The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 11

May 28, 2004

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Topic In Depth


Fairchild Tropical Garden Botanical Resource Center: The Virtual Herbarium

Hosted by the Botanical Resource Center at the Fairchild Tropical Garden (FTG), the Virtual Herbarium contains text and photographic data for specimens in the FTG Herbarium. The Virtual Herbarium currently houses "over 30,000 records with photos in the JPEG format and labels as gif images. These records are searchable by family, genus, collector and other fields." In the future, the Virtual Herbarium plans to offer over 100,000 specimens in high resolution format. In addition to the FTG Virtual Herbarium, the site allows users to search the Herbarium of The National Trust of The Cayman Islands, the Dan Austin Convolvulaceae Collection, FTG Herbarium for Palms, and more. This site also links to information about FTG research programs, graduate programs, teaching materials, and archives. [NL] Diseases Database

From, the Diseases Database provides a useful reference service for medical practitioners and researchers. The Database website offers a cross-referenced index and search portal that cover such topical areas as Symptoms and Signs, General Internal Medical Disorders, Drugs and Medications, Congenital and Inherited Disorders, and more. The Diseases Database index is modeled after a standard medical textbook, and "was inspired by the 'surgical sieve' classification and memory technique used as medical school..." The site contains dictionary type definitions for many items via links to the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System, A 'pre-loaded' multiple search engine inquiry page using all item synonyms, subject specific hyperlinks to web information resources for many items, and more. Links on the site also include: Tips for Searching, Database Content FAQ, Site Troubleshooting Tools, and a Feedback Page. [NL]

Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research [pdf]

This website presents Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, "one of nine independent Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) founded in 1992 from a reorganisation of Government funded research in New Zealand." Manaaki Whenua has approximately 320 staff members engaged in research and they maintain collaborative relationships with universities and other CRIs. Manaaki Whenua's six main research areas include: Biodiversity, Biosecurity, Greenhouse Gasses & Carbon Sinks, Rural Land Use, Urban Environmental Management, and Sustainable Business & Government. The Manaaki Whenua website offers links to information about numerous research projects, publication lists, and services. In addition, the site links to great databases and collections for plants, fungi, and animals including the National Nematode Collection of New Zealand, the International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants, and New Zealand Fungi (reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences, April 18, 2003). [NL]

USGS: Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) was formed by the U.S. Geological Survey as a national program for amphibian conservation, research, and monitoring. The website provides background information about ARMI as well as sections on Monitoring, Research & Development, Regions & People, and Products. The Research & Development section includes information about ongoing efforts at national, regional, and local levels. The Products section links to an extensive list of publications (some of which are hyperlinked) including Journal Articles, Circulars, Reports, and more. The site also links to great resources like The ARMI Web Tool, and The ARMI National Atlas (reported on in NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences, May 30, 2003). [NL]

Indian Council of Agricultural Research- Indian Institute of Spices Research

This website presents the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) which serves "as an Institute of excellence for conducting and coordinating research on all aspects of spices improvement, production, protection and post harvest technology." The IISR website provides information about research staff, post-graduate study, and many research programs and projects. The IISR site links to the Integrated National Agricultural Research Information System, the Indian Society for Spices, and the All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices as well. The website also offers several databases including Phytophthora Information Resources, Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase Base, and a Spices Bibliography. The site is available in Hindi and English. [NL]

Maharishi University of Management: The Brain Research Institute [pdf]

This website presents The Brain Research Institute, located at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and directed by Dr. Alarik Arenander, a neuroscientist and leading researcher in the field of brain development neurobiology. In addition to his work at MUM, Dr. Arenander has conducted cutting-edge research at UCLA, Penn State, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Brain Research Institute's website offers information about various research projects under the categories of Basic and Applied research. Basic research topics at the Institute include Transcendental Consciousness, Higher States of Consciousness, and Consciousness-Based Education. Applied research projects are concerned with non-drug alternatives for children with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, traumatic brain injury, violence, and substance abuse. The website links to research articles, Powerpoint lectures, and in the future will offer online video lectures. [NL]


