Classrooms will no longer need Internet access to explore information on the Chesapeake BIOS web site.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has created a set of three disks with Netscape software that will allow users to view the web site's information simply by clicking on highlighted text (or links) which jump to the documents referenced.

These free, IBM-compatible disks are available to classrooms. Their content applies to a range of ages.

The Alliance and its volunteers developed the Chesapeake BIOS (Basinwide Information On-line Service) in 1994 to provide citizens with Internet access to graphic-rich, current information on the Bay and its rivers.

Chesapeake BIOS teaches about the Bay's animal and plant life, describes issues concerning restoration efforts and provides information about other Bay and river organizations.

The BIOS disks include a variety of Alliance publications, including fact sheets on the Bay and its tributaries, several white papers, a directory of Bay and river organizations, and a 1996 archive of Bay Journal reports on current issues.

Also included is the EPA's "Chesapeake Bay: Introduction to an Ecosystem," a primer on the Bay's ecosystem, geology, habitats and resources.

Teachers may obtain the BIOS disk set by calling the Chesapeake Regional Information Service at 1-800-662-CRIS. Each disk comes with instructions and a description of computer system requirements.

Those who have access to the Internet can visit Chesapeake BIOS on the World Wide Web at: http://www.gmu.edu/bios.