Reflection 1- Embarking on this project!

I want to embark on this project because I felt really inspired this past fall after taking Professor Rothenberger’s Conservation Biology class. We discussed anthropogenic factors that have led to species extinction and species endangerment and I became really invested in wanting to do something unique with my new passion for this topic. I tried to find a webpage that was interactive and educational but failed to find one. I believe that this topic could really benefit from an interactive graph because seeing the damage humans have done visually instead of just in textual form will be extremely impactful. It is hard to comprehend the level of damage that humans have caused and the number of organisms that have been affected by the human world. Something so simple as brushing ones teeth can impact an entire watershed due to microbeads in cosmetic products. Leaving lights on and overusing temperature control systems fuels climate change, which can wipe out entire populations within only a few years. One oil spill can kill millions of organisms and cause long-term damage on an ecosystem. The addition of a factory or housing development to an area can wipe out dozens of species due to habitat destruction and fragmentation. These simple but impactful everyday things that happen because of humans is the reason why I want to explore this impact on a deeper level and try to create an interactive webpage that I can share with others to hopefully inspire them to become passionate about conservation too. This summer I expect to delve into a topic that I am extremely passionate about to engage with it on a deeper level and to hopefully be able to share it with others to influence them in a positive way. Throughout this project I really would like to focus on critically endangered species as well as species that have already gone extinct. In the news it is common to hear about exotic animals from foreign countries that have become endangered or extinct but I find that the smaller less noticeable animals fall by the wayside. I expect this project to be challenging because it will be extremely time intensive sorting through information regarding all the endangered species, considering there are thousands. I plan to invest as much time as possible into gathering good data from reliable sources and I also have set up a meeting with Professor Rothenberger in the biology department so that she can take a look at some of my ideas and give me any insight she may have since she is well versed in this topic. Overall, I am really excited to start my project and I am excited to see what it evolves into.

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