Links to things, places and people

NOAA National Climatic Data Center
Have you ever had the need to look up information on the climate of a field site? Can't remember the last time it rained, or how much it rained? The National Climatic Data Center has your back. They've got a variety of ways of interfacing with their data, but my favorite was the map interface which allows you to view where the climate stations are, what years they have data for, and then you can download the data as a .CSV, .PDF, or .TXT file. 

Skeptical Science
When it comes to climate science, all scientists are skeptics, in that we question knowledge and facts as a way of testing them and in peer-review. However,  many "climate skeptics" are not scientists, do not use the scientific method, and aren't even really skeptics; rather, they are in denial of the facts and our knowledge about the climate system. The website, Skeptical Science, tracks the claims made by those in denial of climate change, shows the data that they use to support their denial, then shows how they are distorting, cherrypicking, and/or making up facts. 

Climate of Doubt
A frontline documentary that investigates the movers and shakers that call themselves skeptics. 
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation:America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads
A publication from the National Academies Press based on findings of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), available for FREE download or read online. Some good insight into the barriers to participation in STEM fields. It also has ideas both for helping students overcome those barriers (short-term solution), as well as ideas for lowering those barriers (longer-term solution).
Need to laugh at something besides the results from your latest experiment? Need to step away from work, but not away from the computer for fear that you won't find your way back? Here are some sites that helped me get through graduate school, and are currently aiding me in my postdoc.
Helped me get through graduate school, especially Strong Bad's emails (direct link below), requires flash

Strong Bad Emails
Watch in moderation, requires flash

Piled Higher and Deeper Comics (PhDComics)
Sometimes funny, sometimes profound, and sometimes you might just learn something

Asana — Shared task list and project management I had six paper lists in three notebooks, several concurrent email streams relating to those task lists, and no easy way of reconciling them or maintaining my sanity. Then I discovered Asana, a web interface project management and task list interface with iOS and android apps as well. You can have tasks, comments streams regarding tasks and updates on progress, set due dates, sync with iCal interfaces like google calendar and more.

Dropbox — Online file storage for free I was a failure at synchronizing files on my desktop, laptop, netbook, and mobile device until I met dropbox. It continuously and securely syncs your files, which proved key when my computer gave up the ghost while I was finishing up my talk on a flight out to the West coast for the 2012 ESA meeting. I was able to get all my files, and only lost a few hours of work.

GIMPPhoto editing on a budget Terrible name for a great FREE piece of software that has some of the functionality of photoshop for the image post-processor on a budget. Also does a nice job of helping convert files to TIFF for submission of figures to journals.

ImageJMicrograph editing and more More FREE software, this one for photo editing with nice tools for working with microgaphs, including "particle" counting, useful for counting microbes and nanoparticles alike.

Join MeShare desktop, internet teleconference, remote tech support...for free Minimal install, incredibly useful, ridiculously simple, fairly stable, and FREE. This software lets you share your desktop with multiple collaborators, and even give them permission to control your mouse. It also allows for you to concurrently run an Internet teleconference (think Skype without the video, or Adobe Connect without the ability to switch what desktop you are sharing). Check out this video for a preview of what you can do, and this video for why you should. They also have iOS and Android Apps for meeting on the go.

NOTE: While I've found these to be useful and safe, please check them out on your own before diving in.
--Ben Colman