Travel Grants and Scholarships Available for TWS-WS Members

Travel Grants

In pursuit of the objective to encourage high standards of professional achievement, the Western Section has established an honoraria fund to assist our members’ participation in professional meetings, conferences, symposia and other continuing education activities. For more information:

Early Career Professional Scholarships

Five scholarships valued at $500 each are available for Western Section members who have a relevant Bachelor’s Degree but are unemployed, underemployed, or employed outside of the wildlife profession.  We know it’s hard to land that permanent full-time position, and we want to help you advance your career by joining us and the rest of your colleagues at the 2020 Annual Meeting!  Annual Meeting Registration, the Members Banquet and a Breakfast Roundtable are included in the scholarship. You have the freedom to use the remaining scholarship value to cover the costs that fit your needs, whether it’s travel, lodging, or attending other fee-based Annual Meeting events. Applications are now closed.

Congratulations to our 2020 Early Career Professional Scholarship Winners:

  • Alan Chan-Alvarado – The Annual Meeting will be an opportunity for me to network with professionals in wildlife and learn about the work being done on the west coast. I am looking forward to meeting wildlife biologists who work at different government levels, such as local, state and federal levels, and hearing about the various projects they are a part of. Meeting as many professionals in the field as possible will not only get me acquainted with possible future employers, but also give me a better understanding of what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist. Because I will be presenting a poster on my work with riparian bird conservation during this meeting, I hope to gain valuable feedback and practice as I engage with peers and professionals. In order to grow as a biologist, I also plan on taking advantage of the resume writing and interview skills workshops so that I may increase my chances of being hired to a full-time, permanent position in wildlife.  Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada in a single parent household, there weren’t many resources for children to learn about wildlife, however I still found myself drawn to the little wildlife content I could get my hands on, including nature documentaries and trips to the local zoo. Immediately after graduating high school, I moved to San Francisco to start college as a Biology major. California’s diverse ecosystems and species was a great place to pursue my passion for wildlife. Though I was forced to support myself in an expensive city, I enjoyed going out and learning about wildlife during field courses. After being the first in my family to complete a Bachelor’s degree, I decided to continue living in the city in hopes that I may land a full-time position doing what I love. Eventually I decided getting my Master’s degree in Ecology would help me achieve that. From there I immediately transitioned into a part-time, seasonal wildlife internship. In the short time I’ve been there, I’ve come to notice that in this field there seems to be a lack of racial diversity, particularly at the higher end of the professional hierarchy. Coming from a first-generation Latino and Asian family, I believe I can bring unique perspectives to this field and help make it more inclusive. Though the internship experience is invaluable, the minimal compensation makes it very hard to live. Moving back with my family is an option but I know I’d be limited in my opportunities to pursue my passion. It has been almost ten years since I left my home, and I am still just as curious and enthusiastic about wildlife. Getting awarded this scholarship will ease the financial difficulties of attending this meeting, but more importantly, it will further my goal of working in wildlife conservation. 
  • Laura Coatney – Network and meet wildlife professionals, get feedback on my resume and CV, and enjoy being around like-minded individuals who have a passion for protecting species.  I recently graduated from Humboldt State University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Wildlife Management and Conservation. I currently work for the Santa Clara Valley Water District as a Temporary Biologist for the Operation and Maintenance Unit. At the Water District, I am gaining field experience with many surveying techniques including fish relocation, amphibian night surveys, woodrat nest detection, and nesting bird surveys along streams, waterways and dams in Santa Clara County. I am a current volunteer with the Audubon Society (Santa Clara Valley Chapter) co-leading bird walks and I also hawk watch for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory during the fall migration of raptors.  I have heard many great things about the Annual Meeting of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society and have always wanted to go. Now that I am at the beginning of my wildlife career, I think it is an opportune time for me to explore the options and routes I can take for my career path. I would like to explore these routes, meet and network with wildlife professionals at the conference to learn more about the opportunities that are out there that may be well suited for me and gain awesome career advice.  I am asking that you choose me for this scholarship to attend the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society. I assure you it will be very beneficial to me and mean a great deal to get this scholarship. I will likely not be able to attend without this scholarship because I won’t be able to afford it otherwise.
