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

What do you do when your students raise their hands and ask, “What can I do to stop species extinction?”

E.O. Wilson proposed an answer to that question when he wrote the book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, in which he called for us to conserve half the Earth’s lands and seas to provide sufficient habitat for all of life, including ourselves.

And then something wild happened. Everyone started paddling in the same direction. 

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.

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

“Change will come slowly, across generations, because old beliefs die hard even when demonstrably false.”
– E.O. Wilson

In the early days of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, we wanted to bottle that moment in a young person’s life – that transformative moment of discovery – and so we started to collect kids voices while they were on BioBlitz’s. This is the story we heard….

Those words didn’t come from a script, they came from the heart. 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.

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.”
– E.O.Wilson

The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program was created to provide 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. 

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.

So, when your students raise their hands and ask,
“What can I do to stop species extinction?”

Now you can tell them,
“Help us get to Half-Earth. Here’s how.”

Join the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador peer network.


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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.

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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.”

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.”

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

E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth

To create Life on Earth, the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation brought together a team consisting of educators, writers, multimedia artists, 3D animators trained in science and cinema, and textbook professionals, led by naturalist Edward O. Wilson, with the goal of creating a cultural landmark—a portal that will introduce students to the grandest story there is, the story of life on Earth, from molecules to ecosystems, from the origin of life to the modern awareness that we control the environment we live in.

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.

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  • Upcoming Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Events

  • Past Events

    October 22, 2018
    Half-Earth Day Educator Ambassador Workshop
    American Museum of Natural History
    Representatives: Amanda Briody, Michelle Duong, Paula Ehrlich, Dennis Liu, E.O. Wilson

    November 3, 2018
    Science Teachers Association of New York State Conference
    Presentations at the Biology Institute
    Representative: Dennis Liu

    November 10, 2018
    National Association of Biology Teachers Conference
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Workshop
    Representatives: Amanda Briody, Jim Clark, Dennis Liu

    November 30, 2018
    California Science Teachers Association, Science Education Conference
    NGSS short course
    Representatives: Amanda Briody, Jim Clark, Samantha Johnson

    February 18-22, 2019
    Vermont Half-Earth Project Community Consortium
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Workshop, Presentations
    Representative: Dennis Liu

    April 11-14, 2019
    National Science Teachers Association Conference, St. Louis
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program presentation
    Representative: Dennis Liu

    April 22-24, 2019
    North Carolina State University
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors presentation at Science House
    Representatives: Dennis Liu

    June 11-14, 2019
    University of Houston College of Education AP Summer Institute
    Half-Earth Project Mapping presentation for Advanced Placement Biology
    Representatives: Dennis Liu

    June 24-27, 2019
    Texas Christian University Advanced Placement Summer Institute
    Half-Earth Educator Ambassadors workshop, AP Biology
    Representatives: Dennis Liu and Robert Dennison

    July 25, 2019
    Environmental Studies Youth Summer Institute
    Half-Earth Educator Ambassadors presentation
    Representatives: Dennis Liu and Jim MaKinster.

    July 25-27, 2019
    Knowles Teacher Initiative
    Group Work to Maximize Learning

    June 28, 2019
    Legacy: Partners in Environmental Eucation Alabama
    Mountains to the Gulf Educator Excursion

    July 8-11, 2019
    North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching
    Science to Enhance Literacy

    July 29-August 2, 2019
    Rice University Summer Advance Placement Academies
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program to AP Biology teachers
    Representatives: Dennis Liu and Robert Dennison

    July 25-27
    Knowles Initiative Summer Conference

    Environmental Science Summer Youth Institute

    July 29-August 2
    Half-Earth for AP Biology

    American Zoological Association

    Master Naturalist in Columbia

    October 7
    UC Berkeley
    Half-Earth Day Educator Ambassador Institute
    Representing: Amanda Briody, Dennis Liu, Scott Rinnan, Jim Clark

    November 1-4, 2019
    Half-Earth Eduator Ambassador Institute
    Representatives: Dennis Liu, Caitlin Ullock, Mike Comet

    November 11-15, 2019
    National Association of Biology Teachers annual meeting
    Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Institute
    Representatives: Dennis Liu and Amanda Briody

    November 17 – Naperville, IL
    Northern Illinois Science Educators (ISTE of NSTA)
    Dennis Liu will present the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program to attendees of the conference focused on the Next Generation Science Standards and curriculum Storylines.
    Representative: Dennis Liu

    November 20, 2019
    IMSA Design Challenge
    Dennis Liu presents Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador resources to teacher-led teams of students competing in a design challenge focused on sustainability and conservation.
    Representative: Dennis Liu