The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 7

April 1, 2005

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




Topic In Depth


Dendrochronology Species Database
Glossary of Dendrochronology

The Dendrochronology Species Database was composed by Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee. The database "currently contains the names of over 1,100 tree and shrub species for which tree rings have been analyzed in the published literature." Records include the authority and scientific and common name(s) for each species. For species with available data in the International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB), records provide an ITRDB Code, and a link to the ITRDB website. The second site is an online adaptation of the Multilingual Glossary of Dendrochronology compiled by Michle Kaennel Dobbertin of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. The original Glossary involved "53 scientists who participated in the definition and translation of 351 terms in 7 languages; English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian." In addition to terms, the online glossary includes references, a list of contributors, and a User Guide. [NL]

Botanical Museum & Library: Database of Fungi

The Database of Fungi is one of several databases offered by the University of Copenhagen's Botanical Museum and Library. The Database "includes at present c. 34,000 records of collections from the fungal herbarium." Collection records include entries for scientific and Danish names, locality, country of origin, and more. The database is updated twice yearly to account for taxonomic and nomenclature changes resulting from new molecular research. Although the entry categories for each record are in Danish, they are not difficult to interpret. Moreover, the database search engine provides English translations for the various search fields. [NL]

Japanese Ant Image Database

The 2003 revised edition of the Japanese Ant Image Database was developed under the direction of the Japanese Ant Database Group (JADG). The website, which merges taxonomic information and stunning photographs, will no doubt delight myrmecologists and others. Information about different types of ants can be accessed through browseable, hyperlinked lists organized by subfamily, genus, and species. Genus and species profiles include images, references, descriptive information, simple distribution maps, and more. The site includes a Japanese Ant Image Library with hundreds of quality images, and a smaller SEM Image Library as well. The site also offers sections with Type Specimens and Taxonomic Keys. Please note that the site has not been updated since 2003; there are future plans to revisit the project when updates and corrections become necessary. [NL]

University of Florida Herpetology Collection

The University of Florida Herpetology Collection Master Database currently contains 137,936 records. The Database search engine offers fields for common and scientific name, as well as Country or Nation; State or Department; County or Province; and Collection Month and Year. Users can select up to 200 records per page, and request a Table or Report output style. Specimen loans are available to permanent staff members at institutions, but not to individuals. In addition to information about specimen loans from the Herpetology Collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Collection site contains concise information about data requests, and specimen dissections. [NL]

Museum of Southwestern Biology: Mammals [pdf]

The Mammal Collection at the University of New Mexico's Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) "contains over 118,000 specimens, mostly from the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, but there are also large holdings from other portions on North America, Japan, Africa, and Eurasia." MSB offers a searchable database of the Mammal Collection with search fields for Order, Family, Species, Continent/Ocean, Country, Sex, Season, and more. MSB specimen loans are available to "researchers at established, scientifically recognized institutions." Site visitors will appreciate the extensive list of mammal-related publications from 1994-2004, with many of the papers from recent years available in downloadable format. MSB staff contact information, and related links are provided as well. [NL]

Consensus CoDing Sequence Database

The Consensus CoDing Sequence (CCDS) Database "project is a collaborative effort to identify a core set of human protein-coding regions that are consistently annotated and of high quality. The long-term goal is to support convergence toward a standard set of gene annotations on the human genome." CCDS project collaborators include the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), and University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). The CCDS site links to four Genome Displays from the collaborating institutions including Ensembl Genome Browser, UCSC Genome Browser, NCBI Map Viewer, and Vega Genome Browser. The site offers Human CCDS Statistics, and a search engine that allows users to search by Nucleotide ID, Gene ID, Protein ID, and CCDS ID. [NL]

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: Review of Panther Scientific Literature [pdf]

Housed in the archives of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, this December 2003 report, entitled An Analysis of Scientific Literature Related to the Florida Panther, was developed by a team of independent biologists commissioned by the FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The authors of the 203-page (pdf) document "critically reviewed scientific literature on Florida panther to identify strengths and weaknesses of existing research, and to recommend future analyses and research priorities." Major headings include Habitat, Prey, Genetics, Demography, Biomedical, and Management Recommendations. Zoologists will surely appreciate the extensive Annotated Bibliography of Literature on the Florida panther, which constitutes a substantial portion of the publication. [NL]

Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Bibliographic Database

This coral reef-related Bibliographic Database was developed by the Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP). CRAMP conducts research "designed to identify the controlling factors, both natural and anthropogenic, contributing to the stability, decline, or recovery of Hawaiian reefs. The CRAMP "Bibliographic Database contains listings for published and unpublished documents concerned with the coral reefs and inshore marine resources of Hawaii." More than 2,500 references are currently housed in the database, and records conveniently include abstracts. The Bibliography Search Form offers search fields for Author, Title, Source, Keywords, Year, and more. In addition, searches can be narrowed to specific Hawaiian site locations such as Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, and Maui. [NL]


World Wildlife Federation: Education-Middle School [pdf]

Middle school students will enjoy surfing the pages of this WWF website about animals, habitats, conservation, and more. One section of the site offers information about different types of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores such as sharks, giraffes, bears, and zebras. There is also a Remarkable Animals subsection that features short descriptions of animals like the Sidewinder Rattlesnake, Mallee Fowl, Red Piranha, and Snapping Turtle. The Habitats section profiles Grasslands, Mountains, Oceanic Islands, and Tropical Forests, to name a few. Other site offerings include underwater photographs of coral reef dwellers; ideas for projects like making a compost heap or a solar oven; downloadable factsheets; and links to conservation-related websites organized by topic. [NL]

University of South Carolina: Microbiology and Immunology On-line [pdf, Microsoft PowerPoint, Java]

This award-winning microbiology and immunology online textbook is based on a University of South Carolina School of Medicine course for second-year medical students. The hypertext contains five central parts under the following major themes: Immunology, Bacteriology, Virology, Parasitology, and Mycology. The separate parts are composed of numerous chapters addressing important aspects of the aforementioned themes. The site also offers several quizzes, a Virus Glossary, and many related links. In addition, many chapters are accompanied by auxiliary PowerPoint slide files and downloadable documents (some of which are password protected). It should be noted that for some users PowerPoint files may be difficult to download due to their considerable size. [NL]

Clinton Community College: Biology Web-Biology 102

Dr. Michael Gregory developed this Biology 102 website for a course at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The site features chapters from his Biology II Online Textbook which are enriched with helpful diagrams and images. Chapter topics include Prokaryotes, Sensory Systems, Animal Tissues, Seedless Plants, Respiratory System, Animal Reproduction, and more. The site also contains a Laboratory Manual, Review Questions, and a Glossary. The Laboratory Manual presents a number of interesting examinations such as Fetal Pig Dissection (complete with graphic images). Links are provided to Dr. Gregory's Biology 101 (reported on in the November 12, 2004 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences) and Human Biology courses as well. [NL]

Vanderbilt University: Bioimages

This extensive website of southeastern U.S. plant images was developed by Dr. Steve Baskauf of the Department of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. The site is part of a larger Bioimages website designed to "provide educational information to the public on biologically related topics, as well as a source of biological images for personal and non-commercial use." Site visitors can browse for excellent images of many trees and woody plants by common name, scientific name, or family. Notably, these species pages include close-ups of different tree and plant parts (e.g. flower, bark, leaf, fruit). The site also offers helpful comparison sections for oaks, hickories, maples, and hickory nuts. Other site offerings include a list of Common and Endemic Herbaceous Plants of Cedar Glades by Family, a list of non-seed plants (hyperlinked to images), and a section on Identifying Invasive Plants. [NL]

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center: Science/Education [pdf, Microsoft Word]

From the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (RMDRC), this website offers three downloadable lesson plans for grades K-12. The 90-minute plan for kindergarten through third grade utilizes interactive play to introduce basic concepts of extinction and evolution. The 60-minute plan for grades four to eight focuses on fossils. The 60-minute plan for grades nine to twelve addresses dinosaur footprints and speed. The site also contains several brief articles relating to paleontological discoveries and careers. The website also links to the RMDRC parent company site (Triebold Paleontology) which contains an interesting section about paleontological field work. [NL]

California Coastal Commission: Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds [pdf]

This Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds activity guide was developed by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) to introduce aspects of coastal ecology to students in grades three through eight. The large downloadable guide includes six main chapters designed for the different grade levels. The grade-specific chapters contain multiple activities addressing such subjects as endangered species, marine debris and pollution, wetlands, and more. There is also a chapter with Community Action Activities that can be adapted for students in grades one through twelve. The nicely organized activities are designed to be multi-disciplinary, and in order to be accessible to a wide population of students, expensive materials are not required. Although the guide is geared towards students in California, students in other areas will likely find it informative as well. Note: Some activities are omitted from the downloadable guide because of copyright agreements; however, a free copy of Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds may be ordered from the CCC. [NL]

