Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
January 2005, Issue #66



NSDL 2005 Request for Proposals
NSDL 2005 Request for Proposals January 2005 -- On January 11 the NSF NSDL Request for Proposals was posted at An optional letter of intent is due on March 9, 2005 with full proposals due on April 11, 2005.

"Building on work supported under the multi-agency Digital Libraries Initiative, this program aims to establish a national digital library that will constitute an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels. In FY2005, the program will accept proposals in three tracks: (1) Pathways projects are expected to provide stewardship for the content and services needed by major communities of learners. (2) Services projects are expected to develop services that support users, resource collection providers, and the Core Integration effort and that enhance the impact, efficiency, and value of the library. (3) Targeted Research projects are expected to explore specific topics that have immediate applicability to collections, services, and other aspects of the development of the digital library."
Related Link:

Policy Committee Slate of Nominees
January 2005 -- The NSDL Policy Committee is a voice for NSDL projects in advising the Core Integration (CI) team, other NSF grantees, and NSF on operational strategies, policies and implementation priorities. The Policy Committee has worked to define the NSDL community and determine constraints on NSDL usage and contents necessary to ensure that NSDL's mission is fulfilled. The Policy Committee acts on behalf of the NSDL Assembly to work with NSF and the CI team in coordinating the activities of Standing Committees, Subcommittees, Taskforces, etc., and individual projects.

Each year the Nominating Committee of the NSDL Policy Committee proposes a slate of candidates to join the NSDL Policy Committee for three-year terms. Beginning next month the slate of candidates nominated below will begin terms of service pending approval by the NSDL Assembly. Each NSDL Assembly project is entitled to one vote to approve or reject this slate. To be counted, your project's vote must be received by Friday, February 5, 2005.

There were strong candidates from which to choose. While the finalists were qualified to be on the Policy Committee, candidates were chosen whose talents and interests best complemented those of the ongoing committee members. Some candidates were also current Standing Committee chairs. The Committee determined that for the coming year, NSDL would benefit most from their continuing work on those committees. (Note: Standing Committee chairs attend Policy Committee meetings.)

Slate of nominees:

* Bruce Caron
Bruce Caron is the executive director of the New Media Studio and the New Media Research Institute, is trained as a social anthropologist and an urban cultural geographer. He has served as the president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners and as the Chair of the DLESE Data Access Working Group.
He states, "The NSDL has been wrestling with governance issues for several years. The time has come to settle on a governance model that is clear and that can provide the platform for future collaborations and sustainable efforts? While I have no set notion of a solution to governance in the NSDL, I can help guide the organization to a solution. I've been working on governance matters with the ESIP Federation and DLESE for several years?I would like to see the Policy Committee look at different models for face-to-face interaction that meet the needs of the NSDL. I am hoping my service on the Policy Committee will help bring new clarity and energy to the governance model and the working meetings for the organization."

* Martin Halbert
Martin Halbert is Director for Library Systems, Executive Director for the MetaScholar Initiative at, Emory University. He has served as PI on a number of digital library projects funded by the NSF, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
He states, "I would bring to this appointment 1) a desire to build synergistic relationships between the NSDL and several other digital library communities with which I have experience and knowledge, including the Digital Library Federation, the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, and DL projects funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and 2) my background in research library administration. I would specifically help advance the work of the NSDL by seeking to strengthen its sustainability and technical infrastructure through stronger and more coordinated connections with DL community projects (the DLF Aquifer effort is an example private foundations, and other appropriate groups which would complement the aims and long-term viability of the NSDL. If the NSDL is to flourish in coming years, it must become more integrated into the larger fabric of library and other educational organizations, as well as broaden its financial base through both philanthropic and commercial sources."

* Brandon Muramatsu
Brandon Muramatsu is currently Project Director, Open Sustainable Learning Opportunities (OSLO) Group, Department of Instructional Technology, Utah State University. With a background in mechanical engineering, he has worked for a number of years with projects involved in the NSDL and other digital libraries.
He states, "Vision ? is something that the participants, as a community of practice, building the NSDL must define. I have had reasonable success in the last six years helping various communities discuss and coalesce around a shared vision for their work. This notion of a shared vision is the only sort of vision that I think can be successful in the long term. ?I see it as my role as a potential policy committee member to help the community define and articulate its vision for the NSDL-and then help them achieve that vision."

Policy Committee Policy Committee is a voice for NSDL projects in advising the Core Integration (CI) team, other NSF grantees, and NSF on operational strategies, policies and implementation priorities. The Policy Committee has worked to define the NSDL "community" and determine constraints on NSDL usage and contents necessary to ensure that NSDL's mission is fulfilled. The Policy Committee acts on behalf of the NSDL Assembly to work with NSF and the CI team in coordinating the activities of Standing Committees, Subcommittees, Taskforces, etc., and individual projects.
Related Link:

Upcoming NSDL Outreach Activities
* American Libraries Association Mid-Winter Meeting - January 14-17 in Boston, MA. Exhibit hall booth number 2242.

