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Paul Schroder

Biology 307

November 30, 1996

Forest Biology Term Project Evaluation

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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