The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - March 28, 2001

March 28, 2001

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the 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


AMS Featured Reviews [.dvi, .pdf, PostScript]
The American Mathematical Society's MathSciNet now presents Featured Reviews from Mathematical Reviews online. "Since its founding in 1940, Mathematical Reviews (MR) has aimed to serve researchers and scholars in the mathematical sciences by providing timely information on articles and books that contain new contributions to mathematical research," state the editors. The purpose of the Featured Reviews page is to assist researchers in accessing the most outstanding reviews without having to wade through the thousands of reviews that are posted to MR online each month. The editors state that the Featured Reviews "...will cover some of the very best papers published in mathematics, identified by the MR editors with the advice of distinguished outside mathematicians as being especially important in one or more of the areas covered by MR. The reviewers for these papers are asked to set the paper in context, perhaps with some historical background, state the main results of the paper, outline (in not too technical a fashion) the main new ideas in the paper and include their evaluation of the paper." Each four- to six-paragraph-long review, available in HTML, .dvi, .ps, or .pdf format, gives the reviewer's name and the full article citation, hyperlinked when possible. This should prove to be a valuable Web resource for academic mathematicians. [HCS]
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International Plant Names Index (IPNI)
A collaborative initiative of The Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium, the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) is a comprehensive, literature-based database of the scientific names and associated basic bibliographical details of all vascular (seed) plants. A dynamic resource intended for use by all members of the botanical community, IPNI currently includes more than a million records from Index Kewensis, the Gray Index (originally the Gray Herbarium Card Index), and the Australian Plant Names Index; additional records are added periodically. IPNI is accessible in a searchable format: by Plant name (Family, Genus, Species), Author (forename, surname, country), Publication (title or abbreviation), or Collector (or Collector Team Name). Returns include full scientific name and primary source references for each matching case in the database. [LXP]
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Part of the WWW Virtual Library, the Linux4Chemistry page is a metasite listing a variety of chemistry-related software available on the Web for Linux interface. The site is maintained by Nikodem Kuznik, an undergraduate at the Silesian Technical University in Gliwice, Poland. The list indicates whether the software is free, shareware, or commercial and gives brief descriptions of applications. A few of the programs listed are AllChem, AMMP molecular modeling program, CDA charge composition analysis, and Kmol molecular weight calculator. Besides the seemingly exhaustive list of Linux software for chemistry, this site also gives links to other software resources. [HCS]
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Protist Image Data (PID)
The Protist Image Data (PID) Website provides up-to-date images and online information on the morphology, taxonomy, and phylogenetic relationships of "selected protist genera, especially those genera whose species are frequently used as experimental organisms or are important in studies of organismal evolution." Spearheaded by researchers Charles O'Kelly and Tim Littlejohn and maintained at the University of Montreal's Molecular Evolution & Organelle Genomics program, the site contains a brief overview of the PID initiative and features dozens of annotated images and descriptive summaries of protists. Also provided at the site are links to recommended online databases and further resources on protistology. [LXP]
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Life And Medical Sciences Online (LAMSO)
Life And Medical Sciences Online (LAMSO) is an online journal "for all fields of life and medical sciences." Based in Germany and led by Ludewig Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, LAMSO publishes scientific papers within two weeks, and all articles are accessible free of charge. Current article content emphasizes the biomedical and cellular biology sciences, with most articles by German authors. Note that, unlike some online journals that seek to disseminate scientific research rapidly, LAMSO has no peer review process, so readers should consider results accordingly. [LXP]
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DINOFLAJ: Dinoflagellate Classification Database
Rob Fensome and colleagues at the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic division), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, have put together DINOFLAJ, a classification database on dinoflagellates. Best known in their relation to "red tides" and paralytic shellfish poisoning, dinoflagellates are single-celled organisms that occur worldwide. The DINOFLAJ database contains current classification information on "fossil and living dinoflagellates down to generic rank, and an index of fossil dinoflagellates at generic, specific, and infraspecific ranks." A glossary and an extensive reference list complete the site. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

