The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 20

October 1, 2004

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




Topic In Depth


University of Copenhagen-Botanical Museum & Library: Danish Seaweeds [pdf]

From by the Botanical Museum and Library at the University of Copenhagen, this website contains a checklist of benthic macroalgae from marine and brackish waters in Denmark. The checklist was authored by R. Nielsen-with assistance by P. Corfixen-and includes 504 species of Cyanophyceae (Nostocophyceae), Rhodophyceae (Bangiophyceae), Phaeophyceae (Fucophyceae), Xanthophyceae (Tribophyceae), Charophyceae, and Chlorophyceae. The website includes a 40-page List of Species, a five-page List of Danish names, and a 16-page Distributional Index. The site also includes Notes to Species with References. All of the documents are available for download in portable document format. [NL]

University of Wisconsin Entomology Department: Insect Research Collection

The University of Wisconsin-Entomology Departments impressive Insect Research Collection (IRC) represents close to 70 years of work by professional and amateur entomologists in Wisconsin. The Collection contains about one million pinned and preserved insects with primary geographic emphasis on Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region. The primary orders represented in the IRC are Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Diptera. Through outreach, the Entomology Department is hoping to generate a greater visibility of the collection and stimulate loan activity by the systematics community. Qualified specialists with institutional associations are generally eligible for loans from the IRC for up to four years. The website contains links to IRC listings as well as concise sections that address the IRC history, organizational structure, collection description, future goals, acquisition policy, and more. [NL]

University of British Columbia Centre for Plant Research

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Centre for Plant Research website displays a simple, yet ambitious, mission statement: To explore, explain, and maintain plant life on earth. The Centre is associated with the UBC Botanical Garden, and focuses on the following research themes: Evolution and Biodiversity; Evolutionary Genomics; Plant Biotechnology and Breeding; Plant Physiology and Biotic Interactions; and Phytochemistry. The Centre website links to information about faculty and research scientists, listings of selected publications, and brief summaries of ongoing research. The sites Resources section is geared specifically for researchers and connects to Forums, a Links Database, and a weblog. The site also lists postgraduate, postdoctoral, and employment opportunities when available. [NL]

Texas A&M University-Kingsville-Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute: Feline Research Program

The Feline Research Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has been conducting research on wild cats for close to 20 years. The Research Programs focus is on the conservation, ecology, and genetics of felids. In addition to felid research, the Program is dedicated to applying knowledge gained to conservation and management of wild populations. The site provides brief descriptions of ongoing research with Ocelots, Mountain Lions (page still under construction), Bobcats, and Leopards. The site also includes lists of the following: publications; completed theses and dissertations; and Program collaborators and contributors. A link is provided to the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (the Feline Research Programs parent institution) as well. [NL]

Tsinghua University-Institute of Bioinformatics: DBSubLoc

Developed by the Institute of Bioinformatics at Tsinghua University, DBSubLoc is a database of protein subcellular localization. This database contains proteins from primary protein database SWISS-PROT and PIR. The Full Dataset has a total of 64,051 proteins, and the Non-Redundant Dataset has a total of 30,357 proteins, from Bacteria, Eukaryote, Fungi, Plant, Animal, Virus, and Archaea. The site offers two protein search engines: one allowing searches of DBSubLoc, SWISS-PROT, and Gene Ontology database by Entry Accession ID; and the second by Protein Name. DBSubLoc is available, in plain text format data files, for researchers to download. The site also includes BLAST Service, Prediction Service, and links to many related resources. [NL]

Missouri Botanical Garden: Andean Bryophyte Project: Mosses of the Tropical Andes

From the esteemed Missouri Botanical Garden, this website provides a solid collection of information and resource links related to mosses of the Andean region. Remarkably, the areas scope encompasses the entire countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and the northwest portion of Argentina (provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumn). Regional diversity is one of the highest in the world for mosses, with over 2000 species recorded, distributed among 362 genera and 76 families. The website provides an overview of the project as well as an identification Key to Andean Moss Families, an Index to Generic Family Placement, an Index to Author Abbreviations, and literature references. A highlight of the website is the Andes Moss Species Database which contains information about numerous moss species and families. [NL]

