Episode 77: Prepping The Next Generation For The Challenge To Rewild Half The Planet
A nationally recognized expert in science education, Dennis directed the production of educational media at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for 20 years before joining the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation in 2019 as Vice President of Education. He works with scientists, educators, graphic designers, animators, filmmakers, and students to design experiences to have lasting impact on learners. The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Program aims to build a high impact community of educators devoted to infusing biodiversity and conservation thinking across the curriculum. Dennis has a particular passion for meeting audiences where they are to pull them into science thinking and has been an advisor on numerous museum exhibits and community science programs. He studied zoology at the University of Wisconsin, earned a Ph.D. from University of Oregon, and was faculty at the University of Washington.
- Challenges and opportunities in enriching conservation education in America and beyond
- Working with teachers to provide conservation education in an “industrial education” system
- Rewilding the Heartland: engaging and captivating the minds of the next generation in farming towns throughout the upper Mississippi watershed
- What does Half-Earth mean in places like Iowa from a farming community kid’s perspective?
Check out the Half-Earth Map to see the three critical types of information we need to start making the most effective conservation decisions. The map is for policy makers, conservation managers, educators, students, and anyone who’s curious about our world. Besides giving us a view of the state of biodiversity at home and across the world, mapping digital data is a critical new skill for students.
This article from Psychology Today frames the importance of Biodiversity and Conservation themes in education
This partial list of Half-Earth Project educational resources shows examples of some of the material that teachers are discussing and using with their students as part of the Half-Earth Educator Ambassador community. We offer in-depth lesson sequences such as the Half-Earth Map Design Challenge, but also NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)
This major new multi-lesson unit guides students in their own biodiversity inquiries using some of the best digital resources available and focuses on hummingbirds because they are familiar, beautiful, and diverse.
This recent blogpost shows how we organize our educational materials by themes that can be refreshed and updated continuously. Here, we emphasize videos that introduce teachers and students to the amazing biodiversity in Alabama, the environmentally challenged home state of E.O. Wilson.
Everyone is welcome, but we particularly hope for educators to sign up to be a Half-Earth Project Ambassador. You can become as involved as works best for you. At the very least, keep up with us by getting our mostly bi-monthly newsletter.
Consider taking the Half-Earth Pledge
Visit the Foundation website to learn more about biodiversity and the ideas of E.O. Wilson.
Director of Digital Outreach (D.O.D.O.) for The Rewilding Institute
Host and Producer of the Rewilding Earth Podcast
Jack started Rewilding work as Executive Director of Sky Island Alliance in the mid-1990’s, organizing the Sky Island Wildlands Network design, ripping up illegal roads on forest service lands, installing wolf acclimatization pens on Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch & conducting howling surveys to help make way for the final stage of the Lobo reintroduction program in the Southwest.
Through the years, Jack has worked with Dave Foreman and the Rewilding Gang to further Rewilding initiatives and education.