Scott's Botanical Links--December 2002


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December 20, 2002 - Traveling Artist Wildflowers Project
The Traveling Artist Wildflowers Project is part of the National Park Service Volunteers-in-the-Parks Program. This is the collection of Donald Davidson, who traveled through the parks in 1999 through 2002 painting on location (no picking, no pickling, no photography). Two collections are featured: Great Plains Region Flowers (from Agate Fossil National Monument and Badlands National Park) and Southwest/Intermountain Region Flowers (from Utah, Arizona & New Mexico). The images look like pressed specimens as a conscious style choice according to his bio. This is a bright site for a winter day! All rights are reserved by the artist, but you can look. (***1/2) -S
December 19, 2002 - Arabidopsis Knockout Facility
The Arabidopsis Knockout Facility is an advanced research facility that is crucial to the plant genomics effort. The task is simple in theory: insert T-DNA markers randomly into every gene in the Arabidopsis genome at a rate of one per plant and then store the viable seed. When a researcher needs a plant with a specific gene "knocked out", the library is screened and the new line is established for study, typically at the researcher's home laboratory. The Knockout Facility is located at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Biochemistry, where it serves as an international resource. (***1/2) -SR
December 18, 2002 - PlantsP: Functional Genomics of Plant Phosphorylation
Today's link is a research site on the plant genes involved with cell signalling. This site contains databases with "information about specific genes, protein motif/domain diagrams, exon/intron digrams, and BLAST database searches of both PlantsP, Arabidopsis genome, and all plant sequences." This site is part of a so-called knowledge environment -- in other words, a website community, populated with experts, a community of registered users, protocols, news, and resources. These particular genes are critical to short and long distance gene control through covalent modification (activation/inactivation) of key molecules. Site by San Diego Supercomputer Center, with funding by NSF. (***1/2) -SR
December 17, 2002 - Prokaryotes, Eukaryotes, & Viruses
This chapter presents a sophisticated introduction to the six kingdoms of life for an undergraduate to high school level. The site includes an organizational overview that is quite complete, and well illustrated subchapters on prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses. The quality of the images is exceptional. At the end, there is a quiz to test yourself. This chapter, part of "The Biology Project" at University of Arizona, is a model for education that has been used with 1000s of students. (****) -SR
December 16, 2002 - Fact Sheets for 680 Trees
This gateway features 680 tree fact sheets, each presented as three-page pamphlets in portable document format (PDF), requiring the Acrobat Reader (available free from Adobe). Species are listed by family, common name and scientific name. Each guide provides detailed information on the species' growth form, characteristics, U.S. distribution, use & management, pests & diseases and more. Although produced in the early 1990s, the fact sheets remain a useful resource today. Site and content by the Environmental Horticulture Department of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida. (***1/2) -S
December 13, 2002 - Internet Glossary of Soil Science Terms
The "Internet Glossary of Soil Science Terms" is written and maintained by the Soil Science Society of America, with hundreds of terms defined. Terms can be viewed alphabetically, searched, or downloaded for use as an add-on dictionary to Microsoft WORD. Tables, figures, and appendices include numerical definitions of texture, pores, classification of rock fregments, soil structure and other terms. This is a useful site for those who want to refresh or augment their knowledge of soils. (***1/2) -S
December 12, 2002 - APSnet Feature: Crop Biosecurity/Countering Agricultural Bioterrorism
The American Phytopathological Society has assembled a list of recommendations and positions in this "white paper" on the potential of crop bioterrorism. The paper addresses several major concerns: (1) balancing prevention (security and border-related issues) and preparedness (early detection, rapid diagnosis, rapid response), (2) increasing preparedness through investments in infrastructure (regional diagnostic laboratories at prominent landgrant universities), (3) developing a National Plant Disease Center (a plant CDC), (4) training first responders in rapid diagnosis of critical symptoms & syndromes, (5) supporting new basic research. This interesting paper charts a path toward greater assurances in our food supply than currently exist. -SR
December 11, 2002 - Postcode Plants Database
The UK's Natural History Museum in London has made available a native plant and wildlife database for all of the United Kindom, indexed conveniently by postal code! Since postal codes are hierarchical, it is possible to examine regional to quite local distributions. The UK database is about 90% complete for plants, though Northern Ireland lags behind a bit. Useful information is provided on what a native species is, encouraging people to plant native species, but not transplant them from nature (illegal, with fines listed). Search engines are well organized, easy to use, and fast. Species data also provide associated fauna. A nice resource and a model for native plant databases. (***1/2) -S
