UF receives $1.5 million grant for Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Published: September 18 2013

Category:InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation this week announced $4.5 million in grants to launch the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at universities across the country – including a $1.5 million grant to the University of Florida.

The program will provide undergraduate students with training and mentored research activities in conservation biology and other disciplines relevant to land, water and wildlife conservation.

John P. Hayes, UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences research dean and grant team leader, emphasized that the impact will be national in scope.

“Our initial program is a partnership between UF, Cornell University, the University of Idaho, North Carolina State University and the University of Arizona, but we hope to see the program expand even more broadly over time,” he said.

Andrew Bowman, program director of the Environment Program at DDCF, said: “More than ever, the conservation field needs to increase its efforts to attract, train and employ individuals from communities that today are largely absent from the conservation workforce. The ultimate objective of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is to foster an increase in the number of undergraduate students from groups currently underrepresented in the conservation workforce who choose to pursue studies and a career in conservation. To that end, the program will serve students who not only have a budding academic interest in conservation, but are also committed to increasing the diversity of students and professionals in the conservation field.”

Hayes said he believes the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program will have a “profound impact” on conservation in the U.S.

“By broadening the demographics of conservation professionals, we will open the door to fresh ideas and conservation programs reflecting the breadth of society,” he said. “I sincerely believe that programs like this can really change the world.”

A key feature of the multi-year program will allow students to work alongside conservation researchers and professionals in outdoors-based research designed to inspire students as well as solidify their interest in conservation science. The program will link closely with the United States Geological Survey’s Cooperative Research Units, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other state, federal and tribal organizations to give students “on-the-ground” experience with conservation in action.

The three grant recipients – UF, the University of Washington and Northern Arizona University — were selected through a competitive, nationwide process.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The DDCF Environment Program enables communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments.

To learn more about the program, visit http://programs.ifas.ufl.edu/ddcsp/

For information about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington, please contact Julia K. Parrish at 206-221-5787 or jparrish@u.washington.edu.  Information is also available athttp://coenv.washington.edu/students_new/doris_duke.shtml.

For information about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at Northern Arizona University, please contact Thomas D. Sisk at (928) 523-7183 or Thomas.Sisk@nau.edu.  Information is also available at http://lci.nau.edu/DDCS.

Category:InsideUF, Top Stories