EOL's Biodiversity Informatics Group, meanwhile, is beta testing "LifeDesks" (http://lifedesks.org) - independent online environments to facilitate communication and collaboration between scientists or organized groups of amateurs as they assemble and edit images, text, source references and other species information for EOL pages.
Under an initiative of the EOL Education Group, undergraduates at four universities - Harvard, Oregon State, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse - are creating species pages. Under their professors' supervision, students at these institutions have prepared more than 100 fungi species pages, vetted by experts at MushroomObserver.org. Undergraduate student contributions to content partners Amphibia Web and Animal Diversity Web are also being served on EOL.
EOL has also launched a Fellows Program, oriented to postdoctoral students, graduate students and others who will contribute content from their own research and catalyze contributions from others in their scientific communities.
And at WhyReef (www.whyville.net/smmk/top/gates?source=reef), students can discover the marine life that lives in a virtual coral reef. Each species is linked to an EOL page with photos and descriptions of, for example, what eats what and other threats each may face. Students can also interact with scientists to ask questions.
"Creating a single portal to access a web page for each of the 1.8 million known species will provide a powerful tool to assist researchers and policymakers in better understanding biodiversity and discerning patterns of plant and animal behavior," says Arthur Sussman, MacArthur Vice President. "By integrating and c
|Contact: Terry Collins|
Encyclopedia of Life