The NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences -- Volume 4, Number 8

April 15, 2005

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




Topic In Depth


Searchable Ornithological Research Archive [pdf, Java]

The Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA) is an excellent resource for professional and amateur ornithologists alike. SORA is an online journal archive produced jointly by the University of New Mexico, Association of Field Ornithologists, Cooper Ornithological Society, American Ornithologists Union, and Wilson Ornithological Society. The "archive provides access to an extensive Ornithological literature of international scope, and detailed material documenting the history of Ornithology in North America over the last 120 years." At present, SORA contains the following journals: The Condor (1899-2000), The Auk (1884-1999), The Wilson Bulletin (1889-1999), The Journal of Field Ornithology (1930-1999), Studies in Avian Biology (1978-1999), Pacific Coast Avifauna (1900-1974), and the North American Bird Bander (1976-2000). A multitude of downloadable articles can be located by browsing the contents of different journals, or by using a search engine with fields for Keyword/Subject, Title, Author, and Years. [NL]

Hawaii Coral Reef Bibliography

The Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative Computer Interactive Bibliography (HCRIB) "is an EndNote Plus bibliographic reference data base which provides reference listings of surveys, studies, technical reports, atlases, and the like on subjects ranging from physical oceanography, biology, taxonomy, water quality, ecology, and reef resources for the main Hawaiian Islands." The HCRIB is a collaborative project between the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and AECOS, Inc., with support from the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration and the US Coral Reef Initiative program. The database consists of two separate files: one file containing references prior to 1979 and the second file containing references from 1980 through 2001. This site provides brief instructions on searching the database and currently offers two ways to access the data electronically. When new references are located, the database will be updated accordingly. [NL]

Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology

The Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) operates under the auspices of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. CMAVE "conducts research aimed at reducing or eliminating the harm caused by insects to crops, stored products, livestock and humans. Research is directed not only at the insects themselves but at pathogens they may transmit and at identifying inherent protective mechanisms in plants." The Center's website links to information about CMAVE researchers and research units. The site also lists CMAVE publications from 1991 to the present year. Reprints may be requested directly from the author(s), or from the CMAVE Secretary. Site visitors will also find links to employment listings from the USDA. [NL]

USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center [Java, pdf]

The Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) (first mentioned in the February 17, 1999, Scout Report for Science & Engineering) "provides leadership and scientific information for the US Geological Survey by addressing national and international environmental contaminant issues, and assessing effects of habitat alterations on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. This includes large-river floodplains, coastal habitats, wetlands, and lakes." The CERC website provides summaries of a variety of research projects involving Endangered and At-Risk Species, Contaminants, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Ecosystems, and more. The site also links to information about CERC Science Branches such as Toxicology, River Studies, Environment Chemistry, and Field Station Research. In addition, CERC offers a sizeable collection of downloadable publications, a number of online databases, and a staff directory. [NL]

The Pherobase [Chime, gif]

The Pherobase was developed by Dr. Ashraf El-Sayed, a research scientist at HortResearch in New Zealand, with the primary objective of providing "coverage of the literature published on chemical communication in insects." The Pherobase is intended for use by both scientific and non-scientific communities and currently contains "over 10000 entries, around 3000 molecules, and over 32000 static html pages that make it the world's largest database of behavior modifying chemicals." The site contains multiple Insect indices for such categories as Order, Family A-Z, and Species; References indices such as Discovery by Author, Discovery by Year, and References A-Z; and indices for Compounds, Compounds by Family, and Compounds by Genus. The site also contains a Contribution Form, and number of online forums relating to The Pherobase. [NL]

The Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy [pdf]

The Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP), "a collaboration of five U.S. and five Mexican universities located in all ten border states, assists U.S.-Mexican border peoples and their environments by applying research information, insights, and innovations." The SCERP consists of researchers representing a variety of disciplines such as public health, science and technology, economics, and policy studies. Ongoing SCERP research projects are concerned with agricultural burns, disease, invasive plants, water quality biomarkers, and more. The SCERP website contains summaries of many current and past research projects. The majority of the completed projects link to final reports as well. This site also contains links to downloadable essays featured in the SCERP Monograph Series. [NL]

Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias

The San Diego Natural History Museum's Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) works to "understand and interpret--through research and collecting--the uniqueness of the biodiversity of Southern California and the peninsula of Baja California while maintaining a global scientific perspective." The BRCC links to information about its various departments including Botany, Birds and Mammals, Entomology, Herpetology, Marine Invertebrates, and Paleontology. The BRCC also offers online access to databases for the Botany Type Specimen Collection, and the Paleontology Collection. The BRCC plans to eventually add online databases for other departmental collections as well. Site visitors will also find Checklists for plants and animals of San Diego County, a Staff Directory, and information about Binational Multidisciplinary Expeditions. [NL]

