I would like to incorporate a few different things in my proposal. First I took a look at the research on white nose syndrome (WNS) and other bat conservation websites. This gave me a good understanding of WNS and what organizations are doing. I got pretty absorbed in this step watching videos and reading about possible interventions like heating portions of caves, artificial cave construction (http://blog.nature.org/2012/10/cool-green-scientist-cave-man-cory-holliday/), and use of fungicides. The sites vary a lot from a purely text and scientific or government website type formatting such as the following to a more graphic based.
These have about the appeal of a wikipedia page. If you were already interested, these pages provide lots of up to date information and details that are beyond what the OBC needs to provide. The other type of pages are more like what OBC should have. They are graphic based and have videos and other media to create an appealing page for the audience. The main points can be taken away quickly and easily.
Here is a cute one geared to children that uses a picture book format.
This is a site similar to OBC that does a good job of highlighting WNS.
The second thing I looked at was the OBC page itself in order to better understand the organization and its mission so that this could be reflected in the proposed changes. Doing this I found that what others mentioned as a focus on Mies’ ego seem to me to be a focus on education through live animal demonstrations and outreach. The BatZone is a center for rescue and care of bats for demonstrations. According to the website the majority of WNS work is done through research grants to other individuals and groups. The information they provide does seem to be a bit out of date though and the research that resulted from their funding is not highlighted or linked.
My proposal will included changes to both the home page and the WNS section.
1. Reorganization of home page to aid in navigation and highlight WNS (5.7 million bats dead).
2. Separation of WNS page into multiple sections including more images and videos
a. animated map of spread of WNS 2006 to present
b. infographic that provides view of bats’ importance and inclusion in natural ecosystems and economic value – e.g. $3.7 to $53 billion in agriculture costs per year and one million bats eat between 660 and 1320 metric tons of insects per year (http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article_pf.asp?ID=2743)
c. Add linkable content to text so that more information is available while reading through.
d. Highlight and include the research where OBC provided funding
e. Update information to include current intervention and prevention research – breaking news section?