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Tuscaloosa, AL, United States

Scalfani V.F.,University Libraries | Frantom P.A.,University of Alabama | Woski S.A.,University of Alabama
Journal of Chemical Education | Year: 2016

A new graduate chemistry course was introduced in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Alabama. The new course, CH584¯Literature and Communication in Graduate Chemistry, replaced a second year graduate student literature seminar requirement. Course topics included chemical information resources, critical analysis, scientific writing, scientific presentations, and peer-review. CH584 was well received by both the chemistry faculty and chemistry graduate students. This article discusses the detailed implementation and content taught in CH584. Moreover, we present our experiences teaching CH584 as well as potential revisions. © 2015 The American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.


Wakimoto D.K.,University Libraries | Lewis R.E.,State University
Internet and Higher Education | Year: 2014

While there is discussion of eportfolios in many fields in higher education, there is little literature on eportfolios in the helping professions fields of school counselor and school psychology education. This study sought to explore graduate students' perceptions of the value of creating eportfolios and ways of improving the eportfolio process. Overall, the students found the construction of their eportfolios to be useful in reflecting on their competencies and in gaining confidence in using technology. The students also valued the hands-on training sessions, peer review opportunities and model portfolios, and technological skills built by creating the eportfolios, which they stated may be useful in job searches. Suggestions for improving the eportfolio process for future students include having all students only create eportfolios, being more explicit about reflection, and meeting with students earlier to expose them to the eportfolio platform in order to lessen technology anxiety and increase time for reflection. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Tuberville T.D.,Savannah River Ecology Laboratory | Todd B.D.,University of California at Davis | Hermann S.M.,Auburn University | Michener W.K.,University Libraries | Guyer C.,Auburn University
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

Recovery or sustainable management of wildlife populations often entails management of habitat on which they depend. In this regard, turtles pose unique conservation challenges because of their life histories. The combination of late maturity, low survival when young, and dependence on high adult survival suggests they may be slow to respond demographically to conventional habitat management. Thus, long-term studies are necessary to understand population dynamics and recovery potential in these species. We used 5-11 years of mark-recapture data from 3 populations to evaluate survivorship, demography, and somatic growth of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Green Grove and Wade Tract (southwest GA) are ecological reserves with a history of land management compatible with tortoises. In contrast, Conecuh National Forest (south-central AL) is a closed-canopy pine plantation with prior intensive site preparation but where management intervention improved habitat for tortoises during the study. Apparent survival was high for mature tortoises (87-98%) compared to immature tortoises (70-82%). Adults comprised 57-79% of individuals captured, with Green Grove and Wade Tract populations dominated by larger individuals but Conecuh having a more uniform size distribution. The largest adults captured at Conecuh (297 mm maximum carapace length [CL]) were smaller than the largest adults from Green Grove (337 mm CL) or Wade Tract (341 mm CL), although characteristic growth constants from von Bertalanffy models were similar among sites. We suggest these results indicate a recovering population at Conecuh, where habitat conditions for gopher tortoises have improved despite a legacy of intense predation by humans and reduced habitat quality at the inception of this national forest. Further, we recommend using a combination of short-term and long-term monitoring metrics to assess population recovery in such long-lived species. © 2014 The Wildlife Society. © The Wildlife Society, 2014.


Scalfani V.F.,University Libraries | Vaid T.P.,University of Alabama
Journal of Chemical Education | Year: 2014

Tangible models help students and researchers visualize chemical structures in three dimensions (3D). 3D printing offers a unique and straightforward approach to fabricate plastic 3D models of molecules and extended solids. In this article, we prepared a series of digital 3D design files of molecular structures that will be useful for teaching chemical education topics such as symmetry and point groups. Two main file preparation methods are discussed within this article that outlines how to prepare 3D printable chemical structures. Both methods start with either a crystallographic information file (.cif) or a protein databank (.pdb) file and are ultimately converted into a 3D stereolithography (.stl) file by using a variety of commercially and freely available software. From the series of digital 3D chemical structures prepared, 18 molecules and 7 extended solids were 3D printed. Our results show that the file preparation methods discussed within this article are both suitable routes to prepare 3D printable digital files of chemical structures. Further, our results also suggest that 3D printing is an excellent method for fabricating 3D models of molecules and extended solids. © 2014 The American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.


