The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 21

October 15, 2004

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

A Note to our Readers




Topic In Depth

A Note to our Readers

Join Us in Observing Scout's 10th Anniversary

For the past ten years, the Internet Scout Project has focused on developing better tools and services for finding, filtering, and presenting online information and metadata. From the outset, our goal at Scout has been to provide value to our users. As we mark Scout's 10th anniversary, we'd love to hear from you about your experiences using our reports, our archives, or our software. Please take a moment and email me,, with any anecdotes you'd care to share with us and others. We plan to post a sampling of your comments on the Scout website in the near future.

Warm regards,

Chris Long
Managing Editor


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History-Department of Paleobiology: Research

This website presents information about paleobiological research at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian Department of Paleobiology staff "investigate many areas of study, including how long-term physical changes of ancient global geography and climate have affected the evolution of plants and animals, how ecosystems have responded to these changes, and how these responses have affected today's patterns of biodiversity." This site links to information about staff and research associates including: contact information; research interests; publication lists; and the names of fellows, research assistants, and students. This site also connects to a separate Publications section that lists writings by author, and includes a Reprint Request Form for requesting copies. Site visitors may link to a variety of Department of Paleobiology Online Collections as well, including the Burgess Shale Pages, the Springer Echinoderm Collection, the Fossil Shark Key, and a manual for packing fossils. Note: Links to some of the Online Collections are not currently connected. [NL] USDA Forest Service References on the American Indian Use of Fire in Ecosystems

Studies examining the use of fire by Native Americans prior to European arrival in North America have received a considerable amount of attention in recent years. This website contains a sizeable collection of references addressing this subject, and was compiled in 2001 by Dr. Gerald W. Williams, an Historical Analyst for the US Forest Service. Dr. Williams introduces the references as "part of the growing literature of the intentional use of fire by American Indians in English speaking portions of North America." Preceding the references, Dr. Williams includes brief summary sections that address the arrival of Europeans, the discoveries and burning practices of early settlers, and documented reasons or purposes for burning by Native Americans. [NL]

Rutgers University: Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences -Deep Sea Microbiology Lab

As part of the Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, Dr. Costantino Vetriani's Deep Sea Microbiology Lab focuses on "the physiology, ecology and evolutionary relationships of deep-sea prokaryotes, with an emphasis on deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps." The Microbiology Lab website includes a Publications section which lists book chapters and a number of downloadable, refereed journal articles that have been authored, or co-authored, by Dr. Vetriani. The site also contains a short summary of a current research project, and a listing of oceanographic expeditions dating back to 1995. The site's Deep-Sea Video Clips include some brief, yet interesting coverage of tube worms, zoarcid fish, Pompeii worms, crabs, and more. The site also contains a few intriguing DSML underwater images of microorganisms from hydrothermal vents. [NL]

University of Bern: KORA-Eurasian Lynx Online Information System for Europe [pdf]

Hosted by the University of Bern, this website contains an informative report concerning the status of the Eurasian lynx in Europe. This report serves as an update for a conservation action plan (authored by Breitenmoser et al) that was published in 2000; and was based on data collected up until 1995. The current report presents data collected up until 2001, and utilizes information gathered from lynx experts across Europe. The report includes a chapter on Species Information with concise entries regarding description and morphology; phylogenetic history and subspecies; biology and life history; and Eurasian lynx captivity in Europe. The report's Europe section "includes summarising information from all countries across Europe to different aspects of the conservation and management of the Eurasian lynx." The well-organized Countries section allows site visitors to peruse information about the lynx by nation. Each country page presents data regarding Distribution, Populations, Depredation, Management, Conservation, and more. The site includes contact information for representatives from many countries, a substantial listing of literature, and a collection of related links. The report can be ordered in printed form, and as a CD-ROM, by following links to the websites for KORA or LCIE (Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe). [NL]