  • Ashley RomeroI am hoping to network with other professionals in my career and seek opportunities for professional development, jobs, and furthering education. I would like to gain insight into the wildlife profession and advice from seasoned members of the community. I am also eager to see the kind of work other members of TWS are engaging in to share ideas and look for potential collaborators in future endeavors as I advance in my career.  I am on a mission to help preserve the biodiversity of our planet for future generations to enjoy. It is for this reason I am looking to advance into a profession of wildlife research. My interests include anthropogenic impacts on ecological communities, the effect of climate change on populations, mitigation of invasive species and other forms of disturbance on biologically significant communities, population genetics in response to disturbance/disease/habitat fragmentation, and avian/mammalian biology.  I’ve spent most of my undergraduate education seeking and taking opportunities to make me the best suited professional in my future career. Multiple research assistantships, an internship, a couple directed studies, conferences, and multiple professional development workshops were just a handful of things I was able to take advantage of during my undergraduate degree. These experiences have led to a variety of skills in many things ranging from radio telemetry and animal monitoring to data collection and management, Hawaiian forest bird identification, molecular genetics, and bioacoustic analysis. Through all this work, one thing I’ve learned that there is always more to learn.  Now I seek opportunities in the workforce of my profession as well as potential for graduate studies in the future. I seek a job where I can gain and refine both technical and soft skills, and gain skills which will make me a valued and essential member of my team where I can contribute meaningfully to the goals of my employers and institutions. I hope to participate in research which helps conserve natural resources, maintain biodiversity in ecosystems, and make advances towards a future that respects the beauty and wonders of biological organisms and systems while being sustainable, efficient, and valuing technology and
  • Rebecca Peterson – Attending the TWS-West annual meeting would be my first time at a professional conference, and I would like to see what attending a conference is like. My first goal in attending the conference is to meet other professionals actively doing research in areas I am interested in contributing to. I also want to see what advancements have been made on the west coast in the areas of human-wildlife conflict, the use of non-invasive research tools, urban wildlife research, construction of wildlife corridors, and the study of behavioral ecology. Additionally, I would like the opportunity to participate in professional discussions and young professional workshops, explore the poster presentations, and take part in the R Bootcamp. Finally, I would like some hands-on exposure to different career options in the wildlife profession.  Although I have considered other careers related to wildlife and other animals, being a wildlife biologist has stuck with me since my very first time in the field as an undergraduate. I strongly believe in the pursuit of knowledge and the scientific method as tools to shed light onto how we can better interact with wildlife. I want to be a part of a team that protects ecosystems by preserving keystone species, such as carnivores, and studies their behaviors so that humans may co-exist with them better. I am excited at the prospect of meeting professionals and peers who have the same goals as I do and become part of a team where we can leave a positive impact on our communities. I am excited at the prospect of learning about new developments in the field that give us better data and more insight into wildlife ecology. I am ready to take the next step in finding where I fit in the field of wildlife ecology, and I believe attending the conference will help me discover what the next step is.

Annual Meeting Scholarships for TWS-WS Members

The Western Section Annual Meeting is an incomparable opportunity for professional growth, and we want all TWS-WS members to have the chance to attend. For that reason, our Executive Board implemented a new scholarship for Western Section professional members which provides FIVE 2020 Annual Meeting Registrations valued at $299 each.  The scholarship covers the full Annual Meeting registration fee. All scholarship recipients are responsible for their own travel and lodging costs. The scholarship does not include registration for pre-conference events held in the days leading up to the Annual Meeting nor does it cover the optional add-on events.  Applications are now closed.
Congratulations to our 2020 Member Scholarship Winners:
  • Lisa Fields
  • Michelle Clark
  • Sam Sosa
  • Misty Cain
  • Laura Young

Annual Meeting Scholarships for SF-Bay Area Chapter Members (from Animex Fencing)

Animex is sponsoring a $1000 scholarship presented by the San Fransisco Bay Chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) for students and recent graduates.  Apply by December 15, 2019.

Photo by Korinna Domingo – 2019 TWS-WS Annual Meeting Wildlife Slideshow