Travel Grants and Scholarships Available for TWS-WS Members


Travel Grants

In pursuit of the objective to encourage high standards of professional achievement, the Western Section has established an honoraria fund to assist our members’ participation in professional meetings, conferences, symposia and other continuing education activities. For more information:

Early Career Professional Scholarships

Early Career Professional Scholarships are available to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting. Five scholarships valued at $500 each are available for Western Section members who have a relevant Bachelor’s Degree but are unemployed, underemployed, or employed outside of the wildlife profession.   We know it’s hard to land that permanent full-time position, and we want to help you advance your career by joining us and the rest of your colleagues at the 2018 Annual Meeting!  Registration, the Welcome Reception, the Student Professional Breakfast (good networking for all of us!), and the Breakfast Roundtable are included in the scholarship. You have the freedom to use the remaining scholarship value to cover the costs that fit your needs, whether it’s travel, lodging, or attending other fee-based Annual Meeting events.  Applications were due by December 1st.

2018 Early Career Professional Scholarships have been awarded to the following:

Kristen Burgess – Humboldt State University, BS in Science (Wildlife Biology) 2017 It’s taken me almost 8 years to get through community college and university to arrive at a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology because I’ve done it on my own and working almost the entire time. I plan to put even more effort into my career as I have put into my education. Having the financial support of this scholarship to attend the conference and workshops will give me a step up and in the right direction to find the long term career I have wanted to pursue since I was a kid.
Sarah Hockensmith – Chico State University, BS Natural Resource Management 2014  The environment is important. Science is important and a lot of people have not had the opportunities to recognize the value behind it. If there is any way I could give back in this lifetime, it would be to share my enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for the natural sciences and the outdoors to influence others to be stewards of our natural resources and find value in the environment. With binoculars around my neck and a smile on my face, I am eager to learn, find answers behind unanswered questions, and share the importance of science to those that are willing to listen with competence. Working for various governmental entities, being a former college track and field athlete, and a birder, I understand the meaning of hard work and am willing to go beyond curiosity to learn all that I can to become a well-versed scientist and naturalist as well as share that information with others. I understand how to teach others of all ages and backgrounds with humble and caring attention and would love to have to opportunity to grow as an individual/professional at the upcoming Wildlife Society conference.
Karen Oakden – Humboldt State University, Wildlife Degree 2017  I am going to present a poster of my capstone research project for my undergraduate career at this conference and having some of the costs covered will help with getting my poster in the best condition possible without worrying about financial situations in February. I am also planning to apply for the Leadership Institute program to help further my career in TWS and going to this conference will help with understanding the position more.
Taylor Runge – San Diego State University, BS in Biology (Concentration in Zoology) 2015 Being awarded this scholarship and the ability to attend this meeting would allow me to develop not only professionally but also personally. I would undoubtedly benefit from learning new and more effective ways of conveying science and research to diverse audiences, among the multitude of other professional skills I would build-upon from attending. But this scholarship would also push me to step out of my comfort zone and attend a meeting that can seem intimidating at times for someone who is very early in their wildlife career and is just beginning to feel comfortable networking. I feel I would truly take away a great deal from this meeting and it would be a significant opportunity for my professional and personal growth. (Awarded by the Southern California Chapter TWS)
Elizabeth (Binta) Wold – Cornell University, Natural Resources (Applied Ecology) 2015  Through my life, as I have honed in my passions for community, wildlife, education, and outreach; I have established one overarching goal. In my life, I want to inspire two outcomes using one tactic: I want to connect communities to their innate desire to be connected with and to have meaningful experiences with their local wildlife and natural resources, and I want to increase the capacity for wildlife researchers and managers to do their work successfully. I believe that community-based wildlife research (often in the form of citizen science) and management could be applied in meaningful ways (that it hasn’t been before) in the framework of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and with new forays into interdisciplinary science and community engagement. These are lofty goals, and I am 24 years old, and at the very beginning of my career. This conference, focused on communicating science (the cornerstone of what I want to work on in my life), would increase my understanding of current models for community engagement in wildlife, and existing programs for wildlife education, as well as introducing me to the people who may be most formative as I try to find my niche in the wildlife field. Given that I am volunteering 40+ hours per week and living on the savings I made during my first season as a paid biotech, I can not fund this conference out of pocket. Therefore, this grant could change the course of my path through this field, and provide me with the momentum to continue forwards and pursue new ideas.