History & Reputation

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s reputation as a leading institution for natural resources education extends back to the establishment of the nation’s first conservation and outdoor education major in 1946. By the mid-1970’s, undergraduate and graduate degree programs emphasizing Environmental Education and Interpretation (EE/I) had evolved from these original programs and today the EE/I program at UWSP boasts the largest number of EE/I faculty, undergraduate majors and graduate students of any EE/I specific program in the nation. Over the years, many state and federal agencies and foundations have recognized the success of the EE/I program in the form of grants that support the advancement of EE/I through the projects of faculty, staff and students.
Among the well-respected faculty who have been involved with the program are five recipients of the Aldo Leopold Award and one recipient of the Jeske Award from the North American Association for Environmental Education for Outstanding Contributions to the field of EE. Program faculty have also been honored with distinguished service awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Federation of Garden Clubs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Izaak Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, and many other organizations. In addition, program faculty have contributed nationally and internationally to the advancement of environmental education and interpretation and natural resources by serving in such roles as:
  • President of the North American Association for Environmental Education
  • Chairperson of U.S. EPA's National EE Advisory Council
  • Adviser to the United Nations Environmental Education program
  • Chairperson of the Council of State Government's Environmental Education Committee
  • Founder of the National EE Advancement Project
  • Director of the U.S. EPA's National Environmental Education Training Program
  • Consulting editor and/or reviewer for Environmental Education Research, Applied Environmental Education and Communication, Journal of Environmental Education, International Online Journal of Environmental Education
Faculty and staff at UWSP continue to uphold the program’s rich tradition of providing students with exceptional experiences by extending their activities to include opportunities for professional development through online instruction. Since the fall of 2010, professionals from across the nation and around the world have had the opportunity to enroll in a completely online degree programs from UWSP.
UWSP’s faculty and staff’s dedication to excellence in environmental education and interpretation is reflected in the success of program alumni as well. Graduates of the program are employed in nearly every state, government and direct environmental centers in over 30 states. Some alumni of the on-campus Masters degree program at UWSP include:

•Director of the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education
•Executive Director of the EE Association of Washington
•EE Specialists for the State of North Carolina
•Sea Grant Educator for the state of Florida
•Environmental Education Specialist for the WEST ED Education Lab
•Director of the Ridges Sanctuary Nature Center
•Director of the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program
•Portage County Executive
•EE Specialists for RARE in Kunming, China
•Curator of Education at the Minnesota Science Museum
•Natural Resources Extension Agents 4-H and Youth Agents
•Nature Center Directors
•K-12 EE Coordinators for School Districts
•State Department of Education EE Specialists
•State Department of Natural Resources EE Specialists
•Professors of Environmental Education
•Professors of Environmental Studies