|June 21, 1956
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
|University of Wisconsin-Madison (BS)
| Gaylord Nelson
Carrie Dotson Nelson
Tia Lee Nelson (born June 21, 1956) is an American academic, environmental activist, and public servant from the state of Wisconsin. She has held several high-profile positions at The Nature Conservancy, served as Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and is currently Managing Director of the Climate program at the Outrider Foundation. Nelson is the daughter of former United States Senator and Governor Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day.
Nelson was born on June 21, 1956, in the Crestwood neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin. She was two years old when her father was elected Governor of Wisconsin. She lived in the Executive Residence (Governor's Mansion) in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin, until the age of six, when her father was elected to United States Senate. She spent her upbringing in Washington, D.C., until graduating from high school and returning to Wisconsin to attend college.Nelson often accompanied her father during campaign stops throughout his political career.
After graduating from UW–Madison's school of wildlife ecology and clerking for the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Nelson joined The Nature Conservancy as legislative liaison for government relations. She spent 17 years with the organization, also holding posts as a senior policy advisor for the Latin America and Caribbean Division and then, as the first director of the Conservancy's Global Climate Change Initiative. During her time with the group, Nelson worked in more than 25 countries, and was in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 when President George H.W. Bush signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Earth Summit, the U.S. commitment to help fight global warming.
While at The Nature Conservancy, Nelson advocated for forest protection and restoration as a critical climate change mitigation strategy and an essential component of public policies to address global warming. She led the development of pilot carbon sequestration projects in Belize, Bolivia, and Brazil, where she helped create standards for the measurement and verification of the greenhouse gas benefits of conservation and improved timber management. The Rio Bravo project in Belize was the first one of its kind in the world to be certified by the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation, and earned her the Climate Protection Award in 2000 from the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 2004, Nelson returned home to Wisconsin to serve as Executive Secretary to the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), which included an appointment in 2007 as co‐chair of Wisconsin's Task Force on Global Warming. In July 2005, Nelson spoke at her father's memorial service which was held at the Wisconsin Capitol Building.Nelson introduced Michelle Obama during a rally before the 2008 presidential primary in Wisconsin. In 2009, Nelson testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee regarding the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The legislation would have cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020 and by 83 percent by mid-century.
While serving as Executive Secretary to the BCPL, Nelson was ordered to never discuss climate change on state time by two of the three board members—the Attorney General and the State Treasurer.The Attorney General later changed his position on the "gag" order and went on to express strong support for Nelson's job performance in a letter released to the press. Nelson left her post at the state agency in 2015 and is currently the Managing Director of the Climate program at the Outrider Foundation, a Madison, Wisconsin group which works to end the threat of a nuclear war and reverse global climate change. Nelson introduced U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders at an October 2016 Madison rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Nelson voiced her support for Clinton and U.S. Senate Candidate Russ Feingold based on their advocacy for clean energy policies.
Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by Earthday.org including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. The official theme for 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics." 2025 will be the 55th anniversary of Earth Day.
Gaylord Anton Nelson was an American politician from Wisconsin who served as a United States senator and governor. He was a member of the Democratic Party and the founder of Earth Day, which launched a new wave of environmental activism.
Douglas J. La Follette is an American academic, environmental scientist, and politician who served as the 30th secretary of state of Wisconsin from 1983 to 2023. He is a member of the Democratic Party. At the time of his retirement, La Follette was the longest-serving statewide elected official in the United States; he was narrowly re-elected in 2022 to an unprecedented 12th term in office, but retired shortly after the start of the new term. He previously served as the 28th secretary of state from 1975 to 1979, and in the Wisconsin Senate from 1973 to 1975.
The University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point is a public university in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Established in 1894, it is part of the University of Wisconsin System. UW-Stevens Point grants associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees, as well as doctoral degrees in audiology, educational sustainability, and physical therapy. In 2018, UW-Stevens Point merged with UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield. The 406-acre (164 ha) main campus includes the 280-acre (113 ha) Schmeeckle Reserve on the north side of the Campus. There are 15 academic buildings, and 13 Residence Halls.
The attorney general of Wisconsin is a constitutional officer in the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Forty-five individuals have held the office of attorney general since statehood. The incumbent is Josh Kaul, a Democrat.