Institute of Applied Ecology: African Mammals Databank

This impressive GIS-based databank focuses on the conservation and distribution of African mammals; and was developed collaboratively by the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory of the Animal and Human Biology Department at the University of Rome La Sapienza and the Institute of Applied Ecology. The databank covers the entire African continent, except Madagascar, and includes a total of 281 species, belonging to 12 orders and 28 families. Covered orders include Insectivora, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Sirenia, Rodentia, Macroscelidae, and more. In addition to viewing information online, site visitors can download data, and information about project methodology. [NL] Bills Wildlife Sites

Veteran wildlife ecologist Bill Standley maintains this impressive online directory of websites for fellow wildlife ecologists. The directory is well organized and contains a multitude of Internet resources. The websites are organized by subject and institutional categories. Subject categories include: Mammals, Birds, Herps, Fisheries, and Endangered Species. Institutional categories include: Government, Professional, Non-Profit, and University. The site also contains a selection of reference websites, job listings, products and services, and other site indices. [NL]


Australian Museum Online: Fish Site-Student Stuff [Macromedia Flash Player]

From Australian Museum Online, this website offers a nice collection of fish-related educational resources for a mixture of ages. The site addresses fish dissection, different types of fish scales, and environmental adaptations. Notably, the fish dissection sections include clear, diagramed images to aid students in the dissection process. The site also contains a 15-image Fish Collection tour, and a fish memory game for the wee ichthyologist. The student section links to other sections of the Australian Museum Fish Site (reported on in the Scout Report, November 24, 2000) including research updates, underwater movies, a pictorial identification key, related links, and more. [NL]

MIT OpenCourseWare: Health Sciences and Technology-Gastroenterology, Fall 2002 [pdf]

The MIT OpenCourseWare project (first reported on in the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences, January 24, 2003) was developed to share MIT undergraduate and graduate course resources with the Internet community. This website contains resources from a Gastroenterology course offered by the Health Sciences and Technology department in the fall of 2002. In the Gastroenterology course, the most recent knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and bioengineering of the gastrointestinal tract and the associated pancreatic, liver and biliary tract systems is presented and discussed. The website contains downloadable lecture notes, lab assignments, and exam reviews, as well as a 14-page downloadable Recommended Reading Material list. Note: the recommended readings are also listed online. [NL]

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale-Department of Plant Biology: Land Plants Online

In response to a growing interest regarding evolutionary relationships of green plants in recent years, Dan Nickrent and Karen Renzaglia-of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC)-developed Land Plants Online (LPO). LPO was also designed to provide researchers and students with a centralized source for new information resulting from technological advancements in the field. LPOs stated goal is to bring together, from a variety of disciplines, the available information on evolutionary relationships in land plants including their most likely outgroup, charophycean algae. The heart of LPO is the Phylum Pages, which are organized by Non Vascular plants (Bryophytes), and Vascular Plants (Tracheophytes). The site also includes sections for Phylogenetic Relationships among Land Plants, and Character Matrices for Land Plants. In addition, site visitors will find a collection of general references for basal land plants, contact information for plant specialists, information on SIUC land plant research, and related links. [NL]

USDA Forest Service-St. Paul Field Office: Urban Forestry Laboratory Exercises

The creation and care of urban forests are receiving greater attention as city populations grow larger. Recognizing this important trend, the U.S. Forest Service and the Morton Arboretum supported the development of these educational exercises designed to connect urban students with urban trees and forests. This Urban Forestry Unit was developed as a supplemental activity guide for elementary, middle, and high school students. The Units hands-on activities are designed to be data gathering exercises leading the student to make judgments based on analysis and synthesis of the gathered data. The activities address the following topics: tree identification and inventory; tree characteristics; tree planting and care; tree condition, and soil conditions for trees. The website introduces the activities with brief sections that address the philosophy, objectives, and curriculum goals behind the project. [NL]

Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Urban Bird Studies

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has distinguished itself by creating great public-oriented educational programs. Representing this tradition of public outreach, the Labs Urban Bird Studies program encourages urbanites to participate in a global data collection project that will be utilized by scientists at the Cornell Lab. Anyone can participate, and project participants can choose from various programs such as Dove Detectives, Gulls Galore, Pigeon Watch, Crows Count, and Birds in the City. This site is available in Spanish, and offers a News section (available both online and as a monthly email) that includes bird stories, study results, and participant entries. [NL]

