Natural history teaches us science, but it also cultivates empathy by getting us outdoors and activating our senses. Some ecologists feel strongly that technology-mediated experiences cannot substitute for transformative outcomes of nature immersion. Yet current environmental challenges urgently require a more rapid transformation of humanity’s relationship to nature than traditional natural history experiences can provide. We will explore the science of learning and self-transcendence to explore possibilities for – and limitations of – extending the reach of natural history through online experiences. Ecologists can and should lead the way to harness digital platforms to strengthen nature connectedness and conservation action at scale.