Picture of Rachel Dickson

University of Montana student Rachel Dickson recently won a prestigious Udall Scholarship, which will provide up to $7,000 to support her studies for the 2017-18 academic year. Dickson is UM’s 41st Udall Scholar, and the University continues to lead the nation in Udall awards.

UM junior Cassidy White also earned an Honorable Mention in this year’s competition.

Udall Scholars are selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment or, for Native Americans, commitment to careers in tribal public policy or health care. Scholars also must show leadership potential and academic achievement.

Dickson, a junior from Missoula, is pursuing a double-major in environmental studies and biology, with a concentration in organismal biology and ecology. She is the daughter of Mary and Dave Dickson of Missoula and graduated from Big Sky High School in 2013. Dickson, who also won a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship in 2015, plans to earn a doctorate and teach and research in ecology.

“In the future, I hope to combat climate-driven food insecurity through applied ecology,” Dickson said. “The Goldwater Scholarship allowed me to spend eight months in Argentina studying impacts of an invasive bumblebee on a native plant-pollinator mutualism. The Udall funding will allow me to continue my research and outreach interests internationally.”

White, a junior from North Branch, Minnesota, also double-majors in environmental studies and biology, with a concentration in organismal biology and ecology, with minors in climate change studies and ecological restoration. She is the daughter of Dawn and John White and a 2014 graduate of North Branch Area High School. She plans to attain a master’s degree in limnology, studying how climate change affects the stability and the movement of molecules through aquatic systems. She hopes to pursue a career informing environmental policy as a research scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The 2017 Udall Scholars will assemble Aug. 8-13 in Tucson, Arizona, to meet one another and program alumni, learn more about the Udall legacy of public service, and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, tribal health care and governance.

For more information on the Udall Foundation and related programs, visit http://www.udall.gov/.