New Display at NRL: Animal Tracking

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The Natural Resources Library has put up a new display. This time we are showcasing items in our collection that are related to tracking animals.

The display features several books that the library has, including:
* "A Field Guide to Animal Tracks"
*"Tracking & the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks & Sign" by Paul Rezendes
* "Practical Tracking: A Guide to Following Footprints & Finding Animals" by Louis Liebenberg, Adriaan Louw and Mark Elbroch.

Come and check out the new display!

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New Books: Week of 2/24/2014

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After a long lag due to our transition to a new library system, new books are again arriving in the Natural Resources Library. Our new book shelf has been updated to highlight some of our new acquisitions.

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Some of the new books include:
* The Hunted Whale by James McGuane
* Devil & the Deep Blue Sea: An Investigation into the Scapegoating of Canada's Grey Seal by Linda Pannozzo
* Sugarcane Tiger: The Phenomenon of Wildlife in Tarai Farmlands by Rahul Shukla
*The Condor's Shadow: Returned to the Wild But Will They Fly Free a documentary by Jeff McLoughlin

Remember: if you have any suggestions for books or other resources that the Natural Resources Library should have it its collection, please contact the Natural Resources Librarian, Shannon Farrell, at

New Center Works to Address Invasive Species Problems

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota are focused on preventing and controlling invasive species, including bigheaded carp, zebra mussels, and eurasian watermilfoil.

The new Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) on the St. Paul campus is taking a proactive approach to combating these problems in Minnesota lakes and rivers. Peter Sorensen, a professor in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, serves as the director for the new center.

To read more about the research that scientists are conducting on these topics, see:

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Photo Credit: Tony Webster

Evergreen Trees Display

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Just in time for the holidays, the Natural Resources Library has put up a new display about evergreen trees and the Christmas tree industry in Minnesota.

The display features several books and journals that the library has about evergreen trees, including the American Christmas Tree Journal and Christmas Trees for Pleasure and Profit.

Come and check out the new display!

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Tagging and Tracking Invasive Fish

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota are currently working on a project to control common carp, the state's most damaging invasive fish - responsible for harming many native lake plants.

The project involves radiotagging the invasive carp and using a robotic boat with antennae to discover where schools of carp may be positioned. Giving away a school's location may make it easier to remove large quantities of the fish from affected lakes.

The project is a collaboration between Volkan Isler, an associate professor in Computer Science and Peter Sorensen, a professor in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.

This work will eventually be tied to the new aquatic invasive species research center, that was funded by the 2012 Minnesota State Legislature and will be part of the University of Minnesota.

To read more about this work, see:

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Photo credit: Rob Posse

New Display Celebrating Entomology's 125th Anniversary!

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This October marked the 125th anniversary of the University of Minnesota's department of entomology.

The Natural Resources Library has put up a new display, featuring some of the treasures of our rare book collection about insects, ranging from our 1634 book on beekeeping to some early 18th and 19th century works with beautiful, hand drawn plates.

Come and check out the new display!

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Fall Colors 2013 Map

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The U.S. Forest Service has created an online map that illustrates where fall leaves are changing color. The map's key runs from green (leaves haven't changed yet) to red (majority of leaves have changed color) to brown (leaves are "past peak"). It is based off of eyewitness accounts.

There are individual maps available for national forests and states, as well as one that represents the entire U.S. The Minnesota map is available here.

The U.S. forest service is also maintaining a phone hotline about fall colors at 1-800-354-4595.

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Photo credit: VancityAllie

U of M Entomologist Delivers TED Talk on Bees

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Marla Spivak, a University of Minnesota Entomologist, gave a TED Talk about colony collapse disorder. In the talk, Dr. Spivak discusses the multiple and interacting causes of death, such as: a flowerless landscape, diseases, parasites, pesticides, and monocultures. She also talks about how the loss of bees affects agricultural production.

To listen to her talk in full, go here.

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Photo Credit: dni777

Dr. Emile Snell-Rood, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, conducted a study that examined skulls of the white-footed mouse and the meadow vole in both urban and rural animals and discovered that urban animals had larger skull cavities.

Read more about the study in this recent Minnesota Public Radio article, "City Mouse Vs. Country Mouse: Study Finds Urban Animals Develop Larger Brains".

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Photo credit: J.N. Stuart

Launched in 2002, eBird is a "real-time, online checklist program" that tracks bird sightings. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society worked together to create the site. Observations are collected by both amateur birders as well as professional researchers on a daily basis. The amassed data is shared with educators, wildlife managers, and conservation biologists, among others. As of August 2013, the site has compiled over 140 million observations.

There are two mobile apps that can be used to access eBird's data and help you compile your own life list and see which species were recently sighted near your current location. BirdLog is available on both iPhone and Android. BirdsEye is exclusive to iPhone.

If you want to read more about this project, the New York Times recently published an article about the resource, entitled "Crowdsourcing, for the Birds".

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Photo Credit: Alexandra MacKenzie

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