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Participation

In Dave Volek's Food Chain, you will be cast as biologists managing a grasslands ecosystem. Part of your job is to predict the bionumbers, biomass, and bioenergy of three different organisms: grass, mouse, and fox. If you can make good predictions, you are more able to be the good wildlife preserve manager your employer is calling for.

You are free to wander and work through the site in your own way to get the experience with this ecosystem. There is no teacher to tell you how to do it. You choose from several ways to interact with Food Chain:

  • The best way is to go straight to the Food Chain Ecosystem. You can just watch the changes, getting some anecdotal experience.
  • You can set up the Food Chain Laboratory, placing a known number of grass and mice to test out various hypotheses—and find several important correlations to make better predictions for the Ecosystem.
  • After you do a few trials, you can participate in the Food Chain Discussion Group to find out what your fellow biology students around the world have learned about this simulation.
  • You can read the papers other students have written in the Food Chain Journal. And I encourage you to write your own paper for this journal for it will be great practice for the real world of science and technology.
  • You can download data from your Laboratory and Ecosystem runs and play with this data in your spreadsheet.
  • Finally you can challenge yourself in the Food Chain Quest, a 24 month simulated trial.
  • There you will make your best predictions—and prove you are indeed a worthy candidate to be a future biologist!

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