Our group (Karl, Laura, Doug), have been working on the design and content of the public education website.

The tree: Content
EOL's educational outreach division is thrilled at this Public tree (they really have no good visualizations of their content). Rather than having to gather or purchase 200+ species photos and write descriptions of them all EOL has agreed to allow us to link to their content, which should easily link up to our tree.

Encyclopedia of Life:
I'm working tightly with the EOL folks who are helping me gather some popular species by distributing the request form on all of their various media outlets:
  • Edu LifeDesk Community - individually email the most robust users
  • EOL Curators (600+ curators, but a smaller amount who are really active) -- use their Google Group to post the questions
  • Post on EOL FB and Twitter
  • Post on selected listservs, such as ESA, NSTA, which EOL is part of.
They are also going to be sending me:
  • Links to their Red Hot List Collection -- which is a list of species that has been gathered through EOL from scientists and the public as those species pages of high interest and therefore EOL needs to get content for them.
  • A list from their google analytics of the top 100-200 species pages that receive the most traffic on EOL.

The tree: Design
I'm currently working with our computer science department here at MSU to design and interactive tree. I want this to be a stand-out and engaging experience for the user (certainly compared by the other evolutionary education science sites out there). The vision for this site continues to expand in its ambitions and it's likely that I will ultimately have to seek more funding to make it a reality.

Open tree storyboard076 copy.jpg

This storyboard, though simple, illustrates the idea.

Top left: Tree view: Home page shows cool 3D tree with photos of the 200+ species that slowly rotates (moves) as you land there.

Grid view (below): illustrates an alternate, non-tree way of viewing the species. Ignore the photos on the grid (and spelling). They were just for designing it)

Second one down: Zoom into one of the domains where you can select a species by clicking on the photo.
Third one down: photo enlarges with brief description and options to see tree view of species (at right) or go to EOL page with more info (bottom web image).
Top right: I have met with an 3D animator and Robin, my helper on this project here, to script an short movie or interactive graphic explaining the tree and biodiversity, with explanations like why it's important.
Below that (middle image right): Games, quizzes.

Public Tree of Life Homepage1- GRID.png