Posted tagged ‘biodiversity’

Biomes Evolve again

November 21, 2008

Lots of news.  First of all the beautiful fall on Biome II is gone with the first snow we had here in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  I am making trees from photo’s I took but, in the mean time, I am using some of those awful Linden trees that randomly seem to scrunch and shrink.  I find it really funny but particularly annoying that you go somewhere to get the special box of free trees and they are exactly the ones you already have in your library.  sometimes they even rename them just to fake you out.

Winter comes to Biome II

Winter comes to Biome II

On Biome I decided we needed a nice cozy foresty place to enjoy.  I added more trees included some oaks I made from sculpted parts and some nice seating around.

More forest comes to Biome

More forest comes to Biome

I also met an amateur mycologist, George Sporg, (George Sayers in real life) who is helping with our fungi room in the tree of life.  He has sent me some amazing photos and they will be a great addition.  The photo below is of one of the UP’s favorite fungi – a morel.   In his own words, “Here are a few pictures of the common yellow morel i.e. Morchella esculenta — It should be noted that this is a taxonomically troubled genus and depending on the company you keep referring you morels as such could spark a dangerous debate … usually the mushrooms eaten before anything like that takes place”.  I really appreciate the collaboration of people who have particular expertise or great ideas!

Common Morel

Common Morel (c) George Sayers 2008


About Biome

October 10, 2008

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.