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The Green Life: Learn About Nature . . . On Your Computer?

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August 13, 2010

Learn About Nature . . . On Your Computer?

Online resources for nature education Though heading outside is the best way to discover nature, the internet also offers countless chances to learn about plants and animals, if you know where to look.

One handy website called eNature offers a “ZipGuides” feature that lets users type in a ZIP code and learn about local species. Also available on eNature are comprehensive field guide, a “personal wildlife list” to keep track of what you see, and even bird-call ring tones.

A similar website, supported by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, offers a new natural-science lesson every two weeks; at this point, it's got more than 300 lessons archived. Their Electronic Naturalist is interactive, too; you can ask a naturalist a question about anything from a snake in your backyard to which plants are safe to eat and receive an answer within a few days.

For questions about specific animals, Animal Diversity Web is a searchable encyclopedia that fills visitors in on everything they ever wanted to know about a critter’s characteristics, natural history, and classification.

--Kristin Baldwin

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