In response to the need to prepare students to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, new models of graduate education are being developed across the country. One model is provided by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Teaching Fellows in K—12 Education (GK—12) program, which broadens graduate students' training beyond their traditional research programs. We explored the impact of an ecologically focused GK—12 program at The University of Montana and the broader impacts of a set of other environmental-science-oriented GK—12 programs in the United States. These types of programs are urgently needed to ensure that future leaders of the scientific enterprise are well equipped with the tools to conduct science as skilled collaborators, to address the key interdisciplinary questions that arise from complex environmental challenges facing society, and to better communicate their science with diverse audiences well beyond their scientific peers.
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