National Wetlands Research Center: Library Digital Collection [pdf]

The National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) "is a source and clearinghouse of science information about wetlands in the United States and the world for fellow agencies, private entities, academia, and the public at large." The NWRC Library Digital Collection contains an abundance of technical reports in pdf format spanning the last couple decades from such institutions as the US Fish and Wildlife Service; the USGS Biological Resources Division; and the National Biological Service. The site also contains an archived Species Profiles collection from the US Fish and Wildlife Service with 126 downloadable profiles "designed to provide coastal managers, engineers, and biologists with a brief, comprehensive sketch of the biological characteristics and environmental requirements of the species and to describe how populations of the species may be expected to react to environmental changes caused by coastal development." The Library Digital Collection archives contain a Habitat Suitability Index Models Series and a Waterfowl Management Handbook from the US Fish and Wildlife Service as well. [NL]


Wayne's Word: Lemnaceae

This instructional website on Lemnaceae--aka the Duckweed family--was created by Professor Wayne P. Armstrong of Palomar College. The informative site contains concise text sections accompanied by excellent images and diagrams of duckweeds. Site visitors will also find A Key to the Genera of Lemnaceae, a Worldwide Lemnaceae Species List, and descriptions of Species of Lemnaceae In Western North America. This site is housed within Armstrong's larger website, Wayne's Word: An Online Natural History Textbook (reported on in the January 7, 2005, NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences). Wayne's Word contains a number of other useful resources such as course materials relating to Armstrong's botany and biology courses at Palomar College. [NL]

The Grapes of Staph: Biology Tutorials

These online Biology Tutorials were created by Dr. Gary E. Kaiser, a Professor of Biological Science at The Community College of Baltimore County. The Tutorials are part of Kaiser's larger Microbiology Website, entitled The Grapes of Staph (reported on in the November 10, 1999, Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The Tutorials are organized into three sections under the headings of Eukaryotic Cell Structure, Metabolism, and Genetics. Tutorial titles include: Energy Conversions; Polypeptides, Protein, and Enzymes; DNA, DNA Replication, and RNA; Protein Synthesis; Cellular Respiration; and more. The concise informational sections of the Tutorials link to definitions of important terms, and short quizzes as well. [NL]

NIH Curriculum Supplement Series: Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms [Macromedia Flash Player, QuickTime, pdf, Java]

Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Biological Rhythms is a curriculum unit (for grades nine through twelve) offered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Curriculum Supplement Series. This unit was developed collaboratively by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and other groups as "a creative inquiry-based instruction program designed to promote active learning and stimulate student interest in medical topics." This curriculum supplement is designed "to complement existing life science curricula at both the state and local levels and to be consistent with National Science Education Standards." The Teacher's Guide contains five lesson plans and information sections on Sleep, Using the Web Site, References, Implementing the Module, and more. The unit also offers interactive activities for students. The site contains a downloadable copy of the Teacher's Guide, as well as information about the NIH and NHLBI. [NL]

Palomar College: Primates

This online tutorial about primates was created by Dr. Dennis O'Neal of the Behavioral Sciences Department at Palomar College. The tutorial contains concise topical sections addressing the general characteristics and taxonomy of prosimians, new and old world monkeys, apes, and humans. In addition to the topical sections, the site contains an extensive Glossary of Terms, a Primate Order Table, and a page regarding site accessibility for students with different needs in the areas of hearing, vision, and mobility. For review, the site offers several sets of online flashcards, and three crossword puzzles. This tutorial is part of a collection of physical anthropology tutorials (first mentioned in the June 1, 1999, Scout Report for Social Sciences) by Dr. O'Neal which address such subjects as evolution, heredity, genetics, taxonomy, and more. [NL]

Access Excellence: Food Forensics

This immunological lesson plan was written for Access Excellence by Michael Grupe, a high school biology teacher from St. Louis. The inquiry-based lesson introduces students to the immune system and focuses on "the specificity of the reaction between an antibody and an antigen." The lesson, which spans four, 50-minute class periods, leads students through experiments designed to solve a food-related illness mystery. The concise lesson plan contains the mystery story, experiment instructions, a list of needed materials, background information, and an abstract. [NL]

Lymphoma Research Foundation: Patient Multimedia Library [Windows Media Player]

