Kwasny, Jessica A.* and Kenneth M. Klemow. 2000. DEVELOPING AN ON-LINE TAXONOMIC KEY TO THE PLANTS OF THE KIRBY PARK NATURAL AREA. Contributed paper: Pennsylvania Academy of Science meeting. Abstract: Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 73:165.
Individuals who lack expertise in plant identification often use field guides to identify unknown specimens. Though popular, such guides have several disadvantages including use of complex terminology and a focus on a single group of plants (wildflowers, trees, ferns). Another approach would be to develop a new, user-friendly tool for plant identification using a hypertext-based system that combines words and images on electronic pages that can be linked. Such a hypertext-based taxonomic key is being created for the plants from Kirby Park Natural Area in Wilkes-Barre, PA. An initial version of that key, created in 1998, is being revised. Individual pages, created in HTML, provide either choices based on text and figures, or an identification of species typically found in the park. The pages are embedded with links to other choices or to an identification page. The updated version of the key is set up using frames to facilitate navigation. The pages are uploaded to the Wilkes University mainframe and made available through the Internet. The usefulness of the key will be assessed through tests conducted by local ninth grade students.