JUNE 3, 2019
Nelson Institute & AOS Professor Ankur Desai named the Reid Bryson Chair
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Professor Ankur Desai has been named the Reid Bryson Chair for Climate, People and Environment. Named after Reid Bryson, who founded the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR), this prestigious three-year appointment will provide financial support and leadership opportunities that will allow Desai to expand his interdisciplinary research and leadership as it relates to climate change, the environment, and society.

MAY 22, 2019
Board of Visitors emeritus member John Nelson receives an honorary degree from Ripon College
On May 19, 2019, UW-Madison adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering, UW-Madison alumnus, UW Foundation Board member, and Nelson Institute Board of Visitors emeritus member John Nelson received an honorary degree from Ripon College in recognition of his efforts to advance scientific collaboration in relation to Green Lake.

MAY 16, 2019
Nelson Institute program coordinator, Sarah Graves co-authors newly released book
Nelson Institute Environmental Observation and Informatics (EOI) program coordinator, Sarah Graves, is a co-author of the newly released book, Collaboration Across Boundaries for Social-Ecological Systems Science. Edited by Stephen G. Perz, the book outlines best practices and challenges related to interdisciplinary research. The recommendations are made through a set of chapters that feature first-hand experiences from researchers investigating social-ecological systems.

MAY 16, 2019
Inaugural Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Issue Brief focuses on nitrates
The Nelson Institute Issue Brief summarizes and conveys up-to-date scholarship from across the UW-Madison campus on key issues of environmental concern. This inaugural edition focuses on research related to high nitrate concentrations in groundwater, an issue that impacts rural and urban residents across much of the state. Read more.

MAY 15, 2019
Native Nations_UW Leadership Summit highlights directions for partnerships
Native Nations_UW Leadership Summit highlights directions for partnerships

MAY 14, 2019
Nelson Institute researcher Seth Spawn discusses land-use change and carbon emissions
UW-Madison Geography graduate student and Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) researcher, Seth Spawn was recently featured in the Physics World article, Expanding US cropland emits same as 36 new power plants. The article highlights Spawn’s research into land-use change and its impact on carbon emissions. In particular, Spawn has been studying the impact of grassland loss on carbon levels. Grassland can contribute to a significant decrease in carbon emissions as the plants have natural carbon absorption and storage properties. In fact, in 2018 Spawn participated in a study led by The Nature Conservancy which showed that improved maintenance of grassland would allow for the annual absorption of one fifth of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to emissions from all U.S. vehicles. Read more.

MAY 13, 2019
Nelson Institute Dean helps to lead the Chancellor’s Improving Surface Water and Groundwater Quality event
On Friday, May 3, 2019, Nelson Institute Dean Paul Robbins, Division of Extension Dean Karl Martin, and Director of Extension’s Natural Resources Institute, Tricia Gorby led UW–Madison researchers and Extension representatives in a discussion of water quality during the Chancellor’s Improving Surface Water and Groundwater Quality event. This event included presentations from researchers and leaders across the disciplines, including Nelson Institute Water Resources Management Program Chair Anita Thompson. Read more.

MAY 8, 2019
Leah Horowitz named a 2019 recipient of the Vilas Early Career Investigator Award
Assistant Professor, Leah Horowitz, who holds a joint appointment at the Nelson Institute and School of Human Ecology, has been named a 2019 recipient of the Vilas Early Career Investigator Award. Made possible through the generosity of the Vilas Trust, the award recognizes research and teaching excellence in faculty who are relatively early in their careers. The award will provide Horowitz with $100,000 in flexible funding over two years to be used towards her research with tribes in North and South Dakota, who are facing concerns about their drinking water supplies and sacred places due to multi-million-dollar oil pipelines that pass underneath waterways on their traditional lands.

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.

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