The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - June 20, 2001

June 20, 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

New from Internet Scout


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News

New from Internet Scout

The Last Issue of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering
The Internet Scout Project is sad to announce that this is the final issue of the Scout Report for Science & Engineering, as we have been unable to secure funding to continue publishing our subject-specific reports. We have, however, no immediate plans to cease publishing our flagship report, the Scout Report. Many thanks to our loyal readers.
If you do not already receive the Scout Report, you can subscribe here:
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Organic Chemistry Resources Worldwide [.pdf]
Organic Chemistry Worldwide is an excellent organic chemistry metasite that is not to be missed. Geared toward synthetic organic chemists involved in academic or industrial research, Organic Chemistry Resources Worldwide has a mission to collect and independently annotate "all useful organic chemistry sites and to present them in an intuitive way." This extensive metasite is divided into sections on literature, laboratory resources, spectroscopy and spectrometry, nomenclature and teaching, and conferences and organizations. The Literature section contains links to over 75 journals (some restricted access), 14 free databases (and many more commercial), dissertation collections, reviews, guides, patents, and current awareness sources. Examples of resources for laboratory work include links to chemical product databases, laboratory safety bulletins (.pdf), products and services, etc. Highlights of the site are an in-depth section on mass spectrometry, with links to publications and databases, and a plethora of links to organic chemistry labs worldwide, from Armenia to Uruguay. [HCS]
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Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project
In 1993, President Clinton directed the Forest Service to "develop a scientifically sound and ecosystem-based strategy for management of eastside forests." In response, this project was initiated by the USDA Forest Service (FS) and the USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project Website provides detailed information on the project, profiling scientific research, online reports and publications, spatial data, and a What's New section with news updates. Also online is the project's final Environmental Impact Statement, focusing on "critical needs at the broad scale: landscape health; aquatic habitats; terrestrial habitats; and human needs, products, and services." Interested viewers will want to take a closer look. [LXP]
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CADDET Energy Efficiency [.pdf]
The Centre for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies (CADDET) is a cooperative, international project that aims to "enhance the exchange of information on new, cost-effective, energy-saving technologies that have been demonstrated in applications in industry, buildings, transport, utilities, and agriculture." the CADDET Website features a newsletter highlighting specific projects and information on general energy matters and legislation, .pdf versions of technical reports, links to software and online tools (for agriculture, building, energy distribution, heat storage, and more), along with an easily searchable database of CADDET publications. The publications in particular make this site useful for researchers in energy technology: a vast array of project descriptions and data, workshop reports, in-depth listings of organizations, and contacts are among the many resources provided. [HCS]
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Monkfish Research Survey -- NEFSC
The National Marine Fisheries Service/ Northeast Fisheries Science Center maintains this research site in collaboration with the Monkfish fishing industry. Since October, commercial fishers and researchers have been working to improve information about the distribution, size, and condition of the Monkfish population. The Website includes introductory information about monkfish and the project (see Press Releases, Monkfish Research, and Monkfish FAQs), cruise instructions for participating vessels, vessel positions for numerous legs of the research, distributional range of monkfish in North America, and preliminary data from cruises. Also provided are numerous links to further information. [LXP]
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Icelandic Geology Resources
The main feature of this site from Hamrahlio College of Reykjavik, Iceland is an interactive geological map of Iceland showing lava flows and glaciers. Other highlights include links to related Icelandic geology pages (e.g., The Effect of Diatom Mining, Iceland's Ministry of the Environment), news sources and journals, and Icelandic geological societies (not all are in English). A recommended resource for glaciologists, volcanologists, and educators in earth science. [HCS]
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Learning Resources

