color scheme, and basic geography are posted on the download pages. Note: the files are quite large and can have lengthy download times. [HCS]
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Institute for Systems Biology
The Institute for Systems Biology was founded earlier this year by Dr. Leroy Hood, former professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle. The Institute will combine experts in the fields of science and industry to pioneer research advances in the field of systems biology -- through work on cells, proteins, and genes. The homepage introduces the Institute's mission, systems biology (concepts that form its foundation), participating Institute faculty (and other partnerships), and a host of recent articles about the Institute. [LXP]
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Reports from CENAPRED on the Popocatepetl Volcano
Earlier this week, the Popocatepetl Volcano, located on the outskirts of Mexico City, picked up in activity. The plumes of gas, smoke, and ash that spread for a 50-mile radius caused evacuation of some villages. This Webpage is part of the Website of the Mexican Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED) and it gives daily English text updates on the eruptive activity of Popocatepetl, including some links to photos. The rest of CENAPRED is in Spanish. [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:

"Huge New Hydrothermal Vent System Found on Seafloor"
A new hydrothermal vent field, which scientists have dubbed "The Lost City," was discovered unexpectedly earlier this month on an undersea mountain at 30 degrees North on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This news item from the National Science Foundation discusses the discovery made by a team of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Duke University, and the University of Washington during an expedition to study hydrothermal processes. Color photos of the carbonate formations are also presented. [HCS]
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"First-Ever Complete Plant Genome Sequence Is Announced" -- NSF
Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI)
An international research team has completed the first plant genome sequence ever, for the species Arabidopsis thaliana. This news and four accompanying articles are featured in the December 14, 2000 issue of the journal Nature. The first Website listed above is from the National Science Foundation's news service and describes the recent advance. The second page, from the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI), contains "links to information on sequencing progress, the groups involved in the effort, and general information about the AGI project." [LXP]
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New Publications

New Preprints from CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research):
"Requirements for High Performance Computing for Lattice QCD: Report of the ECFA Working Panel" [Postscript, .pdf]
"The PS Complex as Proton Pre-injector for the LHC Design and Implementation Report" [Postscript, .pdf]
Cern has recently posted two new preprints. The first publication is a report prepared for the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) containing an assessment and future plans for high performance computers in the field of lattice theory. Topics covered include hadronic spectroscopy, thermodynamics, quark masses, non-OCD physics, and algorithms and computing technology required for high performance lattice calculations. The second publication is a report of the beam requirements, accelerator upgrades, and new RF harmonics and cavity design to be incorporated into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN's latest particle accelerator. Both preprints can be downloaded in either .pdf or .ps format. [HCS]

Three from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center [.zip]
"Avifauna of an Early Successional Habitat Along the Middle Missouri River"
"Evidence for Edge Effects on Multiple Levels in Tallgrass Prairie"
"A Provisional Model for Smooth Brome Management in Degraded Tallgrass Prairie"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has posted several new resources online. The first, by David L. Swanson, is based on a 1999 publication, which appeared in Prairie Naturalist [31(3):145-164]. The second resource, by Maiken Winter and colleagues, was published earlier this year in Condor [102(2):256-266]. Third, Gary D. Willson and James Stubbendieck co-wrote this article, published earlier this year in Ecological Restoration [18(1):34-38]. All three articles may be browsed online or downloaded in .zip format. [LXP]

Pacific Journal of Mathematics, Volume 196, No. 2, December, 2000 [.pdf, .dvi, hyperdvi, dvi+eps, Postscript]
The December issue of the free electronic journal The Pacific Journal of Mathematics, hosted by SUNY Albany's Mathematics Department's New York Journal of Mathematics, is now available. Each of the fifteen articles can be downloaded in a variety of formats: .pdf, .dvi, hyperdvi, dvi+eps, or .ps. [HCS]

Australian Institute of Marine Science: Research Plan 2000-2003 [.pdf]
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has just posted its triennial research plan, available on the AIMS Website as .pdf documents. The research plan is broken down into five main areas: Predicting Climate Impacts upon Marine Ecosystems, Exploring and Conserving Marine Biodiversity, Sustaining Marine Living Resources, Measuring Human Impacts in Coastal Marine Ecosystems, and Deriving Benefits from Marine Biotechnology. The document may be downloaded as separate chapters, with additional sections providing general overviews and AIMS technical information. [LXP]

"A Spectral Bundle Method for Semidefinite Programming"
This article is available online from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics's Journal on Optimization (Volume 10, Number 3). It covers minimization of the maximum eigenvalue of an affine matrix function (real and symmetric) for application to large-scale problems. [HCS]

Two on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) [.pdf]
"Resurgence of BSE in the EU"
"Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy"
The recent resurgence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or "mad cow disease," in the European Union is raising eyebrows of economists and animal science professionals, alike. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has posted several online documents on BSE. The first resource is from USDA's International Agricultural Trade newsletter and describes the recent BSE resurgence. The second resource, also from USDA, is a FactSheet on BSE. Both documents are available in .pdf format. [LXP]

Characteristics of Recent Science and Engineering Graduates [MS Excel]
This report is an early release of summary data from the 1999 cycle of the National Science Foundation's National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG), the fourteenth in a biennial series. The data present frequency of science and engineering bachelor's and master's degrees granted in 1997 and 1998, primary education and employment status, median salary, and field of degree by sex and race/ ethnicity. Tables can be downloaded in MS Excel format. [HCS]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education Jobs Board