The Biostrat Gallery
A work-in-progress from the University of Western Australia, the Biostrat Gallery is an online register of Foraminifera from the Carnarvon Platform, the Exmouth Gulf, the and central coast of Western Australia. The site features hundreds of beautiful black-and-white electron micrograph images of Foraminifera tests, accompanied by references and remarks. Each thumbnail can be enlarged to a full-page view. The Gallery is organized by era and geographic location. Within each section, users can search by taxon, stage, formation, and by chamber and wall type in the Exmouth Gulf section. The site is relatively new and under construction, so only a few time periods are represented. Nevertheless, this is a great resource for accessing images of Australian Foraminiferal taxa. [HCS]
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Fact or Artifact: A Parasitology Tutorial
This parasitology tutorial, from the University of Alberta (Canada)'s Microbiology & Public Health section, is intended to help microscopists in differentiating clinically important parasites from artifacts (e.g., materials from other sites in the body). A combination of color-image illustrations and text, this straightforward site highlights the important distinguishing characters of numerous parasites. The site is organized into six main sections: Introduction, Contents, Protozoans, Helminths, Artifacts, and Comparisons; a small selection of links to other parasitology Websites completes this resource. [LXP]
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This site is informative for both chemistry students and for researchers seeking effective pH meters. The site belongs to pH-Measurement Co., a UK-based supplier of pH measurement devices, consisting, in their words, "of a team of 12 people whose mission in life is to improve the quality of pH measurement worldwide." Contents of include a beginner's guide to what pH is and how it is measured, applications of pH, a glossary of terms, and suggested lab practices and electrode meter troubleshooting. The beginner's guide and glossary would benefit students of introductory chemistry, while the sections on choosing a pH meter would be useful to professionals. An easy pull-down menu allows users to input the meter type, application, parameters, electrode type, resolution and price desired to find the best pH meter for their needs. The Website is informative and well designed. [HCS]
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Definition of Fisheries Technical Terms -- NEFSC/ NOAA
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) offers this helpful list of definitions of important fisheries terms. Technical terms from "Absolute Recruitment" through "Yield per Recruit" are described clearly in straightforward language. Whether for the fisheries students or incoming fisheries scientists, this resource will lend a helping hand where other dictionaries just don't salt the fish. [LXP]
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Earth Science Photographs
Searchable by geologic category, national park or monument name, photographer, or search term, this database of earth science photographs from the US Geological Survey (USGS) is a real gem. The photographs, from the USGS library, are both color and black-and-white, recent and historic, and many are accompanied by explanatory captions. The geologic categories include erosion, glaciation, ground water, volcanism, and sedimentary processes, among others. Some of the spectacular National Parks and Monuments represented include Hawaii Volcanoes, Death Valley, Arches, and Mammoth Cave. A few photos taken by USGS geologists in foreign countries are also included. The thumbnails expand to full-sized .jpeg images. This is a good source of stock photos of geological features. [HCS]
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General Interest

One of many educational pages devised by entrepreneur and programmer John Walker, YourSky is a virtual planetarium. Visitors to the site can use the Sky Map to produce astronomical maps by entering time and date, viewpoint, and observing location (latitude/longitude and ascension/declination). The Virtual Telescope helps you to track comets and asteroids, and Horizon Views returns views of the stars above the horizon as seen from a specified observing site at a given date and time. If you aren't sure of the exact map coordinates of the city sky you desire to view, you can consult a hypertext list of major cities around the world. Want to aim your telescope at a certain planet or stellar body? There's a hypertext list of those, too. Full explanations of map colors and symbols are provided, along with links to related programs, a Sky screensaver, and more. [HCS]
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Discover Life
The nonprofit organization Discover Life has combined forces with the National Park Service to conduct an "All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory" -- a comprehensive inventory of all life forms in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 800-square-mile national park lies within the states of North Carolina and Tennessee and encompasses some of the richest biodiversity in the Temperate Zone. The Discover Life homepage provides background information on this ambitious initiative, including an internal search engine (for accessing additional resources on the Park's taxa and experts involved with the project), links to educational resources, status of the inventory, and much more. [LXP]
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Wright Air Development Center [.pdf, Excel]
The Galvin Library at Illinois Institute of Technology hosts this site serving as a digital repository for publications and news from the Wright Air Development Center (WADC) of the Wright-Patterson Airforce Base. The Historical Overview section contains a timeline of important events at the WADC, black-and-white images of the aircrafts designed there, and a hyperlinked "Reference Shelf" of certain Air Force publications, such as "Birthplace, Home and Future of Aerospace... The Evolution of Aeronautical Development at the Aeronautical Systems Center" (.pdf). Particularly interesting features in the Historical Overview Section include discussions of the "space race" and UFOs, and visitors can read and download Air Force reports on the Roswell Incident from the Reference Shelf. The Digital Collection section lists WADC technical reports, browseable by date, author, corporate author, or by report number, available for download (.pdf). In addition to the table of reports, a bibliography is available in either .pdf, Excel, or interactive (requires Explorer 4.01) format. A good site for those interested in the history of aviation with some of the technical side included or for people curious about the Roswell mystery. [HCS]
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Montana Water
Provided by the Montana University System Water Center at Montana State University-Bozeman, this impressive site offers a wealth of information regarding issues related to water in Montana and nationally. A mix of political (regarding recent legislation), educational, research, and funding/employment "water information" is posted at this Website, under several section headings: Information, Featured Programs, Policy & Legislation, Learning Resources, and Montana Watersheds. In addition, a substantial collection of links to related organizations and resources assists users in finding further online information. [LXP]
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Native American Geometry
This Website, sprung from a gifted-and-talented program for K-12 students in Arizona, presents the interesting world of Native American geometry, a system based on the proportional relationship between the radius and circumference of a circle. The eye-pleasing site, divided into sections that include Foundations, Education, Designs, and Anthropology, would be appealing to curious Web surfers along with mathematics students. Geometric principles of proportions and angles are presented in the context of Native American designs, joining art and science and allowing students to learn in a creative, applied fashion. Some highlights of the site include illustrated examples of how corporate logos such as those of Mitsubishi or CBS Television are based on this geometry and a page on the architectural geometries of archaeologic sites such as Chaco Canyon, NM. A brief discussion of the history of circle-based ("string and two sticks") geometry throughout the world and a list of references for teachers are also important parts of this site. [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:

