Our Education program provides a platform for educators to engage with each other and their students in the goal of better understanding and protecting global biodiversity. We hope to ignite young people to reimagine how we care for the planet. We engage students and teachers through workshops and institutes, biodiversity-focused educational materials tied to curriculum and standards. We engage learners in schools and campuses, nature centers, and community events aimed to inspire and connect people with the natural world.

Are you an educator looking for biodiversity education materials for your classroom? 

We offer a wide variety of lesson plans, activities, and materials including, design challenges, multi-day activities, short engaging activities focused on images and data, instructor tips, video discussions, and more. Topics include classroom-friending GIS mapping, explorations of charismatic groups like hummingbirds and dragonflies, concept-building activities to better understand key biodiversity concepts such as species range, species richness, and species rarity. We make extensive use of engaging data visualization,  real-world data, and research problems applied to the global biodiversity crisis and solutions. Our Teaching Tools portal includes clear lesson objectives and downloadable classroom materials for diverse learners,  including Spanish Language content.

Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors

In addition to being a leading scientist and communicator, E.O. Wilson was a popular college professor, mentoring four decades of students. He believed passionately in the power of education and in adopting new methods and technologies. We honor his commitment  and legacy through the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors network, an active network of educators engaging youth in biodiversity science and conservation. Today the network includes U.S. classroom teachers across disciplines looking for ways to bring biodiversity and conservation into their curriculums— from life sciences to arts and humanities, as well as non-formal educators within outreach organizations such as nature centers.

Educator Ambassadors gain access to high-quality educational resources for middle school- to college-level student work. Biodiversity-focused resources range from compelling videos, engaging images and data, guided inquiries into biodiversity, and conservation design challenges focused on mapping and conservation priority analyses. Many lessons make use of the Half-Earth Map, our professional conservation prioritization tool that students can use for their own projects inside and outside of the classroom. We aim for our learning resources to supplement and support, not replace, experiential learning in the field. 

“The Hearst Foundation is proud to support The Half-Earth Project’s Educator Ambassador Program because of its unique model for engaging teachers and students in the exploration of our shared planet. The program is helping to ensure that biodiversity science is accessible to children of all backgrounds and, importantly, helping to educate the next generation of conservation leaders.”

Meet our Master Ambassadors!

Lisa Borgatti is a high school biology, chemistry, and AP Environmental Science teacher at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, where she serves as the program director of Sustainability in the Afternoon, advisor of the Environmental Club, and co-chair of the Sustainability Committee. In addition, Lisa is currently an AP Environmental Science exam reader for the College Board. As a leader in conservation education, Lisa has been recognized by Trout Unlimited for her work facilitating student macroinvertebrate surveys and water quality testing of the Upper Mill River. Her work has been critical in establishing stream habitat quality for anadromous fish. Lisa is an experienced content writer and has served as a curriculum developer for the MIT Climate Action Through Education (CATE) program, where she designed an interdisciplinary climate change curriculum for high school students, focusing on science, world languages, history, and math. In addition to her classroom expertise, Lisa has been the primary presenter for the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference.

Robyn Embry is a high school science teacher in Mitchell, Indiana, where she teaches AP and Dual Credit courses in Environmental Science, Biology, and Biotechnology. She has also served as an adjunct instructor of Biomanufacturing at Ivy Tech Community College and an AP Environmental Science exam reader for the College Board. Robyn has received numerous accolades, including the 2024 Gene Stratton-Porter Environmental Science Award and the 2019 Soil and Water Conservation District: Conservation Teacher of the Year. As a leader in her field, Robyn has served on the Indiana Department of Education’s Climate Change Resource Team and is actively involved in the North American Monarch Institute, where she and her students have contributed to Monarch research and conducted outreach programs within their community. Robyn is a highly-engaged member of the educational community, serving as a teacher mentor for Purdue’s Summer Energy Academy and sharing her work through conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

Missie Olson, Ph.D., is a high school science teacher in Becker, Minnesota, where she teaches biology, earth science, and Dual Credit Environmental Science. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Bethel University. Dr. Olson received the 2023 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award for Minnesota and was selected as a 2021 State Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching. Dr. Olson has extensive experience in curriculum design, with expertise in NGSS three-dimensional learning practices. She serves as the Minnesota Science Teachers Association’s regional representative, has presented at state, national, and international conferences, and has published work in peer-reviewed science education journals. To reach beyond her community while engaging more deeply with her students, Dr. Olson created the Becker Amazing Earth Project, where she and her students capture, curate, and share photos of nature and explain the scientific phenomena behind them.

Linda Rost, Ph.D., is a high school science teacher in Baker, Montana, teaching biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, AP Biology, and science research and serves as an adjunct instructor at Miles Community College. Dr. Rost is a nationally recognized educator and the Montana recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, the recipient of a NEA Award for Teaching Excellence, and a Finalist for the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2020, Dr. Rost was Montana’s Teacher of the Year and Top 4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. In addition to her classroom achievements, Dr. Rost is an experienced curriculum writer with expertise in content development, and is well-versed in culturally responsive pedagogy. She has extensive experience in teacher professional development, where she has provided professional keynotes, presented at local, state, national, and international conferences, and published her work in peer-reviewed science education journals. Dr. Rost lives on a cattle ranch in Montana with her husband, three children, and an elaborate hobby chicken farm, complete with peacocks.

Selim Tilli teaches high school biology at The Beekman School in Manhattan, New York, and was formerly an educator at the Rudolf Steiner School and in New York City Public Schools. Selim has roots in Puerto Rico and Tunisia and studied biology before earning master’s degrees in environmental health at Hunter College and environmental humanities at Harvard University. Selim participated in an introductory GIS mapping workshop that Esri made available to Half-Earth Educator Ambassadors. As a result, he has been able to offer projects for his students right in their school neighborhood. Selim is an experienced curriculum developer who contributed to several teaching tools featured on the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Education Page. In addition to his stellar teaching and writing skills, Selim is fluent in both English and Spanish and helps translate Educator Ambassador materials into Spanish.

For more information on our Education program or how to become a Half-Earth Educator Ambassador, contact Dennis Liu, PhD,


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