The following are references in Environmental Chemistry:

1.     General References

o    The on-line National Library for the Environment is a very useful site with the following resources: issue reports, environmental law, demography, and ecology.

o    The EPA maintains Envirofacts, a one-stop access to data drawn from six major EPA databases, as well as cross references to other sources of information. A EPA portal to information is a search engine, abstracts to EPA reports.

o    The Extoxnet Infobase (Extension Toxicology Network) which is a cooperative effort of scientists at the University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, and Cornell University provides short essays on a wide range of topics relating to environmental chemistry as well as informative profiles on pesticides.

o    The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains TEKTRAN (Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System). TEKTRAN provides access to abstracts of USDA work that is very relevant to environmental science.

o    CambridgeSoft maintains ChemFinder, a remarkably efficient Internet search engine, which searches for information on specific compounds by name, formula, CAS registry number, and molecular weight. Most of the hits are related to toxic properties.

o    The National Academy of Sciences once maintained a Web site with most of the reports generated by the now defunct Office of Technology Assessment. Access to the archives of the OTA is now provided by Princeton University.

o    The Department of Energy maintains EnergyFiles, an extensive collection of links to databases relating to energy. The project is run by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).

o    WorldAtom is the official Web site of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Wien. The site offers an extensive array of reports, data, and other resources.

o    A joint effort of the United Nations' Environmental Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organization's Environmental Epidemiology Network (WHO-GEENET) is a page that is a clearing house of Web sites related to the safe use of chemicals, environmental epidemiology, and the persistence of chemicals in the environment.

o    Information on Population. The Centre for Population Biology maintains The Global Population Dynamics Database [P. Inchausti and J. Halley, Science, 293, 655 (2001)]. Quoting from the abstract of the article: "The GPDD is an important new source of information for ecologists, resource managers, and environmental scientists interested in the dynamics of new populations." The Population Division of the United Nations maintains a Populations Database that includes access to its reports. The user specifies the data to be accessed and displayed. A comparable UN site is the United Nations Population Information Network. The Population Reference Bureau maintains a Data Finder with data from more than 220 countries. This site has an focus on issues related to family planning.

o    The World Wildlife Fund Web site contains information on more than 800 ecoregions. The site includes an informative map. The report Africa Environmental Report can be accessed from a UN site.

o    FishBase is a database with information on more than 26,000 species of fish. The database has an environmental emphasis. The U.S. Geologic Survey maintains the NAWQA database on water quality that contains data on the effects of pollution on aquatic organisms.

o    Earthtrends is a Web environmental almanac that is managed by the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. It is packed with data from a wide range of topics. This is a valuable source of hard-to-find data often presented in a useful graphical format.

o    Contemporary geography is a cross-disciplinary field that significantly overlaps environmental science. Gavin Richards has developed GeoExplorer, a Web site oriented to students at the secondary level. It is packed with resources on physical geography. The Geo-Images Project at the University of California-Berkeley is a large collection of images related to geology and physical geography.

o    The Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map maintained at the University of Alaska and the related Circumpolar Arctic Geobotanical Atlas provides a broad range of data related to the delicate ecology of the top of the world. The same site has a clickable map that you find to be a more useful portal to data.

o    The U. S. Geological Survey provides through its WWW sites access to very useful data on water quality.

§  acid rain (available at the Branch of Quality Systems)

§  effects of pollution on aquatic organisms (also cited above)

§  USGS Circulars (i.e. reports)

o    AQUASTAT is a comparable Web site dedicated to water quality and assets that is maintained by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

o    The Ecological Society of America maintains EcoEdNet, a collection of essays. experiments, and exercises for the class room that covers all aspects of ecology. You have to register at no charge to use the resources.

o    NOAA maintains an excellent Web site for the weather. This site is used as a source of up-to-date information by government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service.

o    The Chemical Safety Library, originally developed by chemists at Bristol Myers Squibb, contains extensive information on safety.  You have to register to access the information.