Lost and Found: The Mars Lander
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency, a US Military organization that scrutinizes surveillance imagery, has discovered what might be the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) in an image of the Martian south pole from the NASA Mars Global Surveyor. NASA's MPL was due to land near the Martian south pole in December 1999,, but mission controllers lost contact with it during its descent. This news story from the popular science site, The NewScientist, gives details. [HCS]
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"Democrats seek answers on Bush environmental moves"
Natural Resources Defense Council: recent environmental news
In only three months, President Bush and his new administration are surprising many hopeful Americans by taking several extreme legislative moves against the health of the natural environment. This news brief from Reuters posted by Environmental News Network and the recent issues highlighted on the NRDC homepage describe the recent decisions by the Bush administration to reduce regulations on toxic substances (such as arsenic in drinking water) and further open public forests and wild lands to industrial development. [LXP]
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New Publications

"Seabed Observation and Sampling System" [.pdf]
This factsheet from the US Geological Survey gives information on the Seabed Observation and Sampling System (SEABOSS). SEABOSS uses two video cameras, a still camera, and a modified Van Veen sediment sampler. The short factsheet (.pdf format) includes color images of the instrument and examples of images taken by it. [HCS]

"Reaching Across the Communication Gulf: Reflections on the Challenges of Environmental Assistance Programs" [.pdf]
Ruth Greenspan Bell wrote this discussion paper (01-05) for Resources for the Future. The paper examines several (quasi) case studies to explore "how communication across differing traditions, legal systems, cultures, history, and language has impacted joint efforts to develop stronger environmental regimes." The paper (165 Kb) may be downloaded as a .pdf document.

Pacific Journal of Mathematics vol.198 no.1 [.pdf, .dvi, PostScript]
The most recent edition of the online publication Pacific Journal of Mathematics is now available. Articles include "On the asymptotics of the trace of the heat kernel for the magnetic Schrodinger operator," "Nielsen root theory and Hopf degree theory," and "Some characterization, uniqueness and existence results for Euclidean graphs of constant mean curvature with planar boundary." The texts are available in .ps, .pdf, or .dvi format, and the site can be viewed with or without frames. [HCS}

Four from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) [.zip]
"Duck Nest Success on Conservation Reserve Program Land in the Prairie Pothole Region"
"White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Predation on Grassland Songbird Nestlings"
"Leadership in Wolf, Canis lupus, Packs"
"Waterfowl Research Priorities in the Northern Great Plains"
The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) continues to place scientific/ management resources online for general viewing. Here are four more newly posted articles. The first resource, by H.A. Kantrud was originally published in 1993 in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation [48(3):238-242] and examines nest success of dabbling ducks on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land. The second resource, by Pamela J. Pietz and Diane A. Granfors, was published in 2000 in American Midland Naturalist [144(2):419-422] and reports on four instances of nest depredation by white-tailed deer. Third, L. David Mech recently published this article in Canadian Field-Naturalist [114(2):259-263, 2000] describing leadership in wolf packs. Last but not least, this article by Robert R. Cox and colleagues, published in the 2000 Wildlife Society Bulletin [28(3):558-564], summarizes research priorities for waterfowl ecology and management. All four resources may be browsed online or downloaded as .zip files. [LXP]

"Photoluminescence Quenching of Conjugated Macromolecules by Bipyridinium Derivatives in Aqueous Media: Charge Dependence" [.pdf]
This article from the February 20, 2001 issue of Langmuir is available through the American Chemistry Society (ACS) Website. The ACS is celebrating the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to one of the co-authors, Alan J. Heeger. The study dealt with quenching the photoluminescence from a water-soluble conjugated macromolecule by six bipyridinium derivatives with different charges (.html, .pdf).

