Home page animation (17 sec)
Telecoupling and Migratory Species Website
In recent years, scientists have made major progress in our understanding of the world around us by considering nature and society as parts of a single interacting system. This coupled natural and human systems or social-ecological systems research seeks to understand these interactions and to develop innovative solutions to many resource management challenges.
I couldn't get my scientist client to simplify the site title of this site for normal people. That made sense because the audience was reviewers for a 1.6 million dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. Still, I know that those reviewers come from a wide variety of disciplines and I wanted to make the site as accessible as possible given the complexity of this research specialty. I decided to approach this with a science magazine layout.
The client was a multidisciplinary consortium of 19 scientists. I had a rather interesting brief for a web design project. The NSF grant-writing process is so intensive for the principles that the project manager literally didn't have time to manage the web design. He gave me a folder containing 21 research papers from peer-reviewed technical journals, all co-authored by members of the team, saying "Read these and make us a site for the project." That's one way to learn about the relations between complex migratory species ecology and the social and governmental systems they pass through on their seasonal routes--read each article multiple times, take notes, do my own research, and write. In some ways, passing the information through an objective person like myself was one way to make it understandable to a wider audience. I had to understand it before I could write about it.
Of course, the clients edited it and made iterations on the final website. And they did get the grant.