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is a "voluntary health organization devoted exclusively to funding lymphoma research and providing patients and healthcare professionals with critical information on the disease." The LRF Patient Multimedia Library offers an archived collection of informative online articles and videos addressing different aspects of lymphoma. Library categories include Lymphoma Overview, Lymphoma Treatment, Coping Issues, Clinical Trials, and Advocacy Issues. Examples of video and article titles include Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 101; A Genetic Look at Lymphoma; Treating Lymphoma: Will a Customized Vaccine Work; Accuracy in Lymphoma Diagnosis; The Thriving Survivor; and more. The Library also offers archived videos from a 2003 Educational Forum on Lymphoma. In addition to the Library, the LRF site contains sections on Research, Lymphoma Education, Patient Conferences, and Patient Support. [NL]

Teacher's Bulletin: Bring Food Science into your Middle & High School Classrooms [Java]

This website from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) offers a number of food safety education resources for teachers. The site provides information about ordering Science and Our Food Supply, an "interactive supplementary curriculum for use in middle level and high school science classes." The website also contains an extensive collection of annotated links to online resources dealing with food safety. Other site offerings include interviews with professionals in different food science careers, an A to Z Comprehensive List of Terms, a Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart, and safety tips for preparing different types of food. A link is also provided to information about the FDA/NSTA Professional Development Program in Food Science for middle and high school teachers. [NL]

Population Connection: Population Education [pdf]

Population Connection "is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources." The Population Connection's Education Program develops "age-appropriate curricula to complement students' science and social science instruction about human population trends and their impacts on natural resources, environmental quality and human well-being." The Population Education website offers a variety of educational resources including downloadable classroom activities and readings, and newsletters for teachers and students. The site also provides information about professional development opportunities for educators and free population education workshops held at universities for pre-service teachers and graduate students. [NL]


Congenital Cardiology Today [pdf]

The mission of the monthly newsletter, Congenital Cardiology Today (CCT), "is to provide reliable and timely information on devices and procedures, patient therapy, drug therapy, supporting technologies, products and services, as well as training opportunities for pediatric cardiologists, hospitals and allied organizations which support their practice." The electronic publication in pdf format is available free-of-charge to qualified professionals around the world working in the fields of pediatric and congenital cardiology (or in a related field). The 21-page April 2005 issue contains such articles as "Congenital Heart Disease in the Developing World," and "Screening for Sudden Cardiac Death Using Pre-participation Physical Exam." The newsletter also provides a list of upcoming medical conferences. Information about requesting free, monthly subscriptions to the North American and-or International editions of the newsletter can be found on the final page of the April issue. [NL]

Natural History Museum's Microbiology Video Collection [QuickTime]

From the Natural History Museum in London, this captivating website offers visitors a plethora of brief video clips featuring living protists. Not all of the 1,464 "clips are of protistan taxa, but they all contain protists, often as epicommensals." Free-living ciliates are well-represented in the video collection. Site visitors can browse the entire collection in list and gallery formats; or choose to display only videos of species belonging to a particular genus. Genera represented in the collection include Acineta, Cothurnia, Epiclintes, Tokophrya, and many more. Note: QuickTime is required to view video clips, and the website links to a free software download. [NL]

Parrot Pages

Hosted by Pelican Media, a nonprofit film production organization, this intriguing website introduces a flock of wild parrots that make their home in San Francisco. The site was created by Mark Bittner, a local resident who has been studying, and interacting with, the parrots since 1990. Bittner recently authored a book entitled The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which documents his experiences with the flock. The parrot flock is primarily composed of the species Aratinga erythrogenys, commonly known as the cherry-headed conure. The website contains short bios and photographs of 17 birds that Bittner has identified and named. The site also contains a brief history of parrot flocks in San Francisco, FAQs, and short journal entries chronicling Bittner's interactions with the parrot flock during the past few years. The website is not too deep yet, but once Bittner's book sales slow down, he intends to add considerable additions to the site. [NL]

The Helpful Gardener

The Helpful Gardener is an article-rich website produced by Scott Reil, an experienced and accredited nurseryman residing in New England. The website does justice to its name with an array of articles concerning vegetable, flower, and container gardening. Specific article categories include Lilacs, Bonsai, Rose Gardening, Perennials, Garden Design, and Hydrangeas. The site also offers directories by state for landscape architects and garden designers, as well as nurseries and garden centers. The Gardening Tips section of the website features articles relating to mulch, summer flowers, compost, mycorrhizal fungi, garden tools, and more. The Helpful Gardener hosts a number of forums as well. [NL]