Education Image Library

The Education Image Library is part of Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. (first reported on in the May 2, 1997 Scout Report), a rich image website that was developed by veteran photomicrographer Dr. Dennis Kunkel. The Image Library contains "over a thousand colorized and black & white electron microscope (SEM and TEM) images taken by Dennis Kunkel Ph. D." Simply click on the marvelous images to view a larger version accompanied by a caption. In addition to multiple keyword searches, the search engine offers a drop-down menu with a variety of category options such as Bacteria, Algae, Plants, Insects, Viruses, and more. Who would guess that cyanobacteria could be captured so beautifully? This illuminating site is definitely worth a visit from even the most casual Web surfer. [NL]

Wildflowers and Weeds: Learning to Identify Plants by Families

This plant identification site is featured in naturalist Thomas J. Elpel's Wildflowers and Weeds website (first mentioned in the March 18, 2005 NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences). The site introduces creative plant identification techniques covered in Elpel's publication, Botany in a Day. His system is based on learning to recognize characteristics common to different plant species in the same family. The website introduces "seven of the largest and easiest-to-recognize families of plants, which are found worldwide." The families include are: mustard, mint, parsley, pea, lily, mallow, and aster. Each family section contains diagrams, a concise overview, and a collection of clear, explanatory photographs. [NL]


United Nations World Food Programme [Windows Media Player, pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Under the auspices of the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP) "works to put hunger at the centre of the international agenda, promoting policies, strategies and operations that directly benefit the poor and hungry." This capacious website contains a great deal of information about hunger-affected areas and WFP activities to curb hunger and poverty around the world. The site connects to many pertinent news stories and videos, as well as to information about WFP food-aid activities and strategies, operations, policies, and organization. The WFP site also contains a collection of downloadable publications including Annual Reports, Strategic Plans, Policy Papers, and briefs examining connections between food aid programming and food policy research. The briefs were produced jointly by WFP and the International Food Policy Research Institute; and are available in Arabic, Spanish, English and French. [NL]

Wilson Ornithological Society

Established in 1888 and named after the renowned ornithologist Alexander Wilson, the Wilson Ornithological Society (WOS) "is a world-wide organization of nearly 2500 people who share a curiosity about birds." Hosted by the University of Michigan, the Society website offers information about holdings in the WOS library, research grants, annual meetings, and membership. Academic advisors and undergraduates interested in advanced bird biology studies will appreciate the Society's guide to North American graduate programs in ornithology. For educators, the Society provides a number of downloadable learning exercises that comprise the Manual of Field and Laboratory Exercises for Ornithology. The Manual is available in Spanish and English. The site contains contact information for Society Officers and links to many downloadable copies of the Wilson Bulletin (the Society's long-standing scholarly journal) as well. [NL]

Don Baccus Nature Photography

This website, which features exquisite photographs of birds and nature scenes, was created by Don Baccus, a naturalist, freelance photographer, and software engineer from Portland, Oregon. A sampling of the birds represented at the site includes the snowy egret, brown pelican, wood duck, and sage grouse, to name a few. Be sure not to miss the Springtime in Malheur County section which exhibits beautiful images of owls, pronghorn, golden eagles, northern flickers, and more. Baccus makes his photos freely available for certain personal, non-commercial uses such as student reports and presentations. Camera aficionados will likely appreciate the For Gearheads Only section. [NL]

Center for Biological Diversity [pdf]

The Center for Biological Diversity works to protect "endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education, and environmental law." This site provides brief information about many species that the Center has worked to protect including amphibians such as the Oregon spotted frog; invertebrates such as the Island Marble butterfly; birds such as the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl; mammals such as the fisher; plants such as the white fringeless orchid; fish such as the Zuni bluehead sucker; and reptiles such as the Alameda whipsnake. The Center also offers information about its various programs concerning forests, deserts, marine protection, livestock grazing, urban sprawl, ecosystem restoration, and more. In addition, the site contains links to downloadable research papers; information about environmental internships; Action Alerts; and pertinent news updates. [NL]

