The Environmental Conservation (EC) 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.

Details and Timeline

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

First summer curriculum details

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.

Fall semester curriculum details

Spring Semester


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.

Spring semester curriculum details

Second Summer Semester

Located at Individual Project Site

Independent practice (4 credits)


All courses are taught by UW-Madison faculty and instructional staff who are passionate about this field and excited to bring you into it. Here are some of the core instructors for the Environmental Conservation curriculum.

Tim Van Deelen
Professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Nathan Schulfer
Program Director

Meghan Kautzer
Program Coordinator

Rob Beattie
Faculty Associate

Arlyne Johnson
Senior Lecturer

Paul Zedler
Professor of Environmental Studies

Naomi Louchouarn
Lecturer, Nelson Institute

What Our Students Say

"The curricula utilized real, practical socio-environmental issues as learning tools. This helped me understand better the impact of my decisions as an environmentalist at the local and international levels."

– Nana Sakyiwa Brown-Wood, EC '17
Program Manager, Nia Tero

"... They teach us about ethics, how to listen, and how to reflect. These are the skills that give us the foundation to address any challenge."

Kelly Green Guilbeau, EC '19
Landscape Ecologist and Community Outreach Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey

Students wearing life jackets posing for a group photo while on a boating trip
The Environmental Conservation curriculum offers many opportunities for hands-on learning, including field trips on Madison’s beautiful lakes.

Ready to Apply?

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