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Our goal is to study, conserve, and enjoy nature. Everyone should contribute to the knowledge society needs to protect the planet's diversity of life and improve our environmental well-being. This site helps teachers, students, scientists, and other citizens to learn about nature and report their findings on the Web.

Despite centuries of work, we know relatively little about life on Earth. Millions of species are yet to be discovered, named, and studied. We do not understand the needs of most species to ensure their long-term survival. Only a worldwide network of schools, community groups, and citizen scientists, facilitated by scientists and technology, can assemble enough knowledge and wherewithal in the next 50 years to save many species from extinction. Do you want to identify animals and plants, set up study sites, contribute your observations and photographs, illustrate guides, create and test K-16 discovery-based lessons, go on expeditions, help your local land managers, and involve others in these and related activities? Please register and help.

In 1997 we began a study of all living things in the Great Smokies (see Newsweek & Science). In 2002 we started The Polistes Foundation to share know-how through this Web site and support science education, nature studies, and conservation everywhere. Use the white links on the left as a gateway to find information and join in the fun. -- John Pickering


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