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Opportunities for Graduate Study in Restoration Ecology at the University of Wisconsin

Dear Prospective Graduate Student:

If you are looking for a graduate education in ecosystem restoration, let me introduce you to the many exciting opportunities available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Interest in restoration ecology at UW-Madison began with Aldo Leopold and other prominent scientists, who established the 1,200-acre Arboretum, where a collection of restored ecosystems now replaces farmland. Although many UW-Madison researchers have studied the hydrology, soils, plants, and animals of restored systems, the outcomes of restoration efforts are not yet predictable. Much more research needs to be done.

Many UW-Madison faculty members have joined to promote the study of restoration ecology through established graduate programs. Researchers incorporate science-based, experimental approaches into ecosystem restoration efforts to predict courses of ecosystem development, to identify attributes that sustain restored ecosystems, to provide new restoration technologies, to transfer knowledge to users (governmental agencies, industry, and nongovernmental land stewards), and to increase public awareness and understanding of restoration.

We invite you to explore the Web sites of the departments listed below to learn more about the opportunities available. If you have further questions about our programs, please feel free to contact individual faculty members or departments directly.

With Best Wishes,

Dr. Joy Zedler

Aldo Leopold Professor of Restoration Ecology


Relevant Degree Programs

The Botany Department offers an option for a professional MS curriculum in Ecological Restoration leading to an MS degree in Botany. In lieu of a thesis, students develop a literature review and gain practical experience in ecological restoration techniques. Click here to see program requirements and sample course schedules.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison does not offer a thesis degree in restoration ecology; rather, graduate students may choose from among a variety of related traditional and interdisciplinary programs. Below are departments and programs that offer graduate degrees relevant to the emerging field of restoration ecology.  Information and application instructions for these programs can be found in the Graduate School Catalog and on their individual Web sites. For more specific contact information, please see our listing of Faculty and Staff Members Interested in Restoration Ecology

Program M.A. M.S. Ph.D.
Agricultural & Applied Economics x x x
Biological Systems Engineering   x x
Biometry   x  
Botany   x x
Civil & Environmental Engineering   x x
Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development   x  
Entomology   x x
Forest & Wildlife Ecology   x x
Landscape Architecture x x  
Environment & Resources   x x
Limnology & Marine Science   x x
Plant Pathology   x x
Soil Science   x x
Statistics (concentration in biostatistics)   x x
Water Resources Management   x  
Zoology x x x


Opportunities for Funding

Individual departments offer teaching assistantships and announce other forms of financial assistance for graduate study. Many faculty members make assistantships available for work on specific research projects. Highly meritorious applicants may also be nominated for national and university-wide predoctoral fellowships. Advanced Opportunity Fellowships are available for minority applicants on a competitive basis through the Graduate School. Please see the Graduate School Catalog for application procedures and deadlines.