Alumni



JULY 2, 2019
In Memoriam: Maggie Stewart
Margaret Ann (Maggie) Stewart passed away at her parents’ home in South Milwaukee on June 10. Maggie was a 2016 graduate of the Nelson Institute’s Environmental Conservation Master’s Program and a 2014 graduate of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.


JUNE 18, 2019
Tipping the scales of environmental justice
Growing up, in Guadalajara, Mexico, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies alumna Angélica Sánchez experienced both the positive and negative impacts of urban living. Although she moved to northern Wisconsin when she was twelve, those impacts weighed heavily on Sánchez, fueling her desire to increase environmental justice and support for children living in large urban areas such as Guadalajara. In an effort to be a part of the solution, Sánchez majored in Conservation and Environmental Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A first generation college student, Sánchez saw the value of expanding her knowledge of environmental justice, so she connected with Nelson Institute International and Professional Programs Director, Nathan Schulfer, who introduced her to the Environmental Conservation Professional Master’s program (EC).


JUNE 12, 2019
Sisters in Stewardship
As children, sisters Ismat and Iffat Bhuiyan dreamed of attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For Ismat, who was a few years older than Iffat, that dream became a reality in 2011, when she began her first semester as a biology major at UW-Madison. For Iffat, that dream came to fruition a few years later when she began her freshman year in the UW-Madison College of Engineering. While both were thrilled to be a Badger, they were looking for a way to connect their interest in environmental conservation with their career goals. That’s when Ismat happened upon the Nelson Institute Environmental Studies Certificate and the Nelson Institute Community Environmental Scholars Program (CESP), a discovery that ultimately shaped the career trajectory for both sisters.


JUNE 11, 2019
Board of Visitors member & Nelson Institute alumnus Matt Dannenberg receives the Extraordinary People Award
On June 4, 2019 Nelson Institute alumnus (’10) and Board of Visitors member, Matt Dannenberg received the Extraordinary People Award from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV). Dannenberg, who currently serves as the Communications & Legislative Director at Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, received the award in honor of his efforts to protect state and natural resources. His notable contributions include his work to develop the Wisconsin Native Vote program, which encourages tribal members to vote and run for office and his eight years of service with the WLCV, which promotes public policy that benefits public health and natural resources.


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.


FEBRUARY 22, 2019
Nelson alumni launch food waste policy and practice event
Travis Blomberg, B.S. (2012)- Environmental Studies / Political Science / Integrated Liberal Studies, M.S. (2015) - Environment & Resources / Business, Environment & Social Responsibility George Reistad, B.S. (2011)- Economics and Environmental Studies


FEBRUARY 20, 2019
Conservation Coach
During her 15-year career in communications and media production, Nelson Institute alumna Marika Suval developed an acute awareness of the planet’s growing environmental problems. Whether reporting for public radio on environmental policies or highlighting the challenges faced by conservationists around the world, Suval took an active interest in the issue. Just a few years ago, Suval decided to apply to the Nelson Institute Environmental Conservation Professional Master’s program, a step toward her goal of putting her media career in service of pressing environmental issues.


DECEMBER 18, 2018
Crops and Conservation
Along the edge of America’s farmland is a lush border of trees, grasses, and wildflowers that often mark property lines or a break between crops. These wild areas are often deemed unusable, but according to Nelson Institute alumna, Alison Duff, they may be the key to improving economic and conservation outcomes for farms as well as the greater community. In fact, studying the way in which working farms can serve as both production and conservation lands has been at the heart of Duff’s research since her early days as a graduate student at the Nelson Institute.


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.


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