Cabrinety did not live to see what would become of his efforts—he died of Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1995 at the age of 29—but his collection has achieved a sort of digital immortality. The Stanford University Libraries, which acquired the collection in 2009, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have just completed a multi-year effort to rescue the collection's digital content from the Atari game cartridges, 5-1/4 inch floppy discs, magnetic tape and other deteriorating storage media that held it. That salvaged data is now safely archived on servers at the Stanford Digital Repository and has been added to NIST's National Software Reference Library, a resource that supports digital forensic investigations. The Cabrinety collection includes some 25,000 software and video game titles, as well as the original box covers and other period artwork they shipped with. The collection also includes game consoles, magnetic tape readers, bulky hard drives, and other relics of the era. This collection has obvious appeal for retro gamers, but its value is much more than nostalgic. "Most of human culture today is created and consumed using digital software," said Henry Lowood, who, as curator of the History of Science and Technology Collection at the Stanford University Library, led the library's effort. "How we write has changed. How we communicate has changed. Art, education, entertainment have all been changed by the advent of computing and software. We wouldn't be able to say much about the evolution of human culture in the late 20th century without collections like these." Every time a book is published, a copy is deposited at the Library of Congress. Other institutions are dedicated to archiving music and film. But there is no single repository where software goes to be preserved for the ages. There is one that comes close, however: NIST's National Software Reference Library (NSRL), a vast and constantly updated archive of software titles in their numerous versions. The NSRL is the largest collection of its kind in the world that is publicly known. NIST maintains this collection not to preserve cultural history but to provide a forensic tool for law enforcement and national security investigators. NIST runs every file in the NSRL through a hashing algorithm that generates a virtually unique digital fingerprint for each—over 180 million of them so far—and makes them publicly available. When investigators seize a computer as evidence, they use those digital fingerprints as a known file filter, so they can quickly separate irrelevant files from those that might contain evidence. For instance, after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in March 2014, the FBI called NIST. "They wanted every hash of every file associated with every flight simulator we had," said Doug White, the NIST computer scientist who runs the NSRL. "All the maps. All the routes. They wanted every flight path the pilot might have practiced on, so they could figure out where he might have gone." It takes a particular personality to spend one's life feeding the NSRL. You would need the passion of a collector, the sensibility of a curator, the technical skill of a computer scientist, and the ability to find satisfaction in a job that you know will never be done. In other words, you'd have to be a bit like Stephen Cabrinety. And in fact, White does share a number of traits with the man whose collection he's helped to preserve. "We're just one year apart in age. We both grew up in East Coast suburbs. And I'm also a bit of a collector," White said, gesturing sheepishly at the towering piles in his office. So when NIST and Stanford University teamed up on the project, it was a dream assignment for White. He remembers the day in 2012 when the first box from Stanford arrived at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Inside were early versions of Doom and SimCity, still in their shrink-wrapped boxes. "For me, it was like opening King Tut's tomb," White said. Those titles were printed on 5-1/4 inch floppy discs, and extracting the data was relatively straightforward. Other titles presented greater challenges, such as those that were published on audio cassette tape. To load up those programs, you play the sound into a computer. "It sounds like a modem squeal, with all the hiss and static," White said. Different manufacturers formatted the sound differently, and White had to find documentation for each. "Sinclair computers stored it one way. Commodore stored it another." So, can you log in to the Stanford University Library server and play the earliest version of Activision'sPitfall! in your browser? Not yet, said Lowood. "Our first priority was to make sure that the data survived." Now that it has, the Stanford team hopes to begin working on systems that will load the games and applications. In the meantime, the collection is available for viewing at the Stanford University Library. The partnership between Stanford and NIST was a boon to both. Stanford benefited because, even though the NSRL is principally used for forensic investigations, it turned out to be perfectly suited for this type of cultural preservation. And NIST benefited by adding a large volume of software to the NSRL, some of which still turns up when old hardware is included among evidence seized in an investigation. But for all the work by experts at NIST and Stanford, the most important partner in this project was the one who came first. Cabrinety was more than a collector. His dream was to create an educational and research archive for future generations to study. In 1989, when he was all of 23 years old, he founded CHIPS—the Computer History Institute for the Preservation of Software, arguably the first nonprofit institution of its kind. Cabrinety died too young, but with his collection now saved for posterity, his dream lives on.

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