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2020-2021 George Lea Founders Scholarships Awarded

Jamela Thompson of Utah State University and Elizabeth Kowallis of the University of Idaho have been selected to receive the 2020-2021 George Lea Founders Scholarships.

Jamela is a Master’s-level graduate student in the Yocom Fire Ecology Lab at Utah State.  She is researching how fuel treatment effectiveness alters wildfire outcomes and behavior in Utah.  Her study analyzes federal agency data from treatments and wildfires in the state, with the goal of providing management implications of fire.  Her experience in ecological restoration, fieldwork, and prescribed fire include working for the Missouri Botanical Garden, The Nature Conservancy, the Student Conservation Association/Americorps, and a private environmental consulting firm.  After completing her thesis she will continue to pursue her career in ecological restoration, which involves fire (prescribed or wildfire), fuels management, fieldwork, and geospatial analysis related to public land management in the West.

Elizabeth is a Senior-level Forestry major with a double minor in Fire Ecology and Management, and Forest Operations, as well as a GIS certificate.  During the academic school year Elizabeth works in a soils lab where she assists PhD and Masters graduate students with their projects.  She is involved with student clubs such as the American Society of Foresters and the Environmental Science Club.  She also spends time on weekends volunteering with the UI sustainability center and volunteering at the Soil Stewards Farm.  After graduation, Elizabeth plans on traveling around the United States, working in different areas.  After working for a few years as a silviculturalist, using her GIS certificate to incorporate remote sensing and LiDAR in her work, she hopes to enter graduate school and conduct her own research.

Thirty students from 20 universities and colleges in 13 states applied for the 2020-2021 scholarships, which is the seventh year of the program.  Each of the applicants was well-qualified, making for a challenging selection process.  Each application was independently reviewed and rated by the selection committee members Connie Stone, Ray Brady, Dave Stout.

Elizabeth Kowallis
Jamela Thompson

George Lea Founder’s Scholarship

Applications for the 2020-2021 School Year are now closed.

About the Scholarship

The PLF is pleased to offer its George Lea Founders Scholarship to a good student who needs financial assistance to complete his or her schooling. The scholarship is named after PLF’s founder, George Lea. The scholarship consists of the following three elements:

  1. $5,000 to be used toward the student’s tuition expenses,
  2. An invitation to attend the next PLF annual meeting, with all transportation and living expenses paid, and
  3. The opportunity to “shadow” a local BLM manager for a day.

Who may apply:

  • All juniors, seniors and masters-level graduate students majoring in a natural resource or public land policy curriculum during the 2019/2020 school year.
  • Students who demonstrate academic excellence with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  • Full-time students planning on carrying at least 12 units per semester.
  • Students will also be rated based on financial need, related volunteer, professional society participation, employment, etc.

How to apply:

  • Applications are submitted to David Stout, PLF, [email protected] by mid-March of each year.
  • Applicants must provide a description of the need for financial assistance in order to complete their term in school.
  • Applicants must include a letter of recommendation from their major professor.
  • Applicants may include their resume, letters of recommendation from work or volunteer supervisors or additional information believed to be relevant to the application.

If you have questions, please contact David Stout.

Phone: 1-303-995-2344

E-mail: [email protected]

Download the Application!

Help PLF Fund Scholarships!

PLF needs your help to fund its two annual scholarships of $5,000 each to worthy students. Donate online or by check mailed to PLF Treasurer Dwight Hempel, P.O. Box 188, Blue Diamond, Nevada 89004 with a notation that the funds are for the George Lea Founder’s Scholarship Fund. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated, and is tax-deductible. For more information about the George Lea Founder’s Scholarship download the brochure.

2019-2020 George Lea Founders Scholarships Awarded

Jill Young

Jill Young of the Western Colorado University and Dylan Stewart of the University of Arizona have been selected to receive the 2019-2020 George Lea Founders Scholarships

Jill is a Master’s-level graduate student studying Environmental Management with emphasis in Integrated Public Land Management (IPLM). Jill chose the (IPLM) track “…because I care deeply about our environment, especially public lands.”  Her research focus includes applying concepts in ecosystem ecology, fire science and soil science to better inform management strategies on public lands.  As part of her research, Jill will collaborate with other research scientists in Siberia, Russia, during the summer of 2021, focusing on ecosystem ecology in the arctic region, as well as North America.

Dylan is a 2019 graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management.  He will enter Auburn University in the fall, working toward a Master’s degree in wildlife biology.  While raising a young daughter and maintaining a high grade point average, he has been involved in a number of volunteer activities, including with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the National Park Service, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Wildlife Society (AWC), and the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Society (UA).  Dylan eventually would like to work “…for an agency like the BLM or USFWS.  Both agencies have a reputation of having a strong land ethic.”

Twelve students from 10 universities and colleges in eight states applied for the 2019-2020 scholarships, which is the sixth year of the program.  Each of the applicants was well-qualified, making for a challenging selection process.  Each application was independently reviewed and rated by the selection committee members Ray Brady, Mike Ferguson, and David Stout.