Just Language in Ecological Education was created out of hope – hope that exclusionary scientific language and practices frequently used and taught by environmentalists could be changed. This collective of scientists, educators, gardeners, and artists strives to help people connect to the natural world in positive, meaningful ways while spreading the message of conservation. This goal is difficult to accomplish when the language traditionally used to teach some concepts, such as invasive species management, immediately triggers people who have heard that same language used against themselves or their families.

This work inspires others to have discussions with their colleagues and classmates. From large conservation organizations to county agencies and community gardens, people are talking about how to make their programming inclusive and equitable. Thus far, Just Language has focused on the language and perspectives surrounding invasive species management but hope to continue, focusing on other ecological topics such as climate change and public land use. Just Language plans to create curricula, language guides, and workshops to inspire educators and ecologists to connect science to culture, politics, and equity. Creating open, welcoming spaces in science breaks down barriers for those who have been traditionally excluded.

Just Language in Ecology Education (Just Language) envisions a future in which everyone feels they belong within nature and are empowered to engage in ecological and culturally informed stewardship, whether in their own gardens, parks, or wild areas. This connection to nature has been systematically denied to many communities through socio-economic, political, cultural, linguistic, and structural barriers. We offer language and frameworks that can disrupt the status quo and help transcend these barriers. 


Just Language is a community where you can connect with people who are lifelong learners committed to intentional language use. We create and hold space for these conversations and are working together to design and provide free resources about language use in ecology and environmental education.


Collaboration and Continual Learning

Just Language is a space to practice implementing values and new ideas. Language and culture are constantly changing as we learn and grow. We embrace new information and perspectives and reject the construct that perfection is possible.


Empathy and Inclusion

We seek to foster a welcoming environment for people from multiple disciplines and racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. We recognize that each person has different experiences and responsibilities. Our use of the pronoun “we” is intended to be expansive – incorporating all people…and nature. Our we includes you.


Centering Historically Marginalized Voices

Just Language incorporates multiple methods (science, storytelling, creative arts, history, etc.) and perspectives of historically excluded communities. We aim to challenge Eurocentric views, and uplift multiple knowledge systems and ways of knowing and being.


Responsibility & Responsiveness

We all have something to learn from one another, and our work moves at the speed of trust. Just Language honors our responsibility to those who have been and continue to be dehumanized, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, people of color, Latine, Asian, immigrant and refugee communities, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, marginalized religious groups, and all communities who have experienced barriers to carrying out their relationships with and responsibilities to the more-than-human world. This responsibility also extends to future generations and to nature itself.


Scientific Integrity and Transparency


Just Language recognizes that science is a human process, bound by cultural and historical conditions. As such, science is political. We strive for transparency when referring to and presenting evidence, and to recognize and acknowledge the ways knowledge production interacts with systems of power.

Danielle Bunch

Eli Caref

Sam Cramer

Lisa Fink

Jo Jaczkowski

Jonah McDonald

Skye Pelliccia

Neha Savant

Chris Widmaier

Celeste Williams

Michael Yadrick