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Noted Biologist, Naturalist E.O. Wilson Releases Cutting-Edge iBook Textbook

This is an example of the style of graphic in the textbook
E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Attention teachers and lifelong learners: noted naturalist and biologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson has a new product out that just might make you swoon. It's a gorgeous high-tech interactive textbook series with full-color photos, 3D animations and interviews with working scientists. It's aligned with educational standards and it's free.

"The interactive experience will ignite in students an appreciation for what they have inherited—this beautiful planet and every living thing on it—and an understanding of the role and responsibility we all have to preserve the biodiversity around us," said Wilson.

Life on Earth from EOWilson Biodiversity Foundation on Vimeo.

"I had taught elementary biology for 42 years and I didn't need a lot of explanation to see immediately what a big difference this will make," notes Wilson about the idea of combining new media and solid scientific content.

Organizers hope Life on Earth will to teach students and the general public to see the world the way a naturalist like Dr. Edward O. Wilson sees it. They want to showcase the beauty and wonder of the world.

bird looks at worm from mothers beak
Credit E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

Life on Earth is compatible with the iPad and Mac. It can stand alone, or be used in conjunction with an iTunes U course. The course includes content from organizations like the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and National Geographic.

The first nine chapters of the iTunes U course are available as of June 30.  The rest of the 41-chapter course will be released throughout 2014. Free copies of the course will be available to interested teachers with iTunes U accounts in Winter 2014

"We aim to inspire a new generation of explorers and informed citizens who are prepared to take responsibility for conserving and protecting the biological richness of nature as a treasure to be passed on," said Dr. Paula Ehrlich of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

Edward O. Wilson is the recipient of numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes. Close to a million people have watched his TED Talk, My Wish: Build The Encyclopedia Of Life:

Earlier this year, Wilson presented a lecture at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Wilson has agreed to teach a yearly course at Duke.

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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