MISSOULA – Four University of Montana students with leadership experience in land conservation have been awarded the prestigious Wyss Scholarship for U.S. Conservation.
UM’s Environmental Studies Program, housed in the College of Humanities and Sciences, administers the Wyss Scholars program with UM’s W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation. The scholarship provides financial support to UM students who are committed to careers in U.S. land conservation through a federal, state or tribal land management agency or nonprofit. Funded through the Wyss Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to land conservation, the scholarship supports a portion of attendance for a master’s degree at UM.
UM students Stephanie Barron, Gardner Dee, Malcolm Gilbert, and Allison Monroe have been named 2022-23 Wyss Scholars.
Stephanie Barron completed her undergraduate degree at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, then worked extensively for public, tribal and nonprofit organizations involved with conservation. She joined UM’s environmental studies master's program this fall with a focus on traditional ecological knowledge approaches to investigate the differences in risk perception between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples around carnivore — specifically mountain lion — conflict and presence. Barron said she envisions a career wherever wildlife management professionals facilitate the coexistence of humans and non-humans in their habitat.
Gardner Dee is a self-described “passionate public lands user,” actively involved in conservation issues from a young age. He graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental humanities from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He then lived in Colorado where he worked extensively with Trout Unlimited to preserve local waterways and fisheries. Gardner enrolled in the environmental studies program at UM last year and continues to be an avid public lands proponent. Post-graduation, he hopes “to begin a career in project coordination and management working in the field and the policy realm to protect our Western cold-water resources.”
Malcolm Gilbert graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and is enrolled at UM’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law. As a staff member and Editor-in-Chief-Elect for the Public Land and Resources Law Review, Gilbert has expanded his research and writing toward conservation. He has incorporated climate justice, focusing on “how rural and indigenous communities in Montana can continue building climate resilience and energy independence to better-incorporate indigenous tribal and ecological knowledge into the conservation dialogue.” Gilbert said his clerkship next year with Earthjustice Northern Rockies will provide an opportunity to ensure community involvement in future clean energy development and policymaking.
Allison Monroe holds a degree in biology from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where she received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study community-based insect conservation alongside rural communities in Madagascar, South Africa, Scotland and Costa Rica. She is currently enrolled in the UM Environmental Studies graduate program with a focus on Indigenous knowledge and environmental sustainability. Monroe’s research involving traditional ecological knowledge and models of biodiversity and landscape conservation establish what she states is her ultimate career goal: to work for an NGO (non-governmental organization) as a community collaboration manager, or any position that allows me to maintain a multiculturally-engaged research and teaching program, informs management initiatives and advances scientific understanding.”
For more information on the Wyss Scholars program email email@example.com.
Contact: Dave Kuntz, UM director of strategic communications, 406-243-5659, firstname.lastname@example.org.