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Island Biogeography (Holmgren): The Assignment

Island Topography

Lab Project

                                        Island Biogeography                        

Lab Project

After choosing your island, you must research and answer the following questions in a power point presentation.  The report must be 6 – 10 minutes long .  Each member of your presentation must participate in the oral presentation.  Your presentation may be presented on a personal laptop only if the team has confirmed that it is compatible with the classroom projector ahead of time.  Otherwise burn a CD or transfer via FirstClass the attached slides to be shown on Mrs. Holmgren’s laptop.  A test run of several of your team’s slides must be opened on Mrs. Holmgren’s laptop at least 1 day prior to your presentation to verify that it is a compatible and functioning presentation.


Present your island as Darwin presented the Galapagos islands.  Be certain to provide and emphasize the environmental uniqueness which explains natural selection and the biodiversity of species.  Why is your island UNIQUE?  EXPLAIN

 Necessary information includes:

1.  Geologic age of the island

            Explain its formation

 2.  Geography - Location of the island

            Body of water in which it is located

            Nearest continent and distance from it

            Nearest  island (if any)

 3.  Size of the island

 4.  Climate of the island



 5.  Biome and type of vegetation

 6.  Report any known evolutionary history.

            Fossil evidence and dates

            Common ancestors

  7.  Describe at least 5 native species of the island.  There must be at least one:




            Do not include any introduced species (brought to the islands by man). 

   8.  Include unique characteristics about the island species that might include:


            Adaptive, parallel evolution…

            Predator-prey strategies

            Sex selection

 9. Attempt to explain how natural selection both affected and resulted in the appearance of species and their adaptations found on this island.

 10.  When did man first come to inhabit the islands?

            What were/are the consequences? 

            Have extinctions occurred?  Describe those events and organisms.

 Illustrations and Diagrams

1.  Map of your island to include the surrounding body of water and the

     continent nearest to it.

2.  A picture or drawing detailing each of your selected species


DUE DATE First Period:  March 8    

DUE DATE Third and Sixth Periods:  March 6 

Make certain that your slides are easy to read, the diagrams and pictures are large and that they transition smoothly in the order in which information is presented.  This will be a part of your grade.





Island List

Island Biogeography Presentation








___New Zealand


___ Tasmania


___Papua New Guinea


___Bali and Java





Top Ten Things to Know about Finding Information

10. Don’t wait till the last moment to start your research!
Procrastination = panic!

9. Research is a word game.
Try various techniques to improve the accuracy of your searches: use AND and OR to combine groups of search terms, truncation (wild card searching), phrase searching, search limiters, etc. Use Search Strategy Builder to help construct good searches.

8. Google doesn’t have everything.
Hard to imagine, but Google only provides access to a fraction of 1% of what’s “out there” on the web. Learn to use the library's databases.

7. Use Advanced Search features.
Many databases include “Advanced Searching.” By using it, you can quickly and easily improve the accuracy of your searches—and have fewer but higher quality search results.

6. A lot of things aren’t online at all.
The MBA Library alone has millions of books, articles, documents, videos, etc. that aren’t online. Anywhere. Visit us; we’ll help you find ‘em.

5. Use Wikipedia—and other encyclopedias—carefully.
Encyclopedias can be great places to get beginning background info, and for references to major books, articles, etc. on a topic. But they’re usually not something you can use as one of your sources for a paper or other project.

4. Evaluate! Evaluate! Evaluate!
Don’t believe everything you read. Or see. Or hear. It’s up to you to determine if the information you are using is reliable or not. Librarians can help with this, too!

3. Research is not a straight line.
It's a process, a spiral, an evolution. One piece of new info can take you back to places you've already been. You may need to change course, even reverse direction from time to time.

2. Find more sources than you think you’ll need.
Some sources that you’ll find just won’t work for your research needs. But, if you collect “extra” sources at the beginning, you probably won’t have to backtrack and re-do your searches later.

1. Ask a Librarian!
Don’t let the frustration level build up too much before you ask for help: In person. Or email.

(Top Ten adapted from Araba Dawson-Andoh, Ohio University Librarian.)