Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
– E.O. Wilson

Transformative moments of discovery that guide our lives in a new direction are rare, and often happen when we are young and open to them.

Educators hold the power to inspire young minds and transform the future. That’s why Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors are so important.

The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program provides a platform for teachers to engage each other and their students in the grand ambition of Half-Earth, and to inspire and connect students with the natural world.

As part of the Educator Ambassador peer network, community members will have access to a rich set of educational resources, from compelling videos, to cutting-edge digital textbook content, to a state-of-the-art, data-rich interactive tool for mapping Earth’s biodiversity at high-resolution, and of course Ed Wilson’s own writings.

The Half-Earth Project has science at its core and our moral obligation to the rest of life at its heart. We’re working to bottle the inspiration and create the tools to get everyone to Half-Earth.  With the grand ambition of Half-Earth as a moonshot, we’re counting on Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors to lead the way, guiding their students to be our next generation stewards.

Join the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador peer network.

Educator Institutes & Ambassadors

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Half-Earth Day 2019: Education & Citizen Science

Beginning with the “Half-Earth Educator Ambassador Institute” 2-hour workshop, Half-Earth: Pathways to a Half-Earth Future, featured several opportunities for attendees interested in education and citizen science to engage with experts. In addition to the Institute, the day featured “Engaging Next Generation Stewards,” a panel discussion addressing aspects of citizen science, experiential learning and other opportunities that kindle the passion for environmental stewardship and citizen action. Later, the “Environmental Literacy and Envisioning Half-Earth in Schools and Communities” panel discussed how understanding key environmental principles and concepts are the foundation to building consensus and taking action.

Ambassadors in Action

Transformative moments

“My week in Vermont and the effort the Vermont Friends of the Half-Earth Project put into organizing it felt like the Half-Earth Project in a microcosm. Vermonters are going through a process of getting organized to take action. They are a case study of how to rally and organize people, facilitate specific activities, and make use of our science and fact-based approach.”

Ambassadors in Action

Sandra Fary, Middle School Science Teacher

“Several 8th graders have made it their mission to conserve half of their family’s property, whether it be less than an acre or for ‘the back forty.’  Their awareness about conservation and preservation of biodiversity has been greatly heightened due to the Half-Earth mission.”

Saving Biodiversity

From Ants to Grizzlies

A General Rule for Saving Biodiversity

How can we protect the wildlife and the wild places that remain? One of the foundations of conservation now being applied across the world began with the dreams of a young boy in Mobile, Alabama, and of all things, his love for ants.

Ambassadors in Action

Global Trends in Biodiversity Spring Break Institute

“I’m a proud Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador. I’ve used the Half-Earth Map and curriculum in my 10th-grade lab class, and the students are incredibly engaged. It’s one of those times where all I had to do was watch them work. They were totally engaged.”– Selim Tlili, a high school science teacher at the Rudolph Steiner School

Educational Resources

Mapping Design Challenge
Here’s everything you need to do this hands-on mapping design challenge. Your students will work in teams to answer the challenge of putting half of the United States into protection for biodiversity, grapple with evidence, and become motivated to learn more about conserving biodiversity.

Resources
Mapping to Conserve Biodiversity Lesson Plan | Half-Earth Project Maps for Design Activity | Map Design Challenge Support Slides (.pptx) | Map Design Challenge Support Slides (.pdf)


Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life Of Beavers And Why They Matter
Ben Goldfarb, author of the PEN E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award winning book Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life Of Beavers And Why They Matter, shares his engaging, deeply researched insights on these powerful ecosystem engineers capable of creating wetlands and restoring landscapes abused by humans, and the naturalists and scientists obsessed with them.

Resources
Chapter 5 | Meet Ben Goldfarb (video) | Phenomenal Image paper + Classroom Actvity | Data Play | Additional Beaver Resources


International Owl Awareness Day is August 4
A good time to honor this fascinating group of mostly nocturnal birds of prey. Here are some good resources to learn more about these serenely beautiful birds, including a video documenting their hushed flight.

Resources
How Do Owls Fly So Quietly (video) + Experiment | International Owl Center + Facebook page | An Owl-Friendly Life | Bird Guide | “Who’s Who Guide” | Explore Raptors | Birdsong


Saving Species One Chapter at a Time: Great Readings in Biodiversity
We thought you might enjoy some reading recommendations to help fill your summer. Some selections you will already know. Others may be new to you. All will open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world. Good reading!

Browse the full reading list


Audacious E.O. Wilson Student
Meet Corrie Moreau, Ant Biologist and E.O. Wilson Student. Dr. Moreau is now Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and Director of the Insect Collection. Corrie had previously worked at the Field Museum in Chicago in the Department of Science and Education. Here, she talks about being encouraged and inspired by Ed, both in her research and in her education and science communication adventures.

