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Project Wild

Project Wild Description

Due Dates

Journal Requirements

Final Project Presentation

Key: Animals of Orange County

Key: Gymnosoperms

Key: Riparian Habitat

Key: Common Coastal Plants of Orange Co.

Key: "Simple" Plant Key


On-line Glossary

 Misc. Links   


  download Project Wild document

Projects Wild Description


One of the most impressive ways to see nature at work is to watch a setting for a long period of time and see how that site transitions from season to season.  Natural cycles are an important part of our existence.  This project will require you to photograph and record observations in a location of your choice for several months. 


Project WILD will account for 10% of your grade in Biology.

This project is due on May 14th or 15th

Due Dates:

1.      Journal entries will be checked on March 3 and April 7.  All of the entries will be turned in with project in mid May.


2.      Photographs will be turned in with journal entries on April 7th. A complete set of photos displaying transition will be turned in with the project.



1.      Find a nice quiet natural place such as a canyon, stream, marsh, grassland, coastal sage, chaparral, oak woodland, or ridgeline.  Do not use a vacant field, they are often cleared for weed abatement in the spring and that would disqualify your project.


2.      Journals- A complete journal entry must be done every time you visit your site.  Each individual is required to complete his or her own journal entries.  Please do not visit your observational site alone; it is safer to bring a partner with you.


3.      Observational entries must be two weeks apart.  Observations closer than two weeks apart will not be accepted.  There is a total of seven observationís required.  Create a calendar of visits to be sure you follow this requirement.


4.      Photographs- You are to take pictures of your site at every observation.  A partner or yourself need to be in the picture.   Each picture must be labeled with the date and the time taken.  In order to document succession, pictures must be taken from exactly the same angle and location at each visit. You should also take pictures of any animal activity that you see


5.      Plants- Ten plants must be photographed and identified from your site


Journal Requirements


Taking good field notes and being a good observer is mandatory for a successful field study.  You are to spend about an hour at your site every observation period.  You are encouraged to draw the setting and various plants or animals that are involved in your observation.  You are encouraged to purchase a special journal or notebook to record all of your observation in.


Requirements for a successful visit:

Each Journal entry must be a minimum of 250 words.


1.      Record the date, time, temperature, % cloud cover, wind, and recent rain.  This should be recorded at the top of your journal entry in data format. not included in word count


2.      Human activity- note if humans have disturbed your site.  Is there litter, pollution, or habitat destruction?


3.      Plants- describe how the plants are changing at your site.  Change is called transition and is a form of succession.  This is another area where you can draw specific changes new to your site.  You must choose three plants to measure each visit.  You must measure the same three plants each visit during your seven observations.  Pictures of the plants with the measuring instrument are required for each visit. 


4.      Species Interaction  What invertebrates and vertebrates occupy your site?  What are they doing when you observe them?   These interactions can include predator-prey, commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, plant inhibitions, mating displays, and territoriality.


5.      Descriptions of plants and animals should be both quantitative and qualitative.


6.      Transitional changes  How has your site changed since the last observation?  What different abiotic and biotic factors have influenced the change?  Has there been a change in population density?  How about erosion or habitat destruction?


7.      Handwriting- you will be turning in your original work.   Please be sure to take your time and write neatly.


Your journal is a very large part of your grade, be specific and detailed in your descriptions and observations.


Final Project Presentation

Project notebook:


Each individual must submit a project notebook with the following items.

a)     Title Page-  name, period, and a detailed description of site location


b)     Section for observations including transitional pictures of site- please include your original journal entries


c)     Plant photos- photos of the ten identified plants labeled with their common and scientific name.   Teachers will not help you identify the plants!


d)     Photos of the three plants measured each visit.  You must create a data table summarizing the data gathered.


e)     Three separate food chains from your site, you are encouraged to complete these during three of your observations.  You must also create a master food web using the organisms that you observed.


f)       Photos of animal and/or animal activity- to document animal sightings. If you took additional photos to enhance your journal please include them in the notebook under the appropriate observation date.

Misc. Links:  Websites: The following web sites will help you identify the plants and animals at your site.


wildflower key

http://davisherb.ucdavis.edu/CNPSActiveServer/keytoseries.html  (Plant Identification keys)

http://tchester.org/sgm/conditions/blooms/idwhite.html  (Identify plants by their flower color)

http://davisherb.ucdavis.edu/CNPSActiveServer/thums.asp  (Misc. Plant photos) 

http://www.calacademy.org/research/botany/wildflow/index.html  (Pictures of flowers.  Search by common and scientific names as well as color.)

http://bio.lmu.edu/socal_nat_hist/contents.htm  (Southern Californian Natural History:  plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, climate, geography)

http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/plants/sdpls/index.html (Plants of San Diego County)

http://www.audobon.com (Audubon Society to help ID birds)

http://bio.lmu.edu/socal_nat_hist/plants/fams/plfam.html (Southern California natural history, plants & animals)

http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/photos/ (Photos of plants and animals)

http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/index.htm (Natural History of Orange County)

http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/spiders/index.htm (Spiders)

http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/hemipt/index.htm (Hemiptera "bugs")

http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/bflyplnt.htm (Butterflies and their larval food-plants)

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/ca/toc.htm  (Butterflies of North America with photos and descriptions)

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/westflor/species.htm   Western Wetland Flora.  Identification key.

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/narcam/idguide/specieid.htm    An Online Guide for the Identification of Amphibians in North America north of Mexico

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/westflor/gloss.htm    On-line glossary 

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/chordata/lissamphibia/frog_calls.html      Frog calls

http://enature.com/main/home.asp?trkid=10017S16970 Field guides: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, etc.with bird sounds

http://animalpicturesarchive.com/animal/SOUND/ Animal sounds and images, clip art, movies


H E Y !   M R .  W I L S O N 

Website by Duncan Wilson

Page last updated January 07, 2012

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