Can you help develop the Whiteknights Biodiversity Blog? UROP provides £1200 to give one student a chance to make a difference.

Delivering Diversity: Whiteknights’ biodiversity on the web

An exciting opportunity to help make publicly available, knowledge of the biodiversity on Whiteknights Campus through development of a web site and enhancement of Whiteknights Biodiversity blog.

Supervised by: Alastair Culham

The Placement Project

Working in the internationally renowned University of Reading Herbarium (RNG) you will be helping to develop the teaching, learning and outreach activities of the Whiteknights Biodiversity project ( which was initiated through Faculty of Life Sciences funding in 2011. Currently the project employs a blog to publish data on the fauna and flora of campus but we also hold substantial additional data in a Blackboard site. The aim of this UROP project is to convert some of the unpublished data into further blogs and into a set of web-page guides to living things on campus. You will have access to a dedicated workspace and computer in the Herbarium. In addition you will be encouraged to help build the project’s portfolio of wildlife images through digital photography on campus of animals, plants and fungi. This project links in to the JISC Digitally Ready project run through CDoTL and will enhance digital literacy skills in design and provision of web content.


The major task will be construction of a small website ‘Whiteknights biodiversity’ to deliver outward facing information. It is envisaged that basic web page building will take 35% of the project time. The second task will be use of existing data to build up to three short campus wildlife guides, similar in style to the tree walk guide produced by the Grounds Department (30% of the project). The third task will be conversion of biodiversity data held in Blackboard into an appropriate form for web publication followed by knowledge gap analysis (10% of the project). Blog authoring (10%) using existing and new data. Wildlife photography and the gathering of a campus wildlife image bank will take 10% of the project. The final 5% will include report writing and planning for future developments.

Skills, knowledge and experience required

The student will need a basic knowledge of plant and animal identification (highly desirable), a willingness to learn web authoring within the University’s Content Management System (for which training is available) (essential), ability to synthesise data into logical summaries (essential), good written communication skills (essential), photographic skills (highly desirable) and a willingness to communicate with staff, students and the public (highly desirable).

Skills which will be developed during the placement

The development of web and web 2.0 skills are fundamental to this project and the student will be immersed in current digital literacy activities. The web pages and .pdf guides will acknowledge the authorship of the student in an appropriate manner. It is also envisaged that details of the project and its linked activities will be published in an appropriate journal (Possibly BGCI News).

Place of Work

University of Reading, Harborne Building

Hours of Work

37.5 hours/week

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Monday 02 July 2012 – Friday 07 September 2012How to Apply

Students should apply by submission of a CV, covering letter and contact details for two academic referees. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and asked to draft a short biodiversity blog.

Return to Placments List

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
This entry was posted in Animals, Fungi, Meetings/Events, News, Plants. Bookmark the permalink.

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