I’ve been so busy in the evenings working on the planning for the Second Life Education Community Conference 2008 that I’ve neglected to mention the really cool project we’re doing at work!
On July 1, 1859, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace presented their paper about natural selection and their theory that this accounted for the variety of species and evolution of life forms on earth. In celebration of this 150th anniversary, the University of Cincinnati is holding a campus wide celebration and exploration of its implications and impact. As part of the celebration, my team is re-creating the Galapagos Islands in Second Life and it will eventually be opened to the public.
We’re just in the stages of getting the DEM data into Second Life to recreate the landmasses as accurately as possible (it’s trickier than you might think!) and still somewhat navigable by avatars. (You can see our original island in the background in this image.)
The website for the project hasn’t been launched yet, so I’ll have more info soon, but we have several exciting things planned, including using the Second Life Galapagos Project in conjunction with several courses in a variety of disciplines, and also to incorporate images, video, and reports from the field as student groups take trips to the REAL Galapagos Islands and bring artifacts back for us to display on the virtual islands.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all works out and I hope it will make biology class a lot more fun!