Resources

Links to Lists of Places to Hike

 

http://homepage.divms.uiowa.edu/~jones/natural/ Iowa City Sierra Club guide to area hiking.
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Plant ID help

http://uipress.lib.uiowa.edu/ppi/ This the digital version of the Iowa Prairie Plants guide by Christiansen and Mueller.  There is comprehensive ID info about prairie plants native to Iowa (with illustrations).  You can search plants by county, and find prairies open to the public across the state.  There is also an interactive key to families.

Prairie Plant Seed Harvester Guide Part 1 by Ginny Paulson.  This guide was designed for harvesting prairie plant seeds at FW Kent Park in Johnson county IA, but the 30 or species described in this two- part guide occur throughout much of the state.  Each entry features a photo of the mature seed head and seeds, time when ripe for harvest, duration of seeds on stalks, ID tips, harvest method, and locations where found at FW Kent Park.

Prairie Plant Seed Harvester Guide Part 2 by Ginny Paulson.  This guide was designed for harvesting prairie plant seeds at FW Kent Park in Johnson county IA, but the 30 or species described occur throughout much of the state.  Each entry features a photo of the mature seed head and seeds, time when ripe for harvest, duration of seeds on stalks, ID tips, harvest method, and locations where found at FW Kent Park.

http://plants.usda.gov/java/
Can search by this database by common or scientific name (use the toggle button below the search field to select which). When you pull up a page for a particular plant , there is a menu at the top of the page that allows you to pull up additional types of information, including resources to give you even more information

 http://www.iowaplants.com/flora/pinv.html
This site inventories plants at many parks and nature reserves in our area. It does not include pictures

http://www.missouriplants.com/index.html
Can search this database as if you were working through a plant key

http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Families/Plant_Families_Index.html
This is a resource for teaching and learning about plant families, not a primer.

Lists many Iowa wildflowers, and is searchable.

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/45841#/summary
This is a downloadable weed ID guide (see box at right side of screen and click on pdf icon)

https://secure.iowadot.gov/lrtf/docs/GuidetoCommonTreesShrubs.pdf
A basic ID book for common trees and shrubs of Iowa

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/iowa_trees/tree_id.html
Tree ID.  Interactive dichotomous key.

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Woodland Management

 

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/publications/PDF_files/PM2002B.pdf
Planning for Wooded Acreages & Woodlands:

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/publications/PDF_files/PM2002A.pdf Woodland Improvement & Crop Trees in Iowa:

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/publications/PDF_files/PM2088G%20Final.pdf
Burning for Oak Regeneration:

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Pollinator-friendly Landscaping

Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service) – https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/AttractingPollinatorsV5.pdf

Native Pollinators (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service) – https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/pdfs/PollinatorBookletFinalrevWeb.pdf

Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) – https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/pdfs/PollinatorBookletFinalrevWeb.pdf

Pollinator Biology and Habitat – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mipmctn11774.pdf

Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies (by Xerces Society) – https://xerces.org/announcing-the-publication-of-attracting-native-pollinators/

Pollinator Habitat Installation Guides (by Xerces Society) – https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/agriculture/pollinator-habitat-installation-guides/

Project Pollinators (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) – https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/ProjectPollinator_Guide%20(1).pdf

Pollinators in the Garden (Reiman Gardens) – https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/5705

Gardening for Butterflies and Pollinators (Iowa State University Extension) – https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/5736

How to Protect Pollinators in Urban Landscapes and Gardens (Michigan State University) – http://www.canr.msu.edu/publications/how_to_protect_and_increase_pollinators_in_your_landscape (some additional resources available through this link)

References and Resources for Prairies and Native Plantings (Iowa State University Extension) – https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/12723 (additional resources available at end of this publication)

Introduction to Iowa Native Prairie Plants – Sustainable Urban Landscapes (Iowa State University Extension) – https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/12595

The Tallgrass Prairie Center: Prairie Reconstruction How-To Videos – https://tallgrassprairiecenter.org/prairie-reconstruction-how-videos

Insects and Pollinators (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service; website with additional links) – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/

