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  • Created 08 Apr 2022

Biodiversity Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN):

A joint initiative of ESA's Transforming Ecology Education to 4D Project (TEE) and Biodiversity Literacy for Undergraduate Education (BLUE)

A stipend of $1000 is available for participants who complete all requirements.

Funding support comes from the National Science Foundation

Applications are open now! 

Applications Due: June 24th, 2022

Applications are now closed.

The Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Transforming Ecology Education to 4D (TEE) project is teaming up with the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) Network to host a Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) with support from BioQuest/QUBESHub in Fall 2022. The TEE/BLUE Biodiversity FMN aims to work with educators to adapt their biodiversity data-centered teaching modules for undergraduate courses to incorporate the Four-Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) framework.

Purpose of FMN

The goal of the FMN is to work as a community of practice to integrate the 4DEE framework into the undergraduate classroom. To focus our efforts, we are asking educators to bring their existing biodiversity data-centric educational modules and optimize and adapt their modules to integrate the 4DEE Framework.  The 4DEE Framework includes Core Ecological Concepts, Ecology Practices, Human-Environment Interactions, and Cross Cutting Themes outline in Vision & Change. A biodiversity data-centric educational module is any module that uses digitized occurrence records from public data respositories (example modules). As part of this FMN process, TEE hopes to gain insight on best practices for introducing additional dimensions from the 4DEE framework into an educational module.

Participants should enter the FMN with an open mind and be flexible about adapting an existing module to align and integrate two-three additional dimensions outlined in the 4DEE framework.

The FMN is intended for participants to work collaboratively to adapt biodiversity data-centric open education resources that are informed by the 4DEE framework and peer feedback.

Modules adapted are expected to be published to the QUBESHub and the EcoEd Digital Library.

  • Participants will be regarded as thought leaders and will be recognized as ESA Education Scholars.
  • In the year following the publication of the module, the TEE project will provide travel funds for scholars to run workshops to disseminate 4DEE and the collection of teaching modules at selected conferences (recommended by participants).
  • Participants will also be tapped to present in an annual 4DEE virtual showcase open to everyone.

Additionally, this FMN will help produce guidelines to help future TEE projects and instructors seeking to implement the 4DEE framework. Participants are invited to provide feedback at all stages as we refine these guidelines.

Do we expect all four dimensions to be incorporated and/or integrated?

In a word, no. We seek to explore options for incorporating and integrating as many dimensions as appropriate.

Who should apply?

  • Any instructor including adjunct instructors or graduate students who are currently teaching at the college level within the United States of America is welcome to apply.
  • Faculty from underrepresented minority groups, and those teaching at minority-serving institutions and community colleges are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Instructors teaching all majors are welcome provided they have have a) developed a biodiversity data-centric module, and b) want to adapt the module to meet the 4DEE Framework.
  • Participants must be able to receive federal dollars since this FMN is supported by NSF.
  • Prerequisites for this FMN: Participants must have
    • Incorporated biodiversity data in an existing teaching module. The module could be a published BLUE module or a biodiversity data-centric module that has been vetted in the classroom.
    • Some experience teaching about digital biodiversity data. You are not expected to be an expert but some experience implementing course work with digital biodiversity data is essential.
  • Participants are expected to also incorporate active learning and inclusive teaching approaches in their modules.

What products/outcomes are expected from the FMN?

  • A cohort of ESA Education Scholars ready to share their teaching resources and the 4DEE framework with colleagues and peers at various events.
  • A collection of published modules that demonstrate how 4DEE can be implemented.
  • A set of guidelines for future FMNs and those who wish to implement 4DEE

About the Transforming Ecology Education Research Coordination Network

Transforming Ecology Education to 4D (TEE) is a Research Coordination Network (RCN) for undergraduate biology education funded by the National Science Foundation (#DBI-2120678) which seeks to create a network of faculty and academic program administrators with leadership by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). This award will support the implementation of the 4DEE framework through October 2025.

About the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education: BLUE Data Research Coordination Network

Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education: The BLUE Data Network is a National Science Foundation funded Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Education (#DBI-1730526). BLUE is a community of biodiversity researchers, data scientists, and science educators focused on inclusive data-centric biodiversity education and workforce development. The award supports efforts to incorporate biodiversity information and data skills into undergraduate education; develop competencies, materials, and strategies that infuse biodiversity data into the curriculum; facilitate broad-scale adoption of data literacy competencies; and improve undergraduate biology training to meet increasing workforce demands in data and biodiversity sciences. 

Dates & Location:

The virtual kick-off will be held sometime in the week of September 5, 2022 (date and time TBD). All sessions will be held via Zoom. The bi-weekly sessions will take place between Sep 12 - Nov 18. Dates and times TBD.

All communications will be managed through the QUBESHub.  Modules will be published in QUBESHub and/or EcoEdDL. Participants will be required to have accounts on both platforms.

Modules should be submitted to QUBESHub and EcoEdDL by March 20, 2023 (four months after the FMN).

How to Apply:

Applications are due June 24, 2022. You can follow this link to view the application form. Accepted applicants will be notified by mid-June. Space is limited, as this is a development FMN, only 9 participants will be selected.

The FMN is open to all to apply. Participants of the BLUE Data Network as well as faculty with existing education resources related to teaching biodiversity data will have priority consideration.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Ongoing support for adaptation, customization, and implementation of pedagogical material in the classroom that incorporates the 4DEE framework through the duration of the FMN.
  • Access to peer mentors on effective pedagogical tips and strategies in small group virtual meetings every two weeks for the length of the FMN.
  • Access to additional experts on topics to be discussed during the FMN.
  • Support to become a published author.  Participants will be able to submit the module they have been working on (see copyright information in Commitment section). A template will be provided.
  • Access to classroom-ready data-driven activities that have been tested, adapted, and implemented in multiple classroom settings over time.
  • Access to an established peer community for possible collaborations in the future.
  • Receive an ESA Education Scholar Certificate in recognition of your work for your professional portfolio.
  • Invitation to speak at future ESA education events including the 4DEE virtual showcase.
  • Receive a stipend of $1,000 for full participation at all virtual sessions, upon submission of the module to be published in EcoEdDL or other approved venues.
  • Be eligible for additional travel support of up to $2,200 to organize a workshop for educators and present 4DEE and their modules at selected conferences in the next year.

FMN Requirements:

  • Participants must be willing to incorporate the 4DEE framework into an optimized biodiversity data-centric educational module.
  • Participants must commit ~1 hour every two weeks between September 12, 2022, to November 18 (Dates and times to be confirmed) in virtual meetings to work with mentors and collaborate with other participants around the customization and implementation of the teaching materials. Additional time of 1-2 hours outside of these discussions will be required for independent work on adapting modules and giving feedback on guidelines.
  • Participants must be willing to submit the teaching module they are working on for publication in EcoEdDL on a CC-BY-NC 4.0 basis by March 20, 2023. All copyright belongs to the author. Please note: if the module contains non-original material, copyright clearance should be secured prior to publication.  Participants will receive a submission template.
  • Participants must be willing and able to travel, organize a workshop, and present at approved conferences to disseminate the 4DEE framework and their adapted module to new audiences. Travel support up to $2,200 will be provided upon preapproval. 


If you have questions, please feel free to contact education@esa.org