“You get this multiplier effect if you can work with a teacher to help them teach their students biodiversity science…it has a huge knock-on effect with their students!” – Dennis Liu, VP of Education
In “Prepping the Next Generation For the Challenge to Rewild Half the Planet,” Dennis Liu, VP of Education at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation joined an interview with the Rewilding Earth podcast in July, a program of the Rewilding Institute. Hosted by Jack Humphrey, the show features conversations with emerging and established thought leaders on biodiversity, climate action, corporate sustainability, and environmental leaders working to save the natural world through a variety of techniques centered on rewilding and sustainably protecting ecosystems for species and humanity.
What is rewilding? According to the Rewilding Institute, rewilding is a comprehensive, often large-scale, conservation effort focused on restoring sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem health by protecting core wild/wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and highly interactive species (keystone species). An example might be the recent reintroduction of leopards at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, home to the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Center and a Place for a Half-Earth Future.
Dennis created and manages the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program which 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. During the podcast he offers insight into the advantages and opportunities in working with teachers (mostly in the US for now), like the National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, North American Association of Environmental Educators, to look for ways to fit the Half-Earth message into the lesson plans, curriculums, and adjacent subjects in the classroom. He shares strategies and tools teachers can use to reach their students with a multidisciplinary approach including math skills, design challenges, mapping skills, and other universal learnings. He offers that teachers are eager to bring biodiversity science to their students and our finding ways to break through with project-based learning.
Rewilding Earth Podcast has posted several links to help listeners learn more including this partial list of Half-Earth Project educational resources with examples of some of the material that teachers are discussing and using with their students, and this major new multi-lesson unit which guides students in their own biodiversity inquiries using some of the best digital resources available with a focus on hummingbirds.
Learn more about the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program.
Listen to the full podcast below: