Global Forest Watch — Internet Resource

http://www.globalforestwatch.org/(reviewed in CHOICE November 2014).

[Visited Aug’14] Global Forest Watch (GFW), currently in beta phase, is a dazzling, open data website that aims to monitor deforestation worldwide. With partners like Google, the Jane Goodall Institute, and UNEP (among many others) and “convened by the World Resources Institute,” GFW will impress visitors with its beauty and obvious value. In order to provide “near-real-time” access to information like logging practices, GFW uses satellite images and provides a hub for local communities to upload photos and report illegal deforestation by use of smartphones and GPS mapping. The goal is to track these events as they happen, instead of months or even years later. Unfortunately, it is not possible for all the maps to be updated instantly. Users must agree to a lengthy terms of service agreement before entering the site, ensuring that they understand the limitations of the data presented.

Technology-adept users will find GFW extremely intuitive. Users begin with a 2-D map featuring multiple overlays; displays can be selected from sections such as Forest Change, Forest Cover, Forest Use, and Conservation. Data can be limited by years, ranging from 2001 to 2013. The Countries section contains more in-depth information. The site also features stories about deforestation, a blog prepared by the GFW team, and an alert service. GFW is rightfully confident of its benefits, providing a detailed plan of how the site can be utilized. Significantly, GFW clearly identifies the sources of the information retrieved, supporters of the site, and funding sources. Brief tutorials and FAQs offer additional information. Nearly everyone can find a use for this site and the inestimable data within–whether as a teaching tool or as a primary source for research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic, general, and professional library collections.”

–C. M. Woxland, Utah State University

Copyright 2014 American Library Association

Living Planet Report 2014, from World Wildlife Fund

Living Planet Report 2014

Source: WWF (World Wildlife Fund)

From The Living Planet Index:

The state of the world’s biodiversity appears worse than ever.
The Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures trends in thousands of vertebrate species populations, shows a decline of 52 per cent between 1970 and 2010 (Figure 2). In other words, the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago. This is a much bigger decrease than has been reported previously, as a result of a new methodology which aims to be more representative of global biodiversity.

Biodiversity is declining in both temperate and tropical regions, but the decline is greater in the tropics. The 6,569 populations of 1,606 species in the temperate LPI declined by 36 per cent from 1970 to 2010. The tropical LPI shows a 56 per cent reduction in 3,811 populations of 1,638 species over the same period. Latin America shows the most dramatic decline – a fall of 83 per cent. Habitat loss and degradation, and exploitation through hunting and fishing, are the primary causes of decline. Climate change is the next most common primary threat, and is likely to put more pressure on populations in the future.

+ Links to full report and Summary from this page (PDF; 34.9 MB and 4.9 MB)

From [DocuTicker] Newsletter 294, 7th October 2014

eLIFE — a respected OA journal

eLIFE

  • http://elifesciences.org“This highly thought of open access journal promises a speed and ease of publishing unheard of in most traditional life science journals. Initial decisions on a manuscript are usually made within days. Post-review decisions are made within weeks. Most articles only go through a single round of revisions. For the reader, this means that the results you’re reading are hot off the lab bench. Best of all, unlike most scientific journals, which can cost upwards of $20 for a single article, the 842 (and counting) articles on this site are completely free. The eLIFE podcast is also available for easy download, online listening, or subscription. [CNH]
  • Source:  The Scout Report — Volume 20, Number 40 (HTML)  Univ. of Wisconsin, 10/17/2014

“State of the Birds” Report Assesses the Health of the Nation’s Birds

“State of the Birds” Report Assesses the Health of the Nation’s Birds

One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted.

  • Video / Image(s) embedded • 

The State of the Birds 2014 report

Smithsonian Institution

Source: Newswise Environment Wire 26-Sep-2014

sphn-bounces@lists.newswise.com; on behalf of; sphn@lists.newswise.com

U.S. Citizens — Free access to online NTIS reports, Oct. 2014

NTIS is launching greater access to federally funded science & technology information and reports. Starting in October 2014, U.S. citizens will have free access to all electronically-available documents in the NTIS collection.

Currently there are more than 850,000 documents digitized for free public access. For the first time, Individuals will have the option to subscribe to the NTRL in order to benefit from the Premium features of the database, such as Digitization-on-Demand (NTRL Premium Individual). Premium Institutional subscribers (including corporations) will continue to have access to the more than 2.8 million records with a variety of enhanced features as listed in the chart below.

More at: http://www.ntis.gov/pdf/NTRNews7-3.pdf

National Technical Information Service (NTIS) connects to the database.

Princeton University Library has a subscription to NTRL reports,

(National Technical Reports Library)  and is a founding member…I think.

