Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cures For Cabin Fever!

Trudging through another round of snowfall got you down?  Longing for the arrival of Spring?  While we can certainly sympathize, we would like to suggest some options for making it through these next few weeks.  Our latest book display has books and trail maps on cross country skiing, ice fishing, ice skating and other winter activities to help you combat "Cabin Fever".

Stop by and check one of these display books out, or consider one of these other winter activity resources. 

Wisconsin State Park System Cross Country Ski Trails
Madison Parks Outdoor Ice Skating
Madison Parks Sledding Hills 
Madison Parks Ski Trails
Wisconsin DNR Ice Fishing in Wisconsin
Wisconsin's Water Library "Ice Fishing" Recommended Reading List
Travel Wisconsin Snow Conditions Report for Snowmobiles

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seafood Mislabeling Revealed Nationwide

Graph courtesy of Oceana

Lately the news has filled with reports of wide concern voiced over revelations that DNA samples identified 1% horse meat in products sold as beef throughout the European union.   A recently announced study by the ocean protection non profit Oceana addressees a similar situation with seafood being mislabeled in the United States.

Using U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, DNA testing found that one-third (33 percent) of  1,215 samples analyzed were mislabeled.   The report revealed that of 120 sample of Red Snapper tested, only 7 were actually Red Snapper.  The remaining 113 were some other fish.

Oceana's recent blog post concludes, "Our findings demonstrate that a comprehensive and transparent traceability system – one that tracks fish from boat to plate – must be established at the national level. At the same time, increased inspection and testing of our seafood, specifically for mislabeling, and stronger federal and state enforcement of existing laws combating fraud are needed to reverse these disturbing trends."

Further resources:
Read Christopher Mim's Atlantic blog post 59% of the 'Tuna' Americans Eat Is Not Tuna
Read Highlights from Oceana's National Seafood Fraud Testing Results
Watch Oceana's short video "Oceana Seafood Fraud B-Roll Footage" below

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Science Book Award Winners and Other Good Reads: Selected Reading List

"Dig" by Sadie Wendell Mitchell
Library of Congress
Who doesn't like a suggested reading list?  We certainly do!  The Science, Technology and Business Division of the Library of Congress has created a useful selected reading list of award winning science books.  Actually, they have offered three separate lists: Award Winners and Nominees, Books Written by Speakers in the Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division Lecture Series, and A Few Other Suggestions from the Past.

This Science Reference Guide also offers linked information about three notable science book awards:

The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books (est. 1988)
The PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award (est. 2011)
The Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science (est. 1959)

Let us know if we can help you get your hands on any of the selected titles!

Access the entire Science Reference Guide and all three lists:
Library of Congress: Science Reference Guides Curl Up With a Good Science Book!

Friday, February 15, 2013

EPA's Chemical Data Reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to move forward in efforts to insure transparency by producers of potentially dangerous chemicals that can impact our environment.  This week saw the EPA release the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information on over 7,600 chemicals used in commerce.  While companies have been required to identify the chemicals used in consumer and children's products for some time now, recently the EPA has expanded their requirements to require companies to substantiate confidentiality claims, insuring that more information is made available to the public.

“The 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information will help EPA and others better assess chemicals, evaluate potential exposures and use, and expand efforts to encourage the use of safer chemicals,” concludes EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

Read more about the CDR data, including fact sheets, at

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: Water Drops - Celebrating the Wonder of Water

Want a quick sip of water knowledge?  Or perhaps you'd rather fill your glass full with a variety of thirst quenching, water-related topics?  This recent addition to our library's collection compiles an insightful collection of essays originally delivered as radio scripts during the author Peter Black's weekly broadcasts on WRVO-FM, Oswego, New York and later heard countless times on NPR.

The book's introduction promises that, "In this engaging book, hydrologist Peter E. Black celebrates the wonder of our planet’s most precious natural resource. In these brief, nontechnical essays, readers are introduced to water’s unique scientific properties, the vital role it plays in Earth’s ecology and ecosystems, and the impact it has had on human history, culture, art, law, and economics."

Definitely worth checking out!

Black, P. E. (2012). Water drops : celebrating the wonder of water. Albany: Excelsior Editions/State University of New York Press.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please request books through the Library Catalog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mobile Phones Used for Mercury Detection in Water

Photo courtesy of e! Science News
The website e! Science News reported today about a team of researchers at Spain's University of Burgos developing a technique for detecting the presence of Mercury in water samples using a thin membrane they previously developed and mobile phones. The membrane is placed in a water sample and reacts to the presence of Mercury.   Photographs taken with a mobile phone can then reveal the concentrations of this extremely toxic metal.  Mercury contamination poses a risk to public health since it accumulates in the brain and the kidneys and can cause long term neurological illnesses.  One of the most common manners in which harmful Mercury can be introduced to humans is through the consumption of contaminated fish.  This innovative mobile technology will certainly have an immediate application into efforts to combat these threats.

More suggested information:

Read e! Science News' blog post Mercury Contamination in Water Can Be Detected With a Mobile Phone

Wisconsin Water Library's Recommended Reading List Mercury

Friday, February 1, 2013

USGS-NOAA Studies Climate Change Impact on U.S. Coasts

USGS and NOAA have issued a new report that considers the impact that climate change continues to have on the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities.  Authored by leading scientists and experts, the report emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.

Margaret A. Davidson of NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and co-lead author of the report states "Sandy showed us that coastal states and communities need effective strategies, tools and resources to conserve, protect, and restore coastal habitats and economies at risk from current environmental stresses and a changing climate...Easing the existing pressures on coastal environments to improve their resiliency is an essential method of coping with the adverse effects of climate change."

Read the entire report "Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment" here

Access to Wisconsin's Water Library's Water Research Guide "Climate Change" here