Resources
Meet Corrie Moreau (video) | The Diversity of Ants (video) | Educational Ants (video) | Letters to a Young Scientist, Chapter 13 (book chapter) | More from Ants from the Florida Keys (posters) | The Romance of Ants (comic book) 


Dive Deeper into the Conservation Story of Gorongosa National Park – A View into a Half-Earth Future
This week, we provide additional interactive content to the experience and materials provided previously, featuring the film “The Guide”, a “WildCam Gorongosa: A Citizen Science Project,” and more. Classroom materials included.

Resources
E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory (video) | Happy Hour in Gorongosa (video) | Ecological Recovery in Gorongosa (video) | Phenomenal Sounds Activity | Animal Accoustics Activities Guide


The American Chestnut
This week, lead Educator Ambassador Dennis Liu interviews experts about the significance of the American Chestnut and exciting efforts underway to bring it back from functional extinction. Classroom materials included.

Resources
More than just a tree (video) | Genetic engineering (video) | Breeding, biotechnology and biocontrol (video) | Tragic loss of the Redwoods (video) | American Chestnut resource guide | Legend of the American Chestnut (book illustrated by students) | American Chestnut (educational resource guide) 


Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants
Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Joe Grabowski was looking for ways to make his classroom more exciting and scientifically meaningful for his students. What started out as skyping with scientists and explorers has turned into the non-profit Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants which brings amazing live programming to hundreds of classrooms and thousands of students each month.

Resources
Meet Joe Grabowski (video) | Kristen Lear, bat biologist (video)  


Making Coffee Bird Friendly
In her book Cerulean Blues, Katie Fallon writes of how her love for an elusive bird, the Cerulean Warbler, endangered by Mountain Top removal where she lives in West Virginia. She learns from scientists, bird watchers, and coffee lovers, that her bird depends not just on Forests in West Virginia, but also on habitat in Central and South America.

Resources
The science, economics, and social dimensions of bird friendly coffee (video) | Researching, certifying and selling bird friendly coffee (video) | Cerulean Warbler and other beautiful birds (video) | Cerulean Blues, by Katie Falon (chapter 8) | Bird Friendly Coffee (primer) | Phenomenal image (classroom resource) | Data plan (classroom resource) 


Gorongosa’s Girl Power (video)
The revival of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique has become one of Africa’s most celebrated conservation stories. But it’s the park’s trailblazing efforts to empower women that may create the most long-lasting change. These are the inspiring stories of the women leading the way.


Galapagos Islands: A Case for Half-Earth
How do people who live in the Galapagos view the biodiversity protections they live with? Get an amazing on-the-ground account from two Half-Earth Ambassadors.

Resources
A case for Half-Earth (video) | Teaching inside and out (video) | Marine Iguana (podcast w/transcript; discussion guide)


A Conversation with Educator Ambassadors and Author Doug Tallamy
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 40 years.

Resources
A conversation with Doug Tallamy (video) | Chapter 1 of Nature’s Best Hope | Nature’s Best Hope discussion guide


An Encyclopedia For All of Life
The Encyclopedia of Life is a virtual home for every species on Earth. Katja Schulz, biologist and data scientists with EOL, gives us a tour of the dynamic new food-web tool, which puts your species of interest at the center of a web of predators, prey, and competitors. We encourage you to try it out for yourself and use it as a teaching tool in your classrooms.

Resources
Encyclopedia of Life and trophic webs, with Katja Shulz (video) | Explore trophic webs (resource)


National Moth Week
Moths are everywhere! Moths are important pollinators and also an essential source of food for birds. More numerous and as beautiful as butterflies, these light-loving creatures reveal a world of biodiversity at night. During National Moth Week, or any time of year, learn how to be a citizen scientist, set up your own simple light trap, and observe these moths easily wherever you live.

Resources
National Moth Week (video) | Moths, Lepidoptera: Biodiversity at Night (video) | Mothing and Our Daily Moth | Belén Mena: Moth Art | Citizen Science with iNaturalist | Additional educational resources

Life on Earth iBook Textbook

Inspired and led by E.O. Wilson, and created with a team of world-renowned educators and artists, this comprehensive and original standards-based curriculum tells the story of life on Earth, giving students a deep understanding of introductory biology.

This captivating and free iBooks textbook, presented as a seven-unit collection, extends students’ learning in and out of the classroom with reading and writing assignments and extension activities like field observation and moviemaking. Designed to prepare tomorrow’s scientists and environmental leaders, this curriculum inspires students to take responsibility for conserving and protecting nature’s biological treasures.

Events

The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program holds workshops and institutes training educators to apply Half-Earth lessons in their classrooms.

august, 2020

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