Scott's Botanical Links--April 2000


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April 28, 2000 - Gymnosperm Database
It is not everyday one encounters a true gymnosperm sympathizer. The Pacific Northwestern forest ecologist who has created this database not only extols the physical beauty of these venerable plants, but points out that botany books typically snub the group as mere primitives. Flowering plants steal the limelight when after all it is the gymnosperms who have been around the block and then some. Hence, the Gymnosperm Database, with descriptions of about 1,000 taxa including a variety of photographic and botanical illustrations. The database is open for contributions and currently seeks a permanent home on an academic server. Site by Christopher J. Earle, Seattle, WA.(****)LF
April 27, 2000 - Evolution at NYU
The author of this website heartily emphasizes these pages are a supplement to, not a substitute for attending his Evolution course, but for the unenrolled, why not brush up on the highlights of evolutionary theory with this fine syllabus from NYU! Get the notes on Darwin, Adaptation, Evolutionary Genetics, Speciation, Systematics, History of Diversity, Biogeography, Origins of Novelty, Molecular Evolution, Coevolution, and Human Issues. And check out the sharp presentation of this site by David H. A. Fitch, Department of Biology, New York University, New York.(****)LF
April 26, 2000 - National Biological Information Infrastructure
Winner of the 1999 "Best Feds on the Web" Award, NBII is an USGS-led initiative to develop an electronic "federation" of biological information maintained by government agencies, private organizations, and other partners around the nation and the world. Accordingly, it is fairly packed with goodies, especially BioBot, a biological search engine that combs NBII, Alta Vista Biology, Snap Biology, GoNetworkBiology, Yahoo Biology and BioLinks. Via the links directory government information can be accessed by state; Botany enjoys its own section as do Invasive Plants, Amphibians, Education Resources Kindergarten through College, Biodiversity, Systematics, Collections, and Biology News. Site by the NBII Web Team, Reston, VA.(****)LF
April 25, 2000 - Oingo Meaning-Based Search
Oingo is the first meaning-based search engine on the internet, says its bio, and it takes about two seconds of using it to see why it is destined for stardom. This Link goes directly to the Science main directory from which there are many ways to refine a quest by pursuing a more general or more specific topic. This eliminates annoying junk coming up in the search results, like herbal cures and supplements for sale, and greatly aids those who may not be able to spell or put a finger on what it is they're after! Short descriptions follow the entries and the editing is A-plus. There are several versions of Oingo Search free to install on any website- this is a feature that teachers publishing course materials online may want to consider adding. Site by Oingo, Inc., Los Angeles, CA(****)LF
April 24, 2000 - Resources Inventory Committee Standards
There are keys and identification guides to terrestrial and aquatic organisms of British Columbia on this website, along with field procedures, data collection, and inventory methods employed by the government's Resources Inventory Committee. The latter was formed in 1991 to inventory "renewable forest resource values using standardized compatible systems." Aquatic biologists, ecologists, environmental toxicologists, invert-zoologists and experimenting students will want to take a look at the more than several Manuals published on this site by the RIC, Louise Rosenberger, Publications Coordinator, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (****)LF
April 20, 2000 - Botany Online: The Hypertextbook
A must-see internet teaching project,"Botany Online" has a History of Botany to die for and a superb feature on How to Identify Plants, just for starters. Then try Anatomy of Cells and Tissues, Classic Genetics, Molecular Reactions in Plants, Intercellular Communication, Interactions Between Plants, Fungi, Bacteria, and Viruses, Evolution, An Overview of the Plant Kingdom, Ecology and Essays, all with great visuals. Killer! Site by Alice Bergfeld, Rolf Bergmann, and Peter v. Sengbusch, University of Hamburg, Germany.(****)LF
April 19, 2000 - Micscape
This webzine is a gem, with knock-out photography of daffodils, diatoms, and life's tinier events as can only be witnessed under the microscope. It is designed to enlist new microscopy enthusiasts, providing an introduction to the art with instructions and projects for beginners. Inside the Introduction to Microscopy click on Botany to find a cache of splendid plant articles- and the same goes for Pond Life, Insects, and Marine Life. Biology teachers will find resources for plant and mammalian biology as well at this site by Microscopy-UK and Ltd., Surrey,UK.(****)LF
April 18, 2000 - Plants of Georgia
