These awards, associated with the Nelson Institute’s Natural Lands Program, are for incoming graduate students in the institute with strong academic records who are interested in interdisciplinary studies of environmental problems related to the preservation, conservation, management, or restoration of natural ecosystems.
The Cottam Distinguished Graduate Fellowship is for graduate students who plan to conduct interdisciplinary studies of environmental problems centered in the natural sciences but incorporating ideas and approaches from other fields.
The Loucks Distinguished Graduate Fellowship is for graduate students who plan to conduct broadly interdisciplinary studies that draw upon theories and methods of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
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What is covered
Each fellowship covers full tuition for a year, provides a stipend, and offers modest funds for expenses such as travel or equipment. Only students entering a master’s or doctoral program in the Nelson Institute during the next fall semester are eligible for Cottam and Loucks fellowships.
There is no separate application for these fellowships. The selection committee reviews all applicants to Nelson Institute graduate programs who are admitted for the upcoming fall and, by virtue of their statements of interest, meet the fellowship criteria.
Persons eligible for the Cottam and Loucks fellowships also may be considered for a Cottam Fellowship/Assistantship, which is for variable amounts and terms and intended to direct students toward current projects of the Natural Lands Program. (Again, there is no separate application for this award.)
The primary purpose of the Cottam and Loucks fellowships is to contribute to the preservation of natural habitats and the organisms they support anywhere in the world. Because workable and effective solutions to problems of preservation and management of natural areas require a broad perspective, these awards are intended to enable the kind of interdisciplinary work that is often difficult within traditional academic disciplines.
The fellowships are named for Grant Cottam, emeritus professor of botany and environmental studies at UW-Madison; and Orie Loucks, professor of zoology at Miami University of Ohio and formerly professor of botany and environmental studies at UW-Madison.