augnew99 Schwerdtfeger Library News
August 1999


MADCAT HELP:  OPAC KNOWN PROBLEMS - INFORMATION FOR USERS  (click on "Known Problems" at the bottom)

The UW-Madison libraries, along with libraries at all UW System campuses, are
moving to common software for their catalogs.  UW-Madison libraries alone
represent the 14th largest library system in the United States, for which the
new catalog software must maintain internal cataloging records and track
circulation data on millions of holdings, besides generating public access
information in MadCat.

Users and staff have encountered a number of problems when using the new
MadCat.  Known problems that affect library users are listed on this page.  The
new catalog software does not offer the flexibility to change all appearance
and functionality features.  The library system is working with the vendor,
Endeavor Systems, Inc., to make these changes.

Reported problems have been placed in one of four categories:  1)  Bug -- the
software does not function as the vendor intended. The vendor has been asked to
fix these.   2) Design -- software design is problematic or inconsistent and
discussions with vendor are ongoing.   3) Different -- commonly used features
that are different from the previous catalog.  Some of them may be changed.  4)
UW Task -- records in the catalog that need cleanup or updating (data problems,
not software problems).

For information on how to perform standard searches and other actions in the
catalog, click on the Help buttons on catalog screens.


"Meteorology as a science can hardly be said to have existed before the
invention of the barometer and thermometer........The first impetus to
meteorological theory was given by the puzzling behavior of the barometer in
relation to the weather.  The rain gauge, the windvane,and an elementary form
of hygroscope are much older, but of these only the first could give numerical
data, and it had not been widely used.  In more recent times instruments have
been devised to measure sunshine, the motion and height of clouds, upper winds,
and in the last seventy-five years, the distribution of temperature and water
vapor in the upper air.  Perhaps I may be pardoned for believing that the
history of meteorological instruments is an important part of the history of
meteorology."  [Middleton, W.E. Knowles.  Invention of the Meteorological
Instruments. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1969.]

There is a new display outside the Library on this very topic, researched by
Nicole Hardina.  Take a few minutes to check it out.


An extensive index of meteorological information:  data providers, educational
sites, employment resources, forecasts, imagery, models, software, tornadoes,
tropical weather.  We are also indexing the main resources for space science
and hope to add it to our site in the next few months.  If you have suggestions
for sites to review, please let me know.

This resource is also listed on the Library web page under
"<>Off Campus Resources"


We've compiled a list of electronic journals in the atmospheric and space
sciences available via the Electronic Library.  All of these electronic
journals can be searched and linked to in Madcat as well.

The UW-Madison libraries have been purchasing campus site licenses for
electronic versions of high-use, high-demand print journals. A site license
usually provides the entire UW-Madison community with access to an ejournal
from anywhere on campus or from off-site (using either
<>WiscWorld software or the
<>library proxy
server).   Other libraries have compiled lists of or guides to ejournals
specific to their subject area:

Chemistry Library
Physics Library
Steenbock Library


ICE PROJECT (Internet Connections for Engineering)

The purpose of the ICE Project is to provide a broad and complete catalog of
Internet-based engineering resources to help engineers, researchers,
engineering students and faculty, and anyone else interested in finding this
kind of information on the Internet.  All resources in ICE are related to
either: chemistry, engineering, math, physics, or other 'hard' sciences.

The idea for ICE was developed by John Saylor, Director of the Engineering
Library at Cornell University with funding assistance from the Council on
Library Resources and the Cornell University Library.  A prototype of this
service was further developed at Syracuse Univeristity within Information
Studies and Technology 600: Building and Managing Internet Services during July

Find the ICE Project listed in the
<>Electronic Library
Reference menu or directly at


MatWeb, brought to you by Automation Creations, is a searchable database
containing property data on over 17,000 materials.  MatWeb's database currently
includes comprehensive coverage of thermoplastic and thermoset polymers,
aluminum, magnesium, steel, titanium and zinc alloys, superalloys, plus a solid
and growing list of cast irons, ceramics, copper alloys, lead alloys,
semiconductors, and fibers for composites.  The records consist of data and
spec sheets supplied by manufacturers and distributors.   Search for materials
by name or designation,  by property requirements, etc.

MatWeb is available through the
<>Electronic Library or
directly at


****Note Numbers 2 and 5****

1) Hurricane Veers Off but Batters N.C.
2) New Satellite Tools Putting Hurricanes in Sharper Focus
3) Early August Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and US
Landfall Strike Probabilities for 1999
4) National Hurricane Center
5) Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies Tropical
 Cyclone Page
6) Risk Prediction Initiative [.pdf]
7) Tropical Convection Research Group
8) Hurricane Hunters
9) FAQ: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones
10) Selected Hurricane Bibliography

Hurricane researchers around the country are expecting 1999 to be an unusually
active hurricane season.  Though still early in the mid-August through October
season, the North Atlantic has already seen two tropical storms (Arlene and
Emily) and three hurricanes (Bret, Cindy, and Dennis). While Hurricane Bret
struck land in a rural portion of South Texas, and Dennis flirted with the
coasts of North and South Carolina, there is reason to think the worst is yet
to come. Many of the atmospheric and oceanic factors that are considered
conducive signs for hurricane activity have been in place since earlier this
year and most likely will persist through the season. Dr. William Gray,
professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, has predicted a
busy year with 14 named storms and 9 hurricanes (defined by wind speeds equal
to or greater than 74 miles per hour), four of which he predicts will sustain
winds of 111 mph or more.  Above are ten sites containing hurricane data,
research, news, and up-to-date images.

