Environmental Studies Awards

Awards for Undergraduate Students

Spring, 2019

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 Undergraduates
  • Scholastic Record
  • A field projects 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. Selection will be based on the project statement, demonstrative initiative and potential for successful completion.

Preference will be given to Environmental Studies majors. 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.

The award will go to one student. Submissions via the online application are due at noon on May 2, 2019.

Please email envs1@ucsc.edu if you have any questions.  The award is also scheduled to be offered in Spring 2019.


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 up to $1,000.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • Undergraduate ENVS majors only
  • Applicants must qualify for financial aid
  • Scholastic record must demonstrate initiative and commitment to the natural environment or the improvement of environmental quality
  • Preference will be given to students with an interest in and commitment to the livelihood and culture of indigenous peoples in developing countries, or those whose studies are related to conservation, or rainforest preservation.
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)
Previous Winners
Deadline: Noon on May 2, 2019

Deans' and Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards

Social Science Division Awards

These awards recognize exceptional achievements in research projects or other creative activities, in order to encourage outstanding scholarship and promote research as an important part of undergraduate education. Students are recognized during Undergraduate Student Achievement Week in early June. There will be a luncheon for Chancellor's awards recipients, their mentors, and divisional deans with Chancellor Blumenthal and Loren Steck.  

$100 and $500 awards, as well as eligibility for an additional $1,000 award are offered, along with bound copies of research projects.

Apply directly online at the Deans' and Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards website, which includes more information.

The deadline for the online application is noon on April 3.  Faculty mentor recommendations must be in by April 10.



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 $9,000 in 2018 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: Noon on April 16, 2019

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!



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: April 26, 2019.




Awards for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Spring, 2019

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:

  • Graduate and Undergraduate ENVS students only
  • Applicants must qualify for financial aid
  • Students must be working on field projects that will make a significant contribution to the solution of an environmental problem
  • Demonstrated initiative, feasibility of project, problem description and application of research to solution of the problem
  • 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 $500 each.

Deadline: Noon on May 2, 2019


Awards for Graduate Students

Spring, 2019

There are no designated graduate awards this quarter, but the David Gaines Award, above, is open to both undergrads and graduate students.


More Opportunities 

To be offered again in the future:

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.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • Graduate and Undergraduate ENVS majors only
  • For students who have demonstrated an interest or are pursuing studies in environmental dispute resolution
  • Academic Merit (Based on classes and internships)
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)

Previous Winners


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.

Criteria, Application Materials:

  • Undergraduate ENVS majors only
  • Financial need
  • Preference will go to a student whose record demonstrates initiative and commitment to the environment and most closely resembles that of James Chanley
  • Online application (with unofficial transcript, personal statement uploads)

The award is for up to $1000 each, to two individual students.


The Hammett Fellowship

The Environmental Studies Department at UCSC is pleased to offer two 1-quarter graduate student research fellowship GSRs for spring, summer, or fall 2019 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.

Deadline: Applications must be received by noon on February 21, 2019.

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 for spring or fall 2019, or summer salary plus additional research funds. The GSRship is fully-funded, but any nonresident tuition would need to be covered by the applicant and/or sponsoring faculty.

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 benet 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 specically 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.


See Also