Missouri Botanical Garden- Bryological Glossary

The original Bryological Glossary--or Glossarium Polyglottum Bryologiae--was published in 1990 in the Missouri Botanical Garden's Monographs in Systematic Botany, Vol. 33. The multilingual Glossary was created so that bryologists and others could avoid misinterpretations of literature, and general confusion resulting from a lack of standardized terms. This online version of the Glossary "contains the 1,181 English terms and their definitions from the original publication." The terms are listed alphabetically, and include Latin entries, as well as French, German, and Spanish translations. [NL]

University of California-Davis Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center: Publications Organized by Topic [pdf]

The Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center is housed in the Pomology Department at the University of California-Davis. Postharvest Center research focuses on improving the quality of horticultural crops, reducing post-harvest losses, improving marketing efficiency, and solving produce handling problems. This Publications website contains a wealth of downloadable articles organized by a wide range of crops and related issues. The numerous publication categories include: Apples, Nectarines, Lettuce, Postharvest IPM, Health Benefits, Storage, and many more. Visitors can locate articles by browsing the site index or by using a keyword search engine. [NL]

The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research

Edward Jenner is well known for his development of an innovative vaccine for smallpox. The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research (EJIVR) follows in his footsteps as it conducts immunological research along two primary tracks. The first one involves "work on areas of immunology relevant to the development of all vaccines, including antigen presentation, immunological memory and autoimmunity. The second consists of work that focuses on specific diseases or targets where vaccines, or improved vaccines, are needed." The EJIVR website contains brief summary pages for its separate research groups in the following areas: Bioinformatics, Carbohydrate Immunology, Lung Immunology, Viral Immunology, Memory, and CD45. A link is also provided to a separate Bioinformatics Group website. In addition, the EJIVR site includes background information about the Institute, publications lists by research group, information about collaborations, and a Recruitment page that lists opportunities when available. [NL]

gab: Phosphorus uptake and growth kinetics in plankton desmid species from trophically different lakes

This website contains Dr. Elly Spijkerman's PhD thesis, titled Phosphorus Uptake and Growth Kinetics in Plankton Desmid Species from Trophically Different Lakes, which she completed in 1998 while in the Department of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Amsterdam. The six main thesis chapters have appeared in publications such as the European Journal of Phycology, Journal of Plankton Research, Journal of Phycology, and Hydrobiologia, and the site provides links to all these journals. Dr. Spijkerman's thesis chapters include: Competition for Phosphorus Between Planktonic Desmid Species in Continuous-Flow Culture; Different Response Mechanisms of Two Planktonic Desmid Species (Chlorophyceae) to a Single, Saturating Addition of Phosphate; Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Two Planktonic Desmid Species and the Possible Role of an Extracellular Envelope; Ecophysiological Characteristics of Two Planktonic Desmid Species Originating From Trophically Different Lakes, and more. The text also includes a substantial list of references, and a concise summary. [NL]


University of Massachusetts Medical School/American Stroke Association: StrokeSTOP [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player, Quicktime]

This website presents stroke curriculum that is being developed collaboratively by the American Stroke Association and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The curriculum "is designed to be interwoven with first- and second-year Neuroscience courses, and can also be used for review purposes during Clinical Clerkships and Electives." The website is still under development, and currently offers six active learning modules including Stroke/TIA, Stroke Risk Factors, Blood Supply of CNS, Carotid, and more. Yet to be developed modules include Hemorrhagic Stroke, Pathology of Stroke, Future Therapies, and Uncommon Strokes. Eventually all of the modules will include supplementary tables, diagrams, radiographic images, gross and microscopic specimens, interactive case histories, self-tests, and patient videos. The website currently offers a Glossary, downloadable modules for students, and accompanying PowerPoint presentations for faculty. [NL]

University of Illinois Extension-Schools Online: A Walk in the Woods [Macromedia Flash Player]

