Science  08 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5498, pp. 1851c
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1851c

It's an unusual Web site that packs tarantulas, astronomy, paleoclimate, and coral reefs onto the same server. But all those and more interest Hays Cummins, a biological oceanographer in the department of—what else, interdisciplinary studies—at Miami University in Ohio. The result is a great trove of links, especially for teaching.

The site's title is an apt description: “Tropical Ecosystems: Coral Reefs, Rainforests & A Potpourri of Weather, Earth Science & Other Good Things.” Scroll past the course syllabi and photos of students on field trips to find links to pages on specific subjects. The section on climate change is especially nice, with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ice core data, primers on the carbon cycle, a pollen atlas, and El Niño links. The links on weather—“just something I've always been obsessed with,” Cummins says—feature movies of the latest tropical hurricanes. The earth sciences page includes sections on extinctions, paleontology (fossil databases), and volcanoes (see the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens via satellite). And the tarantulas? That page of links began when Cummins's lab acquired two living specimens.

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