SEL Exhibit – Snakes in a Library!

The Science and Engineering Library in Nedderman Hall is hosting a new herpetology exhibit featuring the Temple Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri), a relatively common species of viper found across the Sunda Shelf in southeast Asia, and research from recent trips to Indonesia by members of UTA’s biology department. The specimens will be on display through March.

Temple Pit Viper
Temple Pit Viper

“We have been on three trips to Indonesia so far and are leaving for a fourth in early May,” said Elijah Wostl, biology graduate teaching assistant. “The reptiles and amphibians of Indonesia have been understudied compared to neighboring countries. The objective of these trips is to discover and document the herpetological biodiversity in one of the most biodiverse regions on earth.”

The trips have also expanded on the study of amphibians and reptiles on campus through the addition of new specimens to the vast collection housed in the Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center.

The exhibit was designed by Dr. Eric Smith, associate professor of biology, and mounted by Wostl and Peace Ossom-Williamson, a UTA librarian for biology.

SEL Exhibit – Transit of Venus 2012

Don’t miss the last Transit of Venus you’ll see in your lifetime! The next one will occur in 105 years (2117)!

View a short video about Transits of Venus

Transit of Venus in the DFW Area
June 5, 2012

*Find your local transit times and dates.

A Transit of Venus occurs when Venus travels between the sun and the earth. It’s like an eclipse, only Venus does not come close to blocking out the sun.


  • Eye safety – do not look directly at the sun! Items to buy or make.
  • Download a mobile app for iPhone or Android to participate in a worldwide experiment and learn more about the Transit.
  • Read more about this astronomical event:
  • Events
    • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 5-7pm, parking lot south of museum. Followed by talk on Venus by UT Arlington Professor of Philosophy & Humanities Charles Chiasson.  More info.
    • Dallas Amateur Astronomy Group, Park Forest Branch Library, 3421 Forest Ln, Dallas TX 75234. Will have lots of eclipse glasses and at least one filtered telescope. Learn how Venus has impacted our world. Free and open to all.
    • Live Webcast by NASA EDGE from observatories in Hawaii, where the entire Transit will occur during sunlight hours.

Come and few our exhibit, curated by C.D. Walter, in B03 Nedderman Hall.

Have fun and be safe from the Science & Engineering Library staff!

SEL Exhibit – Origami: The Art of Math, Science & Engineering

It’s not thinking outside the box; the box was origami-ed. – Helen Hough

The Science & Engineering Library is pleased to introduce a new exhibit, Origami: The Art of Math, Science & Engineering. It is curated by Helen Hough, and features model folding by Helen and student Mark Christiansen. Stop by and have a look.

Origami is may be thought of as an art or a children’s activity but it has significant additional depth and breadth.

Mathematically fascinating, origami can move from simple geometry to constructable algebraic numbers and more.

A visual medium, origami can be used to build molecular and other scientific models. Paper folding is used to teach principles of mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology.

Focusing on folding a thin film on a straight line, this technique can be used in manufacturing, construction, and other industrial fields. These principles have even been used to deploy solar panels in space.

DNA origami is an substantive nanotechnology that can be used to manufacture medications, biosensors, and more.

Inexpensive when reusing paper, origami can also a wonderful hobby, adding beauty and grace to our world.

SEL Exhibit at the UC – Find It @ SEL

Science & Engineering Library (SEL) is hosting an exhibit, Find It @ SEL,  at the University Center February 13-24, 2012. It is curated by C.D. Walter with display design help from Pam Speck.

We’ve polled students about what brings them to the Science & Engineering Library (SEL). Aside from all the great stuff—books, laptops, graphing calculators, etc., here are some other great features of our library branch:

  • Quiet
  • Group Study Rooms
  • Group Study Areas
  • Research Help
  • Friendly Staff
  • KIC Scanner

This exhibit celebrates everything you can find here at SEL.

SEL Exhibit – GIS Day 2011

This exhibit celebrates GIS Day 2011 by showcasing SEL materials on Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

The exhibit, curated by SEL Librarian Antoinette Nelson, supports the GIS Day celebration held November 16 at the Central Library, which features games, food and workshops as well as:

• Featured presentation by Dr. Andrew Milson
• Hands-on workshop on ESRI’s ArcGIS Online
• GPS geocaching exercise in the Library Mall
• Student GIS research poster presentations

Exhibit Page
Exhibit Flickr Set
GIS Day @ UT Arlington
GIS Day Website

SEL Exhibit at the UC – Fall into Shape at SEL

The Science & Engineering Library would like to introduce a new exhibit, hosted at the University Center through Friday, September 23, 2011.

This exhibit, curated by Antoinette Nelson, aims to showcase services available at SEL, using the “Fall” theme now that the “Fall semester” has started and “Fall” is here. The secondary theme relates to getting into “shape,” since students eventually have to get their “research” into shape when submitting their papers, assignments, etc.

