IonE Educators

UMN Professors and IonE Affiliates gathered with linked arms, looking upwards, smiling

IonE Educators

IonE Educators are one of four categories of affiliation with IonE, through the IonE Affiliates Program


To incubate and encourage innovative teaching in sustainability and environmental education, IonE will recognize three to five educators per year. These educators will advance best practices in sustainability instruction and curriculum development and disseminate those innovations to the broader university community. IonE Educators are tenure-track faculty and instructional staff, including adjunct faculty when appropriate. IonE Educators are regularly engaged in formal and informal teaching.

During their fellowship year, IonE Educators will pursue projects around effective pedagogy and curriculum development aimed at improving an existing course or developing new courses and education experiences. Select projects may address education for the general public or for K-12 students. All projects will champion the need for multiple perspectives in solving complex sustainability challenges. During their fellowship year, IonE Educators will also deliver a lecture on some aspect of sustainability education to the broader IonE community, forming a seminar series called “Excellence in Sustainability Education.” Over time, alumni of the IonE Educators will form a community of educators with shared objectives and regular inter-cohort communication fostered by IonE staff.

Nominations for IonE Educators are due to the IonE managing director by Sept. 22 of each year, with announcement of new IonE Educators by late October.

IonE Educators are recommended by the Faculty Leadership Council with assistance from ad hoc reviewers and IonE staff. Individuals can self-nominate by submitting 1) CV and 2) cover letter describing their environmental or sustainability education experiences and goals and a description of the educational project or activity they seek to advance during their fellowship year. Selection will be based on strength of record and potential for the proposed project to significantly advance sustainability education at UMN. Any changes, updates or elaborated selection criteria will be released by the FLC before the annual nomination deadline. Consultation with IonE education/leadership staff about possible projects is strongly encouraged before submitting a nomination or application.

In addition to the benefits and responsibilities of all IonE Affiliates, IonE Educators will have access to a graduate research assistant who will help them in their focal project and receive counsel from IonE staff in the development and implementation of their focal project.

Read about the first cohort of IonE Educators here.