Biology and Ecology Jobs

Computational Fluid Dynamics Jobs Database
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Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): Integrated Research and Education in Environmental Systems -- NSF
Deadlines: March 16, 2001 and March 29, 2001

Research for Mixed Signal Electronic Technologies -- NSF/ SRC
Deadline: March 23, 2001 (5:00 PM your local time)

Biophotonics Partnership Initiative II -- NSF
Deadline: March 12, 2001
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Distribution and Migration of Tertiary Mammals in Eurasia
May 17-19, 2001; Utrecht, Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: February 1, 2001

Marine Bioinvasions
April 9-11, 2001; New Orleans, Louisiana
EXTENDED Abstract Deadline: January 15, 2001

Optimization on Engineering Design Short Course
April 2-4, 2001; State College, PA
Registration Deadline: March 12, 2001

Third National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference
March 1-4, 2001; Notre Dame, Indiana
Application Deadline (for conference participation): January 15, 2001

International Workshop on the Science and Application of Nanotubes
July 22-26, 2001; Potsdam, Germany
Abstract Deadline: March 1, 2001

NDSC 2001 Symposium (Network for the Detection for Stratospheric Change)
September 24-27, 2001; Arcachon, France
Notification of Interest Deadline: December 31, 2000
Abstract Deadline: TBA
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New Data

The Coriolis Data Center
CORIOLIS was begun by French scientists in 1997 in order to combine satellite and in situ data from the global oceans, particularly the Atlantic. The CORIOLIS Website provides links to data from the project's floats. The data come from T-S profiles and time series from profiling floats, XBT's, thermo-salinographs, drifting, and moored buoys. Regularly updated Provor maps and charts are arranged by date, locality, and profile float number. Numerical data on sea surface temperature, temperature maps, and a float locality map with zoom-in capability are among the wealth of sea temperature data available here. Users will also find links to a list of the oceanographic vessels involved and the CORIOLOS project's homepage. [HCS]
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Global Climate Highlights & Anomalies
NOAA's Global Climate Highlights & Anomalies page offers weekly summaries of global climate highlights and anomalies (warm, cold, wet, dry). Areas experiencing climate anomalies are color-marked on a global map, followed by written summaries of each region's climate conditions. All weeks are posted for the year 2000 (to present), and a link points users to the complete 1999 archive. [LXP]
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Two New Entries on the Images of Canada Site:
Southern Vancouver Island
Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory
Landsat satellite images of Southern Vancouver Island and Lake Laberge, Yukon are the latest additions to the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing's Images of Canada series (reviewed in the June 7, 2000 Scout Report for Science and Engineering). Below the full-color .jpeg images are tables documenting the satellites and sensors used, date of acquisition, image resolution, area (km), and links to a reference map. Educational, hyperlinked text about the featured region and close-ups of important topographic features accompany the images. [HCS]
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DNA Testing & Cetaceans Bibliography
The American Society of International Law Wildlife Interest Group has posted the searchable DNA Testing & Cetaceans Bibliography, with dozens of resources from recent years to the 1970s (most resources are recent). Listed in alphabetical order, resources may be browsed online or searched using the internal search mechanism. [LXP]
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In The News

Expedition to Peruvian Andes Confirms the Source of the Amazon
1. Amazon Source Confirmed
2. Explorers Pinpoint Source of the Amazon
3. South America Physical Map
4. Topographic Mapping of the Lloqueta River Basin, Peru
5. Amazonia Watch: Monitoring the Earth's Largest River Basin
6. "Amazon River" --,5716,117568+1,00.html
7. Amazon Interactive
9. Living Waters: Latin American/Caribbean Programme for Freshwater Conservation
A US-led, National Geographic Society expedition says it has confirmed the location for the exact source of the Amazon River. The source lies on a 5,597 meter high peak called Nevado Mismi in the Peruvian Andes. The National Geographic team had established Mismi as the river's source in 1971, but in recent years the possibility had been raised that the actual source was at another mountain. Pinpointing the Amazon's source was made possible through use of modern geographic information systems. This week's In the News investigates the geography and conservation issues of the mighty river and its basin.

the first resource (1) is a news report from the BBC. The next site, (2), a more in-depth report from National Geographic, contains color illustrations and sidebar text. Also from the National Geographic Website is (3) a physical map of South America that includes the Amazon River. The fourth resource (4) is an online display of material presented by one of the explorers, A.K. Johnston of the National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS), at the 1998 meeting of the American Association of Geographers. It contains color Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images of the area and a summary of the search for the source. Another interesting page from CEPS, Amazonia Watch (5), presents a virtual tour of the Amazon and its peoples in the form of a slideshow. The slides are beautiful and the accompanying text informative. An good basic overview of the geography, hydrology, biology, ecology, and human settlers of the Amazon can be found in the online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica(6). Amazon Interactive (7), an ecotourism promoter, uses online games and activities to teach users about the geography, rainforest, and inhabitants of the Ecuadorian Amazon (This site was reviewed previously in the November 10, 1999 Scout Report for Science and Engineering). The next two sites are mainly conservation oriented. (8) gives regular updates on the major Amazonian land use issues involving timber and oil industries, mining, and agriculture. Users will find a wealth of conservation news and meeting announcements, arranged by region, industry type, institution, and peoples here. Living Waters (9), the World Wildlife Fund's division for conservation of the world's freshwater ecosystems, offers a newsroom, photo galleries, outlines of conservation initiatives, and links to articles. [HCS]
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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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