The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - April 25, 2001

April 25, 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


The Earthshine Project [PostScript]
The Earthshine Project, based at Big Bear Observatory and overseen by Professor Philip Goode of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), is investigating new ways to measure the earth's albedo (reflected sunlight), which is a major component in global climate. The project concentrates on determining a global and absolutely calibrated albedo by measuring the amount of sunlight reflected from the Earth and, in turn, back to the Earth from the dark portion of the face of the Moon (the "earthshine" or "ashen light"). The Earthshine Project's Website contains a project overview, links to daily cloud cover data, nightly earthshine data (1998-present) from the earthshine "coronagraph" and its Apogee7 digital camera, as well as preliminary spectral results (.ps, .gif, or .html). Other features of the site are detailed illustrated sections on calibration, including atmospheric extinction, night variation, libration effect, etc., and an article comparing calculated albedo model results with observed data. The site also furnishes a draft manuscript of the project results (.ps) and the project proposal. [HCS]
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Based at the University of Montana and directed by Dr. Peter Rice, the INVADERS Database is "a comprehensive database of exotic plant names and weed distribution records for five states in the northwestern United States." Designed for use by land management and weed regulatory agencies, INVADERS uses a query interface (plant name or location) to sort and display information. Data are updated regularly so as to increase the chance of detecting and halting the rapid spread of alien weeds. Highlights of the site include the noxious weed listings for all US states and six Canadian provinces, historic distribution records against which to compare current plant distributions, and summary statistics such as the number of invasive species detected per state or a summary of the 120 year invasion, among others. The INVADERS database will prove both interesting and useful to managers and academics, alike. [LXP]
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Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques
Designed as an educational reference for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students, this site confers information about computer animation techniques. The site's author, Dr. Richard Parent, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science at the Ohio State University, gives a thorough overview with topics ranging from the history of computer animation to hardware and software requirements to kinematics algorithms. He also provides an extensive reference list. Clearly written and accompanied by appropriate formulae and diagrams, this is a good Web resource for computer scientists. [HCS]
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Five Online Science Journals [.pdf]
Journal of Phycology
American Journal of Botany
International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Physiological Genomics
Cell Growth & Differentiation
HighWire Press
Five journals with free (or recently extended) online trial periods were recently announced; online content includes full text, figures, and tables. Published by the Phycological Society of America, the Journal of Phycology is freely available until May 15, 2001; online, full-text content begins with the December 2000 issue "and will expand with each month's new issues"; abstracts are online since 1985. The Botanical Society of America's American Journal of Botany (first discussed in the February 3, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) is also freely available, now through January 2002; online, full-text content begins September 1998, and abstracts and .pdf files begin January 1997. Third, the Society for General Microbiology offers free full access to the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology "until full text has been available for a few months"; PDF files are available since January 1997; abstracts are available since January 1990. Additionally, the American Physiological Society has announced free, online access to Physiological Genomics through December 31, 2001; full text and abstracts are available from 1999. Finally, the American Association of Cancer Research's Cell Growth & Differentiation journal will have an extended free trial period, now free through June 26, 2001. Online full-text content begins with the January 1999 issue; abstracts are online from 1990 (inaugural volume). All five journals are published in conjunction with Stanford University's HighWire Press. [LXP]
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The American Meteor Society
Based in Geneseo, New York, the American Meteor Society (AMS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting meteoritical research by both amateur and professional astronomers. The AMS Website provides weekly updates on observed meteor activity, a section of logs and images of fireball sightings, and overviews of and resources for both visual and radio observations. A highlight of the site is the Audio Gallery of Radiometeor Events, where users are guided through listening to the blips from meteor trails. A section on Spectroscopy as well as listings of AMS staff, publications, a Google search engine, and a wealth of useful links are also featured. [HCS]
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C-MAP: Clean Air Mapping and Analysis Program -- EPA [.zip, ArcInfo, ArcView]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Clean Air Mapping Analysis Program, C-MAP, is a GIS tool for "analyzing the overall impacts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emission reductions both nationally and regionally." C-MAP is comprised of two main components, status/trend maps (which characterize the relationships between emissions and the environment) and extensive GIS data sets (including inventory of emissions, effects, and demographic data). The Website offers straightforward instructions for using C-MAP and provides data for download in the following categories: air, water, land, deposition, emissions, climate/meteorology, sensitive resources, demographics, and area boundaries. Although data are intended for use with GIS software, most data files are also accessible via spreadsheet programs. In addition to the functional purpose of the C-MAP Website, users will also find links to other clean air science and policy online resources. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

