Environmental Studies Awards

Awards for Undergraduate Students

Spring, 2020


The Terence Freitas Award in Environmental Studies:

Terence Freitas, a biology and environmental studies major, dedicated himself to facilitating the vision of native groups working to build a sustainable future in harmony with their own values and cultures. In February 1999, while working with the U'wa, a Colombian indigenous group, to establish a culturally appropriate school, Terry and two other Americans were kidnapped and killed. This award was established in his honor. This quarter, the award is for one student up to $1500.
Criteria, Application Materials:
  • Limited to undergraduate students majoring in Environmental Studies
  • Applicants must qualify for financial aid
  • Preference will be given to students with an interest in and commitment to the livelihood and culture of indigenous peoples in developing countries, or to those whose studies are related to conservation or rainforest preservation.
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)
Previous Winners

Deadline: Thursday, May 21 at 12:00pm.

Please email envs1@ucsc.edu if you have any questions. 



Gordon Smith Undergraduate Fellowship in Marine Science

The purpose of the Gordon Smith Undergraduate Fellowship in Marine Science is to celebrate and realize Gordon Smith and his family’s passion for undergraduate studies in marine science by encouraging and supporting undergraduate scholarship in marine science. This fellowship is awarded annually. 

This year’s award is $3,000.00, which will be granted to one student for use in the 2020-21 academic year.  The recipient may use the award for any purpose (e.g. scuba certification fees, skin or scuba diving equipment, field supplies or lab materials for research, marine field quarter course fees or travel, conference travel, housing, etc.). 


  • Any undergraduate student studying marine science may apply
  • Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need 
  • Applicants may be at any stage in their undergraduate training
  • Recipients must be in good standing in their department 
  • Applicants must be an intended or declared marine science major 
  • Applicants must demonstrate intent to complete a marine science degree

Criteria, Application Materials:

Applications will be evaulated based on academic merit, compelling use of fellowship support, and financial need. 

To apply, please submit the application form on the second page of the attached document, saved as a single PDF attachment with the filename: “[applicant’s first and last name]-Gordon Smith-application” (e.g., Your Name-Gordon Smith-application.pdf).

Submit your application with the subject heading “Your Name-Gordon Smith-application” to: eebadmin@ucsc.edu

Incomplete or late applications will not be eligible for consideration.


Applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 25, 2020. Award decisions will be announced no later than the end of June 2020. Disbursements will be processed by June 30, 2020.



Awards for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Spring, 2020


No awards offered at this time. Please check back in Fall 2020! 


Awards for Graduate Students

Spring, 2020

CONCUR,INC. Scholarship:

Local business CONCUR, Inc. was founded in 1987 by environmental studies alumni John K. Gamman and Scott T. McCreary. CONCUR, Inc. specializes in combining environmental policy analysis with facilitation and mediation skills, to resolve complex disputes involving scarce or limited natural resources.

This award is for $500 and it will be given to 1 graduate student.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • Applicant must be an Environmental Studies graduate student
  • Preference shall be given to students who have a demonstrated interest in or are pursuing studies in environmental dispute resolution
  • Awardee selection is based on academic merit as indicated by performance in classes and internships
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)

Previous Winners

Deadline: Friday, May 29 at 12:00pm (Noon). 



Social Sciences Division Awards

Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

Social Science Division Award

The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to support undergraduate students in the Division of Social Sciences who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service. This endowment will award $4,000 in 2020 to one or more outstanding undergraduate students majoring in any of the departments within the Division of Social Sciences. More information about past recipients is available on the Social Sciences website.

Application Materials:
  • A 2-3 max page essay about your passion for social issues and commitment to public service
  • Resumé
  • Unofficial transcript(s) as academic standing is among selection criteria.
  • Apply by completing this form.

Deadline: Thursday, April 23 at 12:00pm. 

Each department may select up to three candidates for this award and will submit an essay for review along with a nomination letter detailing the exceptional qualities of the nominee(s). The department nominees are reviewed by a committee within the division. 

(Departments in the Social Sciences Division set their own internal deadlines. If you are majoring in another department, please check their deadline to apply.)

Please email ENVS1@ucsc.edu if you have any questions!



Norris Center Awards

No awards offered at this time. Please check back in Fall 2020!