* Association for the Educators of Teachers of Science - January 21 in Colorado Springs. Presentation "Digital Libraries as Online Tools for Authentic Learning and Assessment".

* American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting - February 17-21 in Washington, D.C. Exhibit hall booth number 212.

* Consortium for School Networking Annual Conference - March 22-23 in Washington, D. C. Exhibit hall booth number TBA.

One strength of the NSDL exhibit booth as an outreach tool is the ability to promote the breadth, depth, and quality of resources available from NSDL projects and other collections and service providers. To participate please send brochures, fliers, and give-away items from your project for distribution at the above events and other upcoming conferences to Susan Van Gundy, 3300 Mitchell Lane, FL4 - Room 3220, Boulder, CO 80301. Contact Susan at for more information.
Related Link:

The NSDL 2004 Annual Report Now Available
January 2005 -- The 2004 NSDL Annual Report Highlighting Successful Strategies for Growth illustrates how NSDL is impacting educational practice. 2004 Annual Meeting themes and topics are reflected in the emerging NSDL narrative that comprises this year's annual report available for download by clicking here. Please contact Maureen Donovan if you would like to receive printed copies to redistribute.
Related Link:

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) Deadlines
The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries to be held June 7-11 in Denver, is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries. NSDL is co-hosting the conference this year. Upcoming paper, panel, tutorial, demonstration and poster deadlines are:

- January 27, 2005: Full articles, panel, and tutorial proposals due
- February 10, 2005: Short articles, posters, demonstrations, and proposals for workshops due
- April 5, 2005: Revision deadline for accepted articles and abstracts
Related Link:

Bringing Resources Into the Future: NSDL's Persistent Archive
Bringing Resources Into the Future: NSDL January 2005 -- University of California San Diego maintains NSDL's persistent archive. Over the past several months, the UCSD project team led by Reagan Moore has focused on a number of issues to improve operation and overall usefulness of the NSDL Archive Service. Many of these issues streamline and automate processes developed over the past eight months; most of these processes have evolved over time after studying the results of each monthly crawl of the NSDL's Metadata Repsository (MR), and examining methods used to obtain them. As processes have been refined, the use of a database in the archiving system has been incorporated. New programmatic and user interfaces for this enhanced system have also been developed.

To read the full NSDL Persistent Archive Report by Charles Cowart, UCSD click here.
Related Link:

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) Funding Update
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) Funding Update January 2005 -- Clearinghouse (ENC) has announced that the U.S. Department of Education will not continue funding for a national mathematics and science education clearinghouse beyond ENC's current contract year ending September 30, 2005. ENC has provided a valuable service to the nation's K-12 mathematics and science teachers over the past 13 years, and is currently evaluating products and services built on ENC's core competencies that could be delivered through subscriptions to schools, organizations and individuals beginning in October 2005. With a current base of 135,000 subscribers ENC is not starting from scratch.

ENC is also evaluating how best to continue and expand its work with funding from other Federal and state organizations.Future ENC initiatives may also include strategic collaboration with Core Integration and other NSDL projects to develop a system for sharing NSDL content tied to state education standards and assessments.NSDL's Middle School Portal, released in November 2004 http://, was developed and is maintained by ENC. NSDL Core Integration has funded this effort through Dec. 2005. ENC has also been the lead or major partner in five other NSDL collection projects.

If you would like to be kept informed about ENC's future directions, or if you have comments or suggestions for the staff, please send an email to
Related Link: http://

Searching for NSDL Resources About Tsunamis
Searching for NSDL Resources About Tsunamis January 2005 -- A search on "tsunami" at returns 183 results of interest to teachers and students about how these giant waves form as well as up-to-date information about the Dec. 26 disaster in South Asia.

NSDL provides important education resources that contribute to discovery about global phenomena. As students went back to school after the holiday break in early January many teachers assigned Tsunami research. One parent reports that her eighth-grade daughter had 7,000 results returned from a Google search on "Tsunami." The same search In NSDL quickly brought her to "Savage Earth: Waves of Destruction: Tsunamis." This PBS/WNET New York web site with links to additional age-appropriate resources is one example of a focused information path provided by NSDL to help students easily complete class assignments.
Related Link:

Contribute Your Knowledge to Understanding the Tsunami Disaster through "Ask NSDL"
Contribute Your Knowledge to Understanding the Tsunami Disaster through "Ask NSDL" January 2005 -- In response to the tragic tsunami event of December 26, NSDL is currently engaged in a recruiting campaign to expand the base of experts who can respond to inquiries in a variety of question categories related to oceanography, seismology, human health, psychology, economics, statistics, anthropology, remote imaging technology, and other topics that might be relevant to students and teachers trying to understand the causes and after effects of tsunamis. We are encouraging members of the NSDL community and anyone with relevant experience in these disciplines to register as AskNSDL experts. If you are already registered as an expert, please notify Blythe Bennett ( if you are willing to receive questions in the newly created tsunami category. Please also assist our recruiting efforts by sharing this call for experts with appropriate colleagues and forwarding to relevant listservs. Researchers, educators, librarians, museum professionals, graduate students, and others are encouraged to share their knowledge in the upcoming weeks and beyond. It is easy to register as an expert and requires only as much time as you prefer to commit in responding to the questions that you choose to answer. To register, go to and click on the "For Experts" button. Select "register as an expert" and follow the instructions. Tsunami related resources from within NSDL collections are being featured on the's homepage. Additional resources are posted in the reference sections of AskNSDL. If you have relevant materials from your collection that you would like us to bring to users' attention, please contact Blythe Bennett (

