Student Stories

From advancing environmental justice to using technology to develop sustainable solutions, our students approach our planet’s most pressing environmental challenges from a diverse range of backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Check out how some of our future environmental leaders are making a difference, both locally and abroad.

  • Fleury in the field overlooking a river. Photo by Nitesh Singh

    Mitigating Wildlife Conflict in Botswana

    From the age of three, Nelson Institute environment and resources PhD student Gabi Fleury wanted to travel to Africa and be a conservationist.

  • Bertalot pilots the Center for Limnology’s boat “Humpback” during a sampling day last summer. Photo by Ally Kundinger

    The Reward of Research

    As a recent runner-up for the Center for Climatic Research’s Reid Bryson Scholarship poster session, undergraduate senior Sean Bertalot never expected such a distinction just a few short years ago. 

  • David Kolodziejski

    EOI Graduate Passionate to Provide Climate Solutions using Remote Sensing and GIS

    Recent graduate of the environmental observation informatics (EOI) MS program, David Kolodziejski found his niche in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing after a long period of career exploration.

  • Rachel French

    Bikepacking for Credit

    Imagine biking 50 miles up a mountain carrying nearly 100 pounds of gear with only peanut butter, tortillas, and applesauce to keep you going. 

  • Mark Parker petting a calf in a cage while his son is standing next to him. Photo courtesy of Organic Valley

    Partnerships in Greener Pastures

    About 80 miles northwest of Science Hall sits 538 acres of farmland.

  • Stephen Born

    Introducing the Stephen Born Scholarship

    When it comes to Wisconsin conservation and water management, few names are more synonymous than Stephen Born.

  • Ford Freyberg

    The Next Chapter

    Ford Freyberg is starting a new chapter of his life. Recently married, he began a new job in October and will be moving out west early next year to live in the mountains that he and his wife love being around.

  • Sumaiya Firoze. Photo courtesy of Sumaiya Firoze

    Back in Bangladesh, EC Alumna Uses New Skills

    Traveling from the opposite side of the world, Sumaiya Firoze came to the Nelson Institute determined to grow her conservation knowledge and skills to help her home country of Bangladesh.

  • Kendi Aaron. Photo credit: Blen Wondimu

    Environmental Advocacy in Action

    “Madison in the summer is beautiful," says undergraduate Kendi Aaron. “That's the one thing I will die on a hill for.”

  • Participants sat in groups related to their specific project at the meeting. Photo credit: Anica Graney

    Rising Waters

    Wisconsin’s Koshkonong Creek and its communities have been in deep water in recent years due to increased flooding.

  • Alex Ramos

    The Business of Forests

    It was hard to keep Nelson Institute environmental observation informatics (EOI) MS grad Alex Ramos away from his hometown of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada when the opportunity to turn his passion into a full-time career came knocking.

  • Grove enjoying a hike in Alaska. Photo credit: Evan Bodfield

    Making Freight Sustainable

    Nelson Institute undergraduate student Zebulon Grove sees a hopeful future for sustainability in business practices.

  • Jim Miller

    Introducing: The Jim Miller Graduate Scholarship

    “Water is fundamental to all life,” states the leading sentence on the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies’ water resources management (WRM) program website. It’s a short and simple sentence, but one whose importance cannot be …

  • EC/EOI cohorts

    EC and EOI Cohorts Finish 15-Month Programs

    As summer comes to a close, so does the 2021–22 Environmental Conservation (EC) and Environmental Observation and Informatics (EOI) cohorts. 

  • Drake shows Family Weekend participants the equipment his team uses to safely trap canids.

    Thoroughly Modern Canid

    What do buses, Starbucks, and coyotes have in common? If you said, “things you find in a city,” you’d be correct.