Carbohydrate Chemistry and Glycobiology: A Web Tour [Chime]
As a companion to its special March 23, 2001 issue on carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology, Science magazine online has provided for free this special in-depth look at the diverse field of carbohydrate science. Recent breakthroughs in the field involve using carbohydrate's power to modify the structure and function of proteins to synthesize new drugs. This amazing Web tour begins with links to organic chemistry refresher tutorials, sites on nomenclature, and visuals of basic organic molecules. Science recommends that users download the Chime plug-in (link furnished) for viewing molecular structures in 3-D. The site also provides information on the basics of sugar metabolism, or glycolysis, and the structure of glycoproteins. A hyperlinked list of searchable databases dealing with carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology is given, along with links to relevant chemical societies and portals. This is a fantastic resource for college professors of organic chemistry. [HCS]
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Field Guide to Anemone Fishes and their Host Sea Anemones
Dr. Daphne G. Fautin of California Academy of Sciences and University of Kansas and Dr. Gerald R. Allen of Western Australian Museum wrote this fascinating field guide to anemone fishes and their sea anemone hosts. The five main chapters of this book cover classification and identification of sea anemones and anemonefishes in addition to their biologies, life histories, and the ecological interactions between them. Species-specific information includes common and scientific name, original description and color features/size, similar species, host species, and distribution. From students to clown fish enthusiasts to research scientists, offers a wealth of practical and intriguing information in this online book. [LXP]
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Geology By Lightplane
In 1966, Professor Louis J. Maher of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Geology and Geophysics piloted a department-owned Cessna over the continental US taking photos for use in his geology courses. As Maher flew, his trusty co-pilot and graduate assistant, Charles Mansfield, snapped the photos. The resulting collection is an assortment of breathtaking images of classic geological features, now available online for noncommercial use by educators (download via FTP). Maher gives us birds-eye views of structural features in Wyoming's Wind River Range, sedimentary strata in Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon, glacial landscapes in Northern Minnesota, and ancient lava flows in Arizona, to name just a few. [HCS]
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Conservation Ecology: Special Feature on Insect Pollinator Declines
The journal Conservation Ecology, first reviewed in the February 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering, has just posted a special feature issue on insect pollinator declines. Ten articles review the current state of knowledge on this topic and provide evidence (or speculations) on potential causes of pollinator declines, from population genetics through habitat degradation. [LXP]
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Dave Young's Chemical Topics
This collection of articles from Dave Young of Cytoclonal Pharmaceutics covers select topics in computational chemistry (e.g., molecular vibrations, pharmaceuticals, spin contamination), magnetochemistry, states of matter, and Gaussian, Mopac, and Unix computer languages. The articles are plucked from Young's publication Computational Chemistry: A Practical Guide for Applying Techniques to Real World Problems, scheduled to be published by John Wiley & Sons this spring. the articles are intended to be introductory and don't go into topics in depth, but some of the discussions are actually fairly advanced. The introductory section features a nice discussion of the terms "theoretical" and "computational" chemistry, with a warning of the pitfalls of relying too much on strictly computational methods. This is an interesting, informative resource for teachers of college-level chemistry. [HCS]
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General Interest

