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Rob and Melani Walton
Sustainability Teachers' Academies

Lead the way to a sustainable future.

As educators, you inspire your students to change the world. Now, give them the tools they need to make a difference. The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Teachers’ Academies provides educators with the knowledge and resources you need to bring the science of sustainability into any K-12 classroom. Our approach leverages the expertise of education professionals like you from across the nation to cultivate a community of sustainability change makers. Together, we work to develop innovative strategies addressing the economic, social and environmental challenges we face.

Our professional development opportunities incorporate contemporary research by sustainability professionals, scientists, and scholars from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability. Our goal is to translate this research into effective practices that you can use to evaluate and address the complex problems faced by your school and community. We promote researcher-practitioner partnerships, learning communities, and project-based learning to position teachers, students and others as change agents to bring about a more sustainable future.

Rob and Melani Walton National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy

The Rob and Melani Walton National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy provides intensive, in-person and virtual professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers. Teachers of any subject and grade should apply. Participants receive a thorough introduction to sustainability science and develop tools for bringing sustainability to life in their schools and communities.Through ample networking opportunities, teachers become part of a dedicated community of sustainability activists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other educators.

The National Academy views sustainability through an interdisciplinary lens that can be incorporated into any K-12 curriculum. From the triple-bottom-line of sustainable economies to the dangerous effects of climate change, sustainability studies systemic and interconnected environmental and socio-economic issues through a variety of perspectives. Participants in past workshops have employed sustainability science and practices to engage students through art, literature, social studies, math, science and other subjects.

If you are interested in developing a site-specific training for your team, contact us about available opportunities.

Summer Academies: Who should apply

The Rob and Melani Walton National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy welcomes applications from K-12 teachers of any subject from all 50 states.

Seeking teachers who are:

  • Passionate about improving the lives of their students.
  • Eager to work with colleagues on collaborative, cross-curricular projects.
  • Willing to lead a school or district in promoting sustainability.
  • Life-long learners.
  • Innovative and open to new ideas

Program Details

An Academy mentor helping one of the summer 2015 National Sustainability Teacher's Academy participants
  • Virtual Academies run Monday through Friday, for two consecutive weeks, and include roughly 20 hours of professional development.
  • Training sessions feature hands-on activities, small group discussions, and lectures by experts in sustainability.
  • Workshops are facilitated by experts in sustainability education with help from local scientists and other stakeholders.
  • Trainings span issues such as poverty, privilege, social capital, circular economy, food systems, urban ecology and much more.
  • During the Academy, teachers work together to develop a unique action plan to support sustainability in their school.
  • Teams are expected to implement their sustainability action plan, implement a sustainability project with students and/or train additional teachers in sustainability education.
  • Each individual receives a stipend of up to $500 for participating in the workshop. Additional stipends of up to $500 are available after completing a project in their home school and/or district.
  • Participating teachers receive certification of participation in 20 hours of professional development.

If you have any questions about these or other upcoming programs, please contact .

Important Dates – National Teachers’ Academy

Dates Applications
January 1, 2021 Summer 2021 Academy Applications Available
April 15, 2021 Summer 2021 Academy Application Deadline
April 30, 2021 Participants Announced
June 14-25, 2021 National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy Online Session A
Jul 12-23, 2021 Sustainability Teachers’ Academy for Green Teams Online
July 26-30, 2021 Exploring School Sustainability Through Youth Participatory Action Research (for Teachers’ Academy Alumni Only)
August 2-13, 2021 National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy Online Session B
“The variety of speakers, perspectives, experiences, and participants made for an extremely rich week overall. It was also nice that we were so well taken care of, so we could focus on the work at hand. There was such an overwhelming amount of information and food for thought, it was a luxury to be able to focus on that with nothing else to worry about in terms of basic living at ASU. I also really appreciated gaining access to some activities that I can use practically out-of-the-box, like the lifecycle activity, and Rob’s writing activity. Others, like Stakes on a Plane, are useful starting points for me to develop my own activities. Right now my brain is FULL!”

Project Reporting

Teachers who have participated in the Academy’s in-person or online professional development workshops during the summers of 2019 or 2020 are eligible to receive additional stipends for completing a sustainability project in their schools or districts.

If you have questions about your project, or to apply for a stipend, please contact the following:

Use this interactive map to discover how teachers across the nation are promoting sustainability in their schools and communities. Each teacher is an alum of the National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy.

Teacher Resources

The Sustainability Teachers’ Academy is committed to creating and providing curricular resources that span a diverse range of topics—including food systems sustainability, quality of life and well-being, decision-making for sustainability, and much more. Our lessons are applicable for grades 6-9 with variations presented that will enable you to tailor the activity for a younger or older audience. Because sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic, these lessons are relevant across all class subjects.

For National Academy inquiries, contact:

Robert McGehee
Program Manager, National Sustainability Teachers' Academy, School of Sustainability

For Regional Academy inquiries, contact:

Molly Cashion
Program Manager, Regional Sustainability Teachers' Academy, School of Sustainability
The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Teachers’ Academies program is supported through funding from the .