Read the latest installment of The Commons, a bi-monthly newsletter for Nelson Institute alumni and friends.

The Commons

For Nelson Institute Alumni and Friends

January/February 2015
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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Join us on Monday, April 20, for a day of learning and discussion as we explore the latest science, perspectives and possibilities presented by our rapidly changing planet – featuring a keynote address by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Additional speakers and panels will be announced soon. Register today.
Enroll in free, environmentally themed courses this semester
Beginning this month, UW-Madison will offer six Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to lifelong learners. The first course, The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold, and Conservation, launches on January 26 and is led by Nelson Director Paul Robbins and Nelson faculty members Janet Silbernagel and Tim Van Deelen. Learn more and consider signing up for a MOOC.
2015 alumni awards: Submit nominations by February 2
Nearly 4,000 Nelson Institute alumni are applying their knowledge and skills to make the world a better and more sustainable place. Our alumni awards help spotlight these accomplishments and impacts. The winners be honored at the April 20 Earth Day Conference. Know someone making a difference? Please submit your nominations.
A year of firsts and findings: Nelson highlights from 2014
The year saw important findings from our cutting-edge environmental research, new partners in community outreach and hands-on education, the launch of new academic programs to address emerging needs and provide more real-world experiences for students, and honors for our faculty and alumni. Explore the highlights.
Alumnus weaves renewable energy into the cultural tapestry of rural Alaska
When Brian Hirsch graduated from the Nelson Institute, he had already established a network of contacts in Alaska and had launched his own consulting business focused on renewable energy and community development. He is now a senior project leader for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and works to bring hybrid energy systems to the largest state in the nation. Read Brian's story.
Angling for answers: Student studies climate impacts on trout streams [VIDEO]
Zach Schuster, a doctoral candidate in the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program, is investigating how groundwater cools streams and how air temperature affects water temperature in Wisconsin's Driftless Area. At stake could be the future of the state’s best trout fishery. Watch the video.