AskNature FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)What is AskNature?
AskNature is a bio-inspiration website where innovators can learn from nature's solutions, biologists can find a whole new audience for their research, students can be inspired through science, and collaborators from different disciplines can work together to create innovative, sustainable, bio-inspired designs.
Do I have to sign up for an account?
No, all visitors may browse and use the site.
Why would I want to set up a user profile?
Creating a user profile will enable you to create personalized galleries of any AskNature content, including strategies, products, articles, reference materials, experts, and organisms. It will also enable you to create watch lists, submit comments, contribute strategies and products, and connect and communicate with other AskNature users.
Who can contribute to AskNature?
We invite users to contribute graphics (such as photos or drawings), strategy pages, and product pages to AskNature.
How is AskNature funded?
See our Sponsors & Partners page.
What platform is AskNature built on?
We built AskNature on the open-source WiserEarth.org platform. Thanks WiserEarth!
What is The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute?
The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture and grow a global community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life's genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
What are some recommended reading materials to learn more about biomimicry?
Start with the book that inspired us: Janine Benyus’s Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Also look through the Biomimicry Reading List provided on The Biomimicry 3.8 website. It will help guide you through the many facets of biomimicry, from basic biology to engineering innovation to deep economy. Select books from the areas that capture your attention most, but also challenge yourself to read from areas outside your discipline.
I’m having problems creating my personal profile. What should I do?
Please send an email to support[at]asknature.org with details about your browser and operating system.
How do I search on AskNature?
There are several ways to search and explore AskNature:
- Use the Explore function to browse strategies, products, and people. The Explore button is located just above the center of the homepage and toward the upper right of all other pages. Learn more about the biomimicry taxonomy here.
- Use the search box that says, "How does nature...," and click on the magnifying glass to its right. The search box is located just above the center on the homepage and in the upper right of all other pages. Focus your search on certain features (strategies, products, people, etc) by using the drop-down menu to the right of the search box.
What is the Biomimicry Taxonomy?
The Biomimicry Taxonomy is a way of describing how organisms meet life's challenges—biology organized by function. See our Biomimicry Taxonomy page to learn more.
There are some categories in the Biomimicry Taxonomy that don’t have any strategies or organisms. Why not?
Eventually, each category will have organisms and strategies associated with it. The current completed strategies represent an emphasis on four particular sustainability challenges—buildings, global health, water, and climate change. If you have an idea for a new biological strategy that aligns with an under-represented function within the Biomimicry Taxonomy, submit it here.
What are strategies?
Strategies are the ways that organisms overcome or meet a particular challenge. For example, to modify light and color, the Morpho butterfly has a particular wing scale architecture. To protect itself from dirt particles, the earthworm uses electro-magnetic flow.
I searched for a species and it wasn't on your site. Why not?
Although there are almost 2 million species names in AskNature, species names only appear if a biological strategy of that species is included within AskNature.
Can I get copies of cited papers?
Copies of articles or book excerpts may be accessed at many university and college libraries, through interlibrary loan services at a local library, or sometimes online. Try using Google Scholar or Google Books to find complete papers or excerpts online.