Academic journal article Journal of Geoscience Education

Web Resources: The Best Earth Science Web Sites According to the Real Experts

Academic journal article Journal of Geoscience Education

Web Resources: The Best Earth Science Web Sites According to the Real Experts

Article excerpt

What sites do university instructors, private/public sector professionals, K-12 teachers, and students find most useful? This installment of web site reviews addresses this question. Earlier this year, we asked subscribers of the weekly "Earth Science Sites of the Week Listserv," "What three web sites, excluding "Google" and "DLESE" (Digital Library for Earth Systems Education), do you use most often as part of your profession?" Survey respondents were also asked to identify their current vocation.

Two hundred and fifty subscribers responded. There were 133 respondents who identified themselves as college/university professors, 52 as earth science professionals (engineers, consultants, laboratory technicians both in the private and public sector), 32 as K-12 instructors, 8 as students, and 25 as other (those that did not identify their vocation).

Reflecting the diversity in the sample's academic interests and backgrounds, only 9 sites were mentioned as "first choice" more than once. Table 1 ranks these "first choice" sites categorized by response group. "Virtual Earthquake," "Terraserver," "AMS Datastreme," and "Topozone" are some of the "favorite" sites. Summaries for the most popular sites appear in Table 2.

As another assessment of site usefulness, we also considered what sites appeared as first, second, or third choice. Again, the popularity for mapping and earthquake related sites appears. Overall, the "Virtual Earthquake" site appeared 18 times as first, second, or third choice, followed by "USGS Earthquake Hazards" (11) Terraserver, (9), and the CIA Factbook (7).

Both governmental (USGS, CIA) and commercial sites (Unisys, Topozone, Terraserver) are represented in this survey, pointing to the continued importance of both the public and private sector as contributors of quality on-line information for the earth sciences. …

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