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Quest

To prove you can manage this ecosystem, you need to first prove that you can make accurate predictions about the grass, mice, and fox populations. You need to know the growth rates and when population reversals occur. If you think you understand the Science, have done enough testing with Laboratory and Ecosystem and read all the Discussion and Papers, you can prove your biology skills by trying Dave Volek's Food Chain Quest.

There are three different types of Quests (Bionumbers, Bioenergy, Biomass), each with its own Hall of Fame. Each Quest uses the same mathematical model as Ecosystem, but you will be given a lot less information than you had with Ecosystem. Using the initial figures for the end of December, you will predict how the bionumbers, bioenergy, or biomass will change for the end of January. You will enter your prediction into the interactive worktable. When you click “Submit,” the program will calculate the error (the % difference between your predictions and the simulation) of your prediction for January. A low score means a good prediction.

You will repeat this process for 23 more months. Your cumulative error will be calculated after each turn. If, at the end of 24 turns, your cumulative error is low enough, the computer program will allow you to put your name on the Food Chain Hall of Fame. Your score must be higher than the 100th position to get this honor.

Click which Quest you want to prove your biology skills.

Hall of Fame positions will be fairly easy to earn in the first few months after Food Chain's launch. Students will need only minimal knowledge and a little common sense to get relatively good score. But to beat these early Hall of Fame positions, the next generation of good scores will require a better understanding of the three tropic levels and a skillful application of math skills. In other words, it should require a good scientific mind to get a good score a year after the launch of Food Chain.

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