Awards to be offered again in the future: 

Deans', Chancellor's, and Steck Awards

The Deans and Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz wish to recognize excellence in research and creativity among undergraduate students as evidenced through projects and theses performed in the normal pattern of academic activity at UCSC. Click here to see a listing of current and previous winning projects.

Please read the application guidelines below and contact a faculty mentor to confirm they are willing to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. 

Click the link for more details!

2020 Bloom Hays Grant

The Sea and Sage Audubon Society, a chapter located in Orange County, California have a student grant available and the application has just been released for 2020. We offer grants of up to $2,500 each year for ecological research projects.
Please note that although the grant is given by the Audubon Society, research projects are not limited to bird research!  We have purposely left our eligibility guidelines very broad to allow us to provide funding for a variety of interesting ecological research projects. Our total budget for grant awards has recently been increased this year to $10,000, which means that we will be able to provide full funding to more projects!
The application and letters of recommendation should be emailed to BloomHaysGrant@aol.com. Please see attached guidelines and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
The 2020 grant application instructions have also been posted to the Sea and Sage Audubon website under the Conservation tab:


Rick Hooper Scholarship

The Rick Hooper Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Richard M. "Rick" Hooper, who
died at age 40 in the August 19, 2003 terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

Administered through the Division of Social Sciences, the Rick Hooper Scholarship is awarded on the
basis of academic merit and financial need. Preference will be given to undergraduate students in any UC
Santa Cruz department who have a demonstrated interest in or are pursuing studies in one or more of the
areas in which Rick Hooper focused his life's work. The award is intended to fund travel expenses for the
selected undergraduate student or students for any of the following purposes:

• increasing understanding of the Arabic language or the Arabic-speaking or Muslim world
• study at a college or university in an Arabic-speaking or Muslim majority country
• an internship in peace and conflict resolution or human rights
• study or work in Palestinian human rights issues

Candidates must be UCSC undergraduate students in good academic standing with demonstrated
financial need. To apply, please submit a 500-word proposal and a copy of your unofficial academic
transcript via e-mail to pamdewey@ucsc.edu. The proposal must concisely explain your experience,
preparation, and concrete goals related to the topics above. 

Norris Center Student Award

Webster Fellows Award

Griswold Fellows Program


The David Gaines Award in Environmental Studies:

David was a UCSC graduate who started the Mono Lake Committee in 1978.  The award is intended to cover expenses incurred for field projects that will make a significant contribution to the field of environmental studies by adding to our knowledge of a specific problem or by strengthening protection of the environment. Please read more about David and Mono Lake at the link above.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • All UCSC graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to apply
  • Preference will be given to students majoring in Environmental Studies.
  • Students must be working on field projects that will make a significant contribution to the solution of an environmental problem
  • Awardee selection will be based on scholastic merit, demonstrated initiative, and feasibility of the project
  • Faculty sponsor required, field sponsor if applicable
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement, budget uploads)

There will be two awards, one for an undergraduate and one for a graduate student, of up to $1,250 each.


The Hammett Fellowship

The Environmental Studies Department at UCSC is pleased to offer two 1-quarter graduate student research fellowships (GSRs) for spring, summer, or fall 2020 to students who conduct interdisciplinary research on climate change or climate change and water issues. These funds are made possible by a generous donation from Benjamin and Ruth Hammett. Awards are available to graduate students in any department at UCSC. Priority will be given to students who: (1) are working with UCSC faculty in two different disciplines (ideally labs that have not collaborated extensively in the past), (2) whose projects show promise to provide pilot data to help secure additional outside funding, and (3) whose results have clear applications to environmental problem solving. Please contact envsgpc@ucsc.edu if you have any questions or concerns.  

Criteria for selection:
(1) Quality of proposal.
(2) Past and continuing evidence of research accomplishments.
(3) Thematic link of research to climate change or climate change and water issues.
(4) Fit with the three criteria listed above.
(5) Financial need. Priority will be given to students who have not had extensive prior fellowship funding (e.g. an NSF pre-doctoral fellowship).
(6) Applicant must be a graduate student. Ph.D. projects are best suited, in complexity and duration, for this award.

Funding: The award provides a full 1-quarter GSRship (covering salary, benefits, tuition, etc.; limited to $15,000) for spring or fall 2020, or summer salary plus additional research funds. Further expenses, such as nonresident tuition, must be covered via FOAPAL by the applicant's principal investigator.

