Sunday, September 26, 2010

Publication co-authored by recent grad Johanna Weaver

Johanna Weaver graduated in May 2009. Co-authors of this paper are from University of Oklahoma, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute of Panama, and Pomona College of Claremont, California.

Kaspari, Michael; Chang, Charlotte; Weaver, Johanna. 2010. Salted roads and sodium limitation in a northern forest ant community. Ecological Entomology 35:543-548.

Indexed in ISI Web of Science. Full-text access at the OhioLINK EJC or Wiley Online [subscribers only].

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ocean cooling linked to dip in global temperatures in 1970s

While exploring the redesign for Nature this news article (published online September 22) caught my eye: 
When the North Atlantic Caught a Chill - Surface cooling could have pushed down temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere 40 years ago."
"The sudden cooling event [of 0.3 °C ] that Thompson and his colleagues report1 on page 444 of this issue [September 23] could help to solve a mystery: a prominent drop in the global mean surface temperature record around the same time. The ocean cooling, which may have resulted from a shift in currents, also offers a reminder of the North Atlantic's outsize role in climate."

Excellent background information is available in this text:
Atmosphere, ocean, and climate dynamics : an introductory text / John Marshall and R. Alan Plumb. Elsevier Academic Press, c2008.  Science Library QC880.4.A8 A877 2007  [plus 7 other copies in OhioLINK]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Achieving Scientific Literacy

A new edition of Robert Hazen and James Trefil's Science Matters: achieving scientific literacy is on the new book shelf.  "From plate tectonics to leptons to the first living cell, now you can understand the simple science behind our complex world," is the promise of this little book, and its purpose couldn't be more important.  The authors begin with convincing arguments of why scientific literacy is so crucial, including, "The threats to our system from a scientifically illiterate electorate are many, ranging from the danger of political demagoguery to the decay of the entire democratic process as vital decisions that affect everyone have to be made by an educated (but probably unelected) elite." 

I am especially struck by this section's conclusion: "If you expect someone to know something, you have to tell him or her what it is."  A scientifically "illiterate" individual may not readily pick up this book, if that person is unaware of or unconcerned about his or her lack of knowledge.  But it speaks directly to the reader who understands the need for scientific literacy, and provides a wonderful model of how to teach others essential scientific principles. 

Each chapter title is accompanied by a true statement elucidating the title, e.g., The Cosmos - "The universe was born at a specific time in the past, and it has been expanding ever since."  The subtitle of the final chapter, Ecosystems, says simply "All life is connected."  Indeed.

I hope this book is borrowed and read by many!

Friday, September 10, 2010

New publications from chemistry faculty and alumni

Here are the newest articles by Oberlin science authors, indexed in the ISI Web of Knowledge
  • Authors include Oberlin alumni Leyden, Moore, Patchen, and van den Heuvel:
A reevaluation of the assignment of the vibrational fundamentals and the rotational analysis of bands in the high-resolution infrared spectra of trans- and cis-1,3,5-hexatriene. Craig, Norman C (Emeritus Professor of Chemistry).; Leyden, Matthew C.; Moore, Michael C.; Patchen, Amie K.; van den Heuvel, Titus; Blake, Thomas A.; Masiello, Tony; Sams, Robert L.
JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY 262 (1): 49-60 JUL 2010 [access at the EJC]
  • Authors include Oberlin alumni Cole-Filipiak and current senior O'Connor:
Kinetics of the Hydrolysis of Atmospherically Relevant Isoprene-Derived Hydroxy Epoxides.  Cole-Filipiak, Neil C.; O'Connor, Alison E.; Elrod, Matthew J. (Associate Professor of Chemistry)
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 44 (17): 6718-6723 SEP 1 2010 [access at ACS]
  • The Oberlin author of the following paper is Catherine McKay (Katie) Mauck, a chemistry major who graduated May 2009.  She completed this work with researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Conservation.
Direct identification of early synthetic dyes: FT-Raman study of the illustrated broadside prints of Jos, Gaudalupe Posada (1852-1913). Casadio, F; Mauck, K; Chefitz, M; Freeman, R

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Craig lab publication, co-authored with Michael Moore (OC '06)

New publication from the lab of Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Norman C. Craig.  Michael C. Moore was a student in Professor Craig's lab, and this work reflects research completed in Oberlin.  Michael is now a graduate student at UC Berkeley.

Infrared Spectra of CF2=CHD and CF2=CD2: Scaled Quantum-Chemical Force Fields and an Equilibrium Structure for 1,1-Difluoroethylene.
McKean, Donald C.; Law, Mark M.; Groner, Peter; Conrad, Andrew R.; Tubergen, Michael J.; Feller, David; Moore, Michael C.; Craig, Norman C.
JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A 114 (34): 9309-9318 SEP 2 2010
(access for OhioLINK subscribers, at the American Chemical Society web site)