Signing Up and Logging In

How to access this web site.

  1. Why should I register as a member of this site?

    If you want to use any of the online assessment tools, participate in one of the working groups, post comments, or basically do anything other than browse around, you need to be signed up and logged into to our site.

  2. How do I sign-up here?

    The process is straightforward:

    1. Click on the Signup link you’ll see at the upper right corner of any page.
    2. Complete the form you’ll see on the “Sign-up” page with the required information — your name, email address, password, and time zone.
    3. Submit the form, and our system will tell you to check your email.
    4. Wait a bit and then open your email inbox, find our message, and then click on the link in the message.
    5. This will open your browser back to our site — to your personal Workspace page in fact. You’ll see that you’re now logged in because your name will now appear in the upper right corner of every page.
    6. Make sure you remember your password and which email address you used to login!

  3. While trying to sign-up as a new member here, I entered my email address and password, but I never got the promised confirmation email from your system. What’s going on?

    Almost certainly, you made a typo when entering your email address. If you don’t provide our system with a valid email address, our system can’t send you the confirmation email. It simply bounces back to us, and you never know about it. If you think this has happened and you want help fixing the problem, then email us.

    There are other possible explanations, such as your email inbox is full and your email server is rejecting new email, or perhaps our email really is in your inbox but it is so full you don’t notice it. An increasingly common problem is that your email server has decided that our email to you is spam and has junked it. We’ve seen all these situations, and more. The most likely explanations are that you made a typo when registering or that your email server has junked our confirmation email.

    So, check your inbox, your junk folder, and if you still don’t find our confirmation, email us and we’ll let you know if your email bounced and what the best next step might be.

  4. Why is this so complicated?

    Well, it actually is no more complicated than any other web site login, for starters. But more importantly, if you’re registering here in order to work with our tools to manage information about your own prairie remnant or to work within your own working groups, you certainly don’t want someone else to be able to login as you and impersonate you. Also, we use the email confirmation step in order to make certain that only legitimate users with real email addresses can register.

  5. What do I do if I’ve forgotten my password?

    If you’ve successfully logged in before, but now can’t remember your password, do this:

    1. Click on the “Login” link in the upper right corner of any page.
    2. Click the “Reset Password” link you’ll see in the Login page.
    3. Enter your email address into the “Email” field that will open up.
    4. Our system will send a new activation email to your email address — unless we can’t find your email address (presumably because you made a typo or used a different email address from the one you registered with us).
    5. Wait a short while then check your email inbox.
    6. Find the email we sent you and click on the link you’ll see in the message.
    7. Your browser will open up back at our site with you logged in to the page where you edit your profile.
    8. Update your password in the “Password” section to something you can remember.

    If you still have problems after following these instructions, email us.

  6. Why can’t you just tell me what my password was?

    We keep our passwords encrypted in our database. This means that we can’t tell what they are. When you login, whatever password you send in gets encrypted and compared to what we have on file. If it matches, you’re in. If it doesn’t, you aren’t. We can tell if you got it right, but not what “right” is. That’s why you need to go through this process.

  7. How do I change my email address?

    Keeping your email address up-to-date in our system is crucial to your use of our site. Your email address is the key identifier by which you access any information, groups, or other functions here. If you haven’t provided our system with your current email address, you won’t get any email notifications at that new email address (obviously).

    You maintain your own email address information just as you do other information such as your name. We provide you a convenient link from the Your Workspace page to make this easy:

    1. Log into our site with your current (or old) address — the one you used to register initially. NOTE: You can use your old address and password even if you no longer can receive email at that address. YOU SHOULD NOT SIGN UP AGAIN AS A NEW USER OR YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS ALL YOUR STUFF HERE! If you cannot login because you cannot remember your password AND you also cannot access your old email address, then you need to email us and we will change your email address for you. AGAIN: DO NOT SIGNUP AS A NEW USER IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT HERE! When in doubt, email us!
    2. Go to the Your Workspace page; there is a link to that page at the top right corner of every page.
    3. Click on the “Manage your email address, password, name, and profile” link you’ll see in the “Admin Actions” box.
    4. Update your email address in the “Email Address” panel of the “Login Settings” section.
    5. That’s it; you’ve changed your email address.

    Note: now that you’ve changed your email address, any time you log back into our system, you’ll need to use that new email address. You use the same password, though, unless you’ve changed that as well.

  8. How do I change my password?

    If you are in the habit of periodically changing your passwords (which you should be!), then you should change your password here as well. Granted, our site does not carry the weight of your online bank account, for instance, but particularly those who are involved in our research projects have an obligation to keep your account private and accessible to no one besides yourselves.

    Similarly to your email address, you update your password via these steps:

    1. Log into our site.
    2. Go to the [Your Name]’s Workspace page; there is a link to that page at the top right corner of every page.
    3. Click on the “Manage your email address, password, name, and profile” link you’ll see in the “Admin Actions” box.
    4. Update your password in the “Password” panel of the “Login Settings” section. Note that you must type it twice to confirm it.
    5. That’s it; you’ve changed your password.

    Note that if you access our site through a shared computer, you must always logout when you’re done with our site, otherwise anyone else who uses that computer and comes to our site will impersonate you. That is, they will be able to access all information that you can. This might prove embarrassing to you at the least, or compromise one of our projects at the worst. It is up to you to Do The Right Thing.

  9. I’ve just received an email with a link to a page on the site, but when I click it, I’m told that I don’t have access to this. What gives?

    Every page you request at this site is checked to see whether you should have access to it. Unless the site is convinced that you do, you won’t get the page. This is a Good Thing.

    When you click on a link in an email, your computer switches from the email application (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mail, whatever) to your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, whatever). When your browser takes over, it will request the page from our site. In doing so, it will send a bit of information (saved in "cookies") to our site. This information will determine whether our site is convinced that it should give you the page.

    There are a couple of possibilities here:

    1. You may not currently be logged into the site — i.e., there is no valid cookie on your computer that says you’re logged in. This can happen for many reasons: you’ve flushed your cookies; your browser has crashed and lost its cookies; your computer has crashed with the same result; something else has corrupted the cookies — which happens in weird ways.
    2. You are in fact logged into the site but the link in the email uses a different domain: “” vs “”. This shouldn’t make a difference, and we’ve configured the system to respond equally to both variants. However, it appears that in some situations (usually involving Internet Explorer — what a surprise), being logged in one way won’t work with the other. Hence if you’ve been logged into “” and get a link to “” the cookie your browser sends the site may not work.

    As mentioned, this second situation shouldn’t in fact pertain given our site configurations, but it does still seem to happen for reasons that we still are trying to figure out.

    When this does happen, the access error message you’ll see now points out that you may not be logged in and reminds you to look in the upper right corner to see if this is the case. Virtually certainly it will be, so what you need to do is to login. Once you have, you’ll be redirected to the page you wanted.

    There are several other things you should do:

    1. Change your bookmark/favorite for our site from “” to just “”
    2. Flush your cookies for our site.
    3. Close down your browser for good measure, then restart it.
    4. Login afresh.

    This should put things on a solid footing for you. For what it’s worth, the site works flawlessly here.

    This has been an ongoing point of frustration for us, and we apologize for the inconvenience it has caused you. And please email us any remaining problems.

  10. What is your Privacy Policy?

    We do not sell, lease, distribute, or use in any other fashion any email address or other information provided by anyone who registers at this site. Only registered users of this site will ever receive email from us, and then only as part of their use of the various forums or other group tools. Any concerns, issues, or complaints about these policies or the operation of this site should be promptly emailed to us.


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