How The Species Search Engine Works

This search engine was created through collaborative work out of Millersville University's James C. Parks Herbarium, by Drs. Nazli Hardy and Christopher Hardy of the Departments of Computer Science and Biology, respectively.

The Engine provides convenient, one-stop access to encyclopedia articles, images, and reputable species information sites such as Animal Diversity Web and the USDA PLANTS database. Additionally, biodiversity data in the form of DNA sequences (from GenBank) and geographic occurrence data from the world's museum and herbarium collections (from GBIF) can be retrieved for later analysis in higher-level University classes such as Computational Methods in Systematics, Evolution, Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Plant Systematics. As such, the purpose of the Engine is to assist University students, faculty, and staff in finding Web-accessible information on species, particularly plant, fungal, or animal species.

This Engine, however, is no substitute for library research on scholarly journal articles and books.

Technical Information:
The engine uses the JavaScript programming language to query other websites and databases for information regarding your species of interest. Positives results are returned as species pages from these websites.

The code, (c) 2008 by Nazli W. Hardy and Christopher R. Hardy, is freely available, preferrably upon request. The authors make no guarantees as to the accuracy of any information retrieved from the Engine.