AAAS Responds to Katrina With Brokering Service And Freely Accessible Science Content
Hurricane Katrina survivor Seth Pincus, an immunologist whose story was told in the 9 September 2005 issue of Science, was among many scientists, engineers and teachers affected by the storm and its tragic aftermath. Pincus, evacuated from the Louisiana State University Children's Hospital in New Orleans, "left hundreds of fragile blood and tissue samplesrepresenting years of HIV and other infectious disease researchto an uncertain fate," Science reported.
To help researchers like Pincus rebuild their communities, facilities and programs, AAAS has launched an online brokering system for finding or donating computers, books, journals, lab equipment, lab space and teaching materials. At the same time, the journal Science, published by AAAS, has compiled an online bibliography of freely accessible news, essays and research papers related to hurricanes.
"We wanted to extend our deepest sympathies, but also the use of our online resources, as well as relevant content from Science," said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer for AAAS and executive publisher of the journal. "We hope that this small contribution may prove useful for those researchers and educators who are struggling to recreate their programs or their classrooms, while also remaining competitive and effective."
To find or donate resources, click here. To read relevant Science content, click here.
The special AAAS site featuring the brokering service, as well as a link to Science content, also includes a set of links to other scientific and engineering organizations' efforts to respond to Hurricane Katrina. The American Psychological Society, for example, was among the first to establish a relocation directory for students online. The National Academies have compiled information for students, scientists and scholars displaced by the hurricane. This resource, includes facts for students affected by the storm, and federal documentation requirements for those hiring Katrina victims. For AAAS's roundup of nearly 40 organizations' contributions to date, click here.
Storm-related information now being made available by Science includes a research article in the 16 September issue suggesting that the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard of the United States are at risk for more Katrina-level storms. Peter Webster, a top U.S. atmospheric scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, together with colleagues at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, found that the number of high-intensity cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes has increased in all of the world's ocean basins since 1975. In the North Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has increased 54 percent, from 16 between 1975 and 1989 to 25 between 1990 and 2004. For more on the paper, including the text of an interview with Webster, click here.
AAAS and Science will continue to evaluate additional opportunities for responding to Katrina, said Albert Teich, head of AAAS Science and Policy, as well as an internal Policy Alert initiative, which promotes rapid, association-wide responses to current events.
AAAS staffer Bob Hirshon, for example, was in Louisiana as of 15 September, completing previously scheduled on-site training for the highly regarded AAAS Kinetic City after-school science program. "We will be exploring how we might use Kinetic City for after-school programs, to help bring some level to normalcy for the children of Katrina," said Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources at AAAS.
Additional possibilities will be explored in coming weeks.
16 September 2005