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Desert Plants and Wildflowers
For those interested in the types of plants found in the desert ecosystem, this Web page from the online magazine DesertUSA.com will be a useful guide. Photos and descriptive features of several desert plants are provided in an alphabetical index or can be found through the online field guide organized by flower color. An interesting section also focuses on the types of adaptations that allow plant species to survive in harsh desert conditions. The Desert Plants and Wildflowers section is just o
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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
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Plants in Motion
Roger P. Hangarter of Indiana University's Department of Biology has created this wonderful collection of time-lapse photography that allows us "to see the movements of plants and clearly demonstrates that plants are living and capable of some extraordinary things. " The videos available show a broad range of plant growth phenomena, including germination, circadian responses, phototropism, and much more. The movies are fun to watch in and of themselves, but don't miss out on the informative desc
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Genome Bioinformatics
This no-frills UC-Santa Cruz Genome Bioinformatics Web site contains searchable "working drafts of the human genome and the mouse genome," which each represent "immense collaborative efforts" within the biomedical research community. Those who are active in genome research may find this Web site useful, especially for the multi-faceted genome browser that "provides a rapid and reliable display of any requested portion of genomes at any scale, together with dozens of aligned annotation tracks (kn
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National Aquarium in Baltimore
The Web site for the National Aquarium in Baltimore has some valuable resources for students and teachers, as well as information for those interested in visiting the museum. Several of the teachers activities can be used in classrooms that do not visit the aquarium, and the Animals section is a sizable resource of information on a number of aquatic species. A great new feature is the interactive aquagames that provide a fun way for students to test what they have learned from visiting this Web
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Bionic Eyes
Both Web sites come from Science@NASA, an online source for news and information about NASA-funded research. The first article describes the work of researchers at the Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space, who are developing artificial bones for long-lasting, pain-free hip and knee replacements. These ceramic bones are touted as "so much like the real thing that they could actually meld with living bone." Earlier this year, researchers at the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center in H
Author(s): Phillips, Tony.,Price, Steve.

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WebElements: Periodic Table Scholar Edition
Billed as the first periodic table on the World Wide Web, WebElements: Periodic Table Scholar Edition is authored by Mark Winter of the University of Sheffield, England. Although many similar online periodic tables can be found, this offering is unique in that the material is presented in a light hearted and interesting way. The main page contains the table and all the common associated information, but each individual element, when clicked, contains a wealth of additional facts including variou
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Creature Feature: Vampire Bats
This Web site from National Geographic (last mentioned in the October 11, 2002 Scout Report) offers a short multimedia introduction to vampire bats. Geared toward younger kids, this site includes vampire bat audio and video files, Fun Facts in the form of a brief but educational article, a map of vampire bat global distribution, links to bat-related Web sites, and an email postcard. It may be too late to get much Halloween mileage out of this site, but teachers and students should enjoy this qui
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Puff - A Volcanic Ash Tracking Model
This website, provided by the University of Alaska and Geophysical Institute, explains the Puff-A Volcanic Ash Tracking Model project, which uses representative ash particles from volcanoes to study the advection and diffusion of ash within the atmosphere. After learning about the history of the project, visitors can find animations and images of the model's predictions for various volcanoes as well as the technical documentation. The website offers downloads of the latest version of the model,
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Sky Chart
The Sky and Telescope Web site, which is the companion site to the long running magazine of the same name, hosts the online interactive Sky Chart. Users can choose from any location on earth by inputting a city or a latitude and longitude, after which they then choose the direction they want to view in the sky. The tool allows anyone to view an image of the sky from any location on earth, which is pretty darn cool. The ease of use is another highlight of the Sky Chart, making it easily accessibl
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The Gingko Pages
Teacher and Gingko enthusiast Cor Kwant, from the Netherlands, offers this comprehensive Web site devoted to Gingko biloba. This frequently updated site covers just about everything there is to know about this "unique tree, a living fossil, unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs." Visitors may read about gingko history, propagation techniques, botanical characteristics, various uses, and much more. The site also includes an extensive collection of photos, a useful bibliography, and informatio
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EDUCAUSE Quarterly
EDUCAUSE Quarterly "is a practitioner's journal about managing and using information resources in higher education." It deals with many issues about implementing information technology (IT) practices as learning tools. The material is suitable for anyone interested in IT applications, but is particularly useful for those who work in computer services or other IT organizational positions. This site offers full text articles from the journal at no cost, and several back issues can be viewed as wel
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The Center for Watershed Protection
The Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) "provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country with the technical tools for protecting some of the nation's most precious natural resources: our streams, lakes, and rivers." The CWP website offers a number of online, open-access resources, including technical reports, case studies and watershed assessment protocols. Users will find detailed guidelines for measuring watershed vulnerability, assessing stream quality,
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Seaworld: Water
An educational lesson plan entitled Water is offered by the Seaworld teacher resources Web site. Objectives of the unit include having students identify the three phases of water, discuss the hydrologic cycle, describe the structure of the water molecule and the properties of water, explain ocean currents, and more. The well designed lesson allows students to study various topics by reading provided text and completing the activities described such as measuring salt content in water and estimati
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NIHSeniorHealth Health Information for Older Adults
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine recently launched NIHSeniorHealth.gov, a website developed from NIA research on older adults, cognitive aging, and computer usage. This easy-to-use website "makes aging-related health information easily accessible for adults 60 and older" and serves as "a useful tool for family members and friends who are seeking online health information for their older relatives." Topics covered include Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, e
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Interactive Investigator
Interactive Investigator, available through Virtual Museum Canada, is a website "for anyone with an interest in the different scientific methods used to solve crimes." Users will find a database of forensic science, containing short but informative essays on forensic entomology, toxicology, alcohol analysis, and various other forensic science topics. A simple timeline reviews key dates in the development of forensics, starting with the creation of the Paris Institute for Forensic Science in 1868
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The Online Books Page
Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library, the Online Books Page Web site "facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet...and aims to encourage the development of such online books, for the benefit and edification of all." The over 18,000 listings can be searched or browsed by author, title, and subject, of which every major physical science subject is represented. Each listing is linked to an outside Web site, making its availability unpredictable, but the shear
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Coral Reef Information System: Discover NOAA's Data
Part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS), this Web site is "designed to be a single point of access to NOAA coral reef information and data products, especially those derived from NOAA's Coral Reef Initiative Program." With Discover NOAA's Data, users can access information by a text search of metadata records, or by a spatial search using an Arc IMS application. The two approaches share many of the same data sets. With the text search,
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The Allergy Authority
The Allergy Authority, created in collaboration with Healthology.com and funded by an educational grant from Schering-Plough (the makers of Claritin), offers "information necessary to make informed decisions about the control of allergy symptoms." The Web site describes the different types of allergies, how allergies develop, the difference between chronic and seasonal allergies, the side effects of allergy medications, and more. The site's main sections -- The Basics of Allergies, Seasonal or C
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America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands
America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands is the featured topic of National Geographic's Geography Action! -- an "annual conservation and awareness program designed to educate and excite people about our natural, cultural, and historic treasures." This Web site offers a number of public land-related educational activities, many of the which apply directly to the life sciences. Activities are available for grades K-12, and cover such topics as the role of forests in our daily lives, conserv
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