Hope and renewal

Alumni offer inspiring solutions to dire environmental challenges
Confession time: I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic literature and film. Novels like The Windup Girl along with all the Mad Max-style movies, make for great entertainment. But as a device for motivating environmental action, doom-and-gloom scenarios just don’t cut it.…More »

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In this issue

Adaptive management
September 15, 2017
In March, Paul Robbins was reappointed as director of the Nelson Institute after a comprehensive review of his first five years of tenure. On the heels of many recent successes, and with continued growth and innovation on the horizon, Robbins shared his vision for the Institute and reflections on his first term as director. …More »
When facts lose influence
September 15, 2017
A panel of UW-Madison experts came together at the Nelson Institute’s 2017 Earth Day Conference, Hope and Renewal in the Age of Apocalypse, to discuss the roles of science, values, knowledge and belief in shaping public opinion and confronting environmental challenges. …More »
Waste watchers
September 15, 2017
A group of fifth graders stand in a line beside a conveyor belt at the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Brooklyn, New York. They watch intently as heaping piles of recyclable materials – brought in by trucks and barges – trudge by and are sorted by giant magnets and optical machines. …More »
Water(color) warrior
September 15, 2017
On a wooden pier or sandy beach, near a crucial wetland, or amongst the rugged cliffs of the Apostle Islands, wherever Janet Moore finds herself painting, she uses water from that locale. A watercolor artist for more than 30 years, when she dabs her brush into local water she feels a deep connection to that setting and to the layers of history contained in its water. Moore can vividly recall, while on a backcountry excursion, the first time she dunked a jar into Lake Superior to retrieve water for painting. …More »
Protecting the environment and empowering communities
September 15, 2017
When faced with the environmental implications of overflowing landfills and the social impacts of gender inequality in the workforce, what’s a community to do? For recent Nelson Institute graduate Maria Castillo and the rural region of Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, the answer was: start a business that turns trash into treasure. …More »
Fight for survival
September 15, 2017
If there’s a conservation challenge that tests the boundaries of hope, it might be the effort to save rhinos. Of the five rhinoceros species, three are listed as "critically endangered,” one is "near-threatened” and the other is "vulnerable.” …More »
First person: Conservation and community
September 15, 2017
The story of saving Arcadia began for me in the basement of Science Hall, the domain of the Nelson Institute. We didn’t call it the Nelson Institute back then. In the 1990s it was still IES, the Institute for Environmental Studies. I was a Land Resources student brimming full of ideas about forest ecology and conservation biology, and eager to try them out. …More »

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