Biodiversity Heritage Library

For patrons interested in various biology topics, the Biodiversity Heritage Library is a great open source site with this stated goal:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life.

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Biodiversity is defined by Merriam Webster as “biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals“. So this topic is broad and vast, covering animal & plant biology, classification, extinct and surviving species, evolutionary history and many others. did an article on the site’s image page: “2 Million Beautiful Images of Biodiversity Are Now Available for Free“.

So here’s how it works: I searched “platypus”:

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and it took me here:

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I chose to look at an article, as opposed to a book, book review or other resource, and after choosing the “article” tab and “view article” this is what came up:

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As you can see, this is an actual article from an actual academic journal that someone may find useful for their research. This search is good for searching across books and journals, scientific names, authors and subjects. You may also browse by title, author, date, collection and contributor.

They have many of the other features standard to most pages these days, such as their social media links, a blog, a link to other media and links to their visual resources.


Climate Change Indicators in the United States

The Environmental Protection Agency has put out a report detailing the effects of climate change on the nation. “Climate Change Indicators in the United States” “partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change”, from the site. Previous editions of the report can be found here.

The report includes greenhouse gases, ocean temperature changes, weather anomalies, snow and ice melt, health effects, and ecosystem effects. Number of cases of lyme’s disease and west nile virus in the U.S. are also included. There is no index in the back of the book, but the table of contents is very inclusive.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

From the site: “The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” BHL content may be freely viewed through the online reader or downloaded in part or as a complete work in PDF, OCR text, or JPG2000 file formats. ” Browsing is available by Title, Author, Subject, and Year. Searching can be done by Author, Subject, Scientific Name, and Book/Journal Title. The record or the full book can be viewed. More than 53,000 titles and 102,000 volumes can be browsed or searched, including over 1 million species. Rare scientific texts are also shown.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World

Designed as a collaborative venture between the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (FEOW) site provides a dynamic visual representation of the Earth’s freshwater biodiversity. Visitors to the site can find detailed information about 426 different freshwater systems from China to Chile. First-time users can click on the map of the world on the homepage, or they can also click on the “Highlights” area. Visitors with defined interests can also use the “Find an Ecoregion” section to perform a detailed search across the entire database of regions, and they can also browse by country, major habitat type, and major rivers. It’s easy to see how this site would be a terrific resource for ecology students in high school or college.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008.

Global Change Master Directory: Earth Science Data & Services Directory

From Neat New Stuff:

“Offers ‘more than 20,000 descriptions of Earth science data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences’ courtesy of NASA. Among the wide range of topics: soil temperature, drought severity, el nino oscillations, atmospheric radiation, glacial landforms/processes, volcanic ash/dust, reforestation, environmental assessments, diseases/epidemics, ice core records, etc.”