About Biome

Biome actually consists of two islands in the virtual world Second Life, Biome and Biome II.  Owned by Northern Michigan University, they are maintained by Dr. Carolyn Lowe of the NMU School of Education.  Dr. Lowe is known by the name Clowey Greenwood in Second Life.  Please call me Clowey “in world”.  Sometimes I am a human-appearing avatar but don’t be surprised if I appear as a tiny snow leopard.  Biome and Biome II are dedicated to the study of biodiveristy, classification of living things, ecology and bioenergetics.

Found on the island of Biome are the Faculty and Student Center, a Learning Center with classrooms and Clowey’s office, a comfortable foyer, and the entrance to the enormous Tree of Life which will house displays and activities pertaining to the various groups or kingdoms of life.  A 30 meter high microscope looks down on human-size microorganisms in a 10 meter diameter drop of pond water.  In the Butterfly Pavilion you can look at electron micrographs of butterfly wings and then enjoy a leisurely visit to the pavilion where butterflies flutter about you.  You may want to study the idea of a closed system “pop-bottle” habitat or tour a coral reef with many of the groups of the animal kingdom.  And, of course, there is the famous Obstacle Course for new residents (or old who want to brush up on SL skills) to practice their walking, flying, using the camera, searching for groups and making notecards.  Planned are interactive exhibits on food webs, photosynthesis and respiration.

Biome II is new (as of October 2008) and will be dedicated to ecosystems common in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Lake Superior shoreline.  Currently there is a wetland area and a rock-bottom stream.  A dune area is in the process of being developed.  There is a small mountain which will have rock out croppings of our famous UP rocks.  Mixed coniferous and deciduous forests will occupy the remainder of the area.

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