Welcome to the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology

What is the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology? (DLC-ME)?

The goal of the DLC-ME and the Microbe Zoo is to help students from 7 to 107 to learn about microbial ecology, the study of microbes in the environment.

 Creators of the DLC-ME
 Purpose of the DLC-ME
 Parts of the DLC-ME
 Getting around the DLC-ME

Creators of the DLC-ME

The Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology (DLC-ME) is a science education project developed at Michigan State University. The DLC-ME was created by the Comm Tech Lab in collaboration with the Center for Microbial Ecology and the College of Education at Michigan State. The creation of the DLC-ME was partially sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the DLC-ME is to use computers and network technologies to provide students and teachers interested in microbiology and microbial ecology with resources that may aid their learning and teaching. Elements of the DLC-ME are distributed on line as a World-Wide Web (WWW) site and as a CD-ROM for use on personal computers. The multimedia software for use on personal computers was created with Macromedia Director, and will run on a Windows PC as well as on a Macintosh.

Purpose of the DLC-ME

Microbial ecology is the study of ecosystems that are entirely composed of or profoundly influenced by microscopic organisms. Unlike medical microbiologists, who study disease-causing microbes, microbial ecologists are often concerned with communities of microorganisms responsible for processes that are helpful to or sometimes essential for the health and survival of humans on Earth. The goal of the DLC-ME project is to use computers and network technologies to help students and teachers learn about microbial ecology, and to help make educational resources concerning microbes readily available.


Parts of the DLC-ME

Getting Around The DLC-ME...

The DLC-ME World-Wide Web site has some standard navigation features that can help you move around this site.

At the top of each page is the "Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology" banner graphic, which looks like this:

Clicking on this at any time will return you to the DLC-ME Home Page/Main Menu.

In each major section of the DLC-ME site (the "Microbe Zoo", "Microbes in the News", "Microbial Ecology Resources", or "Meet the Scientists"), the section you are currently within is represented by a picture and text that appear immediately below the DLC-ME banner. For example, in the "Microbe Zoo", the top of a page looks like this:

Clicking on the "Microbe Zoo" picture or text on this graphic will immediately take you to the Microbe Zoo Home Page/Main Menu from anywhere within the Microbe Zoo. Similar graphics with equivalent functionality appear within the other major DLC-ME sections (Microbes in the News, etc.).

Major DLC-ME sections (such as the Microbe Zoo) have several sub-sections. In the case of the Microbe Zoo, these include DirtLand, Animal Pavilion, Snack Bar, Space Adventure, and Water World. Within each sub-section, the graphic at the top of the page indicates both the major section and the sub-section, for example:

This graphic indicates that we are in the DirtLand sub-section of the Microbe Zoo section of the DLC-ME. As before, clicking on the Microbe Zoo text or picture (on the left) takes you to the Microbe Zoo Home Page/Main Menu. Likewise, clicking on the DirtLand text or picture (on the right) takes you to the main DirtLand menu page from anywhere within the DirtLand sub-section. Other sub-sections, both wihin the Microbe Zoo and elsewhere in the DLC-ME, have similar graphics with equivalent functionality.

The sub-sections are also represented by a row of smaller buttons that appear immediately below the previously mentioned graphics. In the Microbe Zoo, these sub-section buttons look like this:

The entire page-top graphic in the Microbe Zoo (in this case, in the DirtLand sub-section) looks like this:


Clicking on any of these sub-section buttons takes you to the main menu page of the corresponding sub-section. For instance, to go directly to Water World (without returning to the Microbe Zoo main menu page) from within DirtLand, you would click on the Water World button on the far right. Note that in this example graphic, the DirtLand button (far left) is slightly "grayed-out", which would indicate that we are within the DirtLand sub-section.

 On long pages, a "go up to the top of the page" arrow graphic is sometimes included, usually along the right-hand edge of the page. Try this one out now!