Our program’s 32-credit curriculum is designed to train conservation leaders in practical interdisciplinary skills. Advance your leadership, conservation and environmental management expertise with curricula in conservation planning, land use policy, high-demand skills like GIS and grant writing, and through professional skills development.
Here’s how the 15-month curriculum program breaks down each semester.
First Summer, In Person at UW-Madison
Kick off the summer with a two-week intensive seminar that includes:
- Field trips to learn about local conservation issues
- Social events to meet members of our professional network
- Classroom lectures and discussions to learn about the relevance of people skills and self-reflection for a variety of environmental topics
Summer On-Campus Intensive Study
- Environmental Conservation Cohort and Leadership Seminars (2 credits)
- Conservation of Biodiversity (3 credits)
- Land Use Policy and Planning (3 credits)
Fall Semester, In Person at UW-Madison
Dive in to working with real clients on pressing conservation challenges, developing crucial skills in conservation planning using the Conservation Standards. Further your effectiveness through professional development in cross-cultural communication, diversity/equity/inclusion/justice, media and outreach training, presentations, and facilitation. Round out your experience in the areas you want to go deeper in, specializing through chosen elective coursework.
- Professional Development: The Practice of Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development (1 credit)
- Conservation Planning — Part 1 (4 credits)
- Biology and Ecology elective (3 credits)
- Social Systems and Sustainability elective (3 credits)
Spring Semester, Distance Learning
Distance learning provides flexibility to return home, head to your project site early, or manage your course schedule as you need to. Many students remain in Madison to join our in-person, yet virtually accessible, discussions weekly.
- Environmental Conservation Professional Practice (3 credits)
- Tools Topics in Environmental Conservation (6 credits)
- In the tools topics course you will take all six 1-credit modules below. Each module is 5 weeks in length, and modules are spread out across the 15-week semester.
First 5-week session:
- Mapping and Collecting Data
- Legislative Procedures and Agency-Based Conservation
Second 5-week session:
- Conservation GIS
- Conservation Grant Writing
Third 5-week session:
- Adaptation Strategies
- Conservation Planning — Part 2
Second Summer Semester, Located at Individual Project Site
- Independent Practice (4 credits)