MAY 8, 2019
Elizabeth Hennessy selected as a 2019-2021 Vilas Associate
Nelson Institute Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies, Elizabeth Hennessy has been selected as a 2019-2021 Vilas Associate. Made possible by the Vilas Trustees, this appointment will provide Hennessy with research funding for two years to support a new project on the social and ecological costs of palm oil production in Ecuador. Hennessy plans to study the impact that palm oil production has on the land, labor, and ecology of Ecuador, the sixth largest global producer of palm oil. In particular, she will examine how global markets have reshaped patterns of land tenure, what the local concerns are regarding palm plantations, and how these issues can be addressed. "This is a generous grant that will allow me to do a great deal of preliminary research and gather data,” Hennessy said. "Most of the research that has been done on palm oil has focused on large plantations in Southeast Asia, which is where the majority of palm oil is produced, but I am interested in palm oil production in Ecuador and how it differs from these large-scale palm oil plantations. Eighty-seven percent of palm oil production in Ecuador is done by small holders, which has major implications for peasant livelihoods in addition to ecological impacts.”
MAY 7, 2019
Nelson Institute graduate student receives a Graduate Student Summer Fieldwork Award
Nelson Institute graduate student, Deepika Guruprasad recently received the Graduate Student Summer Fieldwork Award, from the UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS). This $3,000 award will support Guruprasad’s fieldwork in India along the Nethravathi River basin.
MAY 6, 2019
Nelson Institute associate professor featured in the Fueling Discovery series
Holly Gibbs, an associate professor in the Department of Geography and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal series Fueling Discovery: A closer look at the UW College of Letters & Science. The article, titled, "The Wisconsin Idea reaches into rainforests worldwide,” discusses her research into how human land-use change has transformed the world. In particular, Gibbs highlights her research into how energy policies and food needs have impacted land in the U.S. and areas such as the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
MAY 1, 2019
Nelson Institute graduate student to assist with international BioBlitz Event
Event Details: From May 11 through June 23, 2019 citizen-scientists and golfers from around the world will participate in the Audubon International’s annual BioBlitz, a species counting competition open to the public. The Blackhawk Country Club Golf Course will host a BioBlitz event on Saturday, June 1, 2019. The free event is open to Shorewood Hills Residents, as well as country club members, and students from the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There will be two sessions on the day of the event: Sunrise- 7:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
APRIL 30, 2019
The Year of the Environment Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Nelson Institute and Earth Day
The Year of the Environment Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Nelson Institute and Earth Day On Monday, April 22, 2019, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies launched the Year of the Environment, a year-long celebration recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Nelson Institute and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The launch took place at the annual Earth Day Conference, where former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold and former Wisconsin Congressman Thomas Petri opened the event with a special conversation regarding the bi-partisan efforts that led to the development of Earth Day, including those of Earth Day founder and Nelson Institute namesake, Gaylord Nelson. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson also addressed the audience via a pre-recorded video message. Over the next year, the Nelson Institute invites you to join us in commemorating these milestones by participating in celebrations, special events, and public lectures, which can be viewed here. We also invite you to become a part of the Earth Day legacy by making a gift in honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary. Your support will ensure that the Nelson Institute remains a vibrant, active, intellectual, and community-centric hub. It will also allow us to continue to pursue new opportunities, address strategic priorities, and enhance and expand our teaching, research, and public service roles, including the Earth Day Conference. Gifts in any amount are needed and appreciated!
APRIL 29, 2019
Mastering Water Resources Management
From a young age, Water Resources Management (WRM) graduate, Bridget Faust had an interest in policy. From marching with her family in campaign parades as a little girl to spending time at her family’s cabin on a lake in Northern Wisconsin, Faust was encouraged to think about how people and policies were impacting natural resources. So, when it was time to select a major in college Faust decided to combine her passion for policy with her passion for the environment into a degree that would allow her to make an impact, earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, policy and management and a minor in political science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
APRIL 26, 2019
Rethinking the economy to protect the environment
The 2019 Sustainable Success lecture series brought together industry and government experts to discuss the benefits and challenges of a circular economy. Hosted by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, the panel titled, "Business not as usual: Stewards of a sustainable circular economy the financial and environmental benefits of a circular economy,” included Mathy Stanislaus, a Circular Economy Fellow at the World Resources Institute, Jeff Zeman, the Principal Environmental Engineer at Kohler Company, and Brian Wycklendt, the Director of Lead and Recycling Strategy at Johnson Controls, Inc.
APRIL 25, 2019
Elders-in-Residence Program brings Leland Wigg Ninham to campus
During the week of April 8, 2019, the University of Wisconsin–Madison hosted certified Peacemaker Leland Wigg Ninham as the second Elder-in-Residence. A Tribal Judge for the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin for 14 years and a faculty member for the National Judicial College in Nevada, Ninham utilizes his experience as a Peacemaker to help others learn to interact and manage conflict in respectful ways.
APRIL 23, 2019
Nelson Institute student receives Udall Scholarship
Nelson Institute undergraduate, Carly Winner has been named a recipient of a 2019 Udall Scholarship, a national honor that recognizes leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to the environment or American Indian communities. The scholarship provides up to $7,000 for a recipient’s junior or senior year, which Winner plans to use to further her efforts to promote egalitarian learning opportunities and learning spaces so that all children have access to environmental education and the outdoors. An environmental studies student at the Nelson Institute, Winner is also a member of the Community Environmental Scholars Program (CESP) which is "designed for students who want to link their passion for the environment with a commitment to the community." CESP co-director, Cathy Middlecamp supported Winner in her efforts by writing a letter of recommendation. Middlecamp says, Winner is a "talented undergraduate here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has much to offer as a person, as a student majoring in science, and as a future teacher.” CESP co-director, Rob Beattie, was also complimentary of Winner, stating, "When Carly applied to CESP we asked her why she wanted to be in a program linking environment and community. She said, 'I have a passion for doing work that has a meaning and has results that you can see. Being a mentor, educator, conservationist, and activist for my community is the most important thing to me.’ With focus like that we jumped at the chance to get Carly involved in CESP. We’re thrilled that this scholarship from the Udall Foundation recognizes Carly’s growing capabilities as an environmental leader - it is an honor she definitely deserves.” Read more.
APRIL 11, 2019
Nelson Institute graduate students connect Wisconsin farmers to new ideas for land management
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies graduate students, Diane Mayerfeld and Keefe Keeley, are working with farmers across Wisconsin to improve profits and land conditions through the use of silvopasture.