Reid Bryson was an American atmospheric scientist, geologist and meteorologist. He was a professor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He completed a B.A. in geology at Denison University in 1941 and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Chicago in 1948. In 1946 he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and in 1948 he became the founder and first chairman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Meteorology and Center for Climatic Research. He was the first director of the Institute for Environmental Studies in 1970.
Behold the Earth is a feature-length musical documentary film that inquires into America's estrangement from nature, built out of conversations with leading biologists and evangelical Christians, and directed by David Conover. The film made its debut at the 2017 DC Environmental Film Festival.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public land-grant research university in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. UW–Madison became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The university also owns and operates the 1,200-acre (486 ha) University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus, which is also a National Historic Landmark.
The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, otherwise known as BCPL, is a state agency responsible for investing Wisconsin's school trust funds in support of public education, for managing the state's remaining school trust lands, and for maintaining an extensive archive of land records. The board was established by Article X, Sections 7 and 8 of the Wisconsin Constitution, ratified in 1848, making it Wisconsin's oldest extant state agency.
Matt Adamczyk is an American businessman and politician, who served as the 35th Wisconsin State Treasurer.
Dominique Brossard is a professor and chair of the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a member of the steering committee for the university's Robert & Jean Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and is affiliated with other institutes at the university, including the Energy Institute, the Global Health Institute, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Brossard also holds a position as a principal investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research.
Karen Suzanne Oberhauser is an American conservation biologist who specializies in monarch butterflies.
Jonathan Alan Patz is an American academic who is a professor and John P. Holton Chair of Health and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as Director of the Global Health Institute. Patz also holds appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences at the UW-Madison. He serves on the executive committee of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and was elected in 2019 to the National Academy of Medicine.
Tracey Holloway is the Jeff Rudd and Jeanne Bissell Professor of Energy Analysis and Policy at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences. Her research focuses on the links between regional air quality, energy, and climate through the use of computer models and date from satellites.
Tessa Michelle Hill is an American marine geochemist and oceanographer. She is a professor at the University of California, Davis, and a resident professor at its Bodega Marine Laboratory. She is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and in 2016 was named a Leshner Public Engagement Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In that year she also received the US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
Rafe Pomerance is an American environmentalist. He is a Distinguished Senior Arctic Policy Fellow of the Woodwell Climate Research Center. Since the late 1970s, he has played a key role in raising awareness of the risks of climate change for United States policy-makers. His role during the period 1979 to 1989 is detailed in the book Losing Earth, by Nathaniel Rich.
Carlisle Piehl Runge was a Wisconsin professor and department head, author, environmentalist, and politician who served as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, and Director of the United Nations Adriatic Environmental Study in Yugoslavia.
Erika Marín-Spiotta is a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist. She is currently Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is best-known for her research of the terrestrial carbon cycle and is an advocate for underrepresented groups in the sciences, specifically women.
Mamie Parker is an American biologist, conservationist, executive coach, facilitator, and inspirational speaker from Wilmot, Arkansas. She holds a PhD in limnology from the University of Wisconsin and spent 30 years with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in a variety of positions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. Highly regarded as a pioneer in the field, she was the first Black woman to serve as the assistant director of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and the first African American to lead a USFWS regional office when she served as the Northeast Service Regional Director, covering 13 northeastern states. She also served as USFWS Chief of Staff and Chief of Fisheries. She received the US government's highest honor for career service employees for her accomplishments, the Presidential Rank Meritorious Service Award, and in 2005 was the first African American inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. Since retiring from USFWS, she has worked as an executive leadership coach, inspirational speaker, and environmental consultant with Ma Parker and Associates and EcoLogix Group, Inc. She is on the board of directors of the National Wildlife Federation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy-Virginia Chapter, American University School of Public Affairs, Ducks Unlimited, and the Student Conservation Association. Throughout her career she has worked to advance diversity and opportunities for minority students in conservation and fisheries careers; in 2016 she was awarded the Emmeline Moore Prize from the American Fisheries Society for these efforts.
Mary E. Nelson Wilburn was an American lawyer and government official. She also taught German at Howard University, was chair of the Wisconsin Parole Board from 1986 to 1987, and was president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers from 2000 to 2002.
Interviews, speeches, and statements