2.     Toxic Properties (including MSDS data sheets)

o    The Office of Response and Restoration of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) maintains an instructive ChemAids page. ChemAids provides access to a database of information on the chemical consequences of a disaster such as a derailment. It also has an informative problem set.

o    TOXNET maintained by the National Laboratory of Medicine is the gateway to a comprehensive system of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas. This should be your first stop in finding information on the toxic properties of a substance. The full records are very comprehensive and include information on physical and chemical properties as well as safe use and disposal. The HSDB database is a good place to start if you require quantitative data.

A good place to start in a search of the massive government databases is NIH's SIS. Links are provided to the Specialized Information System. In starting to use the system, search by chemical name and CAS Registry Number.

o    ECOTOX is an extensive database prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency and contains quantitative data on the impact of toxic substances on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Searching for data is expedited if you have the CAS number for the toxic substance. DSSTox, a new site from the EPA, is an attempt to provide access to a wide range of databases with a standard format. TOXNET is a resource of the National Library of Medicine. It provides a searchable access to a range of databases. If you know the CAS number, provide it.

A related EPAS resource is the IRIS Tracer that allows one to follow EPA assessments of hazardous substances.

Tox Town is an interactive Website devoted to toxic substances and is maintained by the National Library of Medicine. It is oriented to the general public and a Macromedia Flash player must be installed in order to view its entertaining graphics.

Emissions of substances are tracked by two government agencies. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) provides information on toxic substances. The European Union's European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) covers both toxic materials and greenhouse gases. TOXMAP, a site of the National Library of Medicine, provides a cartographical presentation of emissions of more than 650 hazardous chemicals into the environment. The Web site uses data from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory. Geodata is another US government site that allows one to plot a host of environmental data such as outbreaks of toxic algae.The Global Data Portal is a corresponding UN Web site that provides access to data on more than 450 economic and ecological variables including toxic emissions. The National Atmospheric Deposition Program, associated with the Illinois State Water Survey, provides data and maps of species associated with the hydrosphere and the atmosphere. David Baker, professor emeritus at Heidelberg College, maintains the Ohio Tributary Loading Program, a source of concentrations of many species inb Ohio watersheds. The HEI Air Quality Database provides information on gaseous pollutants at or near EPA air monitoring stations. Carbontracker, a product of the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group at NOAA, provides data on the concentration of carbon dioxide at 60 locations on the planet.

o    The Chemical Reactivity Worksheet, a source of information on the reactivity of substances, can be downloaded from NOAA. The Web site has other information on chemical combinations that can lead to serious accidents.

o    The Instant Chemical Hazards and Safety database is another source of data on toxic chemicals. The database is small now but is growing. The information on the compounds in the database is extensive. The inclusion of LD50's and other quantitative measures of toxicity is noteworthy.

o    Another good place to turn for quantitative data, e.g. LD50's, on toxic substances is the SIRI (Safety Information Resources, Inc.) database.

o    A very comprehensive database on pesticides is provided by a Jinno Laboratory The database includes spectra, structures, chemical and physical properties, and toxicological data.

o    Chemical Backgrounds is a Web site that provides informative essays on more than 100 chemicals that have an effect on the health. Each essay addresses the properties and pharmacology of the substance.

o    MSDS Solutions is a comprehensive Web database of MSDS data sheets. You have to registrer to use the database but there is not fee for the registration.

o    The Carcinogenic Potency Database is maintained by pioneer Bruce Ames at the University of California-Berkeley. Its data on thousands of compounds are drawn from animal tests.

o    The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) provide a number of comprehensive databases.  The ASETSDefense (Advanced Surface Science Technologies for Sustainable Defense) database provides information on coatings and surface-treatment technologies.  For example, problems associated with chromium[VI] and green alternatives are covered in considerable detail.   The SERDP/ESTCP Online Library provides access to reports that deal with materials used by the DOD.  The scope of the library is comprehensive.  For example, the reports address ecological effects, remediation, detection, and persistence.

o    The EPA GHG  site (Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Facilities) provides quantitative data on emissions of greenhouse gases by all major sources in the US. 


