Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship

The Wilderness Society

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Anticipated deadline: Apr 24, 2021

Grant amount: US $10,000

Fields of work: Environmental Conservation Ecology Environment Natural Resources Climate Change Resilience Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Scholarship

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: Canada, Mexico, United States

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About this funder:



The Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship seeks to encourage individuals who have the potential to make a significant positive difference in wilderness protection in the United States. It is created in honor of Gloria Barron, dedicated educator and tireless advocate for wilderness protection, and administered by The Wilderness Society, a leading conservation organization based in Washington, D.C.

The scholarship seeks to encourage individuals who have the potential to make a significant positive difference in the long term protection of wilderness in The United States. In the past, individuals like Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson have made that kind of lasting difference. They possessed all the skills needed to excel in their respective professions, but they also possessed something more: the courage and the vision to think afresh about how and why to protect our wild lands and the ability to communicate those ideas effectively to others.

The following themes are suggested research topics:

  • Restoration of the health and function of wilderness:
    • For example: what is "good" ecological restoration? What is the proper scale and at what point can a system be considered restored?
  • Reserve design in the context of ecosystem management: 
    • Research into the role of reserves in the conservation of ecosystem integrity and/or the effect of climate change scenarios on reserve design would fall under this heading.
  • Management impacts on wildland ecosystems: 
    • Questions like how do roads affect ecosystem function and what roles should roadless areas play in protecting ecosystem integrity, what are the ecological and social impacts of grazing in wildland ecosystems, and what can be done to protect wildland ecosystems from biological invasion are examples.
  • Valuing wildlands: 
    • Topics include how wildland protection contributes to rural economic health and the design of policies and programs to help rural communities leverage the economic value of protecting wildland ecosystems.
  • Connecting people to wildlands:
    • The contributions of wilderness to public health and well-being, particularly for residents of metropolitan areas, are possible topics under this heading.
  • Impacts of climate change: 
    • Potential research questions include:
      • what are the terrestrial and aquatic impacts of climate change on wilderness areas and wilderness resources;
      • what is the relationship between wildland fire, carbon emissions/sequestration, and climate change;
      • what are the economic effects of climate change on wildland ecosystem services such as water quality and quantity; and
      • what are the implications of climate change for wilderness management?

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants for the Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship must:
    • Be currently enrolled in an accredited graduate institution in North America at the time of application;
    • Have strong academic qualifications;
    • Have academic and/or career goals focused on making a significant positive difference in the long-term protection of wilderness in the United States.


  • Graduate students in natural resources management, ecology, geography, law or policy programs are strongly encouraged to apply.