Geoscience Librarianship Seminar Set for October 17

bkgd2“Geoscience Librarianship 101” – a one-day introduction to earth science information resources and their organization – will be presented by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Registration is free and open to all information professionals as well as students in library and information studies.

Clara P. McLeod (Washington University in St. Louis) is the coordinator for this year’s workshop, which features presentations by three experienced geoscience librarians. Lisa Dunn (Colorado School of Mines) will discuss collection development and managing electronic resources. Lura E. Joseph (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana) will provide an overview of reference and instructional services. Linda Zellmer (Western Illinois University) will speak about maps and geographic information systems, both data sources and applications. There will be ample opportunities throughout for open discussion and networking.

The program is set for 10:15 AM to 5:30 PM in PSU’s Branford P. Millar Library, Room 160, 1875 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon. There is no charge for the seminar, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. The deadline to register is October 1, 2009. To reserve your place or to request additional information contact Shaun Hardy, GSIS Publicity Officer, telephone 202-478-7960, e-mail

Geoscience Librarianship 101 is made possible in part through the generous support of the Portland State University Library and ESRI.

Mapping Support for World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

seazone…from SeaZone

Metoc, one of UK’s leading Environmental Engineering companies, has selected detailed marine mapping from SeaZone to support the planning, delivery and management of projects across the UK. The company has recently been selected to monitor and report on the installation of the world’s largest offshore wind farm and been appointed to provide expert advice on a potential alternative to the Severn Barrage. These projects, plus many others around the UK, will benefit from the use of SeaZone’s marine geographic information data.

Steese White Moutain Archaeological Reconnaissance and Survery Project, Alaska

DOIlogo“The BLM and a recipient need to evaluate the reliability of a current predictive model for prehistoric archaeological sites in the WMNRA and SNCA. Recipient shall use the latest computer GIS technology to help fine-tune this landscape-level research, and training the next generation of archaeologists. The BLM’s primary interest is in using the best available science to comply with federal law, as specifically outlined in Sections 106 and 110 of the NHPA, in regards to managing cultural resources on its lands, and seeing that significant resources are not adversely affected.

“The principal purpose of the project is to survey and assess public lands for prehistoric archaeological sites. The only way to manage cultural resources is to know where the sites are located, so they can be evaluated for inclusion to the National Register. This project is all about applying predictive modeling to locate unknown prehistoric resources in the Alaskan interior.”

Service Oriented Architecture for Earth Sciences

v1…from V1 Magazine

“The interaction between science and technology is inevitable. Scientific studies produce information and cause advances in technology while on the other hand technological progress provides us better circumstances on scientific research. Today data deluge is a growing concern in Earth sciences and providing a solution for the analysis of these upcoming data is an extensive task in Computer science. There are different types of data to understand earthquake processes.”

GIS and Remote Sensing Help Maintain India’s Forests: Podcast Interview with Dr. Devendra Pandey

podcast_iconESRI Podcast: Dr. Devendra Pandey, director general of the Forest Survey of India and one of the keynote speakers at the 2008 ESRI Remote Sensing and GIS Summit, discusses the impact of remote sensing and GIS in managing India’s forests, including how the technology has been used to mitigate encroachment conflicts.

  • Listen or download: MP3 [14:14 | 6.55 MB]

Anticancer Compound Found in American Mayapple; Potential as Cash Crop in U.S.

ASHSCORPLOGO…from the American Society for Horticultural Science

A common weed called American mayapple may soon offer an alternative to an Asian cousin that’s been harvested almost to extinction because of its anti-cancer properties. The near-extinct Asian plant, Podophyllyum emodi, produces podophyllotoxin, a compound used in manufacturing etoposide, the active ingredient in a drug used for treating lung and testicular cancer. Podophyllyum emodi is a cousin of the common mayapple weed found in the United States.

Podophyllotoxin is found in Indian mayapple (Podophyllum emodii Wall.), American mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.), and other species. Podophyllotoxin and its derivatives are used in several commercially available pharmaceutical products such as the anticancer drugs etoposide, teniposide, and etopophos, which are used in the treatment of small-cell lung cancer, lymphoblastic leukemia, testicular cancer, and brain tumors. Podophyllotixin derivatives are also used for the treatment of psoriasis and malaria, and some are being tested for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, podophyllotoxin is produced commercially using the roots and rhizomes of Indian mayapple, an endangered species harvested from the wild in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and China.