3. Degradation of Molecules in the Environment

o    The Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database at the University of Minnesota (UM-BBD) is organized around enzyme-catalyzed reactions for the degradation of industrial chemicals. The site provides links to a large number of very useful databases.

o    Leeds University maintains Tropospheric Chemistry Modelling, a site that provides data on the fate of species in the troposphere. Extensive kinetic data including rate constants are provided.

o    The Environmental Science Center of Syracuse Research Corporation has generously made available the Environmental Fate Data Bases (EFDB). These databases include DATALOG, a biobliographic file; BIOLOG, sources of microbial toxicity and biodegradation; CHEMFATE, rate data for degradation of compounds in the environment plus physical properties; and BIODEG, experimental data from biodegradation studies. The Web site alsdo includes TSCATS, a database on toxic properties; KOW, a database of octanol-water partition coefficients; and a database on compounds involved in global warming and stratospheric ozone.

o    PBT Profiler is an online tool for predicting the persistence, bioaccumulation potential, and toxicity of PBT chemicals such as dioxins.

o    The Center for Environmental Kinetics Analysis at Pennsylvania State University hosts ChemXseer, an on-line digital library and database with an emphasis on the kinetics of substances found in the environment.


4. GIS: Data Acquired from Remote Sensing
With the support and encouragement of Vice President Al Gore, data acquired by satellites are now available on the WWW. This section provides links to GIS databases that are relevant to environmental science.

o    Mapping

§  Many topographical maps use the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates (i.e.northing and easting) in place of latitude and longitude.  YNPRC, the Yellowstone National Park Research Coordination Network, at Montana State University provides tools for converting between UTM and lat/long.

§  Those seeking topographical maps in a 7.5' DRG (GIS format) for California can obtain the data from the Casil site at the University of California-Davis.  If you know the USGS ID number for the map, you can go directly to the Casil site where DRG data are stored.  The Casil site is particularly useful if you are working in an area covered by more than one topo map as it provides untrimmed, i.e. untrimmed, topo maps.

§  Data for Pennsylvania can be obtained at the PASDA site.

§  Data for Texas including datasets in ArcView shapefile format can be obtained from the Texas Natural Resources Information System of the Texas Water Development Board. 

§  The Topoview service of the USGS provides maps including topographical maps in geotiff format that were produced from 1884 to 2006.  Maps can also be downloaded from Topoquest.

§  Topozone provides topographical maps at its Web site.  There is a fee for downloading entire sheets.

§  Topographical maps in geotiff format can be downloaded at a charge from the following commercial sites: Charttiff and Mytopo.

§  The United States Forest Service (USFS) hosts a Website which provides extensive cartographical data for national forests.  The USFS also provides an associated site that provides 7.5’ topographical maps for all national forests in pdf and geotiff formats.  These maps have the advantage that they have been updated more recently that USGS topographical maps.

§  The Map Machine of the National Geographic Society provides for much of the world satellite pictures and highway maps that can be enhanced with geophysical and demographical information such as the location earthquake faults.

§  Normally there is a charge for topographical maps for Europe.  Three sites which focus on planning tours in Switzerland  provide upon expansion topoquality maps: Mapplus, Wanderland, and Wandersite.

§  This Cornell University site allows you to make a digital map with the details that you select. Some of the site's own maps are interactive.

§  Mapping data and photographs covering many areas of the US are provided by Any Place America


§  A site maintained by the library at the University of Arkansas is a Web guide to GIS resources covering a broad range of disciplines.

§  Check out Google Earth. You will be able to download freeware from the site that allows one access to detailed aerial pictures covering the entire globe. Amazon is in the process of releasing a service that provides street maps for the entire country that will be accompanied by photographs.

§  The Crystal Lake website provides topo maps that cover, section by section, the entire Angeles National Forest, the oldest national forest in California.

§  The US NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) maintains a number of sites that provide information on the weather.

§  home page for NOAA

§  National Weather Service, weather patterns and forecasts

§  Department of Commerce weather page

§  OSEI (Operational Significant Event Imagery Team)

§  GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Project)

§  For extreme weather conditions, consult a special Web site from the National Climatic Data Center.

