The Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) provides a home for faculty and graduate students from across campus to explore changing human-environment interactions across the broad sweep of history in an interdisciplinary setting. Graduate student involvement is at the core of CHE’s mission, and graduate students from all disciplines are invited to take part in the full range of CHE’s activities, events, scholarly collaborations, and professional development opportunities. CHE offers two main avenues for graduate student involvement: a non-curricular affiliation in the form of Graduate Student Associate status, and a curricular track in the form of the CHE Certificate or Ph.D. Minor.

Eligibility: Any currently enrolled graduate student at UW-Madison currently at the Ph.D. level and not pursuing any other minor field.


  • Completed Ph.D. minor will appear on transcript
  • Demonstrates rigorous academic engagment with interdisciplinary environmental studies
  • Ability to construct a tailored minor course of study that counts as an “Option A” minor program

To apply: Find a CHE faculty associate who is willing to serve as your CHE advisor. Complete the form available here and submit with an unofficial transcript.

Admission process: CHE Curriculum Committee reviews applications on a rolling schedule.

Certificate students must complete at least 12–13 credits including an interdisciplinary methods seminar, a place-based workshop, a thematically coherent sequence of courses relating to past environmental and cultural change, and varying participation in the CHE environmental history colloquium. Courses should be chosen from at least two of the main divisions of UW–Madison curricula—the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences—and should expose students to research approaches from outside their home discipline. Once a student and their advisor have developed and described the rationale for the chosen thematic sequence, it must be reviewed and approved by the CHE curriculum subcommittee. Possible thematic sequences might include the following: representations of nature, rural studies, urban studies, environmental conflict, environmental justice, environmental policy and politics, communities and forests, landscape change, environmental health and history, indigenous cultures and landscapes, and environmental communications.

Faculty Executive Program Committee

Lynn Keller (Center Director and Certificate/Minor Chair), Richard Keyser, Catherine Middlecamp, Gregg Mitman, Larry Nesper, Amy Stambach, Sharon Wilcox (Ex Officio), Paul Zedler (Ex Officio)