Researchers at Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi recently set out to identify American mayapple types with high podophyllotoxin content. Valtcho D. Zheljazkov and colleagues at Mississippi State University published the research results in HortScience. According to Zheljazkov; “The objective of this study was to estimate podophyllotoxin concentration in American mayapple across its natural habitats in the eastern United States and to identify high podophyllotoxin types that could be used for further selection and cultivar development.”

Mayapple has been long been grown as a cash crop in Europe and Russia, but has never been introduced or domesticated in the United States, although the idea was suggested by researchers more than 30 years ago. Previous research demonstrated that American mayapple leaves contain podophyllotoxin, making way for the development of American mayapple as a high-value crop for American growers. Zheljazkov explained that, until now, there has been no comprehensive study on the genetic resources of American mayapple colonies across the United States. “We hypothesized that there might be great variation with respect to podophyllotoxin content within American mayapple across the eastern United States.”

The researchers studied the effect of location, plant nutrient concentration, and phytoavailable nutrients in soil on podophyllotoxin concentration in American mayapple across its natural habitats in the eastern United States. The study was the largest of its kind ever conducted; American mayapple leaves were collected from 37 mayapple colonies across 18 states.

This groundbreaking study confirmed that mayapple colonies in the eastern part of the United States can be used for the development of high podophyllotoxin cultivars, which could subsequently provide the base for commercial production of podophyllotoxin in the United States. The results from this study will help to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) map of the genetic resources of American mayapple in the U.S.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS Hortscience electronic journal web site.

Research Associate Position at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

ucl“The SCALE project: (Small Changes leAd to Large Effects) Changing Energy Costs in Transport and Location Policy is an EPSRC funded research project being undertaken jointly between the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and UCL Centre for Transport Studies. Two Research Associate vacancies are available, one based in each department.  This advertisement relates to the CASA based post which focuses on land use transportation models. This CASA based post is funded for three years by EPSRC.  All researchers, plus the PhD student (who will be supervised by Shi Zhou in Computer Science) will interact with the team set up by CASA. We are looking for a researcher with expertise in modelling complex systems who has good skills in programming and who could develop a suite of computer programs for the land use transportation modelling effort which will underpin one arm of SCALE. We want someone who will be able to wrestle with the science, and be able to translate this into computable forms which interface with a variety of modules and data bases. Experience in GIS would be an advantage but not essential.”

Using NHDPlus as the Land Base for the Noah-distributed Model

122570989…from Transactions in GIS

“The National Elevation, Hydrography and Land Cover datasets of the United States have been synthesized into a geospatial dataset called NHDPlus which is referenced to a spheroidal Earth, provides geospatial data layers for topography on 30 m rasters, and has vector coverages for catchments and river reaches. In this article, we examine the integration of NHDPlus with the Noah-distributed model. In order to retain compatibility with atmospheric models, Noah-distributed utilizes surface domain fields referenced to a spherical rather than spheroidal Earth in its computation of vertical land surface/atmosphere water and energy budgets (at coarse resolution) as well as horizontal cell-to-cell water routing across the land surface and through the shallow subsurface (at fine resolution). Two data-centric issues affecting the linkage between Noah-distributed and NHDPlus are examined: (1) the shape of the Earth; and (2) the linking of gridded landscape with a vector representation of the stream and river network. At mid-latitudes the errors due to projections between spherical and spheroidal representations of the Earth are significant. A catchment-based “pour point” technique is developed to link the raster and vector data to provide lateral inflow from the landscape to a one-dimensional river model. We conclude that, when Noah-distributed is run uncoupled to an atmospheric model, it is advantageous to implement Noah-distributed at the native spatial scale of the digital elevation data and the spheroidal Earth of the NHDPlus dataset rather than transforming the NHDPlus dataset to fit the coarser resolution and spherical Earth shape of the Noah-distributed model.”

Cartographic Representation of the Sonic Environment

caj…from The Cartographic Journal

“The description of the landscape is based on the visualization of geographic features and the representation of their attributes. Although sound is a major component of any environment, its cartographic representation is limited mainly on noise mapping and in urban or sub-urban areas. Soundscape is a term that describes the acoustic relation between the environment and the individual in a landscape context, considering all kinds of interactions between space, sound and humans. The representation of the soundscape at a spatial level would support many applications such as geographic analysis, ecosystem evaluation, environmental education, landscape management, urban or rural planning and protection of sonic particularities. This paper proposes a methodology for the mapping of both quantitative and qualitative attributes of a rural soundscape, which is described through the study of the acoustic environment around a protected wetland in Greece.”