Wyss Scholars for the Conservation of the American West

The Wyss Scholars Program supports the graduate education of future conservation leaders in the American West. Northern Arizona University is fortunate to be one of four universities (including University of Michigan, University of Montana, and Yale University) to host Wyss Scholars. These future conservation leaders focus their graduate education on conservation science and policy with the aim of applying this knowledge to their careers in land management agencies and non-profit conservation groups working to protect landscapes in the Intermountain West.

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


Chelsea Silva

I am grateful for the Wyss Scholarship which financially supports my interest in conservation of the Intermountain West both during my graduate studies and beyond. I am equally grateful for the professional networking opportunities provided through the Wyss Scholars program which opens possibilities for pursuing a career alongside other passionate conservationists. My calling is in education, and I hope to combine both education and community involvement in a career that serves to promote and address conservation needs in the Intermountain West.

Elias Toon


Audrey Kruse

I am very thankful for the Wyss Award and the flexibility it gives me while in graduate school to pursue conservation research. I believe the award will also help open doors for me professionally, so that I can pursue my career aspirations of conservation through education and outreach in the inter-mountain West. 

Collin Haffey

The Wyss Scholars program provides me with the flexible opportunities to pursue a variety of conservation goals. Unlike many other grants or scholarships the Wyss Award comes with relatively few stipulations. This freedom and finical support allows me to be creative in my academic, research, and conservation efforts. I plan to use the support provided by the Wyss Award to research forest regeneration patterns following stand replacing fires in the Southwest.  


Cassandra Rivas

"Being awarded the Wyss Scholarship was a crucial funding source for my field data collection this summer. This data is invaluable to answer my research questions, so in essence it has already helped me get closer to attaining my research goals. [Also,] the Wyss Scholarship has already put me on the track to attaining my professional goals."

Katie Sauerbrey

"A Wyss Scholarship will help me attain my professional goals by creating a network of professionals to interact with regarding future opportunities. Also, funding obtained from the fellowship will help allow for a  job search based less on finances, and allow for a focus on helping with future conservation efforts in the Intermountain West."

Sasha Stortz

“The Wyss program provides incredible assistance that will help me delve more deeply into my research, gain new skills and pursue my ideal career in conservation. I'm very honored and thankful for the foundation's support.”

Amber Wilson

"The support offered by the Wyss Foundation is incredibly helpful in allowing me to pursue the meticulous and time consuming research necessary for my project.  Without it, time restraints would have significantly impacted the depth of information I was able to seek."

2011 Scholars

William Hoblitzell

"The Wyss program has connected me with an excellent group of individuals working in conservation in the West who serve as a forum for ideas exchange in the conservation and environmental community as well as strong professional connections."

Wes Swaffar

"[The Wyss Scholarship is] indispensable. The Wyss Scholarship program is a highly regarded program that is widely respected by conservation professionals in the western U.S. There is no doubt that this extra distinction helped me stand out from the list of applicants for the positions that I applied to."


2010 Scholars

Cerissa Hoglander

"Being named a Wyss Scholar is a great honor and supports my pursuit of my long-term career goals. Not only does the scholarship itself aid in career development, but the network of Wyss Scholars and the greater Wyss Foundation provide a unique opportunity to connect with others working in local and regional-scale western conservation projects."

Evan Reimondo

"I believe the Wyss Scholarship will open many doors for my career in conservation.  Beyond the national repute of the award, the financial support will be a crucial piece of beginning my conservation career in a highly competitive job market."


2009 Scholars

Carrie Cultra Eberly

"The 3-year stipend that comes with the Wyss Scholarship provided funding towards my salary that Diablo Trust could not have come up with at the time. In addition, forming a relationship with Diablo Trust through my research and summer internship allowed me to gain employment immediately after graduating."

Jessica Gist

"The network of leaders in western conservation provides inspiration and support for tackling the tough issues in our field. I hope to maintain some of the relationships I have made through the scholars program."


2008 Scholars

Christopher Holcomb

"Support from the Wyss Foundation gave me confidence that the applied science and policy analysis that I was doing had relevance at a regional or even national scale."

Rachel Youmans