Process for the DOT Garden Food Web

My final project is the creation of both a physical and digital food web that educates people about the many different organisms in and around the DOT Garden.

Physical Component:

The physical component of my project will be the creation of two 2 x 3 ft posters that will combine to create one large 4 x 3 ft food web. This will hang in the DOT garden and will have QR codes that people can scan with their phones which will lead them to a page about each organism. I am using a program called Adobe Indesign to design the poster. It looks like this:

adobe indesign

This is my first time using a program like this but it’s working well. I will print this on a poster and hang it so anyone in the garden will have access to the information.

Digital Component: 

When people scan the QR codes, it will take them to information pages about the organisms. These pages were written by my classmates and I, and they include information such as how to identify the animal, habitat/range, life history, and relationships with other organisms in the garden. It will be on http://www.thedotgarden.org, where information about all the organisms will be available.

The hardest part about this project has been finding a way to get the organism pages to display in the same place so there’s a way to view all of them at once. The plan is to use a “portfolio” page so pictures of each organism will be in on a single page. When you click on each organism, the information page will pop up.

Things I’ve Learned:

This project has made me very aware of the interconnectedness of the garden, because I’ve had to work hard to make the food web less cluttered. Even though it is definitely not an exhaustive list (it only features 24 out of thousands of organisms) it makes me appreciate the beauty of the structure of the garden. It is impossible to isolate a single organism without affecting at least several others.

Also, I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about each of the organisms that I wrote or edited a page for. I can’t see a New Mexico Whiptail Lizard without thinking about its extra chromosomes that allow it to asexually reproduce without cloning. That is so cool! I have learned this and many other facts about the organisms that are naturally found at our school.

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