OCTOBER 29, 2018
Envisioning a Healthy Planet for the Future
In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1,700 other independent scientists wrote and signed the "World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” to inform humankind of future environmental harm that would result from anthropogenic changes. Now, 25 years later, over 20,000 scientists have signed onto the second "Warning to Humanity” notice, including Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Professor Adrian Treves, who felt that future generations were being robbed of their right to a healthy environment.
OCTOBER 25, 2018
Guardian of the Glen
Nearly three hundred years ago, wolves roamed the lush forests and glens of the Scottish Highlands, but today, many of those lush forests are gone as are the wolves that called them home. The loss of this apex predator has led to an upsurge in the red deer population and a cascading effect on the ecosystem balance. While the reintroduction of wolves to Scotland remains a controversial topic, Paul Lister, a conservationist and owner of the 23,000 acre Alladale Wilderness Reserve near Inverness, Scotland has been developing plans to reintroduce the wolf to his property. As a part of this mission, he has enlisted the help of experts and scientists from around the globe, including Nelson Institute Environmental Conservation graduate, Autumn Nielsen. In fact, Nielsen spent her summer working with wolf expert, Cristina Eisenberg and the EarthWatch Institute on a baseline research study at Alladale Wilderness Reserve to determine the impact wolves would have on the property. The project was a part of her final professional project with the Nelson Institute Environmental Conservation Professional Master’s program, which is an accelerated learning program that is working to prepare conservation professionals to solve some of the most urgent challenges in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.
OCTOBER 17, 2018
A Transformational Education
Growing up in a rural, Liberian village during wartime made it difficult for Emmanuel Urey to secure an education. From a young age, he dreamed of attending school, but he didn’t have the opportunity until the war forced his family into neighboring Guinea, where he was able to begin elementary school at the age of 13. Despite these early challenges, Urey went on to attend college, earning two Master’s degrees and graduating with his Ph.D. in Environmental Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute in May 2018. Today, Urey has returned to Liberia, where he is working to increase educational opportunities and land rights through his work with Landesa, the Salvation Army Polytechnic (T-SAP) school and his own nonprofit, One Life Liberia. Through it all, Urey is determined to use what he’s learned and the connections he’s made at the Nelson Institute to improve the lives of those in his "beloved country” of Liberia.
OCTOBER 11, 2018
This summer, Nelson Institute graduate student, David Abel, strengthened a UW-Madison legacy by joining some of the most celebrated scholars in the world at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria as a part of their Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). Since the inception of IIASA in 1972, UW-Madison students and faculty have been participating in its programing and collaborating with the politically independent Institute, which was originally established to promote scientific cooperation between the East and the West during the Cold War. Today, IIASA continues to be free from political or national self-interest, working with scientists from all around the world and conducting policy-oriented research on topics such as global health, greenhouse gasses, and energy, which is the focus of Abel’s work.
OCTOBER 5, 2018
A Wild and Scenic Legacy
From the blue-green pools of the Salmon River in Alaska to the rugged shores of the Rio Grande in Texas, the United States is home to thousands of miles of free-flowing rivers that showcase the natural, cultural, and recreational value of the country’s waterways. Protecting these waterways was a personal and political passion for Nelson Institute namesake and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who grew up in Wisconsin near rivers like the St. Croix. In fact, Nelson was the driving force behind the development of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that sought protection for the country’s most critical rivers. This year, marks the 50th anniversary of the Act, which will be celebrated at the 2018 Nelson Institute Jordahl Lecture on Wednesday, October 17, where photographer, river conservationist and author of Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy, Tim Palmer will speak about the history of the Act and the significance of this growing river system.
OCTOBER 1, 2018
An Inspirational Education
Nicolle Zellner, (1993) B.S. Physics and Astronomy, Nelson Institute environmental studies undergraduate certificate (ESC), UW-Madison M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic institute, NY While her professional credits include being a part of the STS-67 shuttle mission ground crew and working with lunar samples that the Apollo astronauts brought to earth, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna, Nicolle Zellner says some of her most profound lessons occurred during her time as a Nelson Institute environmental studies undergraduate certificate student. It was there that Zellner said she learned how to apply her knowledge of physics and astronomy in solving environmental and societal issues. It was also where Zellner found a community of experts and peers who shared her passion for knowledge.