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.

11 Credits

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Professional Development: The Practice of Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development (1 credit)

Focus on professional development skills as it pertains to success as a conservation practitioner. Classes will focus on intercultural dialogue, team dynamics, communication, effective visual presentation, interviewing and presentation skills, and project development. Various guest speakers will also lead in areas of expertise.

Conservation Planning — Part 1 (4 credits)

Preparation of students to plan, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation projects and programs. Systematic and adaptive processes of conservation planning will be learned through lectures, readings, discussions, and work in small groups to prepare a conservation plan and/or review case study projects (e.g., a protected area, a landscape) with a conservation organization.

Biology and Ecology Elective (3 credits)

Here are some examples of elective courses available to students. Note that electives may change year to year and additional courses are often added as we move closer to fall.

Vegetation of Wisconsin

Ecology of Wisconsin plant communities: floristic composition, community structure; relationship to history, climate, soil, and geology; response to human perturbation.

General Ecology

Ecology of individual organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, and the biosphere. The interaction of organisms with each other and their physical environment. These relationships are studied, often in quantitative terms, in both field and laboratory settings.

Grassland Ecology

Understand factors driving global, continental, regional, and local distribution of grasslands. Discuss how management affects provision of grassland ecosystem goods and services. Compare and contrast plant community and ecosystem dynamics in native prairie and intensively managed pastures.

Climate Change Ecology

The evidence that the Earth’s climate is changing at unprecedented rates is now overwhelming. Environmental tipping points are being crossed and many species are adapting or failing to adapt. Climate change poses a significant problem for conserving and managing wildlife and their habitats. In this class, students will be introduced to climate change and its ecological impacts through engaging class discussions, online climate exercises, and group projects aimed at developing climate change adaptation plans.

Forest Ecology

Introduction to major abiotic and biotic factors that influence forest ecosystem composition, structure, and function. Reviews important processes that influence structure and function of forest ecosystems. Uses basic ecosystem concepts to elucidate influence of anthropogenic (including forest management) and natural disturbances on forest ecosystem structure and function. Instruction heavily based in case study analysis, discussion and group work.

Restoration Ecology

Restoration is an approach to the conservation of native species, plant communities, and ecosystems. It is an interdisciplinary global enterprise practiced by private and public sector professionals and dedicated volunteers of all ages. Covers both the theory and practice of restoration ecology and examine the current opportunities, challenges, and controversies that underlie the field. The goal may be to preserve nature, but restoration is a fundamentally human enterprise-it is accomplished for and by people. Therefore we cover information from ecology, sociology, and the humanities.

Limnology: Conservation of Aquatic Resources

General limnology. Physical, chemical and biological characteristics and processes of lakes. Environmental problems and rehabilitation of lakes.

Limnology: Lab

Biological, physical, and chemical characteristics and their interrelationships in Wisconsin lakes and streams.

Social Systems and Sustainability Elective (3 credits)

Here are some examples of elective courses available to students. Note that electives may change year to year and additional courses are often added as we move closer to fall.

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

Indigenous peoples often have very close relationships to ancestral homelands, species and natural resources. However, definitions of “indigenous” can be controversial and highly politicized. Diverse outlooks on identities, worldviews and environmental governance clarify the complex meanings of indigeneity in the United States.

This course highlights American Indian perspectives, conservation practices, and policy environments through consideration of United States and international case studies. American Indian experiences shed light on pressing issues of resource sustainability and sovereignty, and demonstrate linkages to global Indigenous environmental issues and strategies.

Environmental Economics

Microeconomic principles underlying the use of natural resources such as air, water, forests, fisheries, minerals and energy. These principles are applied in the examination of pollution control, preservation vs. development, deforestation, and other environmental issues.

Air Pollution and Human Health

Toxicologic, controlled and epidemiologic studies on major air pollutants. Overview of study methods, lung physiology and pathology; air pollution sources, types, meteorology, sampling methods, controls and regulations.

Sustainable Development – Integral Perspective

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar has four main objectives:

  • Review core concepts and history of sustainable development
  • Introduce students to innovative frameworks to sustainable development, including integral framework, institutional analysis, and the often overlooked cultural, philosophical and psychological underpinnings of environmental decision-making
  • Analyze case studies and examples through the lens of the frameworks presented
  • Provide a forum for graduate students to present their own research interests and examples regarding sustainable development

Some of the examples and case studies discussed are from Latin America, but will also include some from Wisconsin and the global level depending on the group’s interests.

The Humid Tropics: Ecology, Subsistence, and Development

Description and analysis of humid-tropical ecosystems, with emphasis on the relationships, production potential, and human modification of biotic resources.

People-Wildlife Interactions

Analysis of people-nature links, including environmental issues, natural resources, and attitudes toward nature. Topics vary with each offering.

Non Profit Board Leadership Development

Special topics in civil society and community research at the master’s and doctoral levels. Subject matter varies.