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  • Created 06 Nov 2023

Teaching Ecology for All Undergraduate Audiences 

Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN):

An initiative of ESA's Transforming Ecology Education to 4D (TEE) Project

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

Funding support comes from the National Science Foundation


Accepting Applications Now Through December 23rd

The Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Transforming Ecology Education to 4D (TEE) project is hosting a Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) in Spring 2024. Participants will explore how to teach and implement the Four-Dimensional Ecology Education Framework to students who will have limited exposure to ecology in a broad range of courses and disciplines.

The 4DEE Framework includes Core Ecological Concepts (EC), Ecology Practices (EP), Human-Environment Interactions (HEI), and Cross-Cutting Themes (CCT). To facilitate FMN activities, we are asking that participants have existing teaching materials (your own or previously published) and upcoming ecology-oriented teaching opportunities that could be modified to incorporate two or more of the dimensions listed above. Participant efforts will help inform what it means to teach ecology with multi-dimensional approaches in classes that include mixed majors or other disciplines.


Who should apply?

  • Instructors with existing educational materials either developed by you or are publicly available under the Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial reuse/remix free of copyright infringements. Adjunct instructors or graduate students may apply, but you must have control over the instructional content.
  • Instructors who expect to be able to implement their newly adapted educational materials in AY24-25.
  • Instructors who are willing to enter the FMN with an open mind and flexibility about adapting their existing teaching materials using the 4DEE approach for mixed majors and disciplines in a class or course.
  • Instructors who teach ecology topics in courses that enroll students from multiple majors (such as Introductory Biology, Introductory Environmental Science, Business, Arts etc.)
  • Faculty who belong to an underrepresented minority group or who teach at a minority-serving institution are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Participants must be willing to incorporate active learning techniques and inclusive teaching approaches in their teaching.
  • Participants must be able to receive federal dollars since this FMN is supported by NSF.


What products/outcomes are expected from the FMN?

  • The creation of a cohort of scholars who can discuss and disseminate their ecology teaching to extended education networks.
  • A collection of educational products that demonstrate how 4DEE can be implemented for multidimensional learning in ecology.
  • An overall greater appreciation for 4DEE in educational communities as well as an overall improvement in undergraduate ecology education nationwide.


Important Dates & Location:

A one-hour virtual kick-off will be held on January 26th, 2024 at 1:00 PM EDT/ 10:00 AM PDT. All sessions will be held via Zoom. The weekly one-hour sessions will be held between early February – April on Fridays at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT (exact dates TBD). Educational products that have been aligned to the 4DEE framework are expected to be completed by December 31, 2024.

How to Apply:

Accepting applications now through December 23rd

Apply Here: https://www.esa.org/4dee/tee-rcn/tee-fmn-application/

Accepted applicants will be notified in early January. Space is limited. 


Benefits of Participation:

  • Ongoing support for the development, adaptation, customization, and implementation of material in the classroom that incorporates the 4DEE framework.
  • Access to peer mentors on effective pedagogical tips and strategies in small group virtual meetings.
  • Access to additional experts on topics to be discussed during the FMN.
  • Support to develop an educational product that meets the goal of the FMN and/or become a published author. Participants will have the option to submit the module they have been working on for publication.
  • Access to an established peer community for possible collaborations in the future.
  • Recognition as an ESA Education Scholar for your professional portfolio.
  • Invitation to speak at future ESA education events including the 4DEE virtual showcase.
  • Stipend of $1,000 for full participation at all virtual sessions and approved submission of the educational product.
  • Eligible for additional travel support of up to $2,200 to present educational products at selected preapproved conferences to be completed by August 2025.


FMN Requirements:

  • Participants must be available to meet for one hour each week on Fridays at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT between February - April (exact dates TBD). Some additional time outside of these meetings will be required for independent work on authoring teaching materials.
  • Participants must submit the final version of the educational product at least two weeks before the conference they plan to present. Educational products are subject to the review and approval of peer mentors. All copyright belongs to the author. Please note: if the module contains non-original material, copyright clearance should be secured prior to publication or dissemination. Participants will receive a submission template.
  • Participants must be willing and able to travel, organize a workshop, and/or present at preapproved conferences to disseminate the 4DEE framework and their educational products to new audiences. (Note, the annual ESA meeting is not an approved conference.) Travel support of up to $2,200 will be available only after the final version of the educational product has been accepted. 

Please visit the FMN Requirements Page and Stipend Schedule Page for more details.  

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.



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