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BIO 226: Biodiversity: Home

Project Timeline

Due date Description
Feb 24
Organism/Individual selection. Google Form Completed and submitted by each student (every day you are late) 1 grade point less (STEP 1)
Feb 26
Faculty approves (or not) the project. After approval students start working on searching for information.
Feb 27 to
Out of class time. Find, summarize and save information found on different sites, peered review sources, and others. (STEP 2)
Mar 03
Mar 05
Website Project Lab. 3 hours to work on your projects. Random draw as to what two websites you need to review, evaluate and provide feedback. (STEP 3)
Mar 27
Draft Website Due & Peer-review starts. Start reviewing two websites (see instructions in STEP 4).
Apr 03
Peer-review ends. Finalize review of two websites, see step 4 to guide your evaluation. Failure to provide meaningful feedback will result in 50% loss of your grade
Apr 17
Final Draft of Website is due.

Goals and Description of Project


Goals of the Assignment

  1. To give you an opportunity to learn in depth about an organism of interest to you
  2. To provide you with an opportunity to show your ability to synthesize information in a creative, concise, reliable and scientifically sound way
  3. To help you explore the intersection of science, creativity and art
  4. To help you acquire a basic understanding of website design
  5. To highlight the importance of evaluating websites
  6. To highlight the importance of using a variety of sources from the literature
  7. To understand the importance of copyright and plagiarism 

Description of Assignment

 Use websites providing authoritative information on your species/group and supplement with primary literature as needed to find the following information about your species:

  1. Overview: Write an overview of the basic biology of your species/group, noting such aspects as its distribution, habitat, physical characteristics, food and feeding, relationship to other organisms in the ecosystem, reproduction, development and lifespan, behavior, and communication. Write only a few sentences on each aspect. Provide in-text citations to the websites and other sources that you used.
  1. Classification: Provide the following taxonomic information (use the categories necessary to specify your group/species): kingdom, phylum, class, order, suborder, family, genus, species, subspecies.
  1. Current research: Share the latest research done for your organism in the last 5-10 years.  You may include different areas of research including physiology, ecology, evolution, and/or conservation.  Include all major findings and in-text citations to the papers you reference.  You should conduct a relatively thorough review of the literature in order to find this information.
  2. If Applicable to your Species/Group
  • Conservation Status: Indicate the status of your species/group on (1) the United States Endangered Species Act list, (2) the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act, (3) the IUCN list, and (4) the CITES list.
  • Conservation Issues: Write a narrative on the conservation issues relevant to your species/group and the threats it faces. Aim for about 2-3 paragraphs in length, although this will vary among groups/species. Provide in-text citations to the websites that you used.
  • Conservation Organizations: Provide links to organizations involved with the conservation of species/group. Provide a one sentence annotation for each organization.

        5. Literature Cited: a complete list of all the websites (and other sources) you use on your website following the format specified below. Minimum number of sources for the overall assignment: 12

  • At least 6 sources need to be articles from peered-reviewed journals. Try high impact articles from high impact journals (cited many times)
  • Use format as described in: Citation tab

        6. Images and other fun stuff: If you find images, sounds, videos, etc. that will enhance the aesthetic impact and/or the information included on your website, please include them. These, too, must be included in the list of citations!

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