§  Wildfires have become a major problem. the GEOMAC USGS site tracks the status of major fires such the Williams Fires in the National Angeles Forest.

§  NASA maintains this IMS (Information Management System) as access to a master catalogue to DAAC's (Distributed Active Archive Centers) of EOS (Earth Observing System) data. There is a fee if you wish to order a particular dataset.

The following agencies participate in the EOS program:

§  EROS Data Center, land features (Landsat images) and processes

§  Goddard Space Flight Center, upper atmosphere, atmospheric dynamics, and global biosphere

§  Related is the PM_ESIP (Passive Microwave Earth Science Information Project) that assembles global maps of surface temperature, wind speed, and precipitation from microwave data.

§  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ocean Circulation and Air-Sea Interaction

§  Alaska SAR Facility, sea ice and polar processes

§  NWIS, data on hydrology from the USGS

§  Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, human interactions in global change

§  Global Hydrology Resource Center, global hydrology

§  Oak Ridge National Laboratory, biogeochemical dynamics

§  National Snow and Ice Data Center, polar processes, cryosphere, and climate

§  Langley Research Center, radiation budget, clouds, aerosols, and tropospheric chemistry

§  Directory of Earth Science Data Sets

§  The National Oceanographic Data Center is a clearing house for data relating to the ocean.

§  For a map of the oceans, consult GEBCO (General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans) which is hosted by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) under the auspices of the International Hydrological Organization and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

§  The Naval Research Laboratory maintains a Web site for its NLOM (Layered Ocean Model) project which provides 30-day forecasts of ocean behavior.

§  The Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison maintains a large collection satellite images that provides a wealth of information on meteorology and geology.

§  The National Earthquake Information Center of the US Geological Survey provides up-to-date information about earthquakes throughout the globe. A mirror site is also available.  Consult another USGS site for maps of faults. Another USGS site provides current geologic survey maps"

§  Data on earthquakes in California that are collected by Caltech, the USGS, and the California Divison of Mines and Geology are provided by the Trinet Web site. Check this site for a map of intensity for each earthquake.

§  WorldWatcher was developed by researchers of the Supportive Scientific Visualization Environments for Education (SSciVEE) project at Northwestern University. The Website contains downloadable software and associated data related to environmental studies. Classroom projects using the software are suggested.

§  The Flood Observatory at Dartmouth College maintains a site dedicated to floods.

§  The Web site of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado provides more than 400 data sets tied to ice and snow but other aspects of hydrology as well.

§  William Bowen provides a collection of 500 computer-generated aerial images of terrestrial landscapes in his geogdata site. The Jules Map Server hosted by UNAVCO generates maps of the planets in the solar system.

§  Biodiversity is the focus of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).  The GEO BON portal for the group provides a rich source of data on biodiversity.  Much of the data is in GIS format.


5. Environmental Problems

o    Several sites have developed visualization and mapping tools for displaying data associated with pollution. Start with a cache of graphics from the United Nations' Environmental Programme. The OMI site in the Netherlands emphasizes ozone but monitors other pollutants as well. Worldmapper employs a clever approach. The size of each country on the maps is scaled according to the property being displayed.

o    The EPA maintains an excellent Web site dedicated to the stratospheric ozone problem. A NASA site provides additional data and focuses on the ozone hole. Data can also be found at a companion NASA site, Ozone Hole Watch.

o    The Stratospheric Ozone and Human Health site is maintained by CIESIN (Center for International Information Network) at Columbia University through its Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). The site includes useful figures such as a map of UV flux over the globe.

o    The Oxygenated Fuels Association presents its case for the use of oxygenated fuels such as MTBE in controlling air pollution. Some useful chemical information can be found in the Technical Library. The Web site emphasizes public policy issues.

o    NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) is a comprehensive set of links to satellite and ground-based datasets relating to the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere. This is the best site for information on changes in the global environment.

o    The Environmental Estrogens Web page maintained by the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane and Xavier Universities provides information on the environmental effects of estrogens and mimics of estrogens.

