Virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration and 2020 Rendezvous

We invite you to join the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies on Friday, September 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. CDT as we celebrate our history, the present, and the future at the virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration event and 2020 Rendezvous.

Over the past 50 years, the Nelson Institute has grown tremendously, from adding new program areas to expanding our community outreach. In celebration of our many accomplishments and the community that has made them possible, we invite you to virtually join us for a number of live and prerecorded breakout sessions featuring stellar faculty, distinguished emeriti, and amazing alumni.

We hope you, our students, alumni, friends, and devoted supporters, will join us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nelson Institute with this special day of lectures and opportunities to virtually connect.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Program Highlights

Live Sessions

Don’t miss the return of “Coffee with Cal,” featuring legendary Professor Cal DeWitt, and “On the Horizon: Climate Change and Clean Air,” insights and research on today’s biggest environmental issues with Tracey Holloway, Gaylord A. Nelson Chair in Integrated Environmental Studies.

Tracey Holloway’s session is sponsored by:

On-Demand Videos

Learn the story of the Nelson Institute’s path to success with Dean Paul Robbins and former directors Arthur Sacks and Tom Yuill. We’ll also have Reports from the Field with Nelson Institute alumni. 

LinkedIn Happy Hour

Our Virtual Rendezvous will include a live Q&A and opportunities for discussion and networking.

Our History, in Images and Words

View archival photos and listen to oral histories, and share your favorite Nelson memories on our discussion board.

Honoring the Legacy, Empowering the Future

In 1970, the Nelson Institute was created at UW-Madison – the birthplace of restoration ecology, wildlife conservation, water resource science, and so much more.

For 50 years, the Nelson Institute has drawn together a dynamic, diverse, and collaborative community of people from across the globe.

Together, we have made our institute great.

In honor of our 50th anniversary, we have launched the Environmental Futures Fund endowment to support our efforts for the next 50 years — and beyond.

We invite you to invest in the legacy, the community, and the future.

Stay Connected

Join Badger Bridge

Badger Bridge is your place to connect with fellow alumni through UW-Madison’s global community, advance your career with professional networking, and give back by mentoring or employing graduating students.

Get Your Nelson Gear

Show your Badger and Nelson spirit wherever life takes you. Visit our online store to purchase Nelson-branded merchandise, including button-down shirts, fleece, soft-shell vests and jackets, hats, bags, and more.

Update Your Info

Have you recently moved or changed your email address? Take a moment to update your contact information so we can continue to stay in touch and let you know about the latest happenings at the Nelson Institute.


From the United States to Africa to Antarctica and beyond, the Nelson Institute is making meaningful impacts all around the globe. #IamNelson is a showcase of our students and faculty exploring, enhancing, and expanding innovative partnerships and collaborations, both locally and abroad. Check out the photo gallery

Event Sponsor

Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association