Spiders of the World

Working with Spider Data

When you submit your spider data using e-mail or the online Spider Data Entry Form , your data is added to our growing JASON Project Spider Database. This database will be used by Dr. Gillespie as well as by students and teachers around the world. Participating in the online exercise also gives you the opportunity to use data that other people have submitted. All the data is stored here on the JASON Project homepage which automatically produces up-to-date charts that describe the database. You can view these charts or even look at the individual data records.

The following charts are available:

Below are some suggestions for teachers for class exercises and projects that make use of compiled spider data. To expand this list of ideas for others please leave your own suggestions on the JASON Teacher's Discussion Group.

  1. Daily reports: Have students regularly monitor the data that is submitted to determine which PINS or areas are submitting the most data sets. From this information have students send an electronic mail message to these sites introducing themselves and shareing with them successes and failures in collecting their data.
  2. Working with other sites: Once a partnership has begun with another site. Have students work together electronically to write reports on a chosen family of spiders common to both locations. This report should include a description of the habitat(s) in which the spider was found.
  3. Class projects: Collect data from different sites and compare it. Have students create their own map indicating the total number of famiies and individuals found for each site. Students can also choose a family, determine its range (based on the global distribution of sampling sites) and present a poster or report describing the family, its characteristics and range. Ask students to include the physical or environmental boundaries which have caused these ranges (eg. mountains, water, etc.)?
  4. Collecting more data: After submitting their data, students can repeat the exercise in the spring to see if they found any new families not previously recorded at their site. Why were these families not presented earlier?

To conclude Dr. Gillespie's work, ask the following questions: Which spiders live in similar habitats? Do they share common features (morphological, ecological or behaviorial?) What would students predict would happen if individuals from their family of spider were left on an island chains such as Hawai`i?

Spiders of the World


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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)