Monday, September 21, 2009

Smithsonian to Host Online Conference on Climate Change | September 29 > October 1 2009

PRESS RELEASE  > Sept. 16, 2009

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies will host “Climate Change,” a three-day, free, education online conference Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. This is the second in a series of SCEMS conferences where researchers and curators from around the Smithsonian Institution come together to address a single subject.


“Climate Change” will feature sessions that everyone will find interesting: Some sessions will be of special interest to educators while others will engage entire classrooms and the general public. Throughout the conference, participants can explore Smithsonian research and collections related to the evidence, impact and response to climate change. Alongside Smithsonian scientists and curators, the public can look at the issues surrounding climate change from the perspectives of science, history and art.
“We’re excited to offer this online seminar on such an important and timely topic as climate change. The Smithsonian, with its experts, collections and partners is uniquely qualified to do so,” said Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “Our first seminar, on Abraham Lincoln, was a resounding success that started an online dialogue that continues today—here and abroad.”
The conference will show the depth of research that the Smithsonian can bring to a current problem. Smithsonian scientists and other experts will lead participants in explorations of Smithsonian research on this important issue via live presentations, moderated forums and demonstrations. Through live streaming, speakers will respond to questions and comments from the audience. All of the conference sessions will be recorded and archived and can be replayed at any time via the Web at
Among the presenters are:
  • Bert Drake, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, who leads two major studies of the impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide on ecosystems
  • Don Moore, associate director for animal care at the National Zoo, who helps create conservation-management plans for wildlife
  • Scott Wing, paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History, who specializes in prehistoric plant life and its reactions to climate change
Registration is open to everyone at [] , which also features a blog about climate change and an archive of the first online conference, “Abraham Lincoln,” which attracted more than 3,000 participants on six continents.


Program A/V Available

> Introduction: Welcome from Secretary G. Wayne Clough
>> Day 1: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 – “The Big Picture”
>>> Day 2: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 – “The Long View”
>>>> Day 3: Thursday, October 1, 2009 – “Today and Tomorrow”


Monday, September 14, 2009

Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data

Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data / Edited by Nicole C. Engard / Foreword by Jenny Levine

2009 / 352 pp. / Softbound / ISBN 978-1-57387-372-7 / Regular Price $39.50

As web users become more savvy and demanding, libraries are looking for new ways to allow patron participation and keep their websites dynamically and collaboratively up-to-date. Mashups—web applications that combine freely available data from various sources to create something new—can be one very powerful way to meet patrons’ expectations and provide exemplary web-based service.

In Library Mashups, Nicole C. Engard and 25 contributors from all over the world walk readers through definitions, summaries, and practical uses of mashups in libraries. Examples range from ways to allow those without programming skills to make simple website updates, to modifying the library OPAC, to using popular sites like Flickr, Yahoo!, LibraryThing, Google Maps, and Delicious to share and combine digital content. This essential guide is required reading for all libraries and librarians seeking a dynamic, interactive web presence.

Table Of Contents

Foreword –- Jenny Levine

Introduction — Nicole C. Engard

I: What Are Mashups

1. What is a Mashup? / Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan Library and IT advisor for the Indigenous Studies Portal

2. Behind the Scenes: Some Technical Details / Librarian at Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Bonaria Biancu

3. Content Sources & Mashing Them Up / Ross Singer, Interoperability and Open Standards Champion at Talis

4. Mashing up w/ Librarian Knowledge / Thomas Brevik, library at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy and former president of the Norwegian Library Association Special Interest Group for Information and Communication Technology (SIKT)

II: Mashing up Library Websites

5. Information in Context / Brian Herzog, reference librarian at the Chelmsford Public Library

6. Mashing up the Library Website / Lichen Rancourt is the Head of Technology at Manchester City Library and contributor to Scriblio

7. Piping out Library Data / Nicole C. Engard, book editor

8. Mashups @Librarians Interact / Corey Wallis from the THALI group in Australia

III: Mashing up Catalog Data

9. Library Catalog Mashup: Using Blacklight to Expose Collections / Bess Sadler, Metadata Specialist for User Projects for the University of Virginia Library; Joseph Gilbert, Head of the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library; and Matt Mitchell

10. Breaking into the OPAC / Tim Spalding, founder of LibraryThing

11. Mashups with ‡ Web Services /Joshua Ferraro, CEO at LibLime

12. SOPAC 2.0: The Thrashable, Mashable Catalog / John Blyberg, Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience at Darien Library

13. Creating Mashups with the WorldCat API and Other WorldCat Affiliate Tools / Karen Coombs, Head of Web Services at the University of Houston Libraries