"Reduced Predation of the European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) on Corn Transformed with a Wheat Oxalate Oxidase Gene" [.pdf]
The Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC) of Canada has placed online this recent poster by authors J. Simmonds and colleagues. The poster (.pdf format) investigates plant resistance to insect herbivory via genetic modifications in the cell wall chemistry of corn. [LXP]

_Physics Today
Physics Today is a monthly journal of the American Institute of Physics that has been in circulation for 50 years. Now Physics today is available free online. Lively news and reviews, the latest discoveries,, and a forum for discussion of current issues in physics make up the journal. this month's special focus is on the centennial anniversary of NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) with articles on the physics of atomic clocks, determination of fundamental constants, and more. Letters, book reviews, job and meeting announcements, and new product listings are also presented. The site states that, in the near future, access restrictions will apply and certain services will be available only to subscribers and individual members of societies connected to the American Institute of Physics. [HCS]

"Toxicological Review of Boron and Compounds" -- EPA [.pdf]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted this preliminary draft (.pdf format) reviewing the toxicological effects of chronic exposure to boron. [LXP]

"SLAC-PUB-8779: Observational Evidence for Two Cosmological Predictions Made by Bit-String Physics" [.pdf, PostScript]
This pre-print from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) covers string theory and dark matter, in particular the baryon/ photon ratio at the time of nucleogenesis. The theories presented are not in disagreement with actual cosmological data, including that from BOOMERANG. This pre-print may be downloaded for free in .pdf or .ps format. [HCS]

Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science [.dvi, PostScript, .pdf, .gzip]
Published by the University of Chicago Press, the Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal that explores and discusses, you guessed it, theoretical computer science. The journal is very much aimed at scholars and students in the field, and these readers can access the full text of the articles from 1996 to present at the site (there is a voluntary subscription policy). The articles are listed in reverse chronological order, preceded by an abstract, and available for download in several formats. Also included at the site are a bibliography of over 360 books, articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports about self-stabilization or applications that employ stabilizing techniques. [MD]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Careers in Aerospace

American Water Resources Association: Career Center

Physics Today Job Opportunities
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Strategic Technologies for the Internet (STI), Accelerating Technology Creation (NSF 01-90 Program Announcement)
Application Deadline: June 21, 2001

2001 Technology for a Sustainable Environment -- NSF/ EPA
Application Deadline: May 21, 2001

Minority On-Line Information Service (MOLIS)

Resident Postdoctoral Research Associates Program in Microbiology -- CDC
Application Deadline: June 1, 2001
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Yeast 2001
August 26-31, 2001; Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2001

2001 Workshop on Non-Neutral Plasmas
July 30-August 2, 2001; San Diego, California
Abstract Deadline: April 15, 2001

Sixth Annual Meeting of the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network
October 18-22, 2001; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Canada)
Deadlines: abstract, registration form, and payment due August 24, 2001

C.I.M.P.* Subcommission on Spores and Pollen (*Commission Internationale de Microflore du Paleozoique)
September 3-5, 2001; Cork, Ireland
Titles Due: April 1, 2001
Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2001

The Fourth International Conference on Urban Pests
July 7-10, 2002; Charleston, South Carolina
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2001

222nd American Chemical Society Meeting
Abstract Deadline: April, 2001 (specific date varies by division)
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New Data

Arctic Refraction Catalogue
The Geological Survey of Canada provides this site containing abundant data on seismic refraction surveys from the Arctic Ocean. The data available include maps, velocity-depth profiles, and text on cruise information, depths and velocities, source and receiver locales, and experiment descriptions. The seismic data come from the following areas: Alaska, Amerasian Basin, Baffin Bay, Barents-Kara Sea, Bering Sea, Canadian Polar Margin, Eurasian Basin, Laptev Sea, Lomonosov Ridge, and Norway. A clickable index map of the seismic profiles serves as a gateway to the data sets. Contributions to the data catalog come from numerous countries including Norway, Germany, Russia,, and the US. [HCS]
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Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR)
The Department of Energy (DOE) maintains the Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR) Program to provide public access to "health and exposure data concerning DOE installations" (generally, exposure data on industrial workers). The CEDR Website maintains over 300 data files for public access, as well as publications based on those data sets. Users interested in accessing data will find a variety of selection options on the homepage, including Health & Mortality Data Sets, Classic Radiation Data Sets, and others. [LXP]
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Great Lakes Mosaic [FTP, .zip]
The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing's (CCRC's Geogratis site for free online data provides this mosaic image of the Great Lakes Watershed. The mosaic is composed of 82 Landsat MSS images acquired between June 1 and September 15 from 1985 to 1987. The imagery can be downloaded via FTP or as a .zip file. Notes on data collection and processing techniques along with a list of references are also available. [HCS]
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World Checklist of Extant Mecoptera Species
Dr. Norman D. Penny of the Department of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences, spearheaded this Webpage to provide an online world checklist of extant mecopterans (scorpion-flies and hanging-flies). An updated version of the world checklist published by Penny & Byers (1979), this online list is intended as a reference for biologists and naturalists interested in mecopterans. The list is organized by Family (from Apteropanorpidae through Panorpodidae) and includes descriptive characters for each Family, full scientific names for each species, and a handful of color images of some select species. [LXP]
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In The News