Plant Physiology Information Website

This extensive Plant Physiology Information Website was created by Ross E. Koning, professor of biology at Eastern Connecticut State University. Dr. Koning provides links to lecture notes, lab exercises, and other resources for a variety of his courses including Biology of Plants, Plant Physiology, Principles of Biology, and more. In addition, the site offers a diverse assortment of other resources such as an Elementary Education Energy Workshop handout, a science fair project on lettuce seed germination, and related website links. The site also provides guidelines for CBE, APA, and MLA citation styles. [NL]

Backyard Nature

Created by veteran naturalist Jim Conrad, Backyard Nature is an excellent resource for information about many aspects of the natural world. The website provides extensive, well-organized sections for backyard Ecology, Plants, Animals, and Fungi -- to name just a few. The site contains a section on Naming & Classifying living things, as well as information about tools for backyard naturalists such as field guides, binoculars, nature study notebooks, and an Online Phenology Database. The site also offers an impressive list of 101 Nature-Oriented Things to Do During the Summer. [NL]

Emirate of Abu Dhabi-Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency: The Falcon Portal

From the Emirate of Abu Dhabi Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, the Falcon Portal is a great educational website all about falcons. The site offers information about different types of falcons, falconry, and falcon diseases. The Falcon Portal also offers fun activities including puzzles, a 31-question quiz, and a falcon postcard-making station. The website contains a Falcon Gallery full of nice, close-up photos and an audiovisual presentation about falcons in the United Arab Emirates as well. [NL]

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie: Midewin Activities for Classrooms

A great resource for prairie curriculum, this website -- from the Openlands Project at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie -- features numerous educational activities for students in grades 1-12. The activities were designed by the Chicago Academy of Science, in partnership with Chicago-area teachers, to educate students about prairies. The lessons are categorized by grade levels, and by the following subject areas: Science / Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts / Fine Arts. Examples of lessons include Prairie Biome Mobiles, Prairie Plant Investigations, A Home for a Cricket, and Prairie Predator and Prey -- just to name a few. Each lesson is nicely organized with a lesson introduction, lesson objectives, time allotment, materials needed, extension activities, and more. [NL]

Kentucky Educational Television: Electronic Field Trip to the Forest [RealOne Player, Macromedia Shockwave Player, pdf]

Have you ever hiked through the forests of Kentucky? Created by Kentucky Educational Television, this Electronic Field Trip to the Forest "is a 60-minute overview of forest ecology and management for grades 4-8, covering topics in environmental science, life science, history, geography, and economics." The site provides online video clips of the electronic forest trip, and information about featured professionals on the trip including foresters, a wildlife biologist, an ecologist, and more. The website also offers an interactive Habitat Game, a slideshow about an attempt to save the American Chestnut, and information about forestry careers and tree products. Additionally, the site includes a Teacher's Guide, and links to several downloadable Forestry Units for students in grades 3-12. [NL]

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fairbanks Fishery Resources Office: Cyber Salmon

From the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fairbanks Fishery Resources Office, Cyber Salmon shares lessons from the Alaskan rivers. The Cyber Salmon educational activities are organized by grade levels K-2, 3-4, and 6-12, and include topics like Salmon Life Cycles, Estimating Fish Populations, and Fisheries Research Methods. The activities are designed for students to do with their teachers, family members, or classmates. Each activity page includes brief sections for duration, grade level, objectives, materials needed, and more. The website also provides information about different types of salmon-including Chum, Chinook, and Coho-as well as information about salmon research. [NL]


Oglala Lakota College/Agriculture Network Information Center: Bison Information Resources

This Bison Information Resources website is offered by Oglala Lakota College Library in partnership with the Agriculture Network Information Center. The site provides links for a wide variety of useful bison information sites organized under nine categories including Bison Associations, Bison Behavior and Development, Bison Environment, and Bison Folklore, to name a few. The bison-related internet sites offer information about the history of the plains, raising bison, North American biomes, bison reproduction, and more. Note: some of the links are not currently working, but the site still provides a good collection of useful, active links and information. [NL]

