The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 19

September 17, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


University of California Cooperative Extension: Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory

As part of the University of California Cooperative Extension, the Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory conducts research "focused on the diagnosis and management of tree diseases and on the development of valuable non-timber forest products such as mushrooms." The Laboratory website includes information regarding ongoing research projects as well as information about faculty and student researchers. Much of the Laboratory's current research is focused on Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death. The site links to downloadable files for a collection of research publication and posters. The website is available in both Spanish and English, and contains links for related laboratories and organizations. [NL]

American Society of Mammalogists: Mammalian Species

This website, from the American Society of Mammalogists (AMS), will be of interest to mammalogists, wildlife ecologists, and other mammal researchers and enthusiasts. The site contains a cumulative index of species accounts from the long-running AMS publication, Mammalian Species. The species accounts vary from 2-14 pages, and summarize "the current understanding of the biology of a single species, including systematics, distribution, fossil history, genetics, anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation." Site visitors can locate accounts by using the website's Systematic List or Bibliography. The site currently lists a total of 738 accounts, of which 631 are available in pdf form. A downloadable Guide to Constructing and Understanding Synonymies for Mammalian Species is available as well. [NL]

Tulane University: The Garry Laboratory Home Page

Headed up by Dr. Robert F. Garry at the Tulane University School of Medicine, the Garry Lab conducts virology research centered on "retroviruses, autoimmunity and retroviruses in autoimmunity." The Garry Laboratory Home Page links to two research summary sites-the HIV Cytopathology Page, and the Human A-type Retroviral Particles Page. The Lab website also links to abstracts for recent research presentations, and an extensive list of publications. The site lists contacts for Garry Lab staff as well. Notably, the site hosts a recently updated version of All the Virology on the WWW (reported on in the Scout Report, November 17, 1995) which "seeks to be the best single site for Virology information on the Internet." [NL]

UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center
Bringing together hundreds of clinicians and researchers, the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center pursues cancer research in such areas as prevention, causes, early detection, and treatment. Combining clinical research, basic science, patient care, and epidemiology/cancer control, the "Center's mission is the discovery and evolution of new ideas and information about cancer, from research to the clinical implementation phases of cancer control." The website contains overviews of current research programs in the areas of Breast Oncology, Cancer & Immunity, Cutaneous Oncology, Tobacco Control, and more. The site links to profiles for its 400 members, representing over 50 departments and institutes. The profiles include contact information, educational background, professional experience, and a list of selected publications. The site also links to information about advanced training opportunities, clinical trials, member lab websites, and the UCSF-National Cancer Institute sponsored-SPORE programs. [NL]

Tall Timbers Research Station: Research Programs

The Tall Timbers Research Station works to foster land stewardship through its research, conservation, and education efforts. Located in Tallahassee, Florida, the Tall Timbers Station conducts research in the areas of Fire Ecology, Resource Management, Vertebrate Ecology, Forestry, and Northern Bobwhite Quail studies. The Station's website contains overviews of its five major research programs and offers information regarding research jobs and internships. Tall Timbers also provides downloadable copies of its Research Notes publication, and lists a variety of staff publications (some of which are downloadable). In addition, Tall Timbers features the E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database (reported on in the Scout Report for Science & Engineering, January 6, 1999) which contains approximately 15,000 citations, and 6,000 abstracts. [NL]

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History-Department of Paleobiology: The National Collection of Foraminifera

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History "serves as the largest repository in the world of foraminiferal type specimens with over 16,000 primary type specimens (holotypes and paratypes), searchable on-line, with graphics and over 20,000 secondary type specimens." The Museum features the extensive Cushman Collection of Foraminifera as well as associated collections of smaller foraminifera including the H. Deaderick Collection, Ruth Todd Collection, Jim Mello Collection, and S. Geroch Collection-to name a few. Featured collections of larger foraminifera include the Paul and Esther Applin Collection, W. Storrs Cole Collection, Raymond Douglas-Lloyd Henbest Collection, and Thomas Vaughan Collection. Site visitors can view good-quality Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images organized by the Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, and Miocene time periods. The site also links to the Planktic Foraminifer Dictionaries for the Neogene, Paleogene, and Cretaceous periods. [NL]


University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign: Chickscope-Embryology