Are you looking for ways to get your students excited about spending time in natural areas? From the University of Illinois Extension-Schools Online Program, this website invites students to take a virtual walk in the woods. This narrated cyberwalk was designed for third- to fifth-grade students, and contains an accompanying Teachers' Guide with Illinois-based learning goals and objectives, as well as a variety of extension activities. The site's Nature Notes section teaches kids about acorns, chipmunks, conks, cottontails, and more. The site utilizes great photographs, and includes a nice collection of related links under the categories of Animals, Birds, Trees and Flowers, and Insects and Bugs. The site even offers a preparation section with tips for future sylvan adventures. [NL]

Dietitians of Canada: Healthy Start For Life-Online Course [pdf]

From the Dietitians of Canada--a 5,000 members-strong professional organization--this online nutrition course for child care providers and parents is part of "a collaborative national health promotion initiative designed to promote the development of healthy eating and activity patterns during preschool years (ages 2-5)." The course is presented in PowerPoint format and covers four separate lessons titled: Feeding Preschoolers, The Picky Eater, Menu Planning for Preschoolers, and Active Preschoolers. The presentations contain between 23 and 32 slides each, and are available for viewing online, or downloading in PDF or PowerPoint format. Site visitors can also connect to a Resources page in French and English, information about the Healthy Start For Life initiative, links to partnering organizations, and a feedback form. [NL]

Iowa State University of Science and Technology-Cooperative Extension Service: How a Corn Plant Develops

This Iowa State University Extension "publication is designed to aid those involved in corn production to more fully understand how the corn plant develops." Though intended for corn growers, this report would also be instructive for secondary students interested in the processes of corn growth. The concise report addresses three main subjects: Identifying Stages of Development; Vegetative Stages and Development; and Reproductive Stages and Kernel Development. The final section touches on nutrient uptake, and fertilizer applications. Report sections are accompanied by corresponding Management Guidelines, and helpful diagramed images. [NL]

University of Iowa-Virtual Hospital: The Road To Becoming A Physician

Hosted by the Virtual Hospital, this online brochure about the medical training and education process was developed by the University of Iowa Health Science Relations and the Iowa Medical Society. The brochure would likely be quite useful to high school students and career counselors as it provides an introduction to medical school, different types of physicians, selected medical specialties, and medical school curriculum. The brochure also touches on the role of patients, the Hippocratic Oath, graduate medical programs, continuing education for physicians, and residency. Site visitors are provided instructions for requesting a printed copy of the brochure as well. [NL]

This excellent web resource developed by owl enthusiast Dan Lockshaw "is dedicated to the enjoyment, identification, and preservation of the North and Central American owls." By employing a multimedia approach, Lockshaw has created a type of super field guide for many species of owls including the Spotted Owl, Great Gray Owl, Elf Owl, and Great Horned Owl--just to name a few. The Biology section contains numerous owl profiles that include range maps, and information about feeding habits, breeding, life span, habitat, measurements, and more. The Multimedia section is full of great photos and sound files, accompanied by brief field notes which provide visitors with helpful information for identifying owls in the field. The site also contains video clips; checklists for North American, Central American, and Mexican owls; a Guestbook, a Recent Additions section; and an annotated collection of related links. [NL]

North American Association for Environmental Education [pdf]

The importance and popularity of environmental education has grown steadily over the past few decades. Since 1971, the North American Association for Environmental Education has worked to bolster this movement through a variety of activities, programs, and other services. One of these services is the NAAEE website, which contains a bounty of information and resources for environmental educators. From the NAAEE website, educators can learn more about the organization, ongoing projects, the NAAEE Affiliate Network, guidelines for excellence in environmental education, membership, and more. The site also connects to a great collection of online resources for educators, information about publications, and information and registration materials for the upcoming annual conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. [NL]

ThinkQuest: Poisonous Plants and Animals

Did you know that platypuses are poisonous? Learn more at this award-winning website about poisonous animals and plants which was created by a ThinkQuest team of students (from two schools located in Bulgaria and the UK). The site is creative and well-designed with descriptions for numerous types of plants and animals including Hemlock, Potatoes, Poison Ivy, Jellyfish, Rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, and many more. The site also touches on Toxicology, and contains a section addressing "the application of plant poisons in medicine and pharmacy thus showing that dangerous substances can sometimes be useful." The website is rounded out by a full page of references, a glossary, and a collection of fun facts. [NL]