Drought Risk Atlas, the National Drought Mitigation Center

“Drought Risk Atlas, from The National Drought Mitigation Center.
http://droughtatlas.unl.edu/

[Visited Jun’14] In 1994, the Army Corps of Engineers issued The National Drought Atlas, which is cataloged in only five libraries; it apparently never made it into the Federal Depository Library Program. A new online resource, the national Drought Risk Atlas, rectifies that oversight. The atlas has six sections: Home, Map Viewer, Data (viewer page), Methodology, About, and Help. Home provides introductory information about the atlas and explains the other sections. Map Viewer allows users to view drought status from 2000 to the present. The Data section allows users to select stations by name or interactively on a map and view data for that station over time. Many stations contain more than 100 years of data. Data can be displayed as a time series chart or table for a given decade. In addition, users can display data for each decade ranked from driest to wettest and warmest to coolest temperatures, along with ranked monthly precipitation and temperature records. The system also allows data retrieval for various indexes, including the Standardized Precipitation Index, Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, Palmer Drought Severity Index, and Self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index.

There is a separate tabbed section for each index, which includes a description of the index and the option to select the period of interest. Data can be displayed as a time series chart, table, ranked table, or heat map plot, which shows whether a selected station was particularly wet or dry during the decade by color. Users can also download data for additional research. The Help section provides information on using the site. Many years ago, this type of weather data for selected locations was available in books published by Gale Research. This valuable site provides temperature and precipitation data and more for free. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All library collections.”

–L. R. Zellmer, Western Illinois University

DataCite & Data Citation Index (Thomson Reuters)

 Thomson Reuters and DataCite collaborate to expand discovery of research data -29 Aug 2014

The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters has announced a collaboration with DataCite, a global non-profit organization dedicated to enabling people to find, share, use, and cite data. The collaboration will promote the discovery of research data sets through the Data Citation Index, a single-point solution providing access to quality research data sets from multi-disciplinary repositories around the world.

This collaboration will connect the Data Citation Index to high quality research data from repositories worldwide that work with DataCite. This will ensure that the valuable content that has been made citable by DataCite is globally discoverable, properly attributed and reusable by other researchers. As part of the Web of Science – the premier scientific search and discovery platform and industry authority in science, social science, and arts & humanities citation indexes – inclusion within the Data Citation Index will also further DataCite’s mission of increasing acceptance of research data as citable contributions to the scholarly record.

Since creating the Data Citation Index, Thomson Reuters has worked closely with global industry leaders to expand the breadth of research discovery by capturing bibliographic records and cited references for digital research, as well as literature describing research which cites or uses the data, stewarding the accurate identification, attribution and measurement of this growing body of scholarship. The Data Citation Index allows users to gain a comprehensive view of the genesis of research projects and influence the future paths they may take, while minimizing the duplication of work and speeding the scientific research process to keep pace with the changing global research landscape. Through linked content and summary information, this data is displayed within the broader context of the scholarly research ecosystem, enabling users to gain perspective that otherwise would be lost if viewed in isolation.”

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter

bioRxiv (beta) Biology Preprint Server

bioRxiv beta The Preprint Server for Biology graphic

A not-for-profit bioscience information service,
from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Watch the video here

  • Submit a paper and within 24 hours anyone can read and cite it, without waiting months until it’s reviewed
  • Free for authors, free for readers
  • Share your paper with other scientists without having to wait months before it’s reviewed
  • Get feedback on your paper before submitting it to a journal
    (more and more journals accept submissions that have appeared onbioRxiv)

bioRxiv contains hundreds of papers that present new, confirmatory, or contradictory findings

Biochemistry
Bioengineering
Bioinformatics
Biophysics
Cancer Biology
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Genetics
Genomics
Immunology
Microbiology
Molecular Biology
Molecular Medicine
Neuroscience
Paleontology
Pathology
Pharmacology
Physiology
Plant Biology
Scientific
Communication
Synthetic Biology
Systems Biology
Zoology

More details, including submission instructions, at
bioRxiv.org

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory graphic

Earth Day videos — on Water & our Changing Planet

Celebrate Earth Day with Changing Planet and Sustainability: Water

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, explore NBC Learn’s Original Collections Changing Planet and Sustainability: Water. These earth science series, produced in partnership with the National Science Foundation, cover headline issues from the future of California’s water supply to how butterflies are adapting to warmer temperatures. Use these videos to engage and involve your students in the environmental issues in the news today.

Changing Planet             Sustainability: Water

K-12 | HigherEd               K-12 | HigherEd

Source:  NBC Learn April 2014 Newsletter

One can sign up for a free trial.

New Ocean Climate Change Web Portal (NOAA)

The NOAA and NOAA Fisheries are collaborating in a new ocean climate change Web portal in trying to assess the effects of climate change on fish.

What is the Ocean Climate Change Web Portal?

“It’s an online system that provides an easy way to display maps of climate data, such as ocean temperature and salinity, over portions of the globe. For example, it can allow you to view how the temperature in the North Atlantic would change in the 21st century as compared with the 20th century.”

Reported by ResearchBuzz, Tara Calishain, Mar. 5, 2014.