Environmental Conservation MS

The Nelson Institute’s Environmental Conservation (EC) program is a 15-month master of science degree. The program prepares you to successfully enter, navigate, and take the lead on the most pressing environmental challenges today, training you how to apply practical interdisciplinary skillsets to a broad range of careers in conservation. Learn relevant ecological, social, and professional skills to facilitate more effective decision making, better work with people, and ultimately lead to stronger environmental outcomes.

Conservation Skills for a Changing World

What You Will Learn

  • Problem-solving techniques and effective environmental decision-making (e.g., conservation planning, program evaluation)
  • Strategic communication focused on improving interpersonal skills, those most crucial in leading to positive conservation outcomes
  • Discipline-specific knowledge (e.g., conservation science, land use policy, GIS, fundraising, protected area management)
  • Professional development and intentional career planning
A sport-utility vehicle and a group of people in the foreground, with hilly terrain in the background

Areas of Focus

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Wildlife ecology and habitat conservation
  • Land use change and management
  • Freshwater resources and protection
  • Environmental justice and equity
Three people in hard hats and waders discussing stream management

Where Can Your Degree Take You?

20%
of our graduates work internationally

20%
work in program management

41%
are employed in government

See Where Our Graduates Work

Skills for Interdisciplinary Leaders

The 32-credit Environmental Conservation MS curriculum provides practical interdisciplinary skills for more effective conservation leaders. Advance your leadership, conservation and environmental management expertise with curricula focused on:

Environmental stewardship

Interpersonal effectiveness

Innovative leadership

Your Passion, Your Project

A student crouching next to a recycling container

We help each student craft a unique and meaningful final project. We explore your background, your professional goals, and your dreams to make the world a better place. Together, we match you with our extensive network of partners around the world.

Learn about the leadership project

Ready to Apply?

Check out the program requirements and qualifications, view the application timeline, and find tuition information and financial assistance.

We're Here to Help

Wondering if the Environmental Conservation program is right for you? Our coordinators are happy to learn more about your background and interests and answer your questions.

Meghan Kautzer
Program Coordinator
mkautzer@wisc.edu

Meghan is the coordinator for the Environmental Conservation MS program. Meghan works closely with students before, during, and after their time in the program to dig deeper into their personal strengths, values, goals, and professional skills gaps. She supports students with intentional career planning, reflecting with the student to help them discover where they fit in as a professional in environmental conservation.

Meghan’s passion for nature inspired her to pursue studies in conservation biology, zoology, and environmental studies and later train as an educator for her master’s degree, going on to teach secondary science and later leading operations and outreach for a water conservation technology company in the Bay Area.

Meghan is trained as a global career development facilitator, she is currently involved in extensive leadership training and consistently engages in professional development opportunities to improve capacity development in conservation.