Earth Day 2001
The Science and Engineering Library at SUNY-Buffalo presents this fabulous page of resources in honor of the 31st anniversary of Earth Day (April 22). The history section discusses the grassroots beginnings of Earth Day in 1969 in San Francisco. Links to environmentally-centered pages, such as World Watch Journal and the Earth Day Project Library, are found in the Earth Day Internet Resources section. Major US and international environmental Websites like the World Health Organization's Programme on Environmental Health, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the National Library for the Environment, as well as links specific to Earth day and the environment in New York State, such as SUNY-Buffalo's special Love Canal online exhibit and the Rochester-based Center for Environmental Information, are also featured. Buffalo's Earth Day 2001 page was carefully compiled by librarians, so it is a great place to come for top Earth Day references. [HCS]
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NOAA's Drought Information Center
The Drought Information Center metasite serves as a gateway to NOAA's (and other) online resources on drought and climate conditions. From the US Drought Monitor (current assessment of drought status), to the Palmer Drought Severity Index, to paleo perspectives on North American drought, this site covers background information, current updates, and future predictions on droughts. [LXP]
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A New Solution to the Three Body Problem [Java]
The subject of this month's feature column from the American Mathematical Society Online is the solution to the "Three Body Problem" of Newtonian mechanics. The problem deals with three orbiting bodies of equal mass and the paths that they will take relative to one another. Solutions have been proposed by many, including Euler, Lagrange, and G.W. Hill. The article notes that solutions are sometimes called "choreographies." The well-written explanatory text discusses the figure-eight orbit, the triangle construction, other choreographies with >3 bodies, and the search for exotic orbits. It includes user-driven Java applets as demonstrations. This site should be interesting to mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike. [HCS]
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International Shark Attack File
Just as you may have guessed, this site gives the lowdown on shark attacks. Administered by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History, the International Shark Attack File is a compilation of all known shark attacks. Besides general information for the curious, a wealth of science-useful information and interesting summaries are offered here. The site provides geographic summaries of attacks, statistical trends of shark attacks since 1900, annual worldwide shark attack summaries (including the newly released 2000 summary), and much more. Those seeking to contribute to the food chain via death-by-sharks can even browse statistics revealing locations with the highest shark attack activity over the past decade. [LXP]
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The Geology of the Salton Basin-Colorado Delta Region
This metasite gives data, maps, resources, and educational text on the landforms and subsurface geology of the Salton Sea region. One link takes users to an extensive (although not hyperlinked) bibliography on the geology of Riverside and Imperial County. Other links include sections of a monograph with color photos and text describing the geology of California's Imperial Valley, including sections on the Salton Sea, Ancient Lake Cahuilla, and the Coachella Aquifer, among others, a color map and text on active faults of southern California (from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab), and the natural history of the Algodones Sand Dunes and the Imperial Sand Dunes (from the US Bureau of Land Management). A link to a short Desert Glossary rounds out the 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:

"Sweet Success for a Bitter Tonic"
After more than a century of trying, chemists have finally fully synthesized quinine, the compound known for its anti-malarial properties. The stumbling block in synthesizing quinine was in the "handedness" of its atoms (at several places, quinine's molecular framework can have either a left-handed or right-handed arrangement of atoms: identical except for being mirror images). This article about the breakthrough comes from Nature Science Update, the journal Nature's online news feature site. [HCS]
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15 Most Endangered Wildlands
On Earth Day on April 22, The Wilderness Society announced the year 2001 list of the "15 Most Endangered Wildlands." This year's list includes Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (AK), Copper River Delta, Chugach National Forest (AK), Denali National Park and Preserve (AK), Greater Grand Canyon Ecosystem (AZ), San Joaquin Roadless Area, Inyo National Forest (CA), Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge (CA & OR), White River National Forest (CO), Big Cypress National Preserve (FL), Badger Two Medicine/Rocky Mountain Front (MT), Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument (MT), Greater Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (MT, WY, & ID), Upper Bald River Roadless Area, Cherokee National Forest (TN), Utah Wilderness (UT), Kettle River Range Roadless Areas, Colville National Forest (WA), and Red Desert (WY). [LXP]
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Eight Global Environmental Champions Awarded 2001 Goldman Prize
The Goldman Prize
On April 23, eight winners were announced for the 2001 Goldman Prize. The Goldman Prize is the world's largest award honoring environmental activists. Winners include "two American journalists who risked their careers to expose the dangers of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), a Rwandan who fought to save mountain gorillas amidst his country's genocidal wars, and a Bolivian worker who won the world's first major victory in the struggle over privatizing public water," among others. Additional information is provided on The Goldman Prize homepage. [LXP]
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New Publications

Nomenclature for the C60-Ih and C70-D5h(6) Fullerenes
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division Commission on Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry has posted online their provisional recommendations for the nomenclature for the C60-Ih and C70-D5h(6) fullerenes (.pdf). This paper reviews IUPAC recommendations for naming and uniquely numbering the two most common fullerenes with isolated pentagons, the icosahedral C60 fullerene and the D5h-C70 fullerene; describes adaptations of organic nomenclature principles for naming derivatives of fullerenes; and suggests methods for describing structures consisting of two or more fullerene units and for denoting configurations of chiral fullerenes and their derivatives. [HCS]

Wilderness Society Press Release: "Interior's Draft Report Calls for Oil Drilling on Millions of Acres of National Lands"
"Energy Task Force: Land Management Planning Draft Report" [.pdf]
The Wilderness Society posted this news release highlighting a recent report by the Department of the Interior (.pdf format). This report "offers the first details as to how the administration will implement a domestic energy policy that includes aggressive development of federal lands," including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. [LXP]

FEMA 354: "A Policy Guide to Steel Moment-Frame Construction" [.pdf]
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes available online the findings and recommendations from a FEMA-sponsored study of steel-frame buildings initiated in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake (.pdf). The project was conducted by the SAC Joint Venture (the Structural Engineers Association of California, the Applied Technology Council, and California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering). [HCS]

