USGS: Estimating the Impact of Restoring Ecosystems

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a 100-page report that uses a series of case studies to analyze the potential economic impact of restoring ecosystems. As the authors note in their introduction, “It is important for restoration practitioners to be able to quantify the economic impacts of individual restoration projects in order to communicate the contribution of these activities to local and national stakeholders.” Despite this importance, according to the authors there are currently few studies that compare short and long term economic benefits by considering multiple projects.

This study examines 21 Department of Interior (DOI) projects, including projects that are part of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDA) program. The authors then identify and evaluate the economic impact of these projects using a variety of factors, including labor income generated by the project and “value added” in goods and services. Check out the full report here. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

GoConqr

goconqrPerhaps you’re looking for tools to help you study and prepare for exams? GoConqr (formerly known as Exam Time) is a learning and networking tool for students and educators. GoConqr allows users to make flashcards, mindmaps, quizzes, notes, and slides to review concepts. Users can then choose to keep these resources private for their own use (or for their class’s use), or opt to share these resources to the larger GoConqr community.

By sharing resources, other CoConqr users can search and use these resources for their own purposes. GoConqr is designed to help users prepare for standardized tests (such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE) or to study subject-specific facts and content. This web-based tool is also available as a free application for iOS and android devices. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

History Unfolded: U.S. Newspapers and the Holocaust

historyunfoldedIn the 1930s, what could the average American citizen learn about the Nazi persecution of Jewish individuals and other minorities from reading American newspapers? How did the U.S. press report on these atrocities? How did American domestic politics, social movements, and prejudices influence press coverage? The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has launched the History Unfolded project to facilitate exploration and conversation around these important questions.

The museum has invited researchers and students across the United States to collect and digitize U.S. newspaper articles to include in the museum’s growing online database. In Spring 2018, these archives will be incorporated into an exhibition about Americans and the Holocaust. Meanwhile, visitors to this website can learn how to participate in the project or browse through the articles currently in the database. There are a number of Teacher Resources here, including a detailed lesson plan and links to online newspaper databases that will help history instructors facilitate classroom research projects. [MMB]

You’ll also find useful tutorials on “How to Read Newspapers from the 1930’s and 1940’s” and “How to Use Microfilm.” While those of us of a certain (ahem) vintage may find it astonishing that these concepts need to be explained, the fact is that the newest generations among us haven’t had to get their information in these formats and their organization can be baffling for those uninitiated.

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

Savage Minds

savage-800x600Savage Minds is “a group blog dedicated to ‘doing anthropology in public’ – providing well-written, relevant discussions of sociocultural anthropology that everyone will find accessible.” Since its establishment in 2005 by a group of anthropology scholars and students, the blog has been recognized as one of the best science blogs by Nature and has been enthusiastically praised by American Anthropologist.

Frequently updated, recent posts include a consideration of how anthropological principles can be utilized to help businesses and organizations resist the “silo effect“(when information and expertise is not shared throughout the organization), and a reflection by a medical translator about how the field of anthropology informs her work. In addition, this blog includes Around the Web Digest features, which highlight online articles that may be of interest to anthropologists. While this blog is specifically aimed at anthropologists, much of this content may also be of interest to scholars in other fields, including bioethics, medicine, and sociology. [MMB]

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This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

Dynamic Dialects: An Interactive Accent Database

dynamicdialectsDynamic Dialects is an interactive accent database that allows visitors to compare English dialects from around the world. The research team behind the project – who represent the University of Glasgow, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, University College, London, and Napier University, Edinburgh – use a technique called Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI) to document and analyze these dialects.

The UTI is able to record the movement of the tongue and other articulatory organs. (This site contains an extensive explanation in How UTI Works for interested visitors.) Project participants from around the world pronounced the same 28 words in a studio with a UTI. On this website visitors can listen to an audio recording of all participants via an interactive map, which allows one to explore the pronunciation of multiple words by a single speaker. Alternatively, visitors can browse the Accent Chart, which allows visitors to quickly compare the pronunciation of the same word by different speakers. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

Lady Science

ladyscienceLady Science is a monthly magazine that addresses the history of women in science and other topics relating to gender and science. The magazine’s editors-in-chief, Anna Reser and Leila McNeill, both hold master’s degrees in the history of science from the University of Oklahoma. The magazine features contributions from doctoral students and independent scholars, and academics from a variety of fields, including history of science, English, and art.

Each issue features two critical essays that share a central theme. Recent issues have addressed the intersections of disability and gender, literary portrayals of female scientists, and an exploration of gender, the modern kitchen, and food at the dawn of the Cold War. Readers will also find a blog here, along with recommended reads and television shows relating to women in science. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

Juilliard Manuscripts Collection

juilliardClassical music fans will want to check out the Juilliard Manuscripts Collection, a spectacular collection of very rare manuscripts. These documents were donated to the school in 2006 by Bruce Kovner, a business professional and philanthropist who served as chair of the board at Juilliard.

composersThis collection includes engraved first editions of manuscripts by Johannes Sebastian Bach; an autographed letter from Ludwig van Beethoven; a copy of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – with his own annotations – that may have been used in the symphony’s very first performance; and a signed holograph by Claude Debussy.

Visitors to this website can search for manuscripts by composer. In addition to the luminaries mentioned above, this collection contains manuscripts by Johannes Brahms, Aaron Copland, Dmitri Shostakovich, Richard Wagner, and more. Each manuscript is accompanied with complete bibliographic information. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

The Global Open Data Index

globalopendata-800x600-scoutThe Global Open Data Index, an initiative of Open Knowledge International, is at once an index of government open data and an assessment of these indexes. As the site notes, “Each year, governments are making more data available in an open format.” The Global Open Data Index tracks whether these data are released in a way that is open and accessible to citizens, the media, and the generally curious.

The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of data across 13 categories (including Election Results, Government Spending, and Legislation), displaying the results in an easily navigated infographic and map. Visitors to the site may also view open datasets, when available, by following links on these graphs or by conducting a text search. This makes the Global Open Data Index an excellent one stop shop for national data. Country rankings are updated annually. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.