Acid Rain Revisited
1. "Harmful Effects of Acid Rain Are Far-Flung, a Study Finds"
2. The Hubbard Brook Research Foundation [.pdf, MS Word]
3. Institute of Ecosystem Studies
4. Environmental Issues: Acid Rain (EPA)
5. Programs and Regulations: Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
6. "Acid Rain: Emissions Trends and Effects in the Eastern United States" [.pdf]
7. On-line Data and Reports on Acid Rain, Atmospheric Deposition and Precipitation Chemistry
8. Isopleth Maps [.pdf]
9. "The Effects of Acidic Deposition on Aquatic Ecosystems in Pennsylvania" [.pdf]
10. Sugar Maple
The results of a long term study of the effects of acidic deposition in the Northeast were published in Bioscience this week, and they suggest that forests, lakes, and streams of the Northeastern US are not recovering from the toxic effects of acid rain despite significant cuts in the power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide -- two major contributors to the problem. "Acid rain," more accurately called acidic deposition, causes toxic forms of aluminum to concentrate in soil and water, vital calcium and magnesium to be leached from trees, and surface waters to become inhospitable to aquatic biota. The study showed that, after 30 years of federally mandated air emission reductions, sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased while nitrogen oxide emissions have remained the same and that acidic deposition-related problems continue to plague New York and New England.

For a good introduction to the study and its implications, visit the New York Times online (1) (free registration required). The principal contributors to the study are with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (2) of New Hampshire. At the Hubbard Brook site, readers can access a report entitled "Acid Rain Revisited" (.pdf), a summary of the Bioscience paper (MS Word), and a brief factsheet (.pdf). A list of participants and a project overview/timeline are also presented. A principal advisor to the Hubbard Brook Project is Dr. Gene Likens of The Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES), Millbrook, NY. The IES Website (3) provides research overviews and ecosystem description for a broad range of ecologic topics and geographic locations, including the Hubbard Brook study. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Website's Issues section (4) furnishes basic information about the definition and causes and effects of acid rain and offers educational materials. For information on the Clean Air Act, legislation intended to curb acidic deposition by restricting power plant emissions, visit the EPA's Programs and Regulations section (5). From there, readers can access the full text of the original Clean Air Act, the full text of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, or a shorter overview. The 1993 publication "The Plain English Guide To The Clean Air Act" is also accessible here. Another interesting government publication on the topic comes from the US General Accounting Office. The March 2000 report "Acid Rain: Emissions Trends and Effects in the Eastern United States" (6) gives a table of fiscal allowances used by the 25 states participating in the 1995-1998 acid rain reduction and also gives data on chemical deposition. Findings described in the General Accounting Report are similar to those in the Hubbard Brook report. For data collected on acid rain, go to the US Geological Survey's site, On-line data and reports on acid rain, atmospheric deposition and precipitation chemistry (7), where a plethora of data tables, summaries, maps, and plots from around the country are available. Isopleth maps available from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (8) are a good visual aid for understanding pollution deposition. Arranged by year, from 1994-1999, these .pdf or .gif maps show deposition and concentration of a variety of elements and compounds and pH measurements in the lower-48 states (the entire NADP Website was described in the September 1, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering). Research on the effects of acidic deposition is taking place at many institutions around the country, including Pennsylvania State University. A report from Penn State's Environmental Resources Research Institute (ERRI) discusses aquatic ecosystems in particular (9). Finally, many articles on acid rain mention the decline of sugar maple trees in response to acidic deposition. An educational resource on the life history of the sugar maple comes from Cornell University's Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program (10). Note: Sites 4 and 7 appeared in the April 15, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering. [HCS]
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