Exhibit site

Flickr set

SEL Exhibit — End of an Era: The Space Shuttle Program

The Science & Engineering Library would like to announce a new exhibit, End of an Era: The Space Shuttle Program, curated by librarian Sylvia George-Williams.

After 30 years of flight missions, NASA officially retired its space shuttle program, with the final landing of the Atlantis, on July 21, 2011. The exhibit is SEL’s way of celebrating this great period of achievement in NASA’s and the United State’s history.

SEL Exhibit: Solar Heat is HOT!

The Science & Engineering Library presents a new exhibit called “Solar Heat Is HOT!.” Curated by Antoinette Nelson, the exhibit celebrates the sun during this period of melting heat.

The Sun is the most prominent feature in our solar system. It is the largest object and contains approximately 98% of the total solar system mass. One hundred and nine Earths would be required to fit across the Sun’s disk, and its interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths. The Sun’s outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a temperature of 6,000°C (11,000°F). This layer has a mottled appearance due to the turbulent eruptions of energy at the surface.

Solar energy is created deep within the core of the Sun. It is here that the temperature (15,000,000° C; 27,000,000° F) and pressure (340 billion times Earth’s air pressure at sea level) is so intense that nuclear reactions take place. This reaction causes four protons or hydrogen nuclei to fuse together to form one alpha particle or helium nucleus. The alpha particle is about .7 percent less massive than the four protons. The difference in mass is expelled as energy and is carried to the surface of the Sun, through a process known as convection, where it is released as light and heat. Energy generated in the Sun’s core takes a million years to reach its surface. Every second 700 million tons of hydrogen are converted into helium ashes. In the process 5 million tons of pure energy is released; therefore, as time goes on the Sun is becoming lighter.

The chromosphere is above the photosphere. Solar energy passes through this region on its way out from the center of the Sun. Faculae and flares arise in the chromosphere. Faculae are bright luminous hydrogen clouds which form above regions where sunspots are about to form. Flares are bright filaments of hot gas emerging from sunspot regions. Sunspots are dark depressions on the photosphere with a typical temperature of 4,000°C (7,000°F).

The corona is the outer part of the Sun’s atmosphere. It is in this region that prominences appears. Prominences are immense clouds of glowing gas that erupt from the upper chromosphere. The outer region of the corona stretches far into space and consists of particles traveling slowly away from the Sun. The corona can only be seen during total solar eclipses.

The Sun appears to have been active for 4.6 billion years and has enough fuel to go on for another five billion years or so. At the end of its life, the Sun will start to fuse helium into heavier elements and begin to swell up, ultimately growing so large that it will swallow the Earth. After a billion years as a red giant, it will suddenly collapse into a white dwarf — the final end product of a star like ours. It may take a trillion years to cool off completely.

The Sun’s period of rotation at the surface varies from approximately 25 days at the equator to 36 days at the poles. Deep down, below the convective zone, everything appears to rotate with a period of 27 days.


SEL Exhibit – Summer Blooms: Gardens, Plants, and Wildscapes

The Science & Engineering Library introduces a new exhibit, curated by Sylvia George-Williams, called “Summer Blooms: Gardens, Plants, and Wildscapes.”

As we approach the official start of summer, we notice how much color there is, around us. Wildflowers, trees, and plants of various sorts are growing everywhere. The selected titles in the exhibit range from showing one how to take care of one’s garden, to information on growing herbs, to how to manage pests in your vegetable garden, to showcasing various gardens in Texas, and highlighting some of Texas wildflowers. Pick up one of the titles that might help you identify some of the plants/wildflowers that are native to Texas.

See exhibit site for pictures and bibliography.

SEL Exhibit – Global Astronomy Month: “Seeing Stars at SEL”

The Science & Engineering Library presents an exhibit to celebrate Global Astronomy Month. Antoinette Nelson curated the exhibit, which is titled “Seeing Stars at SEL.”

Peruse the suggested websites to whet your appetite for all things astronomy:

View the list of suggested readings and see exhibit pics at:

We hope you all see stars!

SEL Exhibit – Pogos on the Prairie: The Pogonomyrmex Comanche Ant in North Texas

The Science & Engineering Library (SEL) is proud to introduce a new exhibit, co-curated by librarian Jeff Downing and biology Ph.D. candidate Ann Mayo.

Along with books from SEL’s collection, this exhibit contains photos and a nest cast made by Ann Mayo, documenting her research at the Fort Worth Nature Center.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of December.

See pictures and an exhibit bibliography

SEL Exhibit – Time

November 7 heralded the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, which led SEL staff to contemplate the age-old questions:

  • What is time?
  • How does time impact the world around us?

In this exhibit, which is curated by Jeff Downing, we look at materials in SEL’s collections to help us answer these questions.

See pictures and the exhibit bibliography at the SEL Exhibits page.