Created as part of Chickscope--a collaborative project between researchers and educators at the University of Illinois and Central Illinois school teachers--this innovative website explores the 21-day lifecycle of an embryonic chick. The tutorial provides a glimpse into the day-to-day changes a chick undergoes from conception to hatching. For each day, site visitors are given a collection of great images and diagrams to examine; a list of major developments; and a wealth of information to consider. The Chickscope website also offers instructions for building an incubator, a downloadable EggMath section (reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, August 29, 2003), and an MRI Database with over 2000 magnetic resonance images. [NL]

University of Leicester-Online Tutorials: Domagk, Fleming, Waksman and the Third Man [Chime]

Who are Domagk, Fleming, Waksman and the Third Man? As this University of Leicester online tutorial explains, the first three men were all awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine based on their work with antibiotics: Gerhard Domagk in 1939, Alexander Fleming in 1945, and Selman Waksman in 1952. This tutorial examines the discoveries of these men-and the development of antibiotics-through brief entries, images, and links to a variety of web resources. So who is the Third Man? You will just have to discover that interesting tidbit of information when you peruse the tutorial. [NL]

Houghton Mifflin Company: Peterson's Perspective

From Houghton Mifflin Company, this website contains a Peterson Identification System-based tutorial designed to help budding naturalists develop their birding skills. Renowned naturalist and artist Roger Tory Peterson developed the he Peterson Identification System in 1934. The site features 15 concise sections that address topics such as Feeding, Habitat, Field Marks, Size and Shape, Migration, and more. The site also connects to a collection of birding links, seasonal birding spectacles, a brief online field guide (reported on in the NSDL Report for the Life Sciences, August 20, 2004), and information about the Peterson Field Guide Series. [NL]

Registered Dietitians of Dairy Farmers of Ontario: Teach Nutrition-Kids' Corner [Macromedia Flash Player, Macromedia Shockwave Player]

Who knew that a virtual journey through the human digestive system could be so fun and informative? This educational website created by Teach Nutrition--a group of Ontario-based dietitians--features two great, interactive games. The first game, Digest Quest, was designed for fifth-graders and takes students on a journey from the mouth to the large intestine via the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, and small intestine. In this video-game-style tutorial, travelers brave the dangers of the digestive system while answering questions, and learning about the functions and structure of the digestive organs. The second game, Stretch Your Noodle, was designed for seventh- and eighth-graders and treats students to a dynamic, nutrition-focused quiz show. Both games come with teacher information and resource sections, and Stretch Your Noodle is available in both French and English versions. [NL]

The New York Times Daily Lesson Plan: Animal Fact or Fiction

Animals have long captured the human imagination, and it is not always easy to decipher animal fact from fiction. This intriguing lesson plan challenges students to analyze information about animals more closely, conduct research, and write about an animal as well. Designed for grades 6-12, the one-hour lesson was authored by Michelle Sale (of The New York Times Learning Network) and Javaid Khan (of The Bank Street College of Education in New York City). The website includes a lesson description; a list of Academic Content Standards; and concise sections that address objectives, materials, extension activities, evaluation, and more. [NL]

Discovering Fossils: Fossil Tools & Resources

Fossil enthusiasts Roy Shephard and Luci Algar combined their professional skills in media and education to develop this informative and entertaining website. Designed to be educational and accessible to children, this site presents a wide variety of information about fossils. The site contains a nice collection of images and diagrams; and includes a fossils guide for beginners, information on preparing fossils, a collection of fossil myths, information on ammonites, and more. The site also contains a Games & Activities section for teachers and students, a glossary of fossil terms, a neat diagram depicting the evolution of life on our planet, and even some free fossil desktop images. [NL]


PBS Online-Nature: Sperm Whales: The Real Moby Dick [Macromedia Shockwave Player]

Many people have heard of Herman Melville's famous character Moby Dick, but the real-life experiences of sperm whales are less commonly known. This PBS website explores the world of sperm whales, and provides visitors with an introductory look at these amazing animals. The site features an interview with whale researcher Jonathan Gordon and a multimedia presentation that briefly discusses the biology, social structure, and habits of sperm whales. Other online and print resources are listed, as well as information about ordering the companion video. This site also links to the NATURE Puzzles & Fun page with multimedia games centered on a variety of different animals. [NL]

University of British Columbia-Department of Geography: The Biodiversity of Richmond, British Columbia [pdf]

