[seek-dev] [Fwd: www.eco-tools.net -- new website for online ecological calculations]

Samantha Romanello sroman at LTERnet.edu
Fri Jan 14 08:17:14 PST 2005

Saw this on ecolog and thought hhmmm.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	www.eco-tools.net -- new website for online ecological 
Date: 	Thu, 13 Jan 2005 17:13:17 -0500
From: 	Gareth Russell <gjr2008 at COLUMBIA.EDU>
Reply-To: 	Gareth Russell <gjr2008 at COLUMBIA.EDU>

Dear All,

I would like to introduce a new web site, www.eco-tools.net

This site performs a number of common calculations from ecology and conservation biology. You
submit a data file, and numerical and graphical results are returned as a web page. Current tools
include life table calculations, species richness estimation, F-statistics, timeseries autocorrelation,
taxonomic autocorrelation, ordination and simple count-based PVA.

The site is free, and open source. The calculations are performed by Mathematica, and the
calculation code is available for inspection. The idea is the same as all open-source efforts -- the
code can be peer-reviewed, critiqued and improved by users and thus be robust and reliable.
Furthermore, as far as is possible, new modules are based on established references. For example,
the life table tool is based on Caswell's book, the timeseries autocorrelation tool is based on
Royama's book, and the PVA is based on Quantitative Conservation Biology by Bill Morris and Dan

By being free, the site makes these tools available to ecologists and conservation practitioners
worldwide, without need for expensive hardware or software, or sophisticated programming skills.

The current site is just a beginning -- a number of additional tools are in development, and more
are planned. The current set is a 'mixed bag' to show the sorts of things that are possible. Right
now I am inviting comments on the site in general, and suggestions for future directions. (I am
also looking for funding to help future development.)

You can try the site right now, because each module has one or more example datasets built in --
just choose that option, and run the tool. If you have your own data, so much the better.

I look forward to hearing from the ecological community.

Gareth Russell
Columbia University


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