The INHS Library News blog is to inform users of new resources, library events, library systems downtime, and library schedule changes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (GLFWRA) Grant Program now accepting pre-proposals

The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Grant Program provides federal grants on a competitive basis to states, tribes and other interested entities to encourage cooperative conservation, restoration and management of fish and wildlife resources and their habitat in the Great Lakes basin. The projects are funded under authority of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2006.

FY 2010 Request For Project Proposals

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting project pre-proposals that focus on the restoration of fish and/or wildlife resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. Supported in part by President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a total of $8 million will be available to support projects this fiscal year. This represents the largest amount appropriated for this effort since the grants program began in 1998.

Pre-proposals are due on Friday, January 22, 2010, by 11 p.m. EST.

Application materials can be downloaded at Details of the application process can be found at or

Friday, December 18, 2009

EPA Releases First-Ever Baseline Study of U.S. Lakes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released its most comprehensive study of the nation’s lakes to date. The draft study, which rated the condition of 56 percent of the lakes in the United States as good and the remainder as fair or poor, marked the first time EPA and its partners used a nationally consistent approach to survey the ecological and water quality of lakes. A total of 1,028 lakes were randomly sampled during 2007 by states, tribes and EPA.

“This survey serves as a first step in evaluating the success of efforts to protect, preserve, and restore the quality of our nation’s lakes,” said Peter Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “Future surveys will be able to track changes in lake water quality over time and advance our understanding of important regional and national patterns in lake water quality.”

The National Lakes Assessment reveals that the remaining lakes are in fair or poor condition. Degraded lakeshore habitat, rated “poor” in 36 percent of lakes, was the most significant of the problems assessed. Removal of trees and shrubs and construction of docks, marinas, homes and other structures along shorelines all contribute to degraded lakeshore habitat.

Nitrogen and phosphorous are found at high levels in 20 percent of lakes. Excess levels of these nutrients contribute to algae blooms, weed growth, reduced water clarity, and other lake problems. EPA is very concerned about the adverse impacts of nutrients on aquatic life, drinking water and recreation. The agency will continue to work with states to address water quality issues through effective nutrient management.

The survey included a comparison to a subset of lakes with wastewater impacts that were sampled in the 1970s. It finds that 75 percent show either improvements or no change in phosphorus levels. This suggests that the nation’s investments in wastewater treatment and other pollution control activities are working despite population increases across the country.

The results of this study describe the target population of the nation's lakes as a whole and are not applicable to a particular lake.

Sampling for the National Rivers and Streams Assessment is underway, and results from this two-year study are expected to be available in 2011.

The draft study:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Smithsonian Collection Search

The Collections Search Center provides easy "one-stop searching" of more than 2 million of the Smithsonian's museum, archives, library and research holdings and collections. Collections of particular interest to INHS staff include:

  • 109,300 records from the Department of Entomology representing mostly Insecta and Arachnida speciment collections. 
  • images from the Archives of American Gardens 
  • bibliographies from the Center for Tropical Forest Science (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) and Department of Invertebrate Zoology - Mollusks (National Museum of Natural History)
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries Collections

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Stimulus grant to enhance Cornell University's science papers' archive

Read the full story in the Ithaca Journal.

A three-year $883,000 grant from the National Science Foundation is expected to convert Cornell's e-print arXiv of scientific papers from a simple database to an interaction site where authors, articles, databases and readers talk to each other to help users identify a work's main concepts, see research reports in context and easily find related work.

"It shouldn't be a one-way channel," said Paul Ginsparg, professor of physics and information science, who heads the new project funded by the grant with federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The arXiv (pronounced "archive") currently contains close to 600,000 papers in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics, with some 5,000 new papers submitted each month. Researchers submit their work as "preprints" before formal publication. Such preprints used to be passed around by hand before Ginsparg launched the arXiv in 1991 at the Los Alamos National Laboratory; he brought it to Cornell in 2001, where it is now hosted by Cornell Library.