Molecular Universe
This fantastic resource for college-level students of chemistry provides abundant images and explanatory text on molecules and molecular systems. The site's main provider is Richard Catlow, Director of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Molecular Universe presents a collection of lessons, arranged into categories such as Building in Three Dimensions, Boundaries and Barriers, and The Molecules of Life. The sleek color illustrations demonstrate everything from diamond structure to a DNA molecule. Highlights of the site include a detailed look at protein folding, how molecules taste, and molecules and computers. Both students and professors should journey to the Molecular Universe. [HCS]
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VIREO: Visual Resource for Ornithology
Well known among ornithologists, the Academy of Natural Sciences' VIREO (Visual Resource for Ornithology) is "the world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs. It houses over 96,000 35mm slides and 5,000 black-and-white prints of over 6,100 bird species," including every species of bird in North America. The VIREO homepage contains four sections: Slides for Publication & Reference (for fee); Slides for Non-profit Educational Lectures (lowest cost); Contributing Images; and Photo Gallery. Interested viewers may browse sample images or search the 6,153 species of birds to locate images of a species of interest. [LXP]
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Genomics Glossary
Because genomics is an interdisciplinary science that unites biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, its language is diverse and includes terms not always found in dictionaries. This site from Cambridge Healthtech Institute of Massachusetts was designed to help scientists keep on top of this complex language. Loads of terms in categories such as basic genetics, functional and structural genomics, informatics, and genomic-related technology are defined here. Users can access the glossary terms either through a short index of major subject headings or by a longer alphabetically-arranged subject list. The Genomics Glossary deserves bonus points for including links to related resources in the text of its definitions. For example, within the definition of "polymerase chain reaction" are links to sites at Yale Medical School and the National Library of Medicine. In addition, links to pages on nomenclature, a bibliography of Web and print resources, and a FAQ page are available at this fantastic Website. [HCS]
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Nomina Insecta Nearctica
First published by Entomological Information Services in 1996-97 in four volumes, this online checklist is a complete listing (minus synonyms) of the approximately 90,000 species of insects of North America north of Mexico. The checklist is arranged alphabetically, by taxonomic rank. Detailed information includes "the current generic name, the species name, the author or authors of the name, the date of publication, and finally (in parentheses), the generic name under which the species was originally described." Beginners should start at the table of contents and follow the links. [LXP]
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General Interest

Mars Explorer for the Armchair Astronaut and PDS Map-a-Planet
This new feature from NASA's Planetary Data Archives allows users to create custom maps of Mars and other planets. Red Planet enthusiasts will enjoy using the clickable map of Mars, based on images collected by NASA's Viking missions. Once a geographic feature (Terra Sirenum, Syrtis Major, Olympus Mons, etc.) is chosen from the map, the program takes the user to a custom view which can then be zoomed, panned, and displayed as either a sinusoidal, mercator, or simple cylindrical map. Users can also specify image size and color mode. Aside from this really neat Mars mapping tool, this Website has a link to "Map-a-Planet," that features custom photo maps (also from the Viking spacecraft) of Venus, Mars, the moon, and Jupiter's Callisto. For each of these, a custom map can be made in one of several modes: "easy" (a clickable map), "intermediate," or "advanced" (user specifies gridline frequency, resolution, center longitude, stretch, projection type). All images are in .jpeg format. Who says you have to spend millions to visit space? [HCS]
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Conservation and Environmental Maps
American Memory, the Library of Congress' "gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States," offers this gem of a site on exploration and land use in the US. These historic and recent maps will be of great interest to ecologists, as they show "changes in the landscape, including natural and man-made features, recreational and wilderness areas, geology, topography, wetland area, vegetation, and wildlife." The site may be searched by keyword or browsed by Subject Index, Creator Index, Geographic Location Index, or Title Index. [LXP]
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Encyclopedia of Life Sciences: free features [.pdf]
Hey, scientists! Want to take a fun and productive break from the lab? Read the free features from Nature Online compiled at The Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS) Website. Although the bulk of the site requires a paid subscription, ELS, a new online database of more than 3,000 original peer-reviewed articles, offers a few free-access sections. Selections from Nature research and news articles are posted in the non-subscription Article of the Week, Research Highlights, and Feature of the Month sections. Recent Research Highlights include dancing honeybees, chromosome pairing, and Antarctic ecology. Visitors to ELS can also see lists of new and upcoming content and check out job listings. To reach the free stuff, choose "Browse our free features" from the ELS homepage. [HCS]
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Desert Fishes Council [.mpg]
The mission of the Desert Fishes Council (DFC) is "to preserve the biological integrity of desert aquatic ecosystems and their associated life forms, to hold symposia to report related research and management endeavors, and to effect rapid dissemination of information concerning activities of the Council and its members." To that end, the (English or Spanish) DFC Website serves up a diverse menu, including a list of upcoming meetings and symposia, Proceedings from past meetings/ symposia, an electronic mailing list on fish-related topics, fish videos (MPEG format, available in Standard or Quartersize Image Format), and a description of the DFC/ Pacific Rivers Council Project (a cooperative effort "to determine the conservation status of all western US native fishes"), among other noteworthy items. A selection of links rounds out the site. [LXP]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

"Gene allows algae to grow in darkness"
By introducing a single human gene, researchers have equipped an alga to live off of sugar and grow in the dark. The finding, which could enable the production of some dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals, was presented by Kirk Apt of Martek Biosciences and colleagues in this week's issue of Nature. This short article from the Nando Times tells the basics of the research. [HCS]
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Research News
For breaking news of interest to the medical research community, see this news metasite from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. From enzymes to viral infections, or RNA to muscle fibers, this page serves up all the medical research news that's fit to print. [LXP]
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New Publications

"Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions" [.pdf]
This new report from the National Academies' National Research Council was produced in response to a request from the Bush administration. Written by a distinguished committee, the report attempts to summarize our current understanding of global climate change and examine what the future may hold for the 21st century and the extent to which warming may be attributable to human activity. Among other things, the report argues for a great deal more systematic research to address current uncertainties in climate-change science. Users may read the full text of the report in Open Book format at the National Academy Press site. [MD]

Newly Online CRS Reports
The National Library for the Environment has posted online these most recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. Covering topics spanning the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species, the Conservation Reserve Program, Global Change, Fishery Conservation and Management, and more, these CRS documents report on a wealth of current environmental information. [LXP]

Two Articles on Ocean-Atmosphere [.pdf]
"Formation and variability of a northerly ITCZ in a hybrid coupled AGCM: Continental forcing and ocean-atmospheric feedback"
"Tropical Atlantic air-sea interaction and its influence on the NAO"
These two papers are reprints gleaned from the personal Website of University of Hawaii Professor Shang Ping Xie, who recently published an article on the 3,000 km wake in the Pacific Ocean caused by the Hawaiian Islands. These earlier articles cover slightly different topics. The first, from Journal of Climate, discusses interannual variability in intensity and latitude of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The second, from Geophysical Research Letters, deals with forcing an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) with a prescribed sea-surface temperature (SST) dipole anomaly in the Atlantic in order to understand variability in the cross-equatorial SST gradient (CESG). [HCS]

Climate-Watch June 2001
Tropical Storm Allison is the focus of this latest report from the National Climatic Data Center Report. Allison is blamed for the tremendous flooding in Texas and Louisiana, where over 30 inches of rainfall was recorded in some locales. Other climate extremes noted in this report include severe drought in Brazil and Western Asia, flooding in South China, and major thunderstorms and tornadoes in the midwestern US. A satellite image of Allison over the Gulf of Mexico and links to data accompany the text. [HCS]

Three from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC)
"Effects of Fire Retardant Chemical and Fire Suppressant Foam on Shrub Steppe Vegetation in Northern Nevada"
"Feeding Ecology of Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal Wintering in California"
"Proximity of White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, Ranges to Wolf, Canis lupus, Pack Homesites"
These three articles are among the recent postings at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) Website. The first, by Diane L. Larson, Wesley E. Newton, et al., was initially published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire [9(2):115-127] and reports on the effects of applying a fire retardant chemical and fire suppressant foam, alone as well as combined with fire, on Great Basin shrub steppe vegetation. In the second article, originally published in the Journal of Wildlife Management in 1987 [51(4):724-732], Ned H. Euliss, Jr. and Stanley W. Harris report on the feeding ecology of northern pintails and green-winged teal in four seasonal marsh types in California. Michael E. Nelson and L. David Mech authored the third article, which focuses on White-tailed Deer in northeastern Minnesota living close to Wolf pack homesites. The article was first published in the Canadian Field-Naturalist [114(3):503-504]. [TK]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Environmental Jobs and Careers

The Association for Information Management Professionals (ARMA) CareerLink
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American Physical Society Travel Grants for Minority Speakers
Deadline: rolling

Physics Frontier Center (PFC) -- NSF
Preliminary Proposal Deadline (required): August 20, 2001
Full Proposal Deadline: January 25, 2002

Computational and Algorithmic Representations of Geometric Objects (CARGO) -- NSF
Proposal Deadline: September 4, 2001

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements and Sites
Proposal Deadline: September 15, 2001
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American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (AASP) 2001 Meeting
October 21-24; San Antonio, Texas
Abstract Deadline: August-September, 2001 (TBA)

Society for General Microbiology
April 8-12, 2002; Warwick, UK
Abstract Deadline: December 8, 2001

2002 International Symposium: Composting and Compost Utilization
May 6-8, 2002; Columbia, Ohio
Abstract Deadline: August 31, 2001

Bureau of Reclamation Centennial History Symposium in 2002
June 17-19, 2002; Las Vegas, Nevada
Abstract Deadline: July 1, 2001
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New Data

