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Zach Aman
Golden, Colorado
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Dear Meera - Thank you for your comment! It's awesome that you use Scholar and integrate with journal articles! Every scientist has their approach to finding papers, but here are my recommendations. 1) The BEST way is through a university, because you can simply click through to almost any article (if they have large science departments). At Mines, we allow Alumni to access the catalog, so you may want to check with your University relations to see if this is possible (especially via VPN connection). 2) Google Scholar is a really powerful search service, but if you'll routinely be covering one type of science (say, perhaps, the biodegradation of crude oil) then you can create a "custom" search with ISI Web of Knowledge, which will email you weekly with new articles published that field. Really powerful stuff. Web address is: 3) PubMed has a directory of free, online-access journals that are really amazing ( Ironically, these don't always involve health issues, but are really an amazing set of journals. 4) There is a brief directory of "open access" journals ( that has something like 5,000 journals in it. Sometimes these are fringe publications, but a nice collection nonetheless. Finally, I found a really nice article on various search methodologies for articles ( It may be a bit repetitive, but it will provide another perspective on finding articles. With suggestions #3 and 4, I would suggest "searching in reverse," so you can select the "field" that appropriately matches your question and then search inside the journals for a particular topic. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do, and thanks again for the excellent question! -Zach
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We all know that engineers tend to look at the world from a unique perspective. Instead of half-empty or half-full, the engineer's glass appears to be twice as big as necessary. After all, this is the crowd that can chronologically list Star Trek episodes while window shopping Radio Shack, right? So what on Earth is a young engineer to make of a discussion about environmental journalism? Continue reading
I was surprised that this panel of experts didn't touch on the advanced methodologies of the combustion cycle. We can accept the fact that, if you burn a tree, you produce more CO2 and NOX than from the same amount of coal. This is basically a question of the "carbon portfolio" in the host fuel. When I burn it (that is, break the carbon-carbon bonds), I get a different type of energy depending not he type of bonds that I break! But when considering emissions, the process that we use is a much more important variable. Continue reading
A "chemical dispersant" is a clever name for a surfactant, which is nothing more than a soap! Well, sort of. Surfactants are molecules which are defined by having two parts (think of soap on a rope): a water-loving head group (the soap), and an oil-loving tail group (the rope). Continue reading
Quick -- behind Saudi Arabia, which country has the second largest wealth of crude oil? Canada, our neighbors to the North, are sitting on between 60 and 70 billion barrels of oil, according to this morning's Energy & Economy panel. Continue reading
If you haven't heard about natural gas hydrates, I suggest you start reading as much as possible! This is a very exciting prospect on the energy frontier. Very simply, we can imagine that biogenic (i.e. microbial) or thermogenic (i.e. tectonic) sources at the bottom of the seafloor that can produce methane. Continue reading
What I find striking is that each of these Conservation Biologists is using a population sample to elucidate an elaborate causal framework. These scientists are only able to measure the quantity of a species (e.g. snowshoe hares) in a given location at one snapshot in time. From this two-dimensional data, the next step is to evaluate how particular independent variables (e.g. climate shifts) may affect future migration patterns or population balances. Continue reading
Above the standard pleasantries and boring colloquialisms, I had the opportunity to speak with award-winning author Alanna Mitchell (2010 Grantham Prize) largely on the topic of her new book, Seasick (Amazon). Continue reading
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Oct 5, 2010