Leadership Project

The Environmental Conservation MS program culminates with an applied conservation project with a leading organization. This is your program for your professional goals. Therefore, we don’t have a limited set of organizations or projects from you to choose from. Instead, we learn your background and understand your professional aspirations.

Together, we identify relevant organizations and through conversations develop a unique and meaningful project that meets your goals and supports the organization’s ongoing work.

Watch this video to hear directly from students about their projects.

Leadership Project Examples

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A student standing in an African prairie, with giraffes in the background

Forest restoration in Rwanda

Background: BS biology and environmental science; four years of professional experience focused on project management
Partner: IUCN-Rwanda
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Implemented evaluation metrics to measure success and better understand what works in large-scale forest restoration

A field of native prairie plants just before sunset

Strategies for Engaging and Maintaining Long-Distance Networks

Background: BS psychology; six years of professional experience focused on public education
Partner: Aldo Leopold Foundation
Location: Baraboo, Wisconsin
Developed system to facilitate and maintain the growing long-distance network of Land Ethic Leaders training participants, establishing recommendations to engage their network more effectively

National Parks
A geyser erupting while a large group watches

Documenting visitor use in critical national park ecosystems

Background: BA English language and literature; joined program directly from undergrad
Partner: National Park Service Social Science Team
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park
Worked with social science team to document and monitor visitor use patterns at high profile, critically important tourist sites to better inform management practices

Close-up view of a gray wolf staring back at the camera

Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict: Wolves in the Classroom

Background: BA elementary education, three years of professional experience focused on teaching
Partner: Timber Wolf Alliance
Location: Wisconsin
Developed toolkit website complete with educational resources aligned with state standards with overarching goal of reducing impacts of human-wildlife conflict

Wide-angle view of ivy-covered high-rise apartments against a blue sky

Scaling sustainable cities development

Background: BS environmental science, joined directly from undergrad
Partner: WWF-Cities
Location: Lund, Sweden
Researched and scripted content for massive online open course (MOOC) focused on sharing best practices of sustainable cities development

Scenic view of a lavender field with trees and mountains in the background

Partner engagement in landscape conservation collaboratives

Background: BS psychology/sociology, MEd counseling, eight years of professional experience focused on advising, counseling and outreach
Partner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Location: Portland, Oregon
Fully designed new partner engagement strategy for the Cascades to Coast Landscape Collaborative, conducting complete re-branding process, developing a style guide, relevant infographics and new website

Close-up view of an elk standing in a lush forest

Elk herd management and monitoring

Background: BS genetics, joined directly from undergrad
Partner: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Monitored ecologically and culturally important elk distribution throughout the state to better inform management decisions and communicate with the public, mapping ranges, positions, and associated habitat

Group photo of four students posing next to a lake, with canoes in the background

Ocean debris reduction through island waste management

Background: BS biology, one year of professional experience in aquarium education
Partner: IUCN-Asia
Location: Kao Yao Yai, Thailand
Designed evaluation for island waste management and conducted extensive community-use surveys, informing community engagement strategy for marine debris reduction

Aerial view of a flooded city

Flood resilience in the face of climate change

Background: BS environmental studies, four years of professional experience focused on IT Administration
Partner: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Location: Throughout Wisconsin
Developed mitigation strategies in response to increased flooding events, furthering the development of a key tool in assessing flood resilience in rural communities

Forest and mountain landscape

Evaluating large landscape conservation efforts and metrics for success

Background: BFA dance, eight years of professional experience focused on development and operations
Partner: Yellowstone to Yukon
Location: Purcell-Cabinet Mountain Corridor (Missoula, Montana to Central Canadian Rockies)
Evaluated the collaborative efforts in large landscape conservation, reassessing the metrics used to measure success with the goal of better demonstrating effectiveness

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