The Calving of Icebergs A-43 and A-44, Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica [QuickTime]
The Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRC) recently posted this page containing geocoded RADARSAT and ScanSAR images documenting the calving of icebergs A-43 and A-44 from the Ronne Ice Shelf in May 2000. A 425 KB QuickTime movie shows the calving event, although somewhat jerkily. Fracture lines and crevasses are indicated on still images (.jpeg) accompanied by descriptive text. [HCS]
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International Wolf Center: Wolf Bibliography
The International Wolf Center, based in Ely Minnesota, maintains this searchable bibliographic database on wolves. The database currently contains over 1,600 wolf resource records (including books, journal articles, and conference proceedings), with further additions planned. Records are listed in citation format, by author(s), title, and journal/ date. To be updated quarterly, the database represents a useful tool for researchers and educators. [LXP]
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New Maps from the US Department of Agriculture [PostScript]
Over the last few months, the US Department of Agriculture has added several downloadable maps to its Website. All of these can be accessed from this index page. Each of the color maps can be viewed as a .gif image or downloaded in .ps format and comes with an ASCII file of the GIS data used to create the map. Examples of the new titles include "Acres of Grazing Land Converted to Developed Land,1982-1992," "Broad Land Cover/ Use, by State, 1997," and "Percent Change in Developed Land Area, 1982-1997." Notes on how the maps are made are also available. [HCS]
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In The News

Martian Meteorite Discovered in Oman Desert
1. "Newly Discovered Mars Meteorite"
2. Mars Media Release from Natural History Museum, Bern [.pdf]
3. "Martian Meteorite May Contain Water"
4. Mars Meteorites
5. "Search for Past Life on Mars: Possible Relic Biogenic Activity in Martian Meteorite ALH84001"
6. Mars Express
7. Planetary Exploration by the Russian Space Research Institute
8. The Planet Mars
9. Meteorite Central
A fist-sized meteorite with a mineralogy and isotopic signature suggesting Martian origin has been discovered by Swiss researchers in the Sayh al Uhaymir region of desert in Oman. On June 15, scientists at the University of Bern announced their finding of the Martian meteorite, named Sayh al Uhaymir 094 and one of only eighteen known on Earth. Only recently have scientists been combing the deserts for Martian meteorites; previously they were collected mainly from the Antarctic. Finding these rare rocks from Mars is an exciting and inexpensive way to collect data, including information on possible water or life, from the Red Planet. This week's In the News takes a look at the Oman discovery and Martian meteorites in general.

The first site (1) is a news article from CNN Online's Space section with a color photo of the meteorite and a link to a feature section about exploring Mars. The second (2) is a page from the Natural History Museum of Bern, Switzerland that is chock full of color images of Sayh al Uhaymir 094 and gives a link to an informative, thirteen-page press dossier in English (.pdf). Another recent Martian meteorite news item is the announcement by French scientists that a meteorite found in the Sahara Desert last December may contain groundwater from Mars. The BBC News online has a nice article about this Mars rock, known as a nakhlite because of its distinct hydrogen isotope composition (3). Those who wish to read more technical reports on Martian meteorite mineralogy and scientific applications should consult the next two sites. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has a special page devoted to meteorites from Mars (4) with regular updates on discoveries including listings that give the date and geographic location of discovery, rock classification and mineralogy, finder's name, and where the specimen is kept. Color photos accompany the text. Space scientists at Johnson Research Center, Houston, have posted a research page (5) about Martian Meteorite ALH84001, which was collected in Antarctica and contains carbonates possibly derived from living organisms. Details on the physical and chemical composition of ALH84001 along with graphs of mass spectrometry results, thin sections, microprobe maps, and electron microscope (TEM and SEM) images are available here.

Readers interested in learning about non-US-sponsored research on Mars should check out sites 6 and 7. Mars Express (6), the Mars mapping and research division of the European Science Agency (ESA), is currently investigating Mars' tiny moon, Phobos. The Russian Space Research Institute (7) is involved in using electromagnetism to search for water on Mars, and also collaborated with British and American scientists on the Mars Climate Orbiter Project. Finally, the last two sites are for those who wish to learn more about Mars and meteorites in general. For a refresher course on the Red Planet, visit The Planet Mars site (8) from The Planet Mars features an overview of Mars' atmosphere, moons, and history of exploration, along with a sheet of quick facts and links to news stories and other Mars sites. To keep abreast of all meteorite discoveries, both Martian and non-Martian, bookmark Meteorite Central (9). This site presents breaking news, special research features, and a tutorial on how to tell if the strange rock you've found is actually a meteorite. [HCS]
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