It is an undeniable fact that, over the past decade, perhaps no area of science has been more hotly debated than environmental studies. The general consensus among scientists of all stripes is that climate change is one of the biggest factors in our changing global landscape, and environmental activism has jumped in stature from the early part of the millennium to now. The job market reflects the growing importance of environmental scientists, with the 2015 Department of Labor statistics illustrating that the number of careers in this field are growing nearly 11% faster than average.
With all this taken into account, it is completely understandable that some students may feel overwhelmed by the pressure and competition that we see goes alongside their chosen major. However, one of the many things that we, as a society, know about environmental scientists is that they never give up; they pursue their passion because of its importance. As long as these young, passionate environmentalists know where to look, they will find ways to separate themselves from the field and get to work tackling their dreams. Below are a few environmental science scholarships to get you started:
Deadline: March 5, 2020
While environmental issues have come to the forefront of scientific debate, some have argued that the US government does not do enough to encourage young scientists to study the environment. In an effort to right this wrong, the Udall Foundation, christened by congress in 2009 after Morris K. Udall, a lifelong environmentalist, offers wonderful opportunities to environmentally passionate students of all walks of life. While the foundation as a whole generally focuses on issues centric to American Indians and Native Alaskans, the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship takes a more broad approach, offering a generous financial stipend of $7,000 to groups of certain students.
Both American Indians or Native Alaskans interested in policy issues affecting their tribes, or, more relevant to the topic at hand, undergraduate students nationwide interested in pursuing environmental science can apply. Open to students who have already been accepted to college, the Udall Scholarship asks that applicants are both passionate about the subject and have demonstrated this passion through environmental volunteerism. Udall Scholars receive the financial prize, as well as the invaluable reward of joining the influential Udall Alumni Network.
The millennial generation, born roughly between 1979 and 1997, catches a lot of flak from the news media for perceived selfishness. However, in the words of the great Shawn Corey Carter, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. A 2014 study revealed that well over 80% of millennials believed that being environmentally friendly increases quality of life. Well over 50% of millenials named climate change as an area of large concern, compared to just 39% of those fifty and older (feel free to cite this study on Thanksgiving if a relative complains about the selfishness of our generation).
Nevertheless, the many millennials currently attending college have brought their passion for the environment with them, reflected in the changing focuses of the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA). Beginning in 2004, around the time the first millennials were graduating college, CSHEMA began sponsoring a scholarship to study environmental science. Today, the organization has given out over $30,000 to students of all walks of life who wish to study environmental disciplines. In order to apply, students must be accepted into a four-year university and pursuing a career in an environmentally friendly field. If chosen, the students will receive $3,000 towards their tuition and an invitation to CSHEMA’s annual summit.
Deadline: May 1, 2020
The Brower Youth Awards honors six individuals for their environmental projects. Created by the Earth Island Insitute in 2000, the award wants to encourage young students to better the environment in new ways. Along with the $3,000 award, the six winners also get to shoot a short film about their project and get to fly out to San Francisco for a week. Though anyone from the ages of 13 to 22 can apply, the Brower Youth Awards are primarily looking to honor the leader of a group project.
Deadline: TBD for 2021
To anyone reading interested in the environment, or science in general: if you ever have time to kill, log on to the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and check out the great work they do. A division of the Department of Commerce, NOAA is committed to increasing both public understanding of oceanography, atmospheric issues, and weather, as well as increasing interest of the youth in these areas.
To this end, NOAA sponsors a myriad of scholarships and opportunities for environmental science or environmentally-conscious students. Most of their scholarship payments go to students studying environmental science, as would be guessed from their general mission and job, but they do not limit themselves. For any budding environmentalists, it is a must to check out NOAA’s list of amazing opportunities afforded to students like you. Both the responsibility and respectability that comes with a government-sponsored scholarship cannot be understated, especially in the increasingly important field of environmental science.
Interested in Environmental Science? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to discover colleges around the country that have relevant programs!