The mission of "is to be the Internet's most trusted and extensive information resource for health and medical content." The site features a Medical Encyclopedia with information about a plethora of health-related topics organized under broad categories like Diseases and Conditions, Diet and Nutrition, Surgeries and Procedures, and Injuries and Wounds. The site also contains a large collection of medical images which are sorted into such categories as Cardiovascular; Bone, Joints, and Muscles; Dental and Oral; Ear, Nose, and Throat; General Anatomy, and more. The site contains a Health News Center with links to recent news stories as well. [NL]

PBS: The Meaning of Food

This PBS documentary companion website on the Meaning of Food describes itself as "an exploration of culture through food. What we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares it, who's at the table, and who eats first is a form of communication that is rich with meaning." The site shares stories, recipes, beautiful images, and more under the headings: Food & Life, Food & Family, and Food & Culture. The website addresses such subjects as kosher food, the Slow Food Movement, pet food, and heirloom seeds, to name a few. In addition, the site provides a bibliography; a simple, downloadable lesson plan for educators; broadcast times for the Meaning of Food documentary series; a small collection of cartoonish desktop backgrounds; and several related links. [NL]

National Biological Information Infrastructure: Finding Sustainability Practices in Appalachia

Finding Sustainability Practices in Appalachia was developed by the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) and CSA (a bibliographic database provider) as a "searchable database of best practices in growth management, sustainable development, and environmental conservation in the Southern Appalachian Highlands." Database searches can be made in the areas of Environmental Conservation: Sustainable Resource Base; Growth Management: Sustainable Living; and Sustainable Development: Balancing Society, Economy, & Environment. Each search area offers a drop-down keyword menu with such options as Wetland Protection, Invasive Species Control, Conservation Corridors, Native Plant Landscaping, Watershed Conservation, and more. The site also links to information about a number of organizations concerned with environmental conservation and related issues in the Appalachian region. [NL]

Moorea Digital Flora Project

The Moorea Digital Flora Project website was created by University of California-Berkeley doctoral students Andy Murdock and Anya Hinkle as "an online resource on the flora of the island of Moorea, French Polynesia." A notable section of the site is the Plant Photo Gallery which features images and brief descriptions of many Moorean plants. The Gallery section contains a Dicot Photo Gallery (with families listed alphabetically), a Monocot Photo Gallery, and a Student Line Drawing Gallery. The site also offers brief descriptions and images of "pteridophyte species known to grow on Moorea." Other site offerings include a list (with some images) of algae common to Moorea's reef systems; a list of references; and several related links. [NL]

Topic In Depth

Earth Day

Wisconsin Historical Society: Turning Points--An Overview of Earth Day, 1970
Wisconsin Historical Society: Turning Points-An Environmental Agenda for the 70's
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Earth Day '70
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Earth Day Recollections
Earth Day Network Take Action In Your Classroom
Army Earth Day
The Wilderness Society: Earth Day

On April 22, 2005, people around the world will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Earth Day. This Topic in Depth focuses on the past and present of this significant day. From the Wisconsin Historical Society, the first two sites contain historical documents pertaining to Earth Day. The first (1) document features a May 1970 issue of The Gaylord Nelson Newsletter reporting on the first Earth Day. The second (2) document is a speech by Nelson entitled "An Environmental Agenda for the 70's." Housed in the archives of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, the next two sites also contain historical documents. The first (3) site contains an article written by Nelson for the EPA Journal in April of 1980, entitled "Earth Day '70: What It Meant." The second (4) site contains an article written by John C. Whitaker (former Interior undersecretary in the Nixon administration) for the EPA Journal in the summer of 1998. The article is entitled "Earth Day Recollections: What It Was Like When the Movement Took Off." The (5) Earth Day Network (first mentioned in the April 4, 2003, Scout Report for Life Sciences) works "to broaden the environmental movement worldwide and to educate and mobilize people, governments, and corporations to take responsibility for a clean and healthy environment." In addition to information sections about Ongoing Programs, Current Campaigns, and News, the Earth Day Network website contains Earth Day 2005 Materials for organizers. From, Take Action In Your Classroom (6) offers links to a variety of environmental education resources. The next website, from the U.S. Army Environmental Center, presents (7) Army Earth Day; and links to information about the Army's environmental activities. The final (8) site is an Earth Day-inspired educational website (first reported on in the April 14, 1999 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) from the Wilderness Society. The site offers a collection of environmental education resources for teachers and students. [NL]

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