Follow EOL on Flipboard!
Team EOL is happy to announce that we’re taking advantage of some of the new capabilities of Flipboard to offer a custom Encyclopedia of Life Magazine there. We are looking forward to hearing what you think of it.
To learn more, and for information about how to get your own (free) copy of the Flipboard app for iOS and Android devices, please visit this link.
Celebrate World Oceans Day
Happy World Oceans Day from EOL!
Celebrate oceans today by getting to know EOL collaborators around the world working on diverse marine research projects -
Students from the Marine Biodiversity and Conservation SEA semester program will be sharing data collected during their voyage with EOL via several of our marine content partners. Follow their progress via blog posts from the high seas.
We also look forward to welcoming the Plankton Chronicles video and photo gallery as a content partner, courtesy of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and EOL Rubenstein Fellow Christian Sardet. The Plankton Chronicles project reveals the beauty and diversity of planktonic organisms. It is done in the context of the Tara Ocean expedition and the Villefranche sur Mer Marine Station. The schooner Tara recently completed her 30 months long exploration of plankton and returned to port in France. Her crew collected plankton in 150 well characterized locations for analysis using imaging and genomics. It yielded a trove of photographs and footage of marine life from all around the world.
Finally, get to know Sedna IV, an oceanographic schooner. On April 18, 2012, the Sedna IV, in partnership with the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, set off on one of the most important scientific and filmmaking expeditions of modern times: 1000 Days for the Planet. The crew of mariners, scientists, and filmmakers are sailing around the world to reveal our planet’s extraordinary beauty, to understand how our ecosystems work, and to ponder the great conservation challenges that face us all.
Read how the Sedna IV crew is celebrating World Ocean Day, and look forward to French-language species descriptions on EOL from members of the team.
EOL Computable Data Challenge Deadline Extended to 5/31/12
Good news everyone: the EOL Computable Data Challenge deadline for entries has been extended to Thursday, May 31, 2012.
We invite ideas for scientific research projects that use Encyclopedia of Life http://www.eol.org, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL, http://biodiversitylibrary.org), to answer questions in biology. EOL and BHL have assembled text and multimedia about more than a million taxa from more than two hundred organismal databases and 38 million digitized pages of biodiversity literature. Everything is in the public domain or available for text mining and re-use under explicit Creative Commons licenses.
Total available prize funds are US$50,000. Multiple awards are possible, depending on submitted budgets. All prize funds must be spent before May 31, 2013.
More information on how to enter is available at http://www.eol.org/info/data_challenge.
News: Biodiversity art show opening at Chicago’s Field Museum May 22 - International Day of Biodiversity
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, May 21, 2012 - “Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art,
and Invention,” a new traveling contemporary art exhibition, opens at Chicago’s Field Museum May 22. Harnessing technology and inspired by nature’s amazing design
concepts, the show’s innovative, eye-capturing art helps visitors understand and
appreciate the life-or-death interdependence between the 10-20 million species on earth – including humans – and the quality of the environment we share.
“Many people still don’t realize how much our very lives depend on the
biodiversity of plants, animals, and everything else,” says Randy Jayne Rosenberg, Curator of the show and Executive Director of Art Works For Change, which developed and manages it. Indeed, some ecologists predict that half of all mammals and birds could be extinct within the next century, with similar losses in plants, marine life, and other species – entire ecosystems, in fact. Each loss carries with it lost benefits to human well-being because of the key roles these species play in providing such things as clean air and water, pollination, and climate regulation.
The purpose of the exhibition is to show that humans aren’t just part of the
problem but also the solution: by harnessing nature’s most brilliant ideas, we can improve the quality of human life while living in harmony with nature.
In “Nature’s Toolbox”, which features artworks from artists around the world
across a wide range of media, Rosenberg asked artists to use nature’s wisdom as the inspiration for new artworks. “They explored its genius and found opportunities for invention by employing the lessons nature offers,” she says. “We learn, for example, how by mimicking nature we can harness energy from algae, create fabric with the strength of a spider’s web, self-medicate like a chimp, create amphibian cities with the structure of a lilypad, and build walls made from sugar.”
The show brings viewers a fresh perspective on the relationship between everyday activities and biodiversity, such as Donna Ozawa’s Waribashi Project, an impressive display constructed of 90,000 waribashi, or disposable chopsticks. Every year hundreds of billions of waribashi are thrown away after just a single use, contributing to deforestation, one of the largest contributors to the loss of species.
Unique works such as Green Porno, a series of short films by actress Isabella
Rossellini on animal sexual behaviors, offer fascinating scientific insight along with a big dose of humor. The exhibition also features Charles Lee’s Dissipative System, a wall of touchable tiles that change color in response to heat – mimicking the color, humidity, and temperature changes in the exoskeleton of a Hercules beetle.
Awareness is the first critical step in changing our individual and collective
outlook from one that exploits nature to one that nurtures it, points out Rosenberg. Art builds awareness by helping us visualize our complex relationship to the natural world.
“Science provides facts while art tells stories,” she says, adding. “The need for
environmental stories has never been greater – people are hungry for positive images of the future. The stories at the heart of ‘Nature’s Toolbox’ offer fresh solutions, making it clear that humanity is itself an essential piece of this system. By understanding the relationships, not only can we save nature, we can save ourselves, too.”
Entrance to “Nature’s Toolbox” is free with basic admission to The Field Museum. For
further information, visit fieldmuseum.org or www.artworksforchange.org.
Art Works for Change produces traveling contemporary art exhibitions that address
social and environmental issues. It applies the transformative power of art to promote
awareness, inspire action and provoke dialogue. The exhibitions serve as catalyst and crucible where artists, museums, advocacy organizations, and the local community can unite in common cause. Art Works for Change is a 501c3 charitable corporation.
News: New integration with iNaturalist enables mobile observations using EOL Collections as checklists
EOL and iNaturalist have teamed up to provide observational capabilities for EOL Collections. This makes it possible for any EOL Collection to become a live “observation checklist” through the iNaturalist iPhone app and their website. As the first example of close integration with an online naturalist community, this collaboration points the way for future work with other active citizen science platforms.
Through the work of EOL and iNaturalist, you can make and share observations from your school yard, backyard, from your walk to work, or as part of a structured citizen science activity. Your observations will be visible both on EOL and in iNaturalist.
For a video tour, click here.
For help, click here.
To download the free iNaturalist iPhone app from iTunes, click here.
EOL now offers email notifications!
Please visit your EOL Profile page, click “edit my profile”, and then the “notification settings” button at the upper right to select what sorts of updates you’d like to receive and the frequency of those updates.
Thanks to the entire EOL development team and our community of users who have requested this capability.
Notice: EOL consolidating GitHub accounts
Dear EOL developers:
The EOL Development Team will be making a change in the coming days which will consolidate our separate github accounts into a single account.
You may find that after the change you will need to update your cloned repositories, which you can do by running:
git remote set-url origin new_url.
For the main EOL repository, this will be:
git remote set-url origin firstname.lastname@example.org:eol/eol.git
This change was put into place (Thursday) AM, which will give us time to update our deployment scripts before the next production deploy. After the change, our github organization will exist at http://github.com/eol
If you have any questions, please leave us a message. Thanks.
EOL Announces Open Access Support Project with Pensoft Publishers
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and Pensoft Publishers are pleased to announce a new collaboration that will increase the flow of new species descriptions from scientists in developing countries into the Encyclopedia of Life and promote the open access publishing model in taxonomy.