Many Ways To Open New Window on Research By
Jim De Quattro
September 26, 2000
Web users can now build their own windows on the research
projects, programs, people and places of the Agricultural Research Service,
USDA's chief scientific agency.
A completely redesigned web site for ARS' national research
programs is the agency's latest major initiative to make its operations more
responsive and its data more accessible to the public, the Congress, industry
and other stakeholders.
The web site, at www.nps.ars.usda.gov, is the home
page of ARS' National Program Staff. The NPS oversees the approximately 1,100
inhouse research projects conducted by almost 2,000 ARS scientists at about 100
locations. Together the projects make up the agency's 22 national research
The NPS site is a build-it-yourself "map" of ARS. Visitors build
unique web pages by calling up specific information of interest from a set of
massive internal ARS databases. As examples, web browsers can use the site's
search engine or navigation bars to build web pages that:
At most web sites, pages change only when their authors
specifically modify the web files. But the NPS site is dynamic. Its content is
compiled from the latest available version of the databases and from the web
visitor's choices. The databases comprise about 250,000 different records.
The web site content is produced by Site Publisher 2, a software
tool developed this year by NPS computer specialist Peter Lombardo in
Beltsville, Md. Site Publisher also allows for personnel with no technical
training to create and maintain special-purpose web sites. Future web visitors
will be able to subscribe to customized bulletins on specific projects,
programs, places or scientific personnel.
Contacts: About ARS research, Caird Rexroad, ARS Acting
Deputy Administrator, Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-7050, fax 504-4725,
email@example.com. About the NPS web site,
Peter Lombardo, ARS National Program Staff, Beltsville, Md., phone (301)
504-4550, fax 504-4570, firstname.lastname@example.org.