Application: The application must include:
(1) A completed cover sheet (included below) including funding support to date

(2) A 2-page description of the proposed project which includes: a. A personal statement summarizing your academic situation (e.g., expected time to graduation), with particular attention to how support from the Hammett award would benefit your progress. b. A clear statement of the research being conducted, including your research questions and goals, and a brief description of your basic approaches. c. How your project specifically meets the three criteria listed above and, in particular, what each of the two participating faculty will contribute to your research. Please use 11-point or larger font, and 1-inch margins.

(3) Letters of reference from the two faculty contributing to your project which includes a description of their contributions to this project. If applicable, the letter from the major professor should indicate that funds exist to pay any balance of the 1-quarter fellowship that is not covered by the award. Letters should be sent by separate email to envs1@ucsc.edu.

(4) A CV that includes the following sections: academic history; awards, grants, and honors; public talks; publications; teaching experiences; and public service activities. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Direct any questions to envs1@ucsc.edu

Please upload all files as pdf and make sure your name clearly appears on the first page of all uploads.

Requirements: By the end of the quarter the award was designated for, each awardee is required to submit a brief (1-2 paragraph), non-technical description of what was accomplished with the GSR fellowship to the ENVS Graduate Program Coordinator to provide to financial supporters.

Please use this online form to apply for the Hammett Award. 

Letters of reference should be sent to envsgpc@ucsc.edu.


The Gliessman Research Fellowship

 The Gliessman Research Fellowship in Water Resources and Food System Sustainability supports summer research by graduate and undergraduate students in the UC Santa Cruz Department of Environmental Studies. The focus of the fellowship is on student research that integrates aspects of food and water sustainability. The awards for the summer stipend will provide $8,200 per student.

Short-format application:

1) Two-page research proposal following the guide below.

2) One letter from sponsoring faculty member commenting on the proposed research methods and related previous experience of the student applicant. This should be emailed directly from the faculty mentor to elliott.campbell@ucsc.edu with subject line Gliessman Fellowship and the title of the file should be StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_Reference.

3) Unofficial transcript.

More specific details can be found on application page!


James Stuart Chanley Scholarship for Environmental Studies:

This award will go to two students whose records demonstrate initiative and commitment to the environment and most closely resemble that of James Chanley. Please be sure to read the short biography of James Chanley at the above-linked site or on the online application as you prepare your materials. This quarter the award is for two students up to $1000 each.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • All UCSC undergraduate students are welcome to apply
  • Preference will be given to undergraduate students majoring in Environmental Studies
  • Applicant must be eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Preference will be given to students whose records demonstrate initiative and a commitment to the environment, to those who most closely reflect the life and ambitions of James Chanley
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)


The Richard A. Cooley - Friends Foundation International Award

This award of $2000 is given to honor Richard Cooley, who was instrumental in the founding of the Environmental Studies program at UCSC.
Criteria for selection:
  • Open to all registered UCSC undergraduate students
  • Preference will be given to Environmental Studies majors, but all are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicant must be working on a field project that results in a tangible, positive action for the betterment of the natural environment or improvement in environmental quality. Projects may be local (UCSC included) to international in scope, and examples of successful projects may be seen in the Environmental Studies Internship Office.
  • Awardee selection will be based on scholastic ability, demonstrated initiative, and potential for successful completion of project.

It is recommended that applicants submit a draft proposal to a faculty member for review and feedback prior to applying. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The email address you list will be used to contact you regarding your application status. Please make sure your name appears on the first page of all uploads.


Keeley Coastal Scholars Award

Social Science Division Award

The Keeley Coastal Scholars program supports underrepresented students from California with an unmet financial need doing summer research and policy work connected to Coastal Sustainability. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $4,000 per student with an associated $1,000 in support of the sponsoring faculty member. These funds can be used by students for any expenses incurred during the summer months.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • Undergraduate ENVS majors only
  • Financial need during current academic year
  • Online application (including all uploads)
  • Project budget (See a Sample Budget)
  • Unofficial transcript (Candidates must be in good academic standing)
  • Letter from a sponsoring faculty member detailing the student’s abilities and specific project responsibilities.

Deadline: TBD


See Also