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Ecology Education

ESA Water Cooler Chats

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with so many ecologists, students, and supporters working remotely, ESA will be providing virtual meeting space for members to connect with each other and talk about the science, their work, and items on their minds during this disruptive time. Bring your thoughts, your ideas, and your questions!

Click here to see past and upcoming topics.

The Ecological Society of America has once again teamed up with Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES), to offer a unique networking and professional development opportunity for teaching faculty interested implementing data-intensive strategies. 

Please stay tuned for future opportunities.


Undergraduate Teaching Resources

EcoEd Digital Library

Search, browse, and contribute ecology education resources. Includes photographs, activities, figures, TIEE materials, and Issues in Ecology. The EcoEdDL is a portal of the LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library, jointly supported by ESA and three partner societies: Botanical Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution and Society for Economic Botany.


Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE)
ESA’s journal for innovative lecture and lab activities to improve teaching and student learning. Submissions to TIEE are welcome.


Ecology Curricular Frameworks

Four-Dimensional Ecology Education Framework (4DEE)

On November 14, 2018, the Governing Board of the Ecological Society of America voted unanimously to endorse the 4DEE framework. Now in its second year, the 4DEE Committee is busy working on developing teaching activities, hosting sessions at ESA AM, Water Cooler Chats, and beyond. Learn more.

Other existing frameworks:

Ecological Core Concepts in EcoEd Digital Library

Ecology Learning Framework for CourseSource articles

CourseSource is an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for college biological science courses. A key feature of CourseSource is the alignment of our articles with learning goals and objectives that were developed by the associated professional societies.

Basic Ecological Literacy


Faculty Development Opportunities

Resources for Ecology Education – Fair & Share (REEFS) at ESA Annual Meetings , co-organized with the ESA Education Section.

Life Discovery – Doing Science Education Conference (LDC)

Future of Environmental Decisions/Scaling Up

Workshops, webinars, and faculty mentoring networks to support:

  • data-intensive approaches to ecology education for faculty
  • use of geospatial and long term temporal data in environmental decision-making by the next generation of scientists

ESA-QUBES Faculty Mentoring Networks


K-12 Resources and Opportunities

PlantingScience is a learning and research resource, bringing together students from grades 6-12, plant scientists, and teachers from across the nation. Students engage in hands-on plant investigations, working with peers and scientist mentors to build collaborations and to improve their understanding of science. Student groups are mentored by scientists online as they complete an inquiry-based curriculum in their classroom. Managed by the Botanical Society of America. ESA is a Scientific Society partner.

Sign up as a Mentor at PlantingScience.
PlantingScience Teacher Resources.


ESA Education Community

Committee on Diversity and Education (CDE)

formerly Education and Human Resources Committee (EHRC)

ESA Education Listserv

A venue for subscribers to discuss emerging issues in ecology, environmental science, and science education. Members can also share announcements and updates on ecology education programs.

ESA Education Section
The Education Section currently has a membership of around 400 ecologists, educators, managers and administrators actively engaged in undergraduate, graduate, K-12 and teacher education, as well as community and public outreach programs and scholarly research in ecology education.


Other Initiatives

Ecology in the Pre-Medical Curriculum

Where is ecology in the proposed core competencies in pre-medical education and assessment? ESA’s Education and Human Resources Committee (now Committee on Education and Diversity) organized a response to the changes.