Global Trends in Biodiversity Spring Break Institute for Educators

More than 60 grade 6-12 teachers spent their spring break at a workshop hosted by the America Museum of Natural History* (AMNH) April 22-24, 2019, exploring cutting-edge tools and information to support their students’ exploration of our planet’s biodiversity, and how to design strategies for saving it. The workshop included in-depth sessions on using the Half-Earth Map and other resources in their teaching, exploration of the museum’s storied exhibits and collections, and early morning bird-watching in Central Park.

“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

The event began with a sobering talk on the current state of our planet’s imperiled biodiversity delivered by Dr. Joel Cracraft, curator of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at AMNH. The talk might have created a negative feeling among other groups, but not these teachers. The workshop took an energetic and optimistic turn as teachers learned about coral reefs and efforts to save these important havens of biodiversity.

During the workshop, we introduced the amazing group of educators to the Half-Earth Project and E.O. Wilson’s transcendent call to save half of the land and the sea for the rest of nature. We workshopped the soon-to-be-published hands-on Half-Earth mapping activity, designed to prime students for getting the most out of the online Half-Earth Map.

We are grateful to have so many new Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors bringing our evidence-based optimism to their students, and for sharing their thoughts in their own words.

Contact Dennis Liu for more information about the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program and workshop.

*Great thanks to AMNH and our esteemed colleagues at the museum for organizing this successful event: Dr. Adrianna E. Aquino-Gerard (Senior Science Content Specialist), Dave Randle (Senior Manager of Professional Development), Agnieszka Pierwola (Course Instructor), Dr. Joel Cracraft (Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology), Jessie David (Program Assistant), and Melanie Cohen (Online Learning).

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