Doris Duke Conservation Fellows

Northern Arizona University was selected as one of only nine universities (others included Yale University, Cornell University, Duke University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Michigan State University, Montana State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of California-Santa Barbara) nationwide to qualify as a partner for the prestigious Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship program. The fellowship offered sponsorship to Master's students from multidisciplinary graduate programs who demonstrated promise as future conservation leaders. Although 2011 marked the final year of the fellowship program, our past recipients still speak of the program with a sense of tremendous gratitude and commitment toward the Foundation's mission. 

>> Several Doris Duke cohorts have teamed up with Wyss Scholars to engage the university and community in exciting conservation projects.


2011 Fellows

Julie Kenkel

“The fellowship allowed me to not only extend the scope of my study, but to also strengthen my study by enabling me to collect and analyze a larger number of samples… Moving forward, the fellowship will help me to attain my professional goals by making me a part of the greater fellows community, and providing me with a network of other passionate and motivated environmental professionals.” 

Spencer Rubin

“My research goals are to show an applicable way to use paleoecology to establish wetland and wetland-associated policies for the future. This study sheds light into conservation of isolated wetlands in northern arizona and establish a baseline of pre-settlement ecological conditions. My fellowship provided adequate funding with which I was able to fully implement my study.”

Charles Truettner

"The Fellowship allowed me to combine two disciplines (species distribution modeling and dendroecology). Without the freedom and funding from the Doris Duke, I would not have been as involved in my thesis research."


2010 Fellows

Cristina Gonzalez-Maddux

“As a recipient of the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship, I had the luxury of focusing all of my attention on research and field and laboratory work, particularly during my first summer field season. Without the fellowship, I might not have had the time or resources at my disposal to conduct the research projects.”

Rajani Maharjan

"I really want to thank the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for providing my fellowship [as well as] the funds for the Kinlani Dorm educational river trip."

Spencer Plumb

“The Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship was a springboard to being able to publish from my Master’s thesis. Having this opportunity has allowed me to enter a Ph.D. program. I strive to make my research apply to improving social and ecological outcomes of natural resource management. These are principles that were reinforced during my master’s program at NAU and during the DDCF retreat.”


2009 Fellows

Kelley Meinhardt

“Being a Doris Duke Fellow helped me obtain my professional goals by strengthening my leadership skills, providing a great internship experience, and highlighting the importance of my research in conservation.”

Lauren Mork

“The Doris Duke Fellows Gathering provided exposure to an excellent cross-section of what’s happening in conservation both nationally and internationally, inspired me and contributed to my conception of conservation problems and approaches, and allowed me to make connections with future colleagues.”

Christopher Ray

“The networking opportunities available through the fellowship are valuable. But more important is the confidence that the fellowship bestowed to pursue my goals head first and not be timid about asking difficult questions in my research and work.”


2008 Fellows

Avi Henn

“My thesis research focused on understanding the patterns and distribution of river stream and riparian restoration projects in the San Juan River Basin. The Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship made this research possible.”

Moran Henn 

"Being selected for the Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship literally changed my life. I was able to spend more time on my actual research and did not have to work on other, unrelated projects to pay for school."

Larissa Sommer

“DDCF allowed me to spend more time on my research in order to get deeper into the topic. [Also,] DDCF is a great networking tool and has been instrumental in building confidence for my work in the environmental field.”

Theresa Spang

"The fellowship provides opportunities to connect with current and future conservation leaders and to develop career­specific conservation skills. The financial assistance also is of tremendous value as it allowed me to focus solely on my research thus increasing its depth."

Karin Wadsack

“My thesis research examining the economic and environmental benefits of utility-scale renewable energy development in Arizona led to my current roles at the University and off campus, where I frequently have the opportunity to educate policymakers, the general public, and K-12 students on these and other energy topics. DDCF allowed me to dream bigger and to do more.”