Optimists usually like driving through Georgia, where proof exists that all DOT(s) are not necessarily alike. Published on the Georgia Wildlife Federation website, "Plants of Georgia" is a good survey of the state's conspicuous plants, dividing the flora into Protected Plants (list accessed by a clickable regional map), Common Plants, Flora of the Urban Environment, Flora of the Blue Ridge, Flora of the Okefenokee Swamp, and the ubiquitous category, Invasive Exotic Plants. Some species on the lists link to images or a more extended article; and the "WingSong Native Plant Catalog" pictures many Georgia native plants. Despite a couple of nomenclatural problems, this is a noteworthy site by the Georgia Wildlife Federation, Conyers, GA.(***1/2)LF
April 17, 2000 - Saltcedar Management and Riparian Restoration Workshop
The proceedings of this two day workshop are a wealth of information on several subjects- principally Saltcedar (Tamarix), as well as saline wetlands, ecosystem invasion, and allelopathy. There are seventeen topics, including several referenced papers, with specific coverage of arid southwestern U.S. regions threatened by T. ramossima. Site hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, Portland, OR.(****)LF
April 14, 2000 - The Rhynie Chert and Its Flora
In the Grampian region of Scotland, the village of Rhynie became one of the most important palaeobotanical localities in the world when in 1912 the Scottish geologist William Mackie discovered outcrops of cherts (silicate deposits) rich in preserved Lower Devonian plants. It is the oldest and one of the most completely preserved terrestrial fossil ecosystems known. Structures, developmental stages, and life cycles of early land plants can be studied from the cherts, and this fascinating website is an introduction to the flora (and some fauna) including detailed descriptions of its species and their life strategies. Site design and text by Hans Kerp with photography and graphics by Hagen Hass and Hans Kerp, Palaeobotanical Research Group, University Munster, Germany(****)LF
April 13, 2000 - The Scientific Revolution- Readings, Resources, Links
Science, history, and social studies teachers might manage to take a term off if they properly exploit this, possibly the most comprehensive Scientific Revolution website on the net. Featured with biographies of the scientific community are the Richard S. Westfall DSB Biographies, a catalogue of 630 biographical sketches of scientists "from the decade in which Copernicus was born through those born in the decade of the 1670's," emanating from the "Dictionary of Scientific Biography" and greatly expanded upon by Westfall and graduate students under supervision. Professors who start up the course with forefathers and old theories will truly savor this site by Robert A. Hatch, University of Florida, Gainesville (****)LF
April 12, 2000 -
While it would be mean spirited to give such a beautifully produced nature website anything less than a four star rating, botanists and zoologists will have to swallow hard over some of the Audubonian classifications and associations used in the content's online Audubon Field Guides to plants, animals, and habitats. No wonder the public gets so mixed up about botany when flowers are classified as "odd-shaped," "simple shaped," "rounded clusters," "elongated clusters," and "daisy or dandelion like." In the latter case, the description might be all right for composites, except that Cirsium (thistle) and two other asters are included under "simple-shaped" flowers. And surely Dusty Miller doesn't belong with "elongated clusters" while Sagittaria and Sweet Flag languish with "odd-shaped" wildflowers. And if you're looking for sea cucumbers, try "flowerlike animals." Site by and Chanticleer Press, Inc.(****)LF
April 11, 2000 - Florida Environments
For the scholarly at heart, organized under this title are notes from courses in South Florida ecology, taught by Daniel F. Austin, also Curator of the Herbarium at Florida Atlantic University. An expert in the Convolvulaceae, not a particularly important family in Florida, Dr. Austin has published copious documentation of South Florida biodiversity and anthropogenic impacts. These notes cover historical classification of southern Florida communities, tropical adaptations in Florida's swamp plants, the Florida scrub habitat and cryptobiotic crusts, Southern Florida's poisonous and allergenic plants, Florida's lost ethnoflora, and the ever present alien plants. Don't miss some of the best botanical writing in the business at this site by D.F. Austin, Department of Environmental Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.(****)LF
April 10, 2000 - Ethnobotany
Here's something the kids will love. On these Access Excellence pages, AP Biology teachers contemplating a unit in "Ethnobotany" will find appealing introductory material together with a light survey of the important plants in food and medicine. Plant classification and the binomial system are touched upon briefly. The thematic unit for classrooom activity designed to explore the medicinal value of local plants includes step-by-step protocols for researching and assessing biologic activity of plants- very hands on. But, an obligatory half a point must come off for mispelling Linnaeus! Site by Access Excellence, The National Health Museum, Washington, DC. (***1/2)LF
April 7, 2000 - Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, Inc.
