we will focus on the Map of Life

we will focus on the Map of Life, which is a resource that combines 512 different datasets into an interactive website that scientists can extract data from to answer a multitude of questions (which I did for my M.S. degree!). This project is a great example of the intersection of data and computer science with conservation and biology. Here is a brief description of this resource and it includes the format for citation they prefer: https://mol.org/about (Links to an external site.)

Start at the homepage of MOL and look at the 4 options on the top row: Map species, Project species, Species by location, and Explore places.

5. For the Map species function, choose a species (any of your choice) and describe its global range as shown using these datasets. Remember when writing the name of a species for scientific writing you should capitalize the common name and add the scientific name in parenthesis and in italics. Does the IUCN Red List status listed on MOL match the most up to date status on the IUCN Red List site directly?

6. For Project species, describe the premise of that study and the information provided for one of the species used.

7. For the Species by location function, choose a location and give a description of the type of species most common there, some of the summary numbers, and name a specific organism found there. This is the function you will use for your research proposal so also explore the point function rather than just the political boundaries or mountain range maps. 

8. For the Explore places function, choose one of the types of habitat (ie watersheds) within one of the shown locations. Describe what you think might be interesting about this type of habitat and the specific area that is mapped. What types of questions could be asked about biodiversity or conservation using this set-up?

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