Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources

The Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources collection is comprised of web portals, web sites, and individual digital resources in many areas of the biological and life sciences, including agriculture, botany, ecology, genetics, microbiology, natural history, marine biology, zoology, and others. Here may be found educational materials for life science educators and learners (prekindergarten through graduate school), resources intended for the general public, and materials aimed at biological sciences research communities.

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  • Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
ARKive: Images of Life on Earth
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ARKive is a collection of photographs, videos, and fact-files illustrating thousands of species of animals, with emphasis on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of endangered species, and on species found in Britain. For each animal there are approximately 10 minutes of video footage, 6-10 still photos, and sound recordings (where appropriate), creating a complete profile of the species' characteristic behavior and appearance. The images are accompanied by a page of facts, including taxonomy, a physical description, conservation status, geographic range, habitat, and other information. There are also links to other animals with related taxonomic families, habitats, or conservation status.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Internet Scout Project
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Internet Scout Project
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
The Academy of Natural Sciences: Educational Programs
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Includes information about the Academy of Natural Sciences educational programs: teacher resources, information for planning field trips to the museum and women in the natural sciences.

Subject:
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Agriculture in the Classroom
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Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is a program supported by the United States Department of Agriculture to promote increased agricultural literacy. The AITC website provides resources for teachers including suggestions for science fair projects, virtual tours, agricultural literacy quizzes, effective teaching strategies. There is also a directory of reviewed resources, including lesson plans, webquests, DVDs, maps, posters, and other items. The student's page features an interactive presentation with career information, ideas for science fair projects, opinion features on agricultural issues, games, webquests, and an interactive map with links to downloadable fact sheets about agriculture in each state.

Subject:
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Internet Scout Project
NSDL Staff
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Internet Scout Project
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
DLESE Community Collection
All About Snails
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This website introduces younger students to snails. Topics include their physical characteristics and living habits, diet, reproduction, locomotion, life history, predators, and many others. There are also links to additional material on snails, including lesson plans, stories, poems, and songs, clip-art, art and craft activties, and other resources.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
American Academy of Forensic Science: Choosing a Career
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This guide provides information on careers in forensic science. Topics include what forensic science is and what forensic scientists do, educational requirements, and what graduates in this field might expect in terms of work locations and pay. There are also brief overviews of different branches of forensic science (criminalistics, jurisprudence, pathology, anthropology, and others), and a list of online resources for forensic science.

Subject:
Life Science
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
The Amoeba Sisters YouTube Videos
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The Amoeba Sisters strive to facilitate curiosity and engagement by making biology both humorous and meaningful. The videos use real world examples and silly cartoons to demystify difficult biology concepts, such as cell anatomy, homeostasis, enzymes, and biomolecules. A new video is released weekly. The creators are sisters who both work in education. One is a high school biology teacher who found these videos made biology more approachable and easier to comprehend.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
The Amoeba Sisters
Andean Botanical Information System
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The Andean Botanical Information System (ABIS) provides information about the flowering plants (phanerogams) of Andean South America. Materials include information on the environments of the Andes Mountains and a gallery of images of plants (by family) distributed in the Andes of Peru and Chile. There is also information on a research database that provides access to collection-label data of South American Andean plants for taxonomic purposes. The specimen-label information from over 7500 collections from coastal Chile and Peru have been electronically captured and are available in checklists. Other materials include a biography of J. Francis MacBride, who performed groundbreaking research on the flora of Peru, a bibliography of additions to the Andean flora, and information on related resources. The site is available in both English and Spanish.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Internet Scout Project
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Internet Scout Project
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
Dillon, Michael O.
Hensold, Nancy.
Project Coordinator and Investigator: Michael O. Dillon (Curator of Phanerogams, Department of Botany, The Field Museum)
Apple Snails (Ampullariidae)
Conditions of Use:
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This web site provides information on apple snails (family Ampullariidae), the largest living freshwater snails on earth, often kept as aquarium pets because of their attractive appearance and size. Topics include the care of apple snails, their anatomy, species and genera, and information on snail pests, embryology, and genetics. There is also a frequently-asked-questions feature, photos, links to web sites and literature, and an online discussion forum.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
Stijn A. I. Ghesquiere
Arachnology Home Page
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This clearinghouse page provides links to thousands of web sites from around the world devoted to arachnids (spiders and their relatives). The links are organized into categories: researchers and societies, subjects (kids' pages, poison, spider myths, and others), arachnids by order, and specialized pages (scientific papers, image-only sites, spider silk, and others). Non-English sites are grouped by language; there are many sites in Dutch, French, German, and Spanish.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Herman Vanuytven
University of Antwerp
As Many Exceptions As Rules
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As Many Exceptions as Rules is a STEM science teaching blog resource that focuses on biology core concepts. To increase student engagement in this field, it reinforces core concepts in biology using fascinating examples of organisms that do not follow established biological rules. Through these exceptions, knowledge of core concepts are redefined and strengthened without focusing exclusively on the overused examples and mundane teaching patterns. A more detailed rationale for the form of the blog is given in the initial post. Each story is explained in plain English, with definitions and etymology of important terms. Teaching resources, including classroom activities and laboratories are included in each post.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
Mark E. Lasbury
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
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This online atlas provides information on the occurrence and distribution of plants in the State of Florida. Records are based on collections in the four major Florida institutional herbaria: the University of Florida, Florida State University, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, and the University of South Florida. There are also records from the New York Botanical Garden, Harvard University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The collection is browsable by county or by an alphabetical listing of families, and searchable by scientific name. An advanced search feature lets users search by text string, taxonomic category, county, nativity, wetland status, and several other parameters.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Aurum Science: Anatomy Full Curriculum
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Aurum Science is a compilation of resources for a complete anatomy curriculum. It includes worksheets, Powerpoint lectures, labs, and study guides.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Syllabus
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
James Dauray
Australian Museum Online: Insects
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This online exhibit provides information about insects and the scientists who study them. Topics include an introduction to the insect group (phylum Arthropoda), the process of metamorphosis, and biting and stinging insects. There are also discussions about keeping insects as pets, insect ectoparasites (fleas, lice, and others), a set of fact sheets on insect-related topics, and links to related websites. The collections page provides an overview of the Australian Museum's major insect collections, their history, and the museum's research programs and personnel.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Avibase: The World Bird Database
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This database provides information on all birds of the world, featuring information on thousands of species and subspecies of birds such as taxonomy, names and synonyms in various languages, photos, distribution maps, and links to additional information from other websites. The database is searchable by keyword or term, exact name, language, year of publication, and other parameters. There is also a search by taxonomic family, a set of checklists by geographic region, and a blog for ornithological discussions.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
Denis Lepage
BacterioFiles
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Bacteriofiles is a free podcast to help spark student interest in science and microbiology. The podcast reports on exciting news about bacteria, microbes and viruses. It explains the connections between the research and how it may affect our lives. It is designed to be interesting and entertaining. For example, recent episode topics have included: Interesting organisms found living in acid, a cocaine overdose treatment from bacteria, a bacteria that can fight cancer and microbes living in a lake of asphalt.

