“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 (1929–2021)
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.
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) | Virtual Mapping Activity | Maps for Virtual Design Activity
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.
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.
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!
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.
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) | School of Ants
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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