Biology resources

Blog host note: this is a work in progress, and is meant to showcase places you can go to learn more. If you want to read what other science bloggers are saying, I’ve linked to some of those that I read in the menu at the right of the page. More to come here, eventually! Your input is welcome!

Formal resources

Understanding Evolution
Run out of the University of California, Berkeley, this is a website with information about evolutionary biology, from basics to what particular researchers are working on.

Encyclopedia of Life
You can look up pretty much anything alive on this website, and you’ll get some information about it. It’s got a mix of really technical information and awesome facts and pictures that are easy for non-scientists to understand.

micro*scope is a project housed at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a place that’s famous for great science about the ocean. This project is a collection of pictures of things you can’t see without a microscope, and information about them. It’s a little technical for some people, but it’s a great resource.

Project Gutenberg
PG is a volunteer-driven effort to get all books that have expired copyrights converted to electronic formats, freely available. Want to read the original publications of Darwin and Wallace? Find them here! I like PG because they also maintain volunteer-produced audiobooks and titles in non-English languages, perfect for the diversity of people who want to learn.

Note: many of these titles overlap with free Kindle-formatted books available on the Amazon website.

The United States federal government maintains a database of the professional literature at PubMed, housed within the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The abstracts of many papers are available for free, and links are provided when possible to the full papers. (These may be available for free or may cost money, depending on the publisher.)

The US government also maintains databases through the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s site for climate data, or to learn more about marine biology or hurricane science. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the US Department of Agriculture maintain sites.

The US National Academy of Sciences
The United States’ National Academy of Sciences also maintains websites. They publish PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), and offer funding for students and researchers.

Resources that can help teachers, or link teachers and scientists

COSEE-NOW: Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence’s Networked Ocean World – a fabulous networking center with curriculum materials, message boards, and more!

Resources aimed at under-18 students

4H– despite their stereotyped image as being just about kids raising rabbits or chickens, 4H is an organization dedicated to linking public “land-grant” colleges (which, yes, focus on agriculture) to the general community. Like my goal in writing this blog, 4H believes that scientists and non-scientists can both benefit from sharing their knowledge. (I happen to love the fact that it can help kids learn and explore, too!)

Fun resources

Ramblings of a Biol Jerk
I was pointed to this Tumblr by a link from the Geek Feminism blog. Cartoons! Science! Yay! (Bonus: the artist apparently loves dinoflagellates and how cool and weird they look just as much as I do!)

Giant Microbes
I love science toys, and I’ve always been pleased by the information attached to these fabulous critters. Granted, they have human-like eyes and some artistic twists on their color and presentation, but overall, I totally approve. And tell everyone about them.

Places you can go

Science Museum of Minnesota St. Paul, MN, USA

The La Brea Tar Pits Los Angeles, CA, USA
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Tucson, AZ, USA

The American Museum of Natural History Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA
The Bronx Zoo Bronx, New York City, NY, USA
The New York Botanical Garden Bronx, New York City, NY, USA
Liberty Science Center Jersey City, NJ, USA

New England Aquarium Boston, MA, USA
Museum of Science, Boston Boston, MA, USA

The California Academy of Sciences San Francisco, CA, USA

The Smithsonian Washington, DC, USA
The Smithsonian Institute is actually a bunch of buildings, programs, and other resources, including: The National Zoo, The National Museum of Natural History
The National Aquarium Baltimore, MD, USA

The Shedd Aquarium Chicago, IL, USA
The Field Museum Chicago, IL, USA

Birch Aquarium at Scripps San Diego, CA, USA

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Monterey Bay, CA, USA

Another great resource for learning about biology is programming in the United States National Park System.

…this list is just a sample, mostly including places I’ve been or where my scientist friends have worked. (Send me more!) Many colleges and universities have science programs for the public, and zoos, museums, arboretums, and other great places to explore and learn.


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