Across UW-Madison and beyond its borders, the Nelson Institute forges partnerships in education, research and community service that promote a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable world.

On Campus

On the UW-Madison campus, the Nelson Institute fosters cooperation among and builds networks across disciplines ranging from the physical and social sciences, engineering and medicine to the arts and humanities. In addition to countless interdisciplinary collaborations in education and research, the Institute provides organization and support for campus-wide initiatives such as:

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Wisconsin Ecology (formerly the Madison Ecology Group), an ad hoc group of faculty, academic staff and students across the UW-Madison campus who are interested in ecology. Wisconsin Ecology helps create a sense of identity and fosters communication among campus ecologists through monthly meetings, annual symposia and other activities.
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Campus Sustainability Initiative, which works to align sustainability research and education with campus operations and strives to make UW-Madison a living model that demonstrates our commitment to stewardship of resources, respect for place, and the health and well-being of the broader community.
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Earth Science Women's Network(ESWN), a peer-mentoring network of women in the Earth Sciences, most of whom are in the early stages of their careers. ESWN has nearly 1,000 members and represents most major universities, goverment agencies and research organizations in the United States and abroad.

In the Community

In the community, the Nelson Institute works with stakeholders in business, non-profit organizations and all levels of government to address emerging environmental issues that are local, regional or greater in scope. Community-based initiatives include:

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Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), formed in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other organizations and UW System schools, researches potential climate change impacts on Wisconsin natural resources, ecosystems and regions; evaluates potential effects on industry, agriculture, tourism and other human activities; and develops and recommends adaptation strategies that can be implemented by businesses, farmers, public health officials, municipalities, resource managers and other stakeholders.
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Water Resources Management (WRM) workshops, in which student-faculty teams work on a contemporary problem in water resources, usually through projects at the community level. Each annual workshop brings together students with diverse backgrounds and specialties to form an interdisciplinary team to tackle a real-world problem.
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Community Environmental Scholars Program (CESP), which trains undergraduates to work with community-based environmental organizations, collaborate with fellow students, work with people on real environmental problems, and forge links between environmental studies and community service.