University of Illinois Extension-Schools Online: The Great Corn Adventure [Macromedia Flash Player]

This website treats kids to a fun educational journey through the Corn Belt, courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension-Schools Online Program. The program begins with a vaudevillesque front page announcing The Great Corn Adventure: Combines, Corndogs & Cows. The star is Zea Mays, and she teaches students about the history of corn; growing and harvesting methods; the many uses of corn, and its importance around the world. The site includes a Teachers Guide complete with program learning goals, Illinois academic standards for grades three to five, extension activities, and links to online resources. The site is rounded out by Zeas Fun Place which includes Math Fun, Corny Jokes, the CornMagic Lab, a quiz, and more. [NL]

State University of New York at Stony Brook: Marine Biology Web

The Marine Biology Web, created by veteran marine biologist Dr. Jeff Levinton of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is a great educational resource for both curious students and prospective marine biologists. The Becoming a Marine Biologist page gives students frank advice, and a realistic sense of what marine biology is and what marine biologists do. This website contains a sizeable list of hyperlinked marine labs, institutes, graduate programs, and undergraduate programs. A nice list of marine biology-related internships and courses are included as well. The website also features the useful MBREF-A Reference Source for Marine Biology Student Research. The site even links to a system that allows visitors to obtain tidal predictions computed by CO-OPS for more than 3000 water level stations. [NL]

San Francisco State University: Biology 240-Introduction to Biology II [pdf]

This website contains a useful collection of lecture notes and lab descriptions from an intermediate Biology course at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The course covers the following main topics: Diversity of Life, Evolutionary Principles, Phylogenetic Inference, and Principles of Ecology. Some of the lectures are also available in portable document format (PDF), and the labs are nicely laid out with great images and hyperlinks. The course website is maintained by Professor Bob Patterson of the SFSU Biology department, and is supported by funding from the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching. [NL]


USDA: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education [RealOne Player, pdf]

Since its inception in 1988, the USDAs Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. This nicely organized website presents a wide array of information and resources for farmers, ranchers, educators, researchers, and consumers interested in sustainable agriculture. Agriculturalists and others will be interested to learn more about SARE grant guidelines, and to peruse reports for approximately 2,500 previously funded projects. SARE posts upcoming events; and maintains an online collection of books, bulletins, and other resources through the Sustainable Agriculture Network. Site visitors can also view a 14-minute video about SARE, or simply order a free copy for themselves. [NL]

The New York Public Library: Seeing Is Believing

Illustrations have long played an integral role in the fields of science and medicine. This website provides a tantalizing glimpse into the New York Public Librarys Seeing is Believing exhibition of illustrations and photographs used to convey scientific and medical concepts over the last 700 years. The website features a limited collection of rich images to represent four basic book illustration processes: relief printing, intaglio printing, planographic printing, and photography. The site provides an overview for each process, and specific information about each image. Site visitors interested in learning more will appreciate the nice collection of related links, the list of recommended publications, and information about the New York Public Librarys Science and Medicine Collections. [NL]

American Heart Association: American Stroke Association [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

As a division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association focuses on reducing disability and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising and advocacy. For the general public, the Stroke Association website features sections that address different aspects of stroke care, basic information about strokes, and links to stroke programs. Health professionals will find information about stroke research, conferences, and a variety of other resources. The site also contains a section covering stroke warning signs, and the comprehensive Heart and Stroke Encyclopedia. [NL]

American Clematis Society

The American Clematis Society (ACS) greets potential visitors with an enticing display of clematis flowers, and invites them to enter the website. Once inside, you will discover that ACS was founded in 1996 for the purpose of encouraging and promoting the development and improvement of clematis and to collect, record and share information concerning clematis. The website serves as a great informational resource, with brief descriptions for close to 300 varieties of clematis. The descriptions are accompanied by lovely images, and the site offers a periodically-updated collection of photos from ACS members as well. Site visitors will also find a Frequently Asked Questions section; information about membership; related links; and ordering information for a book dedicated to growing clematis in the United States. [NL]