Contact Susan Van Gundy ( / 303-497-2946) for more information. Thank you in advance for your participation!
Related Link:


Cyberinfrastructure and Geoscience Education Report from DLESE
Cyberinfrastructure and Geoscience Education Report from DLESE January 2005 -- The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) hosted a Geoscience Education and Cyberinfrastructure workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation in spring of 2004. This report from the workshop summarizes the discussions and outcomes from the workshp that brought together 50 scientists, educators, and information technology specialists to strategize ways to achieve synergy between the geoscience research and education communities and the emerging NSF cyberinfrastructure initiatives. The report offers a variety of recommendations that are relevant to the NSDL community in the areas of collaboration and new social structures, support for ubiquitous learning environments, and expansion of educator professional development programs within cyberinfrastructure initiatives. Read the report at:
Related Link:

Teachers' Domain Wins Technology and Learning Award
Teachers January 2005 -- Technology and Learning magazine has awarded Teachers' Domain a 2004 Award of Excellence in the Math and Science Category. Teachers' Domain features k-12 and secondary level resources for education.

" . . . More than 30 educator-judges test-drove over 140 products, looking for the "best of the best" in educational computing. Every title was evaluated by at least three judges, who rated products for quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in a school environment."

The link to the press release sent out declaring the Awards of Excellence 2004 winners is below.
Related Link:

NSDL Educational Standards Workgroup Forms
NSDL Educational Standards Workgroup Forms January 2005 -- At the NSDL Annual meeting in November an impromptu meeting was held for a group of people with an interest in educational standards and their association with electronic learning resources. Participants in this meeting began talking about coordinating efforts and sharing information among NSDL collections and projects that are working in this area. Attendees indicated that there are numerous groups working on different aspects of the issue, including technical development, assessing user needs, and interface/display issues for search and browse. The group agreed that a mechanism to facilitate collaboration would be beneficial, and that a face-to-face workshop was desired to provide a focused look at how collaborative development might be fostered. In response to this an email list has been created, with the address

To subscribe to this list go to

The goal of this list is to provide a forum for discussing broad issues that cross the boundaries of specific project goals to look at the interactions between projects, to share lessons learned, and to look ahead to how collaborative development might proceed. If you are interested in, or working in any aspect of educational standards alignment within the context of digital libraries (content alignment protocols (human or computer-assisted), user needs, search and display interfaces, technical underpinnings) please do join this list and contribute to the discussion. After joining th list, please send an short introductory message to the group briefly outlining your area(s) of interest and experience by February 1. An example introductory message will be posted on the group's wiki

Additionally, as requested at the NSDL meeting, planning is underway for a workshop in the spring of 2005, pending funding. News of this workshop will be posted to the list and the wiki as well.

Finally, the NSDL Technical Committee will be considering formalizing this group as a task force associated with their committee. Please do get involved if your project is involved in any aspect of development in this area or if incorporating this service into the NSDL is of interest to you. For more information contact Holly Devaul or Anne Diekema
Related Link:


Call For Visualizations to Support Global Research
Over the past two years, NSF and the Journal of Science have partnered to encourage scientists and engineers to share their visualizations with the larger community that supports the global research enterprise. Approximately 400 entries have been received for the first two competitions, coming from several states and foreign countries. The work of investigators at the outermost frontiers of science and engineering is becoming more understandable and exciting to the general public thanks to increased use of images, illustrations, diagrams and multimedia.

Contact Susan Mason , Special Projects Section Head, NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs for more information about how to participate, or visit the web site.
Related Link:

Is Public Education Working? How Would We Know
Robert Freeman reviews how public education is rated and concludes that some things are, in fact, working.
Related Link:

Usability Boot Camp
Bentley University is offering a user-centered design intensive program March 14-18, 2005 on their campus in Waltham, Massachusettes.
Related Link:

2005 National Federation of Science Abstracting and Indexing Services Annual Conference: 2/27-3/1
Highlights include an opening keynote from Google on meeting end user needs, the preliminary results of a joint research study on electronic information usage in academia from OCLC and Ohio State University, a presentation from Outsell on the search and retrieval differences between desktop searchers and information professionals/librarians, and a closing keynote by Peter Morville on the user needs and expectations in information search and retreival technology in the near future. In addition, information professionals from academic, public, corporate and government libraries will provide their perspective on the search and retrieval differences across user groups, and end users themselves will talk about what products and services they need within the context of their work environment.
Related Link:


NSF's Image Library
Welcome to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Image Library. This Library was created to help the science, engineering, and education communities as well as the general public, obtain quality images for use in print and electronic media. The images in the library represent some of the areas of science the Foundation supports.
Related Link:

Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain