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Leigh's Links -- August 2000

August 31,2000- Aquatic Plant Control Support Operations Center

It may be a new day at the IRS, but things are likely to stay the same when it comes to ACOE and Aquatic Plant Control. APC began in 1899 when water hyacinths acquired a penchant for federally engineered waterways and drainage projects. Charged with unclogging its own channels for a hundred years, Florida's Jacksonville District has first class data to share. The History of APC includes old photos of early hyacinth harvesting contraptions (1916) up to the advent of the Hyacinth Destroyer fleet of 1941. Check out the invasive species distribution/density map for the state of Florida and information on specific pest plant and animal species. Biological, chemical, and mechanical means of vegetation management are documented. Details of the history of the Removal of Aquatic Growth Program (RAG), Aquatic Plant Control Program (APC) and the Operations & Maintenance Program (O&M) are important material, but points off for spelling at this site by Jon Lane, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, Florida.(***)LF

August 30, 2000 - Earth Observatory

Science teachers won't leave NASA's "Earth Observatory" empty handed- where the educational materials are free for re-publication and use (except when indicated). Here the public can access data and other scientific information on earth's climate and environmental change. In the plant department are two articles: "Perspective on Plants" is about using MODIS and NTSG to monitor plant productivity; "Grasslands Initiative" recovers data to study grassland primary productivity. Try the on/off Glossary and at least a few of the plenteous features on oceans, weather events,and land formation at this site by NASA,Washington,DC.(****)LF

August 29, 2000 - John C. Semple- WAT Herbarium

An excellent link for taxonomy courses, the online research of this professor rounds out any discussion of asters, goldenasters, and goldenrods. "An Overview of the Asters" sets the story straight on true asters, pseudo-asters, and symphyotrichoid asters. "The Goldenasters" lists seven (possible) genera and has North American Distribution Maps of Braduria, Chrysopsis, Heterotheca and Pityopsis. "Goldenrods" is about the genus Solidago of course, and includes a diverse a photo gallery of Solidago species and their aspects. Site by J.C. Semple, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.(****)LF

August 28, 2000 - Pestweb: Insects and Other Organisms

Pestweb is created for the pest control industry, and accepts submissions of relevant biological websites. So far links from its basic index of critters are excellent, but a bit sparse. Still, a cool site design invites clicking even through areas of no interest. The biological highlight is the high quality image collection of insects, arthropods, gastropods, vertebrate pests, and plant diseases, rather misfortunately emblazoned with the company logo. Site by Van Waters & Rogers, Kirkland, WA.(**)LF

August 25, 2000 - Edible Sierra Nevada Plants

Compiled with the provisionless in mind, this noteworthy list integrates Norman F. Weeden's "A Sierra Nevada Flora," Brother Alfred Brousseau's photographs and the Berkeley Digital Library Project (CalFlora and CalPhoto), into a mini-field guide loaded with information. The list is indexed as Alphabetical Edibles (genus or family). Dichotomous keys are provided. The editor's excellent selection of references results in a new adaptation of CalFlora for botanical researchers and the everyday hiker. Site by Rick Moser, San Fernando Valley, California.(****)LF

August 24, 2000 - Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Wildlife Habitat

The government seems content with the idea of treatment wetlands as the means to Clean Water Act fulfillment. Case studies of seventeen important American Constructed Wetlands document their designs, water quality progress, vegetation, wildlife use, and awards. It seems one thing that hasn't been addressed too closely is whether a wastewater treatment wetland is good Wildlife Habitat. Biologists concerned with the eggshell and feather report may avail themselves of a Concerned Citizen Questionaire at this site by the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, & Watersheds; Washington, DC.(***1/2)LF

August 23, 2000 - The History of Gardening: A Timeline from Ancient Times to the Twentieth Century

As events in the history of gardening coincide with or are indistinguishable from important events in the history of plants and people, this superb timeline contains relevant information for botanists and ecologists beginning 15,000 BCE (Before Common Era). Links in the text to reference sites expanding the information of the timeline are outstanding. Discover the earliest used and cultivated plants and plant products, trends in agriculture, green mythology, and early land management concerns at this site by Michael P. Garofalo, Red Bluff, California.(****)LF

August 22, 2000 - Biodidac

Biology professors take note. You may be surprised that the origin of this internet education co-op stems from the lack of quality biology texts written in French. More shocking is the Introduction which raises the question, do we need as many textbooks anymore, when digital libraries are filling up with data and materials deposited by university scientists for each other's use and tailoring to their individual course needs? Tomorrow's professor can shop the teaching banks, have all personal supplemental course materials and notes in digital format for trading, and preferably be programmed for online sales of research papers etc. So check out the pioneering professors at this site by Antoine Morin and Jon Houseman, University of Ottawa, Quebec.(****)LF

August 21, 2000 - Henry W. Coe State Park

Once the home of the Ohlone Indians, once the Coe family cattle ranch, Henry W. Coe is now northern California's largest state park, containing 80,000 acres, 23,300 of these wilderness area. Not only does this look like a great place to get away from it all (they say the park seldom fills up) the website is a virtual field guide to the natural history of California Inner Coast Ranges. The wildflower album is indexed by common name, scientific name, and color. There are lengthy butterfly lists with images, and many birds, some with song files- altogether an excellent introduction to a great natural resource, with plenty of information generally useful to botanists. Site by the Pine Ridge Association, and by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Morgan Hill, California.(****)LF