Missouri Department of Conservation: Missouri Vegetation Management Manual

From the Missouri Department of Conservation, this online manual for vegetation management in Missouri and the Midwest "was compiled from numerous publications and personal communications with land managers who are engaged in combating unwanted plant species. The primary source of information for many of the guidelines included in this manual is the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission's Vegetation Management Manual." The Missouri Manual includes management guideline sections for 24 problem species including: Canada Thistle, Reed Canary Grass, Autumn Olive, Garlic Mustard, Kudzu, and many more. The guideline sections generally contain: scientific and common name; a brief section on Species Character including habitat, distribution, similar species, and life history; Control Recommendations including recommended practices for high-quality natural areas when applicable, and Failed or Ineffective Practices. The entire Manual is available for download. [NL]


Fatbirder website creator Richard Crombet-Beolens notes that his site "is an attempt to put as many birders in touch with each other throughout the world as possible to encourage friendship and conservation." Mr. Crombet-Beolens certainly seems to have succeeded with a website that contains a vast array of annotated birding links for a multitude of interest areas and locations around the world. The site's main sections include World Birding, Birdnews, Travel, Library, Bird Families, Ornithology, and more. The site also includes an Equipment/Supplies section, a Fun Pages section, and an Images and Sound section. Based on his extensive Internet surfing, Mr. Crombet-Beolens offers up a Fatbirder Top 10 Birding Sites as well. [NL]

Trinidad & Tobago Orchid Society: Database of Trinidad & Tobago Native Orchid Species

Trinidad has long been a center for botanical study, both in regards to its own botanical treasures and as a base for botanists on collecting expeditions to South America and other Caribbean Islands. The Trinidad & Tobago Orchid Society carries on this tradition with projects like the Database of Native Orchid Species. The Database "was completed in 2003 with a listing of over 100 orchid species." Separate orchid profiles include a recently taken photograph, and many also provide a brief description that addresses color, size, flowering period, and habitat. Site visitors can locate orchid species by browsing the alphabetized index or by using the keyword search engine. [NL]

City Farmer-Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture: Urban Agriculture Notes

The award-winning Urban Agriculture Notes, published by City Farmer (Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture), presents a very impressive assemblage of annotated links to urban agriculture-related information in Vancouver and around the world. There are so many links that the site can feel a little overwhelming at first, but simply scroll down to the site search options, and you will be set to surf the different areas. Site visitors can search for information by geographic area (continents), and by such topics as Allotments/Community Gardens, Children, Urban Forestry, Livestock, Solid Waste/Composting, and more. Visitors can also browse a list of the most recently added pages and links, as well as a list of popular site pages. In addition, City Farmer hosts an Urban Agricultural Discussion Forum. [NL]

The Birkey Group: [pdf], a great resource for both amateur and professional apiarists, was created by Barry Birkey, a Web designer, remodeling business owner, and beekeeper. A stand-out website feature is the Plans section, which contains downloadable plans (with images) for a variety of beehives, honey extractors, pollen traps, an Apidictor, and more. The site contains many relevant news stories, and opinion articles, as well as links to suppliers of bees and beekeeping equipment in Australia, Europe, Canada, South America, South Africa, and the United States. The site includes a Bulletin Board with multiple forums, links to apiary discussion groups, and a page of annotated links. The site also contains hyperlinks to Beekeeping Journals and U.S. Beekeeping Associations. [NL]

National Geographic: Coffee

This artful National Geographic website serves up a virtual cup of coffee legends and information. The website is better suited for coffee novices than experts, as it provides mostly introductory information about this widely loved beverage. Site features include brief descriptions of significant moments in coffee history (beginning in Ethiopia around A.D. 800), an overview of basic roasts, and statistics for top coffee-producing countries (with links to country maps). The site contains a National Geographic magazine article about coffee from 1981; a list of related books and articles; and links to related websites. Site visitors will also find a Coffee Talk forum, which has not seen much activity in the past year, but has the potential to be a center for coffee-related conversation on the Web. [NL]