December 10, 2002 - EarthViewer
Keyhole's EarthViewer offers a commercial site of images of the earth collected from apparently a variety of imaging sources and displayed in a proprietary viewer. The seamlessly displayed images are at 15 meter resolution for the entire U.S., 1 kilometer resolution for the globe, and down to 1 meter in some 100 cities. Roads and business listings can be displayed as a superimposed layer on top of the aerial imagery. I am not sure how long this portal will be open, but it is worth a look. -SR
December 9, 2002 - Learning about the Rainforest
This site introduces the rainforest through lessons, facts, references/links, student art, quizzes and Quicktime movies. Designed for elementary school students grades 4 to 8, this is a bright and well illustrated site with a lot (though not overwhelming) amount of information. The site answers fundamental questions about what a rainforest is, where they are located, characteristic plants, animals and people, as well as the threats and challenges to preserving the rainforest. This web site is a nice model for how to design a truly educational site for children. (****) -S
December 6, 2002 - Science.Gov is a U.S. government-run gateway to selected governmental science information available on the Internet. The material on this site includes both research and development. This complements the FirstGov site that indexes the government's major sites at one portal. Cooperating agencies include the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services and Interior as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation. (****) -S
December 5, 2002 - Actionbioscience.Org
This site by BioScience Productions focuses on seven basic bioscience challenges: biodiversity, the environment, genomics, biotechnology, evolution, new frontiers and biology education. Featured on the site are articles by and interviews with recognized experts (accompanied with their credentials), allied activities and lessons designed for different grade levels (with NSES standards information for K-12). Some links include learning activities for college undergraduates. The stated goals of the site include motivating the public to play an active role in bioscience education and research, promoting appreciation of biodiversity as well as the relationship between human activity and the natural course of evolution, fostering a global attitude of ecoliving and ecoculture, and encouraging students to pursue studies in the biosciences. This is an excellent model educational site. (****) -S
December 4, 2002 - Wildflowers In Bloom
This web site contains images and useful descriptions of about 70 of the showiest North American wildflowers. Information about each species includes planting success, height, germination (w/optimum temperature & sowing depth), flowering period, seeds per pound (seeds to use per acre), and is accompanied with high quality images, with a US distribution map. Suggested planting uses are also mentioned. The collection may be browsed by common name, scientific name or thumbnail images. Much of the data are supplied by Wildseed Farms. Site by Dan Lineberger and Jerry Parsons, Horticulture Program, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. (***1/2) -S
December 3, 2002 - Landscape Plants: Images, Identification, and Information
This extensive site on landscape plants presents information on 800 mostly woody landscape plants, listed by pages of genera (that are a bit overly long), which are cross-listed by common name. Each plant has a series of high quality images on plant habit, leaves, flowers and frequently fruit, seeds and stem features. There is also an "info" link containing a pronounciation guide, description of plant and growing conditions, zone hardiness, and source of species epithet and location of an example on campus. The site features a copy of the USDA Hardiness Zones from the US National Arboretum, Sunset's Climate Zones for Oregon, Washington and Idaho, some background information on scientific plant names, a glossary and references. Site apparently by Patrick Breen, CPN (Certified Plant Nerd), Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University with partial financial support from the Oregon Master Gardener Association. (***1/2) -SR
December 2, 2002 - Energy and Recycling
The "Energy and Recycling" site presents an amazing amount of statistics, terms, explanations and content to this problem, urging individual reform in a very palatable, well illustrated and information rich site. Major guidepost links include What is Energy?, Kid's Corner, Milestones, Energy Quiz, Online Resources, Contact Info, Classroom Connection, Fun Facts, and Energy Ant & Us. Each of the topics could easily occupy its own site! This is an exceptionally information rich and well laid out site by the Energy Information Agency, US Department of Energy. (****) -SR

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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