August 18, 2000 - Cereal Disease Laboratory

CDL provides comprehensive information on destructive rust diseases of plants. Professors will find a variety of useful material from life cycles of Wheat Leaf Rust, Stem Rust (of barley, oat, rye, wheat),Wheat Stripe Rust and Oat Crown Rust, to the banning of barberry (Mahonia) and other alternate host plants of rusts. Fusarium Head Blight(Scab) and Karnal Bunt are other important topics; disease geography and losses are covered. Site by ARS St. Paul Location, University of Minnesota Campus, St. Paul.(****)LF

August 17, 2000 - One World Journeys

Not a site for the easily bored, while the pages come into focus one has time for a snack and to wonder whether this site should call itself educational, though it is picturesque. Its two main features cover photographic expeditions in the Sonoran Desert and the Soviet Union's Georgia- and getting through them provides the additional experience of stroke simulation. With an illustrious staff of photographers, programmers, and executives, it wouldn't hurt to add a biologist, ecologist, or some sort of token science figurehead to plump up the actual content at this "web documentary" by FusionSpark Media, Inc., Clinton, Washington.(***)LF

August 16, 2000 - Plant and Insect Parasitic Nematode Home Page

Nematodes, whose awesome numbers gave poetic inspiration to Cobb in 1914, are the focus of this site concerned with characterization of plant parasitic species, particularly of the Konza Prairie. There are copious resources for the nematologist here- images, keys, a manual for molecular identification of nematodes. Featured nematodes of significance include Corn Nematode and Soybean Cyst Nematode. Learn about nematodes of concern, good nematodes, and methods for controlling the bad ones at this site by University of Nebraska Lincoln Nematology, Lincoln, Nebraska.(****)LF

August 15, 2000 - A Forester on the Suwannee

Despite the somewhat obscure authorship of this website, it is a superb beginner's guide to the forests of north east Florida and regions of the Suwannee River. These are not subjects covered in the roadside literature of Florida. The author notes that the 40 million yearly visitors to the state consistently zoom past the mysterious rural region of the North without looking out the window. So along the Suwannee some things have remained the same as 150 years ago. Anyone with an interest will enjoy this publication which provides an excellent description of the river and an illustrated list of associated forest plants. Site by Chouder.(****)LF

August 14, 2000 - NeoFlora Database

It doesn't take long to stump "the world's largest plant database" of more than 38,000 entries with normal botanical queries, but if you're looking for a garden or landscape plant, it may turn up at NeoFlora. Yet its overstated subtitle and even the term "NeoFlora" suggests the future content of this web-model creation may run amuck without at least one qualified editor keeping an eye on things. The model allows for general contributions of plant cultural information as well as photo submissions to the database. Who will monitor plant identification and spelling is a good question at this site by NeoInformatics, Seattle, Washington (***)LF

August 11, 2000 - Agaricales of the Hawaiian Islands

The National Science Foundation funds this project to survey the diversity, ecology, and occurrence of the Order Agaricales in the world's largest oceanic island group. Prior to the project beginning, 100 species of agarics and boletes were reported for the islands- current fieldwork suggests some 255 species of which 50 may be native, 25 of these endemic and 5 indigenous!Access great photos and field notes on these from an alphabetical list of taxa at this site by Dennis E. Desjardin, San Francisco State University, California; Don E. Hemmes, University of Hawai`i, Hilo, and George J. Wong, University of Hawai`i, Manoa.(****)LF

August 10, 2000 - The Fundamental Unit of Life

This introduction to AP level biomedical cell biology contains fourteen illustrated chapters hyperlinked to its Glossary. Using electronmicrographs and labelled scientific drawings, this site offers valuable detail of cytoplasm and organelles- nice for print outs and supplemental notes. Other extras- a chapter on the history of biochemistry, cell membranes and transport, signal transduction and receptor proteins. Site by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.(****)LF

August 9, 2000 - Canyons, Cultures, and Environmental Change

An amazing resource for and from several disciplines is the "Land Use History of North America" presentation on the Colorado Plateau, the shaping of its landcover and landscape. From the end of the last ice age to the present, seven key elements of the region's environmental history are used to navigate time, impacts, and changes, with descriptions of biotic communities and "biological" tools, maps and places, and articles on paleo-Indians, Archaic Peoples, and explorers, all from a number of expert contributors. Also illustrated with outstanding photography, this is a dynamite site by CP-LUHNA (John Grahame, Project Manager), Northern Arizona University Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, Flagstaff, Arizona (****)LF

August 8, 2000 - The Chile-Heads Home Page

Few diners want to consider what they're really eating, but today's botanist more than ever needs valuable pepper information before going out for nouvelle cuisine. This website provides excellent coverage of the practical aspects of identifying, eating, and growing peppers, along with a first class scientific section on the biology, botany, and chemistry of Capsicum species. Included are a key to the domesticated peppers, and sections on the chemical structure of capsaicin and its medicinal uses. Site by Mike Bowers, UCDavis, California.(****)LF

August 7, 2000 - Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands

From the voluminous content of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website, this feature gathers fifteen years of North Dakota wildflower articles by biologist Harold A. Kantrude. Originally published in local newspapers to herald the blooming season of each plant, the mini-expositions include the plant's natural history and nomenclatural notes- a cut above the rest! Great for those studying prairies and grasslands. Site by the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. (Citation: Kantrud, Harold A. 1995. Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands. Jamestown, ND) (****)LF

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