This extensive website covering the biodiversity of Richmond, British Columbia, was created by geographer Dr. Brian Klinkenberg of the University of British Columbia. The site addresses a wide variety of topics including vascular flora, invasive plants, herpetofauna, birds, earthworms, and much more. Site visitors are also treated to a wealth of exquisite images depicting the diverse plant and animal life in the Richmond area. Reflecting Dr. Klinkenberg's background in geography, the site includes a nice collection of maps, as well as sections that address biogeography, and environmental history. A collection of links will lead curious visitors on to related organizations and resources. [NL]

Alzheimer's Disease International

Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) is an umbrella group of 66 Alzheimer associations throughout the world. The ADI website provides contact information for numerous Alzheimer associations located in such nations as Brazil, Iceland, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and many more. The site also provides dates and contacts for numerous upcoming conferences and other events, as well as information regarding the 2004 ADI conference in Kyoto, Japan. Site visitors will also find basic information about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Notably, this site links to Alzheimer's disease information in many languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and Spanish--just to name a few. [NL]

Garlic Central

Can garlic help repel mosquitoes? Find out the answer to this question and more at Garlic Central, an all-about-garlic website created by aficionado Trevor Mendham. The site contains an introductory section--titled Garlic 101--and sections that address culinary uses, medicinal benefits, and cultivation. The site's Cooking section includes a collection of recipes; and information about storing, freezing, and crushing garlic. The site also features a brief how-to guide for planting, growing, and harvesting garlic. Garlic Central even hosts a virtual shopping mall that connects site visitors to a wide range of garlic-related websites peddling foodstuffs, kitchen implements, posters, books, and garden supplies. [NL]

University of Illinois Extension: Our Rose Garden

Believed to be approximately 35 million years old, roses have long been admired by humans. Responding to a renaissance in rose-growing popularity, horticulturist Greg Stack of University of Illinois Extension created this brief online guide to rose gardening in the Midwest. The guide includes sections on Planting, Pruning, Site Selection & Bed Preparation, Winter Protection, and more. The guide also addresses rose plant selection, diseases and pests, rose history, and rose varieties. Selected references, instructional online videos, and mail order sources are included as well. [NL]

Society for Conservation Biology

Founded in 1985, the "Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity." Online services provided by SCB include a great conservation jobs database; a bulletin board for conservation-related postings; listings for educational resources, and academic programs in the field of Conservation Biology. Site visitors can also peruse SCB annual reports, archived online newsletters, and information about local chapters, committees, membership, and meetings. [NL]

Topic In Depth


1. Illinois Natural History Survey: The Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois
2. University of Minnesota Extension: Plants in Prairie Communities
3. Southwest Minnesota State University: Prairie Plant Directory
4. FermiLab Education Office: Prairie Parcel Restoration
5. Cooperative Educational Service Agency: Ecosystems-Prairie Index
6. DNR-EEK: Vegetation Fascination-Prairie Plants
7. Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team: Black-Footed Ferret

Like hiking amidst alpine wildflowers in high summer, wandering through redwood groves in the winter rain, and watching sprouts emerge in the spring, the experience of standing in a tallgrass prairie in the fall can be quite incredible. The following websites take a look at the North American prairie, an important and endangered ecosystem. Created by Dr. Kenneth R. Robertson, a botanist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, the first site ({}) is stocked with excellent photos of numerous prairie plant species. From the University of Minnesota Extension, the second website ({}) contains a bulletin that "describes three typical prairie communities: wet, mesic, and dry, and the plants found in these communities." This bulletin is geared towards landscape architects, educators, professional designers, gardeners, and other native plant enthusiasts. The third site ({}), from Southwest Minnesota State University, contains photos and short descriptions for eighteen common prairie plants. From the FermiLab Education Office, the fourth website ({}) contains the first section of an instructional guide on prairie restoration. The guide includes brief sections on Selecting a Site, Seedbed Preparation, Planting, Watering, and more. The guide also links to an Illustrated Guide to Native Prairie Species, and a collection of reference materials. From the Cooperative Educational Service Agency, the ({}) fifth site presents a prairie education project created by sixth-grade students in Altoona, Wisconsin. Developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Environmental Education for Kids program, the sixth ({}) website is an artful, kid-friendly introduction to prairie plants. From the Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team, the final site ({}) provides a variety of information about the endangered, prairie-dwelling black-footed ferret. [NL]

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From The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2003. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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