Environmental Grants

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Career Grants

Grants for study in the environmental sciences are available to students interested in soil science, geology, chemistry, physics, biology, the marine sciences, meteorology and related fields. Environmental grants may extend to graduate or undergraduate students.

The terms scholarship and grants share the same underlying meaning. All scholarships (for undergraduates) and fellowships (for students pursuing a master's or doctorate) are grants. Grants, fellowships, and scholarships don't need to be repaid. Grants are given to students for a particular area of study, and may or may not require prerequisites other than financial need, like a high grade point average.

Environmental grants for college students occasionally come from research grants via private organizations, colleges, and foundations. These funds are then dispersed to students who participate in the projects.

Occasionally, you'll find highly specific grants for minority students or women in the environmental sciences. Make sure the information regarding these grants is current, as some website links for minority grants in this field are broken or outdated. You may do better by checking out general science grants for your particular group instead. Environmental science may be listed as one of the included fields.

When searching for environmental grants, be sure to look under the heading STEM for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." Colleges, foundations and the government are interested in recruiting bright young minds in these fields, which includes environmental science. There's been a lot of publicity in the media regarding STEM programs (http://www.ed.gov/stem) recently, so it’s a good time to apply for grants in this field.

Government Environmental Grants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does more than oversee environmental regulations. They offer grants in environmental studies for undergraduate and graduate study. The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship (https://www.epa.gov/research-fellowships/science-achieve-results-star-graduate-fellowships

) is for master and doctoral candidates in environmental studies, with maximum financial support of two years for masters degree students and up to four years for doctoral students.

The EPA Marshall Scholarship ( http://www.marshallscholarship.org/applications/epa ) supports the study of environmental science and related fields for U.S. students at a U.K. university. To apply, you must be enrolled in a graduate degree course in physical, life or systematic sciences, urban and regional planning, economics, social and behavioral science, communication science or engineering and technology.

Winning students will successfully propose a course of study relating to global environmental problems, ecosystem health, environmental protection or related areas. The Marshall Commission pays for the first two years of the recipient's study in the U.K. The EPA will pay for up to three more years of study in the US or the UK if the project concludes in a doctoral degree.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Science Graduate Fellowship Program (https://energy.gov/scholarships-and-fellowships) offers funds for exemplary graduate students to pursue research in environmental science, biology, physics or other areas pertinent to the Office of Science. The Fellowship provides partial tuition, a living expense stipend and a research stipend for three years’ full-time graduate study.

Research Grants

The Blandy Research Experiences Program for Undergraduates (REU) exposes undergrads to a variety if research projects on experimental design, data collection, and analysis. The simple application requires a transcript and personal statement. The Blandy Experimental Farm's primary goal is to “to teach students to formulate testable hypotheses about important ecological and evolutionary questions.”

Private Foundation Environmental Grants

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation (http://www.switzernetwork.org/become-fellow) provides fellowships for graduate students studying environmental science in New England and California. Fellowship applicants must be a U.S. citizen, have strong academic qualifications and reside in CA, RI, CT, MA, MN, NH or VT. Benefits include a $15,000 cash award and access to professional and leadership resources.

The Eckenfelder Scholarship ( http://www.brownandcaldwell.com/Scholarships.asp?id=2 ) offers college juniors and seniors and graduate students studying environmental science a chance at a $5,000 grant. Brown and Caldwell, the largest engineering consulting firm working in the environmental sector, offers this scholarship in memory of Dr. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr., an environmental specialist who worked in the industrial wastewater field.

The Garden Club of America (https://www.gcamerica.org/scholarships) has 27 merit-based scholarships in 12 specialties. They include:

  • The Garden Club of America Award in Coastal Wetlands Studies for graduate students provides $5000 for one student to do field-based wetlands research at the college of his or her choice.
  • The Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry, with a $5,000 award, is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students to study the planning, management and horticulture of urban forests.
  • The Sara Shallenberger Brown Garden Club of America National Parks Conservation Scholarship is open to 19 and 20-year-old undergraduates in association with the Student Conservation Association. Participants receive a $250-week stipend to work as an SCA apprentice crew leader.

College-Specific Environmental Grants

Georgia Tech (http://ce.gatech.edu/academics/mundy/) is regarded as one of the best colleges for environmental studies. The Joe S. Mundy Global Learning Endowment applies to travel abroad to study environmental issues (such as air and water pollution in Nicaragua). It is offered to undergraduate students in Georgia Tech's civil or environmental engineering department. The grant pays for travel and expenses related to environmental research.

The College of ACES (http://nres.illinois.edu/content/undergraduate-scholarships) (College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences) at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) offers the Ivan John Jansen Memorial Scholarship, an undergraduate scholarship for students interested in the soil sciences. Full-time junior and senior students are eligible for this $1,500 grant. The Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources Undergraduate Scholarship awards $1,000 to an undergraduate student majoring in ecology, wildlife management, conservation or a related field. Applicants must reside in the state of Illinois and have at least a 3.00-grade point average.

Michigan State University’s (https://scholendow2.ais.msu.edu/student/ScholList1.asp?MAU=32&DeptCode=All) Earth and Environmental Sciences Department offers the Graham Ryder Memorial Fund for students specializing in environmental geoscience, paleobiology or geological science, and the Dr. Aureal T. Cross Endowed Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship is open to all graduate students in earth and environmental science, with an emphasis on paleobiology and stratigraphy.

Environmental science, ecology, and related disciplines may also be listed under "green scholarships" depending on where you are searching online. Ecological and general science websites and blogs sometimes run articles on new or revamped grants for environmental studies or environmental science, so you may want to bookmark a few of those sites to help with your online environmental grant search.

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