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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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

    July 25: Environmental Studies Youth Summer Institute
    Geneva, NY. Dennis Liu will be presenting to students participating in the 2019 Environmental Studies Youth Summer Institute (July 14-27) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. More than 40 high school students from a dozen US states, Indonesia, Spain, China, and Canada are participating in this two-week intensive field and classroom learning experience. Dennis will be presenting the inspiring Half-Earth conservation goal and engaging students in how to use the Half-Earth ProjectMap to make informed conservation decisions based on the distribution of biodiversity, human activities, and current conservation lands. The program is directed by higher education Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador, Professor Jiim MaKinster.

    July 29-August 2: Rice University Summer Advance Placement Academies
    Houston, TX. Dennis Liu and Robert Dennison will present the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program to AP Biology teachers. The Rice University Academies provide experienced AP teachers the opportunity to delve deeply into specific course content with higher education faculty and to connect to their discipline’s current work.

  • Past Events

    October 22, 2018
    Half-Earth Day Educator Ambassador Workshop
    American Museum of Natural History
    Representing: 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
    Representing: Dennis Liu

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

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

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

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

    June 11-14
    University of Houston College of Education AP Summer Institute
    Half-Earth Project Mapping presentation
    Representing: Dennis Liu

    June 24-27
    Texas Christian University Advanced Placement Summer Institute
    Half-Earth Educator Ambassadors workshop
    Representing: Dennis Liu and Robert Dennison