George Mateljan Foundation: The World's Healthiest Foods

George Mateljan developed this not-for-profit foundation "to discover, develop and share scientifically proven information about the benefits of healthy eating, and to provide the personalized support individuals need to make eating The World's Healthiest Foods enjoyable, easy, quick and affordable." The World's Healthiest Foods offers a smorgasbord of information under the three main categories of Eating Healthy, Cooking Healthy, and Feeling Great. Site features within these categories include: Seasonal Eating, Essential Nutrients, All About Organic Foods, How Foods Help You Stay Healthy, About Popular Diets, and much more. One stand-out section is the Over 100 Quick and Easy Recipes section which provides a well-organized index of recipes, as well as a search engine with specification fields for foods to include, foods to exclude, and nutrients to require. The site also invites visitors to receive a free weekly bulletin, and to send in favorite recipes for posting. [NL]

PBS: The Living Edens-Costa Rica

Part of the Living Edens natural history series at PBS, this attractive website shares biotic wonders from Costa Rica. The site's emphasis is primarily on animals with brief descriptions for crocodiles, monkeys, poison dart frogs, butterflies, four species of marine turtles, and more. For teachers, the website offers two lesson plans--on frogs and volcanic soil--designed for grades five through seven with lesson objectives, national science standards, material needed, assessment recommendations, and more. For anyone planning a visit to Costa Rica, the site contains an overview of several national parks. The website also contains a collection of annotated web resource links. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Nocturnal Animals

1. Island Discovery & Training: Nocturnal Animal Sounds
2. BioMedia: How do Animals See In the Dark?
3. Enchanted Learning: Nocturnal Animals
4. Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium: Creatures of the Night
5. Science News Online: Deprived of Darkness
6. Wild Asia: Turtle Island's Nocturnal Visitors
7. PBS-Nova Online: Night Creatures of the Kalahari-Zoology After Dark
8. University of Utah-John Moran Eye Center: WebVision-Photoreceptors

Over time, human beings have blazed their way into the night with fire and artificial light, but we are not true creatures of the night. This Topic in Depth explores the world of nocturnal animals. From Island Discovery & Training, the first site allows visitors to listen to the sounds of several nocturnal animals. After guessing who made the sound, visitors can link to information pages for all but one of the mystery animals (1). Next is an information sheet (2) from BioMedia that answers the question: How Do Animals See In the Dark? The third site, from Enchanted Learning, provides coloring sheets and brief profiles for many nocturnal animals including the Amur Tiger, Badger, Crocodile, and Kinkajou-just to name a few (3). From the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in Vermont, the fourth website contains a six-page lesson plan (for students in grades one to eight) emphasizing different senses; and the roles and adaptations of nocturnal species (4). The fifth site, from Science News Online, contains an article addressing research on the ecological impact of artificial nighttime light on nocturnal animals (5). From Wild Asia, the next site contains an article by travel writer and environmental educator David Bowden, that describes his experience watching a marine turtle lay her eggs on Malaysia's Turtle Island (6). The seventh site, from PBS-Nova Online, briefly describes the work of zoologists who study nocturnal and burrowing animals of the Kalahari (7). From this site visitors can also link to a section that discusses how several different animals see at night. The final site, from the University of Utah-John Moran Eye Center, contains information about the role of photoreceptors in vision (8). This Photoreceptors section is part of a comprehensive electronic tutorial regarding neural organization of the mammalian retina. [NL]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2004.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2004. 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.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout Project Team
Nathan Larson Editor
John Morgan Managing Editor
Rachael Bower Co-Director
Edward Almasy Co-Director
Max Grinnell Contributor
Valerie Farnsworth Contributor
Debra Shapiro Contributor
Rachel Enright Contributor
Todd Bruns Internet Cataloger
Barry Wiegan Software Engineer
Justin Rush Technical Specialist
Michael Grossheim Technical Specialist
Andy Yaco-Mink Website Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.