OCTOBER 17, 2018
A Transformational Education
Growing up in a rural, Liberian village during wartime made it difficult for Emmanuel Urey to secure an education. From a young age, he dreamed of attending school, but he didn’t have the opportunity until the war forced his family into neighboring Guinea, where he was able to begin elementary school at the age of 13. Despite these early challenges, Urey went on to attend college, earning two Master’s degrees and graduating with his Ph.D. in Environmental Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute in May 2018. Today, Urey has returned to Liberia, where he is working to increase educational opportunities and land rights through his work with Landesa, the Salvation Army Polytechnic (T-SAP) school and his own nonprofit, One Life Liberia. Through it all, Urey is determined to use what he’s learned and the connections he’s made at the Nelson Institute to improve the lives of those in his "beloved country” of Liberia.
OCTOBER 11, 2018
This summer, Nelson Institute graduate student, David Abel, strengthened a UW-Madison legacy by joining some of the most celebrated scholars in the world at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria as a part of their Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). Since the inception of IIASA in 1972, UW-Madison students and faculty have been participating in its programing and collaborating with the politically independent Institute, which was originally established to promote scientific cooperation between the East and the West during the Cold War. Today, IIASA continues to be free from political or national self-interest, working with scientists from all around the world and conducting policy-oriented research on topics such as global health, greenhouse gasses, and energy, which is the focus of Abel’s work.
OCTOBER 5, 2018
A Wild and Scenic Legacy
From the blue-green pools of the Salmon River in Alaska to the rugged shores of the Rio Grande in Texas, the United States is home to thousands of miles of free-flowing rivers that showcase the natural, cultural, and recreational value of the country’s waterways. Protecting these waterways was a personal and political passion for Nelson Institute namesake and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who grew up in Wisconsin near rivers like the St. Croix. In fact, Nelson was the driving force behind the development of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that sought protection for the country’s most critical rivers. This year, marks the 50th anniversary of the Act, which will be celebrated at the 2018 Nelson Institute Jordahl Lecture on Wednesday, October 17, where photographer, river conservationist and author of Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy, Tim Palmer will speak about the history of the Act and the significance of this growing river system.
OCTOBER 1, 2018
An Inspirational Education
Nicolle Zellner, (1993) B.S. Physics and Astronomy, Nelson Institute environmental studies undergraduate certificate (ESC), UW-Madison M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic institute, NY While her professional credits include being a part of the STS-67 shuttle mission ground crew and working with lunar samples that the Apollo astronauts brought to earth, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna, Nicolle Zellner says some of her most profound lessons occurred during her time as a Nelson Institute environmental studies undergraduate certificate student. It was there that Zellner said she learned how to apply her knowledge of physics and astronomy in solving environmental and societal issues. It was also where Zellner found a community of experts and peers who shared her passion for knowledge.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2018
UW-Madison Climate Expert Receives Prestigious NOAA Grant to Study the Great Lakes Region
The Great Lakes are an epicenter for power production, commerce, recreation, and so much more, but research suggests that they are also becoming a hotbed for climate change. In fact, research from the past two decades has shown intense weather extremes and fluctuations in the area, a trend Michael Notaro, associate director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR), will help to investigate through a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program.
AUGUST 16, 2018
The Art of Conservation
For UW-Madison graduate student, Julia Janicki, art has always been a way to express the complexities of science. Driven by her passion for conservation, Janicki has spent the past few years bridging her scientific knowledge with her love of art to bring environmental challenges and animal conservation to the forefront. Now, she is expanding her efforts through the Nelson Institute Environmental Observation and Informatics Professional Master's Program, where she is learning to use science and technology to create infographics and visuals that will help to advance organizational response to environmental change.
AUGUST 14, 2018
Four Nelson Institute alumni recognized for their impactful work
Whether it is providing life-saving care to the residents of Uganda, developing a resolution for transboundary water conflicts, providing conservation education or championing river preservation, Nelson Institute alumni are at the forefront of important efforts around the world. Such impactful work is deserving of recognition, which is why the Nelson Institute is proud to honor outstanding alumni through the annual Rising Star and Distinguished Alumni Awards.
AUGUST 13, 2018
Honoring a "good food” legacy while forging his own
Faculty affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Alfonso Morales has some connection to the farmer’s markets in Madison. That’s because he’s worked professionally with food systems for over two decades and had many mentors, including the late Jerry Kaufman, who influenced his academic career and personal philosophies.
AUGUST 9, 2018
The Lake Effect: Equity initiative creates a ripple throughout the community
With nearly 60 miles of shoreline and 28 square miles of surface water, the Yahara lakes serve as a gathering place for the Madison community. On a beautiful summer day, locals can be seen boating, fishing, swimming or just enjoying a walk along the shoreline, but research suggests that there are members of the community who have limited access to these outdoor recreation opportunities. In fact, race and socioeconomic status have been shown to impact outdoor recreation access, an issue University of Wisconsin-Madison student Sean Kennedy is working to address through his graduate work.
JULY 31, 2018
Allies in Environmental Justice
The Nelson Institute strives to be an inclusive community of scholars who share a passion for enhancing the quality of life and the environment in Wisconsin. From professors and students to partners and alumni, the Nelson Institute community includes a diverse group of people working to create real change, something Nelson Institute alumna Ashley Lee is proud to contribute to through her work with Public Allies of Milwaukee.