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Get Your Hands on Your Future
A new master’s degree and a major renovation project for the largest classroom building at the University of Wisconsin-Stout were approved unanimously Friday by the UW System Board of Regents.
The board, meeting at UW-Parkside, approved a professional science master’s degree in conservation biology and a nearly $28 million renovation project for Harvey Hall, which was built in 1916. The board’s approval of the master’s degree is final, while the Harvey Hall renovation project will go before the Wisconsin State Building Commission on Wednesday.
“This new program is important for students because it really addresses the needs of industries and agencies,” said Kitrina Carlson, an associate biology professor who was involved in developing the new conservation biology master’s degree. “There's a major emphasis on ensuring students are networking with industry and agencies and will even complete an internship with potential future employers.”
Conservation biology is the observation, investigation, development and implementation of conservation practices with the aim of protecting species, their habitats and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on sciences, economics and the practice of natural-resource management.
The program will offer students three separate tracks, Carlson said, including molecular ecology, water quality/limnological sciences and fishery sciences.
“We've designed the program to meet the needs of working adults, but we anticipate that traditional students will be interested in the program, as well,” Carlson said. “We structured the program with the flexibility to support a broad spectrum of new students, either already working in the field and looking for advancement opportunities, or interested in a career in conservation biology.”
The professional science master’s degree addresses the need for highly skilled scientists and mathematicians who also have developed skills in business, technology transfer, regulatory affairs, information technology and/or communications. This is the second such degree offered by UW-Stout. More information is available here.
The $28 million Harvey Hall renovation project includes replacing the outdated building infrastructure, updating the classrooms and making the office spaces more efficient. If approved by the Building Commission, construction would start in February 2014, and the renovated building would be open in time for the fall 2015 semester.
“This is an old building, but it is a beautiful building,” said Edmund Manydeeds, chair of the Board of Regents Capital Planning and Budget Committee, during the committee’s meeting Thursday at UW-Parkside. While some improvements have been made over the years, he said, “this (renovation project) is something that is needed.”
“It is a very important classroom building for us,” said Phil Lyons, UW-Stout vice chancellor for administrative and student life services. Many of the systems in the building, he said, are “long past their lifetimes.”