November 30, 1996
Lack of knowledge about forest ecology is pandemic in our society.
Sensible and sustainable forest management can be greatly aided
by an educated public. Our public, however, does not understand
many vital forest ecosystem issues, like the role of fire in forests.
If we are to sustain forests as functioning ecosystems and resource
bases into the future the public needs to be educated about forest
issues. In an attempt to educate some of the masses I have created
a Website on the Internet.
Because of my experience with the Internet I chose to do an on-line
term project. Constructing the webpages and thinking about what
issues to teach and how to teach them helped me to better understand
many of the concepts we've covered in class.
The Website was fun to create. I tried to make the pages something
people would be interested in looking at while still providing
depth of subject matter. I feel good about the design. I think
it looks good and my seven year old can figure out how to get
around in it. My confidence in the content is not quite as strong.
I created an outline of concepts I wanted to talk about on each
page of the Website. (It's linked as contents, by the
way.) In writing the pages, however, I found it difficult to
expound on all of the concepts I wanted to. I also wanted the
pages to have broad appeal. So I focused more on individual organisms
and only introduced people to a few concepts. I wanted to provide
more detailed information than I did, but I feel I produced a
useful and effective set of webpages.
During this project I have tried to find ways to combine my Internet
experience and my knowledge of teaching and forest biology to
create a product that will be useful, effective, and unique. I
used graphics and tables to make navigation easy. The design uses
white space and graphics to make the text more attractive to the
majority of web browsers who don't spend much time at any one
place. I have advertised the Website; I will continue to maintain
it; and it is on the same account as the ES program so it can
continue to be a resource. Please tell me if you find any errors
or poorly communicated prose on my pages so I may change it.
Doing this project I learned about forest biology and Internet
education. I also feel I have created a new resource for fire
ecology information on the Internet.
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