Subject:
Life Science
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
Jesse Noar
Basic Flows in a Microfluidic Device
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In this module, developed as part of Cornell's Learning Initiative in Medicine and Bioengineering (CLIMB), students will work with two model microfluidic devices, understand how flows at the small scale differ from macroscopic flows, and experience some of the challenges involved in implementing such devices in the laboratory. This module includes a teacher's guide, instructional worksheets, and student handouts for the lab activity. CLIMB is part of the NSF GK-12 program.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
CLIMB: Cornell's Learning Initiative in Medicine and Bioengineering
BioTrek: Biotechnology Outreach
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BioTrek is the science outreach program of the Biotechnology Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin Extension. Biotrek is dedicated to bioscience education, with emphasis on the State of Wisconsin. The organization's web site features teaching tools (activities, videos, posters, and other items) for educators in biological topics such as DNA, food science, and biotechnology. There is also information on BioTrek's traveling events, such as Exploration Stations (hands-on exhibits for the public), and Science Exploration Days (hands-on activities held in schools). Other materials include information on workshops and tours, the "WisconsIngenuity" page of special-interest stories about invention, innovation, and enterprise, and a set of links to related web sites.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Simulation
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center
Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains
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This site provides data on plants and fungi from the Hengduan Mountains and adjacent areas of south-central China, including the Gaoligong Mountains and Tibetan Himalaya. The data were derived from georeferenced collections made on recent expeditions (1984-present) to the region, and include specimens with DNA tissue. Users can browse specimens by name; search by taxon, collector number, or date; or browse collecting localities in the database using Google Earth (TM). There is also information on expeditions and personnel, the Biodiversity of the Eastern Himalaya project, an image gallery, a multilingual gazetteer and thesaurus, and a map showing the historic Tibetan provinces of the region.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Author:
David E. Boufford, Harvard University Herbaria
Biology Online
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Biology Online is a community-run web site that provides access to resources on many aspects of biological and life sciences. The site includes a discussion board with forums on cell biology, molecular biology, evolution, bioinformatics, and many other topics. The Wiki dictionary features user-editable content and links to articles on a wide variety of topics in biology. There is also a book catalog with information on biology-related books, including author and content descriptions, product details, and customer reviews; and a directory of links to other websites with related content in the life and Earth sciences.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Simulation
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NSDL Staff
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
DLESE Community Collection
Author:
Richard Lees
Biota of North America Program
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The goal of the Biota of North America Program (BONAP) is to develop a unified digital system for assessing the North American biota. BONAP's database now includes assessment for all vascular plants and vertebrate animals (native, naturalized, and adventive) of North America north of Mexico, and it maintains the most current taxonomy, nomenclature, and biogeographic data for all members of the biota. The Synthesis of the North American Flora, published in 1999, is available for purchase as a CD-ROM (ordering information is provided); a 1mb demonstration version for Windows is available through the BONAP site. The Synthesis includes taxonomic, nomenclatural, and biogeographic data and images, enabling users to produce species checklists, distribution summaries, and species assessments for morphology, rarity, endemism, nativity, and other biological attributes. It consists of three parts: the "Lexicon," which provides the underlying nomenclature and taxonomy; the "Atlas," which displays distribution maps for each of the accepted taxa; and the "Biological Attributes," which provides summaries of morphological and other specialized data (rarity and endemism, nativity, weediness, habit, habitat, and others).

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources