Earth Primer (fun) and Map of Life (for citizen science)

Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2016 | American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

Earth Primer by Chaim Gingold

Level: Elementary and Middle School
Platform: iOS money icon

Website external link icon

Earth Primer is a cross between an intro to earth science textbook and an interactive sandbox game. This creative application allows students to play with the powerful concepts that make up the physical aspects of our planet. Manipulate glaciers, volcanoes, biomes, weather systems, and more and experience how all of these structures combine to affect the makeup of our awesome planet.

Tip: Use Earth Primer to reinforce content in an earth science class.

app icon Map of Life by Map of Life

Level: Middle School, High School
Platform: iOS | Android

Website external link icon

Map of Life is a field guide applicable to anywhere in the world. Search species by category and/or location, and contribute to the map by recording your sightings in your location. Several categories of species are represented, such as trees, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Choose a type of species and view images, read about characteristics and habitat, and view a map showing range. Helps with conservation efforts worldwide!

Tip: Great application for classes using GIS data. Use Map of Life on science field trips to report wildlife and to identify plants and animals.

Lewis Science Library Film Series

Lewis Science Library Film Series Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide

Video series hosted by Professor Scott Huettel, Ph.D. Duke University

Fridays, Noon to 1 in Lewis 225

  • September 16th – What is a Good Decision? / The Rise of Behavioral Economics
  • September 23rd – Reference Dependence: It’s All Relative / Reference Dependence: Economic Implications
  • September 30th – Range Effects: Changing the Scale / Probability Weighting
  • October 7th – Risk: The Known Unknowns / Ambiguity: The Unknown Unknowns
  • October 14th – Temporal Discounting: Now or Later? / Comparison: Apples and Oranges
  • October 21st – Bounded Rationality: Knowing Your Limits / Heuristics and Biases
  • October 28th – Randomness and Patterns / How Much Evidence Do We Need?
  • November 11th – The Value of Experience / Medical Decision Making
  • November 18th – Social Decision: Competition and Coordination / Group Decision Making: The Vox Populi
  • December 2nd – Giving and Helping: Why Altruism? / Cooperation by Individuals and in Societies
  • December 9th – When Incentives Backfire / Precommitment: Setting Rationality Aside
  • December 16th – Framing: Moving to a Different Perspective / Interventions, Nudges, and Decisions

Questions? Contact Neil Nero

National Geographic enables free 8×11 printing of USGS topos

Here are some useful USGS map tips from Emily Wild, Hydrologist/Librarian at the USGS:

This may be of interest if you and(or) your library users are looking for an easy-to-use tool to search, download, and easily print (by using 8×11 printer) for topographic maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

– Examples of recent USGS Denver Library inquiries and instruction of USGS topographic maps include, but not limited to: outdoor recreation, emergency management, disaster planning, search and rescue, bureau of investigations searches and(or) instruction, military, educational outreach, citizen science, and so on.
– Go to the “FREE!! Printable USGS PDF Quads” web site available from National Geographic:

– Search selected area

– Click on thumbnail image of the USGS topographic map to open pdf

– Download and(or) print the pages,


Just some quick reminders about features available for using USGS Topographic Maps:

– USGS Topographic Maps can be uploaded into Google Earth by using this USGS National Geologic Map Data Base (NGMDB) access point to search, download, and import the KMZ files :

– The geopdf versions of USGS Topographic Maps can be annotated, measured, etc when users download the free TerraGo Toolbar :

– Library users mention that the transparency feature and snapshot of all USGS topographic maps through time for a point on Earth are useful features in the USGS-ESRI’s “USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer”

– the how-to is available online through GPO at :


And as an aside, many library users still find this map source useful for historical research of the United States :

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States


Enjoy the day/weekend,


Disclaimer: the use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Emily C. Wild

Librarian (Physical Scientist)
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Library
Denver Federal Center
ph: (303) 236-1003

USGS Libraries:



Chemists to get their own preprint server

World’s largest scientific society plans to introduce ChemRxiv for a traditionally reluctant discipline.

  • Daniel Cressey

11 August 2016

Nature DOI: doi:10.1038/nature.2016.20409

From Bob Buntrock (Princeton Class of ??)   on the CHMINF Listserv.

Like arXiv and bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, hopes to facilitate the discovery and sharing of significant happenings in Chemistry.  ACS is welcoming input during this planning stage.

PubMed is 20 Years Old

PubMed Celebrates its 20th Anniversary! | NLM in Focus

PubMed logo next to lit birthday candles in the shape of the number twentyPubMed was first released two decades ago in January 1996 as an experimental database under the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) retrieval system. The word “experimental” was dropped from the website in April 1997, and on June 26, 1997, a Capitol Hill press conference officially announced free MEDLINE access via PubMed.More information, a brief history can be found here:

PubMed Celebrates its 20th Anniversary! | NLM in Focus

“PubMed hit the milestone of 26 million citations; over one million citations are added every year.”



Viral Zone Best of the Web, Genetic Engng & Biotech News

BestWeb_ViralZoneSource: | Best of the Web | GEN ViralZone |

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News//

Jun 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 12)

“Do you know your DNA viruses from your RNA viruses, and can you spot a retrotranscribing virus when you see one? If not, the ViralZone from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a fantastic web resource for virologists and other scientists who use viral tools in their research. ViralZone includes description pages for over 500 viruses, and site visitors can access these pages either by a targeted search for a specific virus or by browsing the virus pages by a virus’ Baltimore classification, host, or virion. The website also includes a great deal of general information about viral molecular biology, including topics such as virus entry/exit, replication, and genome evolution. On the homepage, site visitors will find a news section (including a weekly podcast) so that they can keep up to date on the latest viral happenings.”



Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

Source:  The Scout Report — Volume 22, Number 16

“NASA’ s Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet website features a diverse set of resources related to the measurement, analysis, and dangers of global climate change. Here readers will find a collection of Interactive Features all designed to bring to life the sometimes abstract conclusions of scientific articles on climate and its effects on human and other life on Earth. For example, the Climate Time Machine allows readers to go backward and forward through four different key climate indicators, including Sea Ice, Sea Level, Carbon Dioxide, and Global Temperature. Perfect for educators who are looking for impactful visual representations of the rising temperatures on the planet, the interactive makes these measurements visceral in a way that charts and graphs are seldom able to do. Other interactives on the page include the Global Ice Viewer, Quizzes, The Sun: A Virtual Tour, The Water Cycle, and others. [CNH]”

Scientists unveil a new Tree of Life


Bacteria dominate newly drawn tree of life
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Waterloo in Canada studied more than 3,000 species and pieced together bits of DNA to update the tree of life. The tree is dominated by bacteria, while all the eukaryotes are represented on a slender twig. The work is published in the journal Nature Microbiology.” The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/11)

APRIL 11, 2016

“A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016, on page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: The Tiniest Beings Writ Large.”

From FBR SmartBrief <> Wed., April 13, 2016

Data USA — Visualization of free public data — MIT

Website makes government data easier to find

Steve Lohr writes: “For years, the federal government, states, and some cities have enthusiastically made vast troves of data open to the public. A project coming out of the MIT Media Lab seeks to harness that data and make it available to a wider audience. The project, called Data USA, bills itself as ‘the most comprehensive visualization of US public data.’ It is free, and its software code is open source, meaning that developers can build custom applications by adding other data.”…

New York Times, Apr. 4DATA USA

Climate Change and Extreme Events

Attributing Extreme Events to Climate Change

It is now possible to estimate the influence of climate change on some types of extreme events, such as heat waves, drought, and heavy precipitation, says a new Academies report.

From What’s New at the National Academies, March 11, 2016