How Gardeners Can Help Pollinators (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service; website with additional links) – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/gardeners/?cid=nrcsdev11_001102

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website for their Urban Conservation Program – https://www.iowaagriculture.gov/FieldServices/urbanConservation.asp (Urban Conservation Best Management Practices – https://www.iowaagriculture.gov/FieldServices/urbanConservationBMP.asp; Amy Bouska is one of the urban conservationists and is based out of Iowa City)

 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website on pollinators – https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/pollinatorpages/yourhelp.html

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Insect ID help

 

BugGuide http://bugguide.net .  BugGuide is a fabulous site for insect ID work. For best results, read the “help” page first to learn how to use the site most effectively.

http://www.insectsofiowa.org This site has many beautiful pictures of Iowa insects and a database of location information (click on “Records” in top menu).  If you click on the Species button in the top menu, you can choose to view pictures of other taxa besides insects.http://www.discoverlife.org  Has ‘checklist’ keys (as opposed to the more traditional ‘dichotomous’ or ‘branching’ keys) for many different life forms including insects.  Checklist keys are much easier to use but unfortunately available (as far as I know) only on-line and only for a limited set of taxa so far.
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Fungi

http://www.mushroom.com
Website of the Prairie States Mushroom Club.

http://www.mushroomexpert.com
Great online resource for mushroom identification and more

http://www.namyco.org/
Website of the North American Mycological Society
The resources they offer for educators are especially good.

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Astronomy

http://www.spaceweather.com/
News and information about aurora visibility, meteor showers, satellite flybys etc.

http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
A new sky map each month is available for download. Scroll to bottom of page to see a selection of different months

http://www.stellarium.org
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It is also used in planetarium projectors.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/make-a-star-wheel/
Free instructions and downloadable images for making your own star wheel

http://www.cedar-astronomers.org/
Website of the Cedar Valley Astronomers.  Find about events at the Pal-Dows observatory
and other celestial news.

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Weather

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov  NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information website.  NCEI acquires, preserves, monitors, and assesses the Nation’s treasure of climate and historical weather data and information.

http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/climatology.asp   Iowa State Climatologist website.  Current and past data, some in map form.

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Reptiles and Amphibians

http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/
This site is run by Jeff LeClere, author of the Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Iowa.  This site contains a comprehensive list of Iowa herps together with information on their distinguishing features, distribution and natural history information.

https://www.iowaherps.com/
Great pictures and can search by each county in Iowa.

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Mussels

http://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/386
Downloadable and printable field guide to freshwater mussels in this region of the Midwest. Lots of excellent color photos

http://unionid.missouristate.edu
Unio Gallery has lots of great video clips depicting the many weird and wonderful glochidia dispersion strategies.

http://wwx.inhs.illinois.edu/collections/mollusk
Illinois natural history survey has a great portal for accessing mussel species lists, distribution information, and databases, as well as mussel research projects, meetings and gatherings.

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Fish

fishbase.org is a database containing basic biological information on most fish species.  Can search by common or latin name

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Iowa-Fish-Species This page is maintained by the Iowa DNR and lists all fish species found in Iowa and their scientific names and record weights.  There also also links to information on Iowa fishing laws and licenses, fish maps and reports, and “tips and tricks” for anglers.

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Birds

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search
Besides the great pictures and information, you can also choose to hear the song of any bird selected

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/binoculars-and-beyond-nine-tips-for-beginning-bird-watchers/ This link, which lists tips for beginning bird watchers, was contributed by middle school student Nicole from Colorado.

http://www.iowabirds.org Iowa Birds and Birding – Iowa Ornithologists’ Union

http://www.icbirds.org/  Iowa City Bird Club

Introductory article about bird banding: https://www.fws.gov/news/blog/index.cfm/2016/9/6/Birdbanding

www.birdsofiowa.com Jim Durbin’s photography site featuring his bird photos
and much more.

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Geology

http://www.iowageologicalsurvey.org  Iowa Geological Survey

http://www.usgs.gov United States Geological Survey

www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov This connects to the Iowa Natural Resources
Conservation Service Soils Staff

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