Timber Wolf Information Network

Wolves in the United States have suffered from human extermination efforts, habitat loss, and perhaps most significantly, a bad reputation. The Timber Wolf Information Network (TWIN) is working to reverse that reputation by increasing public awareness and acceptance of the wolf in its natural habitat and its ecological role in the environment. The award-winning TWIN website contains links to numerous references; news stories that feature wolves; information about global conservation efforts; a section for kids; and population updates for wolves across the country. The site also contains organizational information about TWIN, and hosts the cleverly titled online forum: Scent Post. [NL]

Dinosaur Illustrations

Are you searching for images of dinosaurs? If so, then set your sights on David Goldmans website of dinosaur illustrations. Mr. Goldman, a dinosaur aficionado, has created a nicely organized site connecting visitors to an impressive online network of dinosaur artwork. The website hosts a diverse and extensive collection of dinosaurs including the Allosaurus, Hadrosaur, Oviraptor, Pteranodon, and over course the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinosaur illustrations can be located by alphabetic index, or by using the sites search engine. Illustration listings are accompanied by small, hyperlinked preview images that connect to the illustrations Internet source. The website also links to a collection of Panoramas, prehistoric animal images, and paleontology book reviews appearing in Prehistoric Times.[NL]

Arizona State University Photosynthesis Center: Photosynthesis and the Web: 2004

Whether you are a science teacher, botany researcher, naturalist, or general plant enthusiast, this publication will be of interest. Authored by Larry Orr (Arizona State University) and Govindjee (University of Illinois-Urbana), this article serves as a mini-review of photosynthesis-related websites. The publication addresses websites in seven categories including: individual researcher sites; K-12 educational sites; books and journals; comprehensive overview sites; and more. In the article the authors feature websites that they believe epitomize the best the Web has to offer. The article also includes a brief history of the Internet, a short section about web searching, hyperlinked references, and a capacious appendix of photo synthesis-related websites. [NL]

University of Vermont: Perrys Perennial Pages

This robust online resource for perennial plant information was created by Dr. Leonard Perry, an Extension Professor at the University of Vermont. The website contains an A-Z database replete with plant images and information; numerous publication lists; sustainable perennials research information, and an array of resources for home gardeners and industry professionals. The site also includes a frequently-asked-questions section; quizzes and games; and a featured perennial of the month. Remarkably, the website is available in numerous languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, and more. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Autumn Apples

1. University of Illinois Extension: Apples & More
2. Pearl Street Design: Apple Journal
3. The New Farm: Pennsylvanias Organic Apple Research Initiative
4. Washington State University-Mount Vernon Research & Extension Unit: Apple Research
5. Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Field Guide for Identification of Pest Insects, Diseases, and Beneficial Organisms in Minnesota Apple Orchards
6. Lakeside Orchards: How Apples are Grown
7. San Diego County Office of Education-Teacher CyberGuide: Apples
8. Vermont Apples: Recipes
9. The Ohio State University Extension: Making Cider Vinegar at Home

One of the most potent symbols of the autumnal season is the apple. For good reason, too, as this much-loved member of the rose family is responsible for many of our tastiest fall treats such as apple pie, cider, apple sauce, and apple butter-to name just a few. The aptly named website Apples & More, from the University of Illinois Extension, offers brief informational sections and resource links for the following areas: History & Legends, Nutrition, Preserving Apples, Varieties, Apple Cider, and many more (1). From Pearl Street Design, the Apple Journal provides a potpourri of apple-related news, recipes, images and other information (2 ). The third website, hosted by The New Farm, contains an article about organic apple research in Pennsylvania (3 ). From the Mount Vernon Research & Extension Unit at Washington State University, this website contains brief reports and resource links for a variety of apple research areas (4 ). For the benefit of apple growers, researchers, and others, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture posts this comprehensive and downloadable Field Guide for Identification of Pest Insects, Diseases, and Beneficial Organisms in Minnesota Apple Orchards (5 ). From Lakeside Orchards in Maine, this website contains a brief overview of seasonal activities in an apple orchard (6 ). The seventh website, hosted by the San Diego County Office of Educations Teacher CyberGuide, contains a supplementary resource page for teachers planning educational units about apples (7). From Vermont Apples, this next website features a diverse collection of apple recipes including Apple Pie, Winter Salad, Gingered Apple Chutney, and Curried Apple Soup (8). The final website, from The Ohio State University Extension, contains a fact sheet about making apple cider vinegar (9). [NL]

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