RMTRR is a private, nonprofit research organization providing "expertise in tree-ring collection, dating, and analysis, to answer a variety of basic and applied questions in fire history, paleoclimatology, and forest ecology and management." Publishing the latest info and happenings in dendrology, particularly dendrochronology, the website offers intriguing features like the OLDLIST of maximum tree ages, and Jeff Krueger's Historic Trees Project, both open to inquiries and/or contributions of data. The latter link is found among Henri D. Grissino-Mayer's Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages which, frankly, speak for themselves! Site by Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, Inc., Ft Collins, CO.(****)LF
April 6, 2000 - Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project
Here is the long awaited website of the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project, whose aim is to produce a comprehensive catalogue of type designations for all Linnaean names. The Project has provided information and assistance to scientists worldwide and information on particular Linnaean names is available on request. Digital images of the John Clayton early North American exploration collection were made after the specimens were searched for and sorted from the museum main collection, beginning in 1990, by James Reveal and Norlyn Bodkin. What a privelage to see desktop these historic specimens identified by Linnaeus, thanks to this work and The Natural History Museum, London, UK.(****)LF
April 5, 2000 - PalDat
PalDat is a palynological database developed by Martina Weber and Ralf Buchner to catalogue the palynological data which has accumulated at the University of Vienna Institute of Botany over the years. A bit of savvy, if not a good background in palynology terminology are required for using this site. The top scroll bar must be employed to reveal the navigation into the site- go directly to the SEARCH button. Though only true experts or the very lucky will turn up results searching according to a number of selected characters, a good time may be had by all who may want to select (1) character or genus or family, and see what an array of pollen electronmicrographs turns up! Site by the Department of Ultrastructure Research and Palynology at the Institute of Botany, University Vienna, Austria.(****)LF
April 4, 2000 - BL14A BIODIVERSITY I: The Plant Kingdom
This is the website supplement to a first year botany course at the University of the West Indies, introducing plants from an evolutionary perspective. It is everything an academic website should be, with a great internet textbook look which visually "packages" the course information for easy study. Course material and Labs for the 10 Lectures covering algae through seed plants are illustrated primarily with examples of Caribbean flora. Handouts, Glossary, WWW Course Sites, and Exam Questions complete this A-1 site by Sean Carrington, Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.(****)LF
April 3, 2000 -
"The Ultimate Medical Information Finder" really tows the line when comes to easy access to medical journals, articles, and databases- type in your favorite bug and you'll be reading for hours. There are the ever engrossing educational if not disturbing "photo rounds" of disease, insect, rodent, and snake bites, and all manner of trauma and injury due to physical forces. Interactive education at present consists of a course in saving a choking child, with adult and child CPR to come. Founded by academic physicians with private venture capital, the commercial goal of the site as well as its location are a mystery. It is extremely low key in advertisements and there doesn't seem to be much for sale as yet. But it is backed by an Editorial Board of physicians at universities around the U.S. So go for this site by, Inc.!(****)LF

Past, past links (by date):

2006: January
2005: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2003: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2002: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2001: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2000: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1999: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1998: January*, February*, March*, April*, May*, June*, July, August, September, October, November, December   (*Leigh's links)
1997: January, February, March, April, May, June, September*, October*, November*, December*    (*Leigh's links)
1996: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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