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.

  • Morgan Robinson

    Healthy World, Healthy Womb

    Would you choose to have kids if you knew they would be born into an environment riddled with toxic pollution, subjecting them to poor health throughout their lives?

  • WRM students Alayne Kulp and Madilyn Marti examine sedge meadow vegetation in the wetland near Fancy Creek, following a modified Rapid Floristic Quality Assessment (RFQA) protocol. Photo by Norman Arif Muhammed

    Farm-Bred and Future-Focused

    On paper, Alayne Kulp seems to capture a typical Wisconsinite.   Grew up on a dairy farm? Check. Loves a good cocktail? Check. Friendly, hardworking, and down-to-earth? Check, check, and check. 

  • Ken Genskow

    Watershed Management and Words of Motivation

    If you asked Ken Genskow for advice on watershed planning and management, he would tell you to always anticipate change.

  • Audrey Stanton

    Sustaining Students to Sustain the Environment

    If you were on campus last fall you likely received this email asking you to participate in a campuswide sustainability survey.

  • Patterson in Bagaces, Costa Rica at the Palo Verde Research Station during her tropical ecology field course during the summer of 2015. Photo courtesy of Linnea Patterson

    From Lab Work to Land Management

    For Linnea Patterson, studying biology was — well, in her biology.

  • Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies UW–Madison

    Introducing the Nelson Ambassadors

    Since it first opened to students in 2011, the Nelson Institute’s environmental studies undergraduate major has seen rapid growth — after just one year, the number of declared students nearly doubled.

  • Hailey Kuhn

    An Interdisciplinary Education

    The world is Hailey Kuhn’s oyster — and she knows it.

  • Haag kayaking on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana, in September. Photo courtesy of Taylor Haag

    Building a Sustainable Community

    Imagine a community where people work together to preserve natural resources, protect their watershed, and learn about the importance of conservation.

  • Heidi explaining hydric soil properties to two of her practicum cohort members in a private landowners field adjacent to Koshkonong Creek. Photo by Bryce Richter/UW–Madison

    Connecting Water, Connecting People

    For Heidi Putnam, water resource conservation is less about understanding the hard sciences than it is about understanding the communities relying on those water resources.

  • During her communications internship at the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management through NRF’s Diversity in Conservation internship, Soumi staffed outreach at the Wisconsin State Fair.

    A Bird’s-Eye View of Conservation

    Soumika Gaddameedi’s passion for the environment began at a young age, stemming from childhood memories of hiking and surrounding herself with nature.

  • Banner drop outside of a Board of Regents Meeting. Photo courtesy of Ashley Cheung

    A Full-Course Meal

    Ashley Cheung’s life has always been intertwined with the environment.

  • Hench completed site visits as part of her internship, which focused on tire recycling and reuse. Photo courtesy of Oliva Hench

    Industry Revolution

    Making copies, sorting files, delivering documents. These are tasks one might associate with your standard internship, but they’re nowhere to be found in the lineup of duties for students participating in UW–Madison’s Corporate Sustainability Internship Program.

  • Winkler-Schor with a kitten while conducting research. Photo courtesy of Sophia Winkler-Schor

    The Psychology of Sustainable Farming

    Nelson Institute environment and resources PhD student Sophia Winkler-Schor has spent most of her life fascinated with both the environment and Latin America.

  • Travis Blomberg

    An On-Track Diversion

    If Travis Blomberg is successful, only 10 percent of UW–Madison’s waste will end up in a landfill.

  • Butterfly landing on Sanchez-Mora's nose. Photo courtesy of Angelica Sanchez-Mora

    EC Graduate and Board of Visitors Member Helps connect People to Urban Green Spaces

    Hidden among the pavement and large buildings of many urban areas are small but sacred green spaces. From a young age Angélica Sánchez-Mora was able to appreciate both urban and rural living. Now, she works to help connect those living in urban spaces to the slices of nature around them.