UW has been a leader in scientific research and teaching for more than a century. The rustic red brick walls of Science Hall are an imposing testament to this legacy. The building was erected in 1887, and has hosted more than a dozen science departments, from agriculture to zoology. As the university grew, Science Hall came to be known for its chief occupants. Notably, UW’s historic geography department. 

Science Hall has housed a number of notable Christian faculty. John Alexander, a geographer and department chair, was a longtime faculty member until he left in 1964 to become president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national evangelical student organization that is headquartered in Madison.  

Science Hall also houses the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, a unique interdisciplinary center and program. For more than forty years, until 2011, Professor Calvin DeWitt taught students at the Nelson Institute and published on issues of ecology and stewardship from a Christian perspective. He is colloquially known as the “the modern day father of Christian environmentalism” and trained multiple generations of wetland biologists who are now working across the globe to preserve, steward, and draw attention to at-risk biospheres. 

Walk a few steps toward the lake to the intersection of Park Street and Observatory Road. On the opposite side of Observatory Drive stands a large, concrete building. This is your next stop.