P4L Case Study ~ Biology





Gary Fleener, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
of Biology and Natural Resources


Dr. Fleener's love of the mountains inspires his teaching and is a thread in all of his courses. His 1996 Rocky Mountain Internship Program, the 1999 and 2001 Nepal Himalaya Abroad Programs, and the 2003 Mountain Quest Program to Appalachia and Peru are natural stepping stones to a web-based program of courses on mountain ecology.
Stephanie Rader
Biology Major
Glen Arbor, MI
Stephanie's love for the outdoors made Biology a natural major for her. She is goal oriented and her initiative and her conscientious nature are an asset to this program. She is new to technology and began with scanning. Web pages next!
Objective & Goals
  • The objective is to create a web site for a mountain ecology program.
  • The goal is for Dr. Fleener to be fluent in building and managing his web site.
Background & Specific Problems

Mountain Ecology: Fleener works with a Colorado organization that focuses on mountain ecology. He would like to develop materials that can be used both in his Principia College teaching as well as in his work in Colorado. In both cases, it will be important to access the material off campus.

Tech Skills Advanced: Fleener is fluent with technology. He covers a wide variety of technical applications in the course of his teaching, including the Graphical Information System (GIS) Arcview incorporating the use of a GPS.

Timing: Spring, 2003 Fleener is directing the Mountain Quest Program to Appalachia and Peru. Stephanie will do no mentoring. She will only scan. Fall, 2003 both she and Dr. Fleener will be in Nepal. While they will not be working on the technical aspects of this project, they expect to build their collaborative skills and do some preliminary planning.

Methods & Solutions

Image data base: ACDSee provides key fields and searchable text fields. Naming and describing the images will make them accessible and useful for faculty and students alike in researching and illustrating projects.

Stephanie used the Nikon slide scanner and stacker. She scanned several hundred slides.

Results, Limitations, & Next Steps

Results: Stephanie scanned images and used ACDSee as the database for the images and information about the locations. Fleener's personal slide collection of mountain venues gathered from his travels will be an integral component to this project. Most of the images she started with were from Nepal, the destination for their study abroad next fall. Stephanie worked completely independently. She was persistent at resolving problems when storage space became an issue. She saved to the local hard drive and burned to CDs until more storage space became available. The new server for storing images lifted this pressure.

Limitations: With Fleener in Peru and contact minimal, the partnership has yet to develop. He was unavailable for consultation on key fields for the images. Many of the slides were not labeled so data on those slides is incomplete.

Next Steps: Fall, 2003 Stephanie and Fleener will be in Appalachia and Nepal. We will try to find a way to work this project into her academic requirements for the program.

Web Tool: We will explore Blackboard, FrontPage, and Dreamweaver as possible tools for his site. Stephanie will learn the application, build the site, and train Dr. Fleener in editing and managing the site.