Ecological Indicators for the Nation (2000) -- National Academies
The National Academy Press (of the National Academies) has posted this Open Book (for browsing only), from the Committee to Evaluate Indicators for Monitoring Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (National Research Council). The text provides criteria and methodologies for selecting and developing ecological indicators; proposes several ecological indicators and relevant data sources; and suggests ways to gather, store, interpret, and communicate information from ecological monitoring. [LXP]

Earthquake Research Reveals New Information
This brief, three-part report focuses on NSF-sponsored earthquake safety projects. The first section is on the Simmillennium Project, which investigates computer earthquake modeling techniques. The second section concentrates on hospitals, which are particularly difficult to retrofit for earthquake safety because of the sophisticated diagnostic and treatment systems they contain. The report also gives news of a safety engineering project for elementary school students created by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center. [HCS]

"Health, Climate and Infectious Disease: A Global Perspective" [.pdf]
This new report (.pdf format) from the American Academy of Microbiology Critical Issues Colloquia Program examines "the combined advances in microbiology, meteorology, climatology, epidemiology, oceanography, ecology, medicine and space science that are shedding light on the intricate connections between weather, oceans and emerging and re-emerging diseases." The report assesses progress and makes specific recommendations for future research collaboration, risk assessment, data collection, and techniques in technology and molecular fields. [LXP]

_Electronic Research Announcements of the American Mathematical
Society_, Volume 7 [PostScript, .dvi, .pdf, TeX]
The most recent volume of the American Mathematical Society's free online journal, Electronic Research Announcements, has been released. Articles offered include "On Noether's bound for polynomial invariants of a finite group," "The groups of order at most 2000," "Relative zeta determinants and the geometry of the determinant line bundle," and "A stretched exponential bound on the rate of growth of the number of periodic points for prevalent diffeomorphisms I." The text can be downloaded in .dvi, ,pdf, TeX, or .ps. Abstracts and references are in HTML. [HCS]

Terrestrial Vegetation Biodiversity Monitoring Protocols -- EMAN [.pdf]
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) has released this Manual of protocols for monitoring terrestrial vegetation. Designed so that different research groups can compare long-term results directly, the manual (.pdf format) is based on the use of permanent, square monitoring plots of differing sizes. The focus of the methods is on aboveground vascular plants, but they also include lichens and mosses that grow on the ground surface. [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Advertisements

Green Dream Jobs

Jobs for Physicists and Engineers

ORNITHOLOGICAL JOBS: Positions and Opportunities Available, On-line
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Smithsonian Institution Office of Fellowships and Grants

Microbial Observatories (MO) -- NSF
Full Proposal Deadline: July 12, 2001

RFP Bulletin: Science
RFP Bulletin: Environment

Saltonstall Kennedy (SK) Grant Program: Financial Assistance for Research and Development Projects to Strengthen and Develop the US Fishing Industry -- NMFS
Application Deadline: May 27, 2001

USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Deadline: May 18, 2001

CISE Quantum and Biologically Inspired Computing (QuBIC) Program -- NSF
Full Proposal Deadline(s): June 29, 2001 and first Monday in February each year thereafter.
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Detecting Environmental Change
July 17-20, 2001; London, UK
Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2001

International Conference on Forest Dynamics and Ungulate History
October 3-6, 2001; Davos, Switzerland
Abstract Submission and Early Registration Deadline: May 1, 2001

Simulation 2001
September 1-6, 2001; Malta
Paper Deadline: May 15, 2001

Sixteenth North American Diatom Symposium
September 19-22, 2001; Ely, Minnesota
Abstract Deadline: TBA

Chemical Information Symposium
June 24-28, 2001; Colby College, Waterville, Maine
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New Data

