Unit I Course Project
PowerPoint Presentation: Part 1
This is the first part of the course project. The course project consists of three parts to be completed in Units I, V, and VIII.
Each part will address a different aspect of ecology, and your project will be built sequentially as we complete each of the
course units, culminating in a completed project by Unit VIII. You will submit the Unit I presentation in Blackboard as a single
In Unit I, we covered the basics of ecology, how ecologists study ecological systems, and how ecological systems vary in
size and scale. For this presentation, you are going to become an ecologist—congratulations!
Specifically, you will develop a hypothesis on a pattern in nature that you have observed, and you will develop a plan to test
your hypothesis. You should review the sections in this unit that discuss the scientific method before you embark on your
voyage of ecological discovery.
The first step in developing your presentation is to make an observation of a pattern or process in nature. Visit a local park,
nature reserve, or even your own backyard, and note any patterns that strike you (e.g., a plant or animal species that seems
to occur regularly in a particular habitat or differences in the way a plant grows from place to place). You might also observe
ecological patterns as you travel to work. Ask yourself, “What human or natural factors may have influenced the pattern I
have just observed?” Then, formulate a hypothesis based on your observation (some research in the CSU Online Library
and the Internet will help), and develop a plan to test your hypothesis. Will you use a laboratory, field, or natural experiment?
What will be the independent and dependent variables in your experiment? Obviously, you will not be able to actually test the
hypothesis and gather data, but your presentation work can get you close!
Remember to use reliable sources on the Internet. There is a lot of misinformation out there and finding reliable information
can be difficult. The best sources of reference material for your presentation are scientific journals found in the CSU Online
Library databases. Be sure to cite your sources of information and any images or graphics that you use.
Be sure to follow the guidelines below.
Include at least three visual aids.
Include three reliable sources with references in APA format. (At least one source must come from the CSU Online
Use bulleted information on slides (five or less per slide).
Include brief details in the speaker notes. (Information that you would say to the class during an actual presentation
should be placed in the speaker notes.)
Include a separate title slide and references slide.
Use appropriate fonts and backgrounds.
Use correct APA format for references and citations, and use correct grammar and spelling.
Upload the presentation as a .ppt or .pptx file.
Part 1 of the PowerPoint presentation should be at least six slides in length, but not more than 12 slides in length (not
counting your title slide and references slide).
Information about accessing the grading rubric for this assignment is provided below.