students in a field

Professional Master's Program

The Nelson Institute professional master's program in environmental conservation is a 15-month, 32-credit blended learning curriculum designed to train conservation leaders in practical interdisciplinary skills.

Built on the legacy of pioneering environmental leaders such as John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson, alongside current leaders in the field of conservation, the program helps early-career working professionals advance their leadership and environmental management expertise through campus learning and remote experiences.

With curricula in conservation planning, land use policy, and in professional skills such as applied GIS, conservation fundraising, protected area management, program evaluation, and strategic communications, students are better prepared to tackle complex challenges in a changing world.

Students also engage directly with a range of conservation organizations and practitioners, helping to solve some of the most urgent challenges in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.

Meet some of our students

Chelsey Willetts: Coastal and Marine Management

Chelsey Willetts was one of just six students from the United States invited to participate in the Student Workshop on International Coastal and Marine Management (SWIMM), held in January 2020. The program offered the perfect opportunity to merge her background in Spanish and Portuguese with her growing interest in marine and coastal management, which ultimately led her to apply to the Environmental Conservation program. Read more


Kelly Green Guilbeau: Mental Health, Monarchs, and a Master’s

For Kelly Green Guilbeau. the Environmental Conservation program offered the perfect opportunity to merge the communication skills she had gained as a mental health counselor with her personal interest in conservation. Read more


Marika Suval: Conservation Coach

After 15 years working in communications and media production, Marika Suval developed an acute awareness of the planet’s growing environmental problems. Her experience in the Environmental Conservation program gave her the tools to re-focus her career in service of these issues. Read more