Government of Canada: Science and Technology

From the Government of Canada, this website offers a broad range of information about scientific and technological issues in Canada. The five main topic areas for the site are Energy, Environment, Food, Health, and Space. The subsections include information on forests, water, legumes, animal production, fisheries, nutrition, and more. The site also contains sections on Careers, Canadian Achievements, and an Archive. And, with the click of an icon, the site changes from English to French. [NL]

E. Berlov's Collection: Colour Atlas of the Siberian Lepidoptera

From Osipov's 100 sites-"Over 600 Species using over 3000 Digital pictures of Siberian butterflies and moths and many of its caterpillars and pupas. Detailed labels for all species." From Arctiidae to Zygaenidae, and many more in between, the site displays the photographs, date of discovery, and discoverer, for each specimen. More of an online field guide than a detailed library, the site is a great resource for those interested in Siberian Lepidoptera. [NL]

Magnolia Society International

To many, they are one of the first, sweet smells and sights of spring. Magnolias! And this site of Magnolia Society International is the online home of "a worldwide organization devoted to the appreciation and study of magnolias." This exceptionally comprehensive site offers all sorts of information, ranging from details about research funds, related publications, care and propagations of magnolias, cultivar information, and even magnolia-related merchandise (cool t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tote bags). Visitors to the site can even consider joining the society and being part of an organization 700 members strong, representing 32 countries. With membership comes a subscription to the society's journal: Magnolia: Journal of the Magnolia Society.[JPM]

University of California - Davis Viticulture & Enology: Making Table Wine at Home [pdf]

Probably the leader in research into beer and wine, UC Davis offers this great site about one of the oldest pastimes known to humankind, the making of wine. The Making Table Wine at Home website basically includes the entirety of the guidebook, free of charge, in the pdf format. Visitors can download sections of the book, which includes chapters on the Overview of Wine Making, Making Red Table Wine, Making White Table Wine, Spoilage & Stability, Evaluating Wine Quality, and more. Authored by enologist George M. Cooke and James T. Lapsley of UC Davis, the publication is also available in hard copy format and ordering instructions are offered at the site. Cheers! [JPM]

Defenders of Wildlife

Oftentimes, the perils of the environment seem overwhelming. Yet, this group, Defenders of Wildlife, offers a good example of tangible action that can be taken to protect nature. As the group's mission states, Defenders of Wildlife is "dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. We focus our programs on what scientists consider two of the most serious environmental threats to the planet: the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and habitat alteration and destruction." At the site, visitors will find information on how to become a member, information about the group's various programs, the annual report of the group, a frequently asked questions page, and more. [JPM]

Topic In Depth


University of Michigan-Museum of Zoology-Insect Division: Periodical Cicada Page
College of Mount St. Joseph-Cicada Watch: 2004 Cicada Mania
University of Connecticut: Cicada Central
Great Lakes Cicada Page
University of Maryland-Newsdesk: Cicadamaniacs Task Force
Salt the Sandbox: Cicada Hunt

The spring season marks the long-awaited arrival of the Magicicada Brood X periodical cicadas. The Magicicada cicadas are emerging in great numbers after spending 17 years underground. The following websites offer information about the periodical cicadas, and other cicadas as well. The first (1) site, from the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology, provides a variety of short information entries about periodical cicadas including photos, and song clips. Hosted by the College of Mount St. Joseph, the Cicada Watch (2) website invites visitors to report an emergence. The Cicada Watch site also contains answers to frequently asked questions as well as teaching resources, a basic emergence timeline, and a list of periodical cicada events. The third (3) site, Cicada Mania, was created by cicada enthusiast Dan Century to disseminate a wide assortment of cicada-related news and information. Cicada Mania links to articles, photos, related sites, and more. The fourth (4) site, hosted by University of Connecticut, "is designed to be a center for the exchange of scientific information concerning cicadas of the world." This Cicada Central website links to reprints for scientific literature concerning cicadas, a list of cicada researchers from around the world, a list of world cicada tribes, and more. Created by cicada enthusiast Lester W. Daniels, the fifth (5) site provides natural history information about cicadas as well as great annotated photos. The sixth (6) site, from the University of Maryland Newsdesk, offers cicada information, recipes, photos, and even a media hotline. The final (7) site, from Salt in the Sandbox, is a neat inquiry-based educational cicada site for children. [NL]

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