IV. Maps, Pictures & Video … Oh My!

14. Flickr and Digital Image Collections / Jeremy McWilliams and Mark Dahl from the Lewis & Clark College Library

15. and Digital Video Collections in the Library / Jason Clark, Digital Initiatives Librarian at Montana State University Library

16. “Where’s the nearest computer lab?”: Mapping Up Campus / Derik Badman, Digital Services Librarian at Temple University

17. Repository Map Mashup / Stuart Lewis, Team Leader & Project Manager at Aberystwyth University

V. Adding Value to your Services

18. The LibraryThing API and Libraries / Robin Hastings, Information Technology Manager for the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, MO

19. ZACK Bookmaps / Wolfram Schneider

20. Federated Database Search Mashup / Stephen Hedges, Karl Jendretzky and Laura Solomon

21. Electronic Dissertation Mashups Using SRU / Michael C. Witt from Purdue University

TOC Source


Associated Chapter Links




Associated Past And Future Presentations Related To Book Contents




Working for the Climate: Renewable Energy & the Green Job [R]evolution

The climate crisis and the financial crisis are not two competing issues that need to be addressed separately by the world community. The solution to one is, in fact, the answer to the other. Investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy helps the economy by increasing employment in the power sector, while reducing energy costs and easing the over-use of precious natural resources. By making the switch to renewable energy we can halt the carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere and create a path away from irreversible climate change.

Working for the Climate is a study to determine the potential for 'green jobs' in the energy sector, and how this potential compares to a business-as-usual approach, with little or no action being taken to avert climate change. We found that, under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, there would be an overall increase of around 2 million power sector jobs over the next 20 years; and with an Energy [R]evolution in place, there would be more than 8 million jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency - three times the amount of jobs under the business-as-usual approach.

Date published > 14 September 2009 / Format > Adobe PDF / Number of pages > 72 / [Publisher > GreenPeace International / European Renewable Energy Council]

Full Text Available


ENERGY SECTOR JOBS TO 2030: A GLOBAL ANALYSIS / Final Report (Background Document [117 pp.])




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

WASHINGTON -- The introduction of K-12 engineering education has the potential to improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness about what engineers do and of engineering as a potential career, and boost students' technological literacy, according to a new report from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council. The report examines the status and nature of efforts to teach engineering in U.S. schools.

"The problem solving, systems thinking, and teamwork aspects of engineering can benefit all students, whether or not they ever pursue an engineering career," said Linda Katehi, chancellor of the University of California, Davis, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. "A K-12 education that does not include at least some exposure to engineering is a lost opportunity for students and for the nation."

Engineering education at the K-12 level should emphasize engineering design and a creative problem-solving process, the committee said. It should include relevant concepts in mathematics, science, and technology, as well as support the development of skills many believe essential for the 21st century, including systems thinking, collaboration, and communication.

While science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction is collectively referred to as "STEM education," the report finds that the engineering component is often absent in policy discussions and in the classroom. In fact, engineering might be called the missing letter in STEM, the report says.

In preparing the report, the committee conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 K-12 engineering curricula; reviewed scientific literature related to learning engineering concepts and skills; evaluated evidence on the impact of K-12 engineering education initiatives; and collected preliminary information about pre-collegiate engineering education programs in other countries.

The committee found that engineering education opportunities in K-12 schools have expanded considerably in the past 15 years. Since the early 1990s, the report estimates, about 6 million children have been exposed to some formal engineering coursework. However, this number is still small compared with the overall number of students in K-12 schools (approximately 56 million in 2008). The committee noted that many challenges remain to expanding the availability and improving the quality of these programs, including the absence of content standards to guide development of instructional materials, limited pre-service education for engineering teachers, and structural and policy impediments to including this new subject in an already crowded school curriculum.

With these challenges in mind, the committee recommended that:

>>> The National Science Foundation or U.S. Department of Education fund research to determine how science inquiry and mathematical reasoning can be connected to engineering design in curricula and professional development;

>>> Foundations and federal agencies with an interest in K-12 engineering education conduct long-term research to confirm and refine findings of studies of the impacts of engineering education;

>>> The American Society of Engineering Education begin a national dialogue on preparing K-12 engineering teachers, and on the pros and cons of establishing a formal credentialing process; and

>>> Philanthropic foundations or federal agencies with an interest in STEM education and school reform identify models of implementation for K-12 engineering education that will work for different American school systems.

The committee also noted the importance of clarifying the meaning of "STEM literacy" and of developing curricula that would particularly appeal to groups typically underrepresented in engineering, such as girls, African Americans, and Hispanics.



Full Text Avialable At