For starters, The Washington Post printed this article (1) on October 30, 1999,
as headlines across the nation were dominated by a close watch on Hurricane
Dennis' uncertain path. The next resource, a University of Wisconsin press
release (2), discusses satellite tools that are helping researchers more
accurately predict a cyclone's behavior. Next, Dr. William Gray of Colorado
State University forecasts the 1999 Atlantic seasonal hurricane and landfall
strike probabilities in this detailed and much discussed report (3). A seminal
source for hurricane data, current images, news, and information, the National
Hurricane Center's homepage (4) is provided here. The University of Wisconsin's
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies Web site (5)
(described in the May 13, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering )
provides access to cutting edge hurricane data and images. Under the umbrella
of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, the Risk Prediction Initiative
(6) is a climatological research and education program with publications
(.pdf), forecasts and tutorials. Another site with current climate research,
the University of Utah's Tropical Convection Research Group homepage (7)
contains links to group members which include the Tropical Rainfall Measuring
Mission and the Texas Florida Underflights (TEFLUN) Field Experiment, among
others. The Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather econnaissance Squadron flies
research planes into hurricanes. Images of these unusual exploits can be found
at the Hurricane Hunter's Homepage (8). Finally, easy access to two informative
pages from the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory complete the
list; these include a substantive FAQ on hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical
cyclones (9) and a selected hurricane bibliography (10).   [From the Scout
Report For Science & Engineering, 9/01/99, Copyright Internet Scout Project


On August 12, 1999, "Commerce Secretary William M. Daley announced his
intention to work with Congress to close the National Technical Information
Service (NTIS) at the Department of Commerce. After extensive review and
analysis it was determined that the core function of NTIS, providing government
information for a fee, is no longer needed in this day of advanced electronic
technology. Established in 1950, NTIS' core business - the sale of government
documents in microfiche and on paper - is rapidly becoming less of the
necessity it was as agencies and groups have begun to post their reports on the
Internet for free."

The members of the Science and Technology Section (STS) of the Association of
College and Research Libraries (ACRL)  who are professional librarians and
information specialists in academic and research libraries are expressing their
concern to Secretary Daley over the proposed closure.  NTIS is a vital source
of information.  It is the central source for the collection, sale and
distribution of government-funded sceintific, technical, and engineering
research.  Librarians believe that the proposed replacement mechanism is not
adequate and would negatively impact not only U.S. science but the global
scholarly community.

NTIS has provided one of the most rational, user-friendly, and cost-effective
efforts at information management within the federal governtment.   Although
every organization should undergo periodic review and renewal, the core
responsibilities NTIS performs should not be abandoned without careful thought
and professional advice.  [STS statement]


President's FY 2000 Budget Includes Reduced R&D Request; Nondefense R&D Funding
Interim Report: NSB Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century
NSF Proposal Forms Kit
NSF Grant Proposal Guide
Federal R&D Funding by Budget Function: Fiscal Years 1998-2000 (Early Release

The National Science Foundation (NSF) periodically releases statistical reports
on the status and trends of US Science.  All reports are available in HTML
and/or .pdf formats and may be downloaded at the URLs provided.


Blistering summer temperatures have brought drought conditions across large
sections of the United States, especially in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and
upper Ohio Valley regions. This new site from the US Geological Survey (USGS)
offers a number of drought resources. These include the latest condition
reports for selected states and realtime streamflow data from the mid-Atlantic
region; links to current information from the National Weather Service and the
Department of Agriculture; drought definitions; and notes from a recent
Congressional Briefing on drought in the Middle Atlantic states. The last item
includes a number of graphs and streamflow maps. Numerous links to related
sites and sources for more information are provided throughout Drought Watch.
[Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999]


Hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The National
Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) is an
excellent resource for precipitation data. Network collaborators include the
State Agricultural Experiment Stations, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, along with many other government agencies, universities and
private organizations. "The purpose of the network is to collect data on the
chemistry of precipitation for monitoring of geographical and temporal
long-term trends." At this site, users may search out weekly and daily
precipitation chemistry data, isopleth maps, mercury deposition data, annual
and seasonal deposition totals, and much more. Users should note, there is a
five to six month time lag between data collection dates and data availability
on the Website. [Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-1999]


The Global Positioning System (GPS) Primer, created by the Aerospace
Corporation, gives basic information on how a GPS works and the many ways in
which it is used. Supplying straight-forward text with a few graphics and
illustrations, sections range from "What is Navigation?" to "Military Uses for
GPS." Includes a search option and an organized selection of links to other GPS
related sites. The GPS Primer is also downloadable (.pdf, 1618 KB).


Hosted by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in collaboration with the
American Institute of Physics and ScienCentral, Inc., this handsome Website
serves as a companion to an upcoming PBS documentary, Transistorized!, to be
aired November 8, 1999. The searchable site offers in-depth background to the
history and science of transistors. An Interactives section includes a rubic's
cube type of puzzle using elements from the Periodic Table, and a game which
allows players to form their own semiconductor crystals. A hyper-linked
glossary, a resources section with links to Websites, and a print bibliography
round out this well-produced site. [Copyright Internet Scout Project,