o    Arsenic presents a serious environmental problem. Richard Wilson at Harvard manages The Arsenic Website Project, a source of information on arsenic.

o    Environmine provides an informative page on Acid Mine Drainage.

o    Light pollution might not have dire consequences for health but it can be devastating for the practice of optical astronomy. This Web site has information on the problem that includes maps.

o    The report of the Heinz Foundation on The State of the Nations Ecosystems is now available online.

o    The Web page of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a gold mine of information on changes in the climate. The report of the UN Millennium Project summarizes the findings of several task forces. Reports of the panel are available. The IPCC Data distribution Centre has its own site. A companion Web site also dedicated to data on the climate is maintained by the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction at Columbia University. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) maintains the Compendium of Data on Global Change which provides scores of data sets. The Climate Change site maitained by the UN is a good portal for information. This site provides applets for modeling the climate. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center provides a gallery of pictures of glaciers taken over long periods. These pictures provide a measure of global warming. A comparable Canadian source is the State of the Canadian Cryosphere. Informative reports on temperature trends can be found at the Web site of the US Climate Change Science Program. NOAA maintains a page on the climate swings associated with el Nino and la Nina. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has assembled of gallery of photographs of glaciers that document their retreat with time. The 2030 Research Center provides in its Web site very striking computer simulations of the a consequence of global warming. The graphics predict the consequences of a rise in the sea level for selected cities. Smokey says "Only you can prevent global warming". The western region of the United States Forest provides at its Climate Change web site links to USFS documents on global warming.  Statistical data on the production and consumption of energy sources such as oil can be obtained from British Petroleum’s Statistical Review of World Energy.  The American Chemical Society hosts the ACS Climate Science Toolkit, a useful collection of essays on the science of climate change.

o    Patterns of below-normal precipitation present a related environmental problem. The Dought Monitor maintained by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides a unified set of links to government and private data related to precipitation.

o    The US EPA has a site dedicated to Green Chemistry. The site includes access to the software tool GCES, Green Chemistry Expert System.

o    Serious accidents are an unfortunate fact of life in science and technology. The Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center and the governmental Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board have Web sites with reports on accidents and their causes. The discussion of some chemicals is sobering.

o    Emissions of substances are tracked by two government agencies. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) provides information on toxic substances. The European Union's European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) covers both toxic materials and greenhouse gases.

o    Environmental Media Services hosts Realclimate, a site devoted to global warming. The site was developed to counter industrial-supported sites such as CO2science. The opportunity to participate in modeling calculations and a discussion of the theory underlying models for global warming are provided by the Climate Prediction site.

o    Expertise is a source of Green resources for the home, e.g. solar panels.

o    Acid rain is an environmental problem in the northeast.  The NPS and USFS are collecting water samples to assess its affects on the biosphere.  The Shenandoah Watershed Study has yielded data and reports for Virginia.

6. Methods of Energy Production

o    NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, sponsors a comprehensive Web page dedicated to renewable energy. The data were backed up by informative maps and a library of photos illustrating approaches throughout the world.

o    Los Alamos National Laboratory provides Fuel Cells, Green Power a 33-page document in pdf format describing the technology. HyWeb is a site in German and English that emphasizes the use of hydrogen in fuel cells. Fuel Cells 2000, a third site, is provided in English and Spanish by the Online Fuel Cells Information Center. The Hydride-Metal Related Data Base is maintained by Sandia. DOE's EERE also has its Web site dedicated to hydrogen and fuel cells.

o    The Radiation and Health Physics Page, maintained by students at the University of Michigan, is a comprehensive set of primers and tools on the effects of radiation.

o    The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues is an online bibliography to information related to nuclear energy. Scientific Digital Visions provides a dictionary of 1000 terms used in nuclear science including measures of radiation damage.

o    The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) site of the US Department of Energy has links for information related to the mission of the project.

o    The Danish Wind Industry Association sponsors the Windpower Web site that is dedicated to all aspects of windpower.

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last changed, 4 May 2022