SEL Exhibit – Ethics in Science and Engineering

The Science & Engineering Library (SEL)  would like to introduce a new exhibit, “Ethics in Science and Engineering,” curated by Jeff Downing.
For all new proposals submitted after January 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires UT Arlington to provide training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research (RCR) to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. RCR refers to the professional and ethical responsibility of researchers to conduct their research with honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and objectivity. — From UT Arlington News Bulletin:  NSF 2010 Training Requirement for RCR
This exhibit includes materials on the complex subject of ethics in science and engineering.  All books are available either in the Central Library or the Science & Engineering Library (SEL).
See more at SEL Exhibits.

SEL Exhibit – Banned Books Week: Rebels in Science & Engineering

The Science & Engineering Library would like to announce a new exhibit commemorating Banned Books Week (September 25−October 2, 2010). It is titled Rebels in Science & Engineering, and was curated by Jeff Downing and C.D. Walter.
Books are the constant target of individuals and organizations seeking to limit access to information.
This exhibit highlights books that were banned, censored, or deemed controversial.  Included is a book detailing the attempted censoring of scientific data, along with a history of the burning of books.
Other Library celebrations of Banned Books Week:

SEL Exhibit – Oil: Deep Challenge

Oil: Deep Challenge

Upon reading about an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico having an explosion on April 20, 2010 – I thought “headlines for news outlets”.   Reading that 11 men were killed as a result, sympathy and compassion for their families was my next reaction after learning their remains were not found.  (Reminiscences of 9/11). 

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig sunk on April 22, beginning an oil spill.   And the oil kept spilling, and spilling, and spilling, wasting, and wasting, and wasting.  And the oil   encroached closer, and closer, and closer to coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  Was Texas next?    The oil spill was not only an industrial disaster, but was on its way to becoming an ecological and economic disaster (not just for the off-shore drilling oil industry, but for everyday folks living along the Gulf Coast).  I did not who to feel more compassion for – the birds and coastal animals or the people.

Working in an engineering environment, I kept thinking – why can’t these engineers “do something”?   Why can’t they stop the flow of the oil?   Why can’t they collect the oil that was escaping – why can’t they collect it somehow?  It is going to cause our gas prices to go up, even more!   The other thing I was thinking … how much oil is “down there” – it seemed to be without end.  I suppose that was my main thought.  But what was I thinking?  5000 feet down in water, is deep!  Well, at last, finally, the engineers were successful with a temporary measure which stopped the flow of oil on July 15.

Now we, the affected states’ government officials, BP, and the U.S. government, wait and see what the future holds.

SEL Exhibit at the UC – Sustainability Through Open Access

The Science & Engineering Library (SEL) is currently hosting an exhibit at the University Center (across from the Computer Store). The exhibit is titled “Sustainability Through Open Access” and curated by Jan Figa.

Scholarly communication, the process used by scholars to share the results of their research, has reached a precipice. Current means of providing access to scholarly communication, primarily journals, is fee-based and economically unsustainable.

A viable long-term alternative to cost-sharing and author’s rights respective model is called Open Access, and is built around the non-combative partnership of scholars, librarians, and academic institutions.

Sustainability and scholarly communication overlap in two fundamental areas:

  • As a practice
    Awareness, education, and calibration of researchers from passive producers to informed citizen selecting the proper communication channel that reinforces and promotes the concept of sustainability as practice.
  • As a resource allocation/management tool
    It just plain makes better economic sense not to hand over the oft-government sponsored research for free (can you believe it?) to publishers, that then charge universities Billions [yes, that is B as in billions] of dollars for restricted access that rarely trickles down to the taxpayer.

See pictures

The exhibit will be on display until Friday, April 23, 2010.

SEL Exhibit – The March of Women

In 1987, the United States Congress designated March as Women’s History Month.  Since then, National Women’s History Month Resolution has been approved by the Congress every year with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress.  SEL has mounted an exhibit to coincide with National Women’s History Month.

Exhibit title is Women: Engineers … Scientists

An observation by the curator of this exhibit is that I have seen far more women students in the Science & Engineering Library in the past few years.   Of course, this does not mean they are going to become engineers or scientists, they may just be using our library.  But I hazard to guess that 98% of the women seen are studying engineering or science.  Even Matel, Inc. (the toy manufacturer) recognizes the fact that women are making their mark on engineering and science.  They recently announced the creation of a Barbie Doll who is a computer engineer.

The century ahead poses many challenges, possibly insurmountable as any previous millenia. A committee from The National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies has determined a list of what they see as 21st Century challenges.   What are your thoughts?  If you are a woman studying engineering or science, and would like to comment on the challenges  listed or have your own opinion, please send your comments to .  Please do not bring up political biases or prejudices in your comments.  We will choose 5 comments from different students and publish on our blog.

View pictures on the SEL Exhibits page.

SEL Exhibit – “Love” Engineering Exhibit

February is a month of Love, as most of us know February 14 is Valentine’s Day.   National Engineering Week 2010 occurred this year the week of February 14-20.   Cupid struck the Science & Engineering Library Exhibit to help celebrate National Engineer Week and  the UT Arlington College of Engineering’s 50th Anniversary.  Maybe gold should have been used instead!?  Come visit SEL – you can’t miss the exhibit …