Space Environment Center Data
Although the Space Environment Center's database has been mentioned previously in the Scout Report (see the May 13, 1994 Scout Report), it is worth mentioning again because an unusually large amount of solar flare and geomagnetic activity has occurred in recent weeks. At the Space Environment Center site, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) posts data, some of it updated by the minute, on auroral activity, solar wind, and geomagnetic storms. Data come from GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) and ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer Spacecraft). The data, which include magnetic readings, solar flux measurements, KP index values, etc., are presented as illustrated Webpages, real-time dynamic displays, or as plain ascii text. Check out the latest extreme space weather here. [HCS]
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Flood Photos: Digital aerial photography taken during 2001 Gamma Snow Surveys
These spectacular digital aerial photos were taken by NOAA from the Airborne Snow Survey airplane (National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center) during Gamma Snow Surveys. They include high quality photos of current flood conditions in the Midwest, e.g., the Mississippi River, Minnesota River, and Red River. The high quality of these images will allow for multiple uses, whether as graphic data or educational tools. [LXP]
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Zipped ArcView Shape Files of Infected Areas (Foot and Mouth Disease) [.zip, ArcView, .pdf]
Britain's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Farming provides downloadable maps of areas of Britain affected by the Foot and Mouth Disease Epidemic. The maps are in ArcView format and are updated daily. Links to free software for viewing ArcView GIS files are given. Also on this page is a link to daily situation reports on Foot and Mouth (.pdf) [HCS]
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Soil Moisture -- NOAA
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center offers this useful data site on soil moisture across the US. Soil moisture data are provided here as color contour maps that represent calculated soil moisture, anomalies, and percentiles for the most recent day, monthly, and twelve-month time periods. Also provided here are 25-year average soil moisture & soil wetness summaries. In addition to providing recent and historical data, the Soil Moisture site features soil moisture forecasts for two-week, monthly, and seasonal intervals, based on the National Weather Service Medium Range Forecast (MRF) and the Constructed Analog on Soil Moisture (CAS). [LXP]
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In The News

Flooding on the Mighty Mississippi
1. "Heavier-than-Expected Rain Brings Predictions of New River Crests"
2. "Even With Damp Edges, Davenport Resists a River Wall"
3. Flood 2001 [RealPlayer]
4. Real Time Water Data
5. National Weather Service Hydrology: Quad Cities
6. Monthly Review of Water Resources in Iowa [.pdf]
7. "Say, What is a 100-Year Flood?"
8. About Rivers and Dams
9. Cadillac Desert
10. The Powell Consortium
11. American Experience: Fatal Flood [RealPlayer]
This week, floodwaters of the Mississippi River crested, leading several counties in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin to declare states of emergency. Floodwaters have reached over 22 feet in Davenport Iowa, closing in on the 1993 record water level. Davenport is perhaps particularly hard hit because it is not equipped with concrete levees, as it relies heavily on its riverfront as a tourist attraction, and city residents feel that levees would create an unsightly barrier. Also, many hydrology experts will agree that levees might not be the wisest choice for flood management because they intensify the flooding downriver. This Week's In the News features Websites dealing with Mississippi River flood data, flood management, and general water resources.

Readers who wish to catch up on the situation should browse the first few news sites listed above. The first (1), coming straight from the flood frontlines, is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune giving general news about the Mississippi flood. The next two sites cover the situation in Davenport, IA and the controversy over constructing flood walls. The second site (2) is an article from the Los Angeles Times reviewing the controversy over building flood barriers in Davenport. It mentions how other Iowa towns built levees after the disastrous floods of 1965 while Davenport did not. The third site (3) is a special section of Davenport's Quad City Times entitled Flood 2001. Flood 2001 holds a small archive of recent articles about the flood from the Quad City Times along with other regional papers, hosts an online poll about installing levees, and provides video clips (RealPlayer) and still photos of the flood. It also gives shots from a "floodcam" poised along the banks of the Mississippi. The next few resources house hydrologic data. The US Geological Survey (USGS) posts real-time water data online (4). The plain-text data from all states can be accessed via a clickable map or from lists by state or by station. The National Weather Service's Quad Cities division (the "quad cities" of Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, and Rock Island straddle the Mississippi River on the Illinois-Iowa border) provides graphs of flood stages of rivers and streams (selected using a clickable map) and real-time weather conditions, forecasts, and flood warnings online (5). Readers will probably encounter the term "100 Year Flood" while reading flood news and stage data. If you are unfamiliar with this term, which refers to the estimated probability that a flood event has a one-in-one hundred chance of occurrence in any given year, this site (7) from an environmental consulting firm gives a nice explanation of the term and its uses. Another educational site comes from the International Rivers Network. About Rivers and Dams (8), gives an overview of the function of dams (for flood control, power generation, water collection) and presents the environmental case against damming of rivers. Other sites related to the environmental impacts of flood control include Cadillac Desert (9), a supplement to the award-winning PBS documentary series on water and the control of nature, and the Powell Consortium (10), a network of research institutions dealing with water management in the arid American West. Another neat site from PBS Online is the supplement to the film "American Experience: Fatal Flood" (11), documenting the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi and its impacts on residents of Greenville, MS. The Fatal Flood site features video clips and interviews with survivors of the 1927 flood. [HCS]
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