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The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, founded in 1970 and renamed in 2002 in honor of former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, is dedicated to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship, education and community engagement. It includes four research centers - the Center for Climatic Research; the Center for Culture, History, and Environment; the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment; and the Land Tenure Center - that span traditional disciplinary boundaries and include faculty and students from more than 40 natural and social science, engineering and humanities departments across the UW–Madison campus.
The institute administers three graduate degree programs, five graduate-level certificate programs, and an undergraduate major and certificate in environmental studies, the latter of which is the largest undergraduate certificate program at UW–Madison.
Two from Nelson Institute among 2017 Carnegie Fellows