New York Online Access to Health: Pregnancy

This New York Online Access to Health (NOAH) website contains links to numerous Internet resources relating to pregnancy. The site is quite well organized with resource subtopics arranged under broad headings like Pregnancy Choices; Before Becoming Pregnant, and Delivery. Various subtopics include Labor Pain, Fetal Development, Fitness and Exercise, Sexuality During Pregnancy, and more. NOAH provides links to Internet resources organized under other health-issue headings as well, such as Bone, Joint, and Muscle; Heart Disease; Nutrition; Cancer; and Patient's Rights and Resources. NOAH also employs a nifty system for adjusting the text size on the page. [NL]

Turtle Trax

Turtle Trax was created by sport divers Peter Bennett and Ursula Keuper-Bennett in 1995 to raise awareness about fibropapilloma tumors they observed on Hawaiian green turtles off the coast of Maui. The website contains tumor-related scientific papers, and articles authored by the Bennetts and other lay writers. The site also displays good-quality underwater images of turtles that the Bennetts have captured over the years. For those wishing to learn more, the site contains a Marine Turtle Fibropapilloma Bibliography that was compiled by members of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. The site is rounded out by a section for kids; a glossary; and profiles of a number of marine turtles including the loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, Atlantic green, and of course Hawaiian green. [NL]

Earthcare Enterprises

Bamboo growers and enthusiasts will enjoy this website from Earthcare Enterprises, a farm and nursery located in Australia. The website displays images (accompanied by brief notes) of an interesting array of bamboo species including Bambusa textilis, Bambusa tulda, Dendrocalamus asper, Melocanna baccifera, and more. Simply click on any of the thumbnail images for a slide show of the different species. The site also offers a concise section on Lotus Germination & Growing Instructions; brief descriptions of ginger species used for culinary and medicinal purposes such as Myoga Ginger (Zingiber mioga); and information about water chestnuts. Site visitors will appreciate the assortment of recipes as well with such tantalizing dishes as Cassava Cake, Lotus Stem and Prawn Salad, Stewed Chicken with Young Bamboo Shoot and Lemon Grass, and Lotus Shoot Salad, to name a few. [NL]

The International Osprey Foundation [pdf, QuickTime]

The International Osprey Foundation (TIOF) is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to the continuing recovery and preservation of the osprey, others in the raptor family, wildlife and the environment as a whole." The TIOF website contains a great collection of photographs of ospreys in nests, on perches, in flight, and clutching prey in their talons. The site also contains a short movie of an osprey in flight, as well as brief sections describing osprey feeding and nesting habits, and a small collection of osprey drawings. TIOF makes available copies of its annual newsletter, and a brief downloadable instruction brochure on building an artificial nesting platform. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Community Gardens

American Community Garden Association
Food Security Learning Center: Community Gardens
GardenWeb: Community Gardens Forum
Capital District Community Gardens: Gardener Resources
Green Guerillas
The University of New South Wales: Community Gardens Project-A Bountiful Harvest
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Milwaukee Community Gardens

In addition to providing people places to garden, many community gardens are important centers for a variety of events and gatherings, educational activities and programs, and food production. This Topic in Depth explores resources and information pertaining to community gardens. The American Community Garden Association "was founded in 1979 to help gardening programs share their limited resources, and benefit from each other's experience and expertise." The Association website (1) contains a comprehensive collection of pertinent links as well as an electronic mailing list, several online publications, and information about the upcoming annual conference in Minnesota. Hosted by the Food Security Learning Center, the second site (2) contains a concise introductory article about community gardens which includes policy initiatives, program profiles, suggested reading options, and FAQs. Hosted by GardenWeb, the third site (3) is an active online forum "meant for discussion of all aspects of organizing and participating in community gardens." From Capital District Community Gardens the fourth site ( ) offers a collection of resources for gardeners including factsheets regarding a variety of gardening topics; gardening tips submitted by home and community gardeners; and recipes for Golden Squash Flowers, Lentil and Collard Soup, Blueberry Buckle, and more. The fifth site (5) provides information about the Green Guerrillas, "a vital resource center for New York City's grassroots community gardening groups." The sixth (6) site contains a sizeable, downloadable report from a University of New South Wales Faculty of the Built Environment-supported study examining three community gardens in Sydney, Australia. Housed in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Web archives, the final site (7) is a 44-page (pdf) 2002 report about community gardens in Milwaukee. The report was released in 2002 by Matthew B. Mikolajewski, a graduate student in the School of Architecture & Urban Planning at UWM. [NL]

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2005. 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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