The Sustainability Institute for Educators challenges participants to help learners build awareness, recognize responsibility and take action as global citizens working to build a sustainable world. Held annually in June, the institute is designed for informal and K-12 educators from all roles and environments.


Join us June 25-27, 2024

Biodiversity Education: Empowering Educators for a Sustainable Future

Sustainability Institute for Educators

The Sustainability Institute for Educators is an event tailored for educators of all backgrounds. This year's focus is on the significance of biodiversity in education, daily life and our communities.

Biodiversity encompasses the variety within and between species, as well as diverse ecosystems. Understanding and appreciating biodiversity is crucial for supporting all life on Earth, including human communities. Lessons on biodiversity can foster a deep nature connection and appreciation for the myriad of plants, animals and fungi in our environment.

Climate change, human impacts and land use pose major threats to biodiversity, but education can cultivate a sense of wonder and respect for nature’s processes, and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to address today’s challenges.

Through interactive sessions and local biodiversity expert presentations, educators will learn just how important biodiversity is and how to bring connections to biodiversity topics to their learning spaces.

Sessions will demonstrate how a range of disciplines can work together to understand and address biodiversity issues, opportunities and needs through education and youth engagement while highlighting local examples of biodiversity work. Discover how solutions-orientated actions, projects and lessons can help build resilience and protect the future of biodiversity on this planet.

Join us to gain knowledge, tools, strategies and community networking to explore biodiversity and help engage students around this critical issue.

The three-day institute will be held at three locations in the St. Louis area: Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo and Webster University.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the interconnectedness of sustainability issues and the intersection with education
  • Recognize local resources that can support curriculum and changes for sustainability
  • Collaborate with others to empower sustainably minded citizens
  • Create a community of advocates for sustainable schools, institutions and communities
  • Setting a foundation for adaption and resilience in sustainability education


2024 Event Information


The cost of the three-day institute is $125, which includes lunch. For more information, contact

Register for Sustainability Event

Graduate Credit

The institute may be taken for 3 graduate credit hours through Webster University for an additional $480. To register for credit, contact prior to conference registration.

Event Location

  • Day One: Saint Louis Zoo
  • Day Two: Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Day Three: Webster University

Directions and exact locations will be sent to registrants

Scholarships Available

The organizers for the 2024 Sustainability Institute for Educators are offering scholarships for educators and administrators.

Priority Scholarship Awards: March 1, 2024 to May 1, 2024
Award notification by May 8, 2024
General Scholarship Awards: after May 1, 2024
Award notification on a rolling basis until all scholarships are awarded

Educators receiving scholarships must be able to commit and agree to attend all three days of Institute.

Scholarships will be evaluated and awarded based on the following criteria:
Schools with 75% free and reduced lunches
Schools located in a zip code that is in the 70th percentile or higher for low-income neighborhoods
(according to EJ Screen)
Schools/teaching teams with multiple participants attending the Institute
Schools who are enrolled in Missouri Green Schools+ or Green Schools Quest
Educator is not able to have their school or organization pay for the SIE registration fee
Strong educator rationale for attending

Educators applying for priority scholarships should meet at least 3 of the 5 criteria listed above.
Any applications received prior to May 1 that do not meet this requirement will be evaluated and
awarded on a first-come, first-served basis after May 1 until all scholarships have been awarded.

Please note, if you are applying for a scholarship do not register for the Institute through the online registration

Sustainability students outdoors
Sustainability students outdoors

For scholarship application, contact Kat Golden at prior to conference registration.

If you plan to take the Institute for graduate credit, contact to register.

The Sustainability Institute is hosted by

  • EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Saint Louis Zoo, Education Division
  • U.S. Green Building Council–Missouri Gateway Chapter
  • Webster University, School of Education

Founding Partners

Madison County Green Schools ProgramMICDS Mary Institute and Saint Louis County Day SchoolMissouri Botanical GardenSaint Louis ZooU.S. Green Building Council Missouri-Gateway ChapterWebster University