Repositories, Reviewed

Over the last two weeks, I’ve describe my online resources, and voiced a concern that my assets may not have a permanent home. This concern led me to explore online repositories specific to biology. What, I wondered, is already out there?  The answer is, quite a lot!  In only a few minutes of searching, I hit on a couple of sites with more resources than I had time to explore.

If you subscribe to HAPS-L, the list serve for HAPS, then you’re already aware of the LifeSciTRC (previously the Archive of Teaching Resources, http://www.lifescitrc.org/),  a wonderful service hosted by APS, the American Physiological Society (http://www.the-aps.org/).  In fact, APS is currently offering a program for undergraduate educators (the deadline has been extended!). You can check it out, and apply to be a LifeSciTRCScholar, at http://www.the-aps.org/LifeSciTRCScholars.  The repository at LifeSciTRC maintains a moderated list of links to online resources that are hosted by various other organizations.  The resources are organized into collections, a feature that will facilitate searching for just the right animation or case study for your  course.  There is also a wealth of metadata, including user comments, associated with these collections.  And, this is the home of the HAPS Institute course projects, which includes my product of the cadaver course a few years back. You can find a link to my project, along with a few comments, at http://www.lifescitrc.org/resource.cfm?submissionID=2938.

While the TRC repository jump-started this blog entry, I didn’t want to stop there. I found a wonderful resource at  www.hippocampus.org.  This site is hosted as part of the NROC project (http://theNROCproject.org).  This project is non-profit, funded in part by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and supported by members. You can get on their email list through a link on the website.  While a lot of the assets there currently are not for A&P, perhaps HAPS members can contribute resources to change that!

Finally, I found a lovely list of links at the Learning Objects Repository at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (https://iol.tamucc.edu/repositories.html ).  The first link on the page is Merlot, which is one I was vaguely familiar with, but hadn’t visited much in the past.  I could get lost exploring animations of how mosquitoes sense their meals!  You can check out the biology resources of Merlot at http://biology.merlot.org/materials.html.  Membership is free, and once a member, you can create your own resources.  I hope to find more time to explore this soon!

Other links at the TAMU-CC site include the National Science Digital Library and MIT’s Open Courseware. This list is not specific to biology, but it wasn’t difficult to find sites I wanted to visit.

So, this week, I leave you with this: what online repositories do you use? Whether you are uploading or downloading, please share!

(Featured image courtesy Pam Gregory; image of Dr. Lynn Gray and Dr. Betsy Ott, as seen inverted through fresh lenses dissected from cow eyes)

-Dr. Betsy Ott
President-elect

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