Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship: How to Apply

Thank you for your interest.  The 2018 application cycle is now closed. We will be begin accepting applications again in late January 2019. Thank you! 

Eligibility requirements

Graduate students meeting the eligibility requirements noted below may apply directly to The Wilderness Society. If you are an applicant, please make sure you meet all of the scholarship eligibility requirements and follow the application procedures below.

Applicants for the Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship must:

  • Be enrolled in an accredited graduate institution in North America;
  • Have strong academic qualifications;
  • Have academic and/or career goals focused on making a significant positive difference in the long-term protection of wilderness in the United States. Graduate students in natural resources management, law or policy programs are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application requirements

Students applying for the Gloria Barron Wilderness Society Scholarship must submit all of the following materials for an application to be considered complete:

  • A two-page double-spaced cover letter
    The letter must offer insights into the personal motivations of the applicant as well as how wilderness has influenced your life. If, in the course of this essay, you could give us some understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, this would also be helpful.
  • A 3-5 page double-spaced proposal
    The proposal must include a description of the proposed work and a timeline for completion of a paper within 24 months. The 5-page proposal limit does not include your list of references/citations. See Research Topics for guidelines.
  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
    The letters must describe the applicant's ability to meet the objectives of the scholarship and proposed work. The letters should be included with the rest of the application materials.  
  • Scanned undergraduate and graduate transcripts (official or unofficial)

Research Topics

The research paper should address an aspect of the establishment, protection or management of wilderness. The applicant may choose to discuss a subject relevant to current programs of The Wilderness Society or introduce a new topic. It may apply to a particular landscape or it may address issues broadly. The following themes are provided as examples of appropriate research topics:

Restoration of the health and function of wilderness

What is "good" ecological restoration? What is the proper scale and at what point can a system be considered restored?

Reserve design in the context of ecosystem management

The role of reserves in the conservation of ecosystem integrity especially in the context of climate change.

Management impacts on wildland ecosystems

How do roads affect ecosystem function and what roles should roadless areas play in protecting ecosystem integrity, what are the ecological and social impacts of grazing in wildland ecosystems, and what can be done to protect wildland ecosystems from biological invasion?.

Valuing wildlands

How wildland protection contributes to rural economic health and the design of policies and programs to help rural communities leverage the economic value of protecting wildland ecosystems.

Connecting people to wildlands

The contributions of wilderness to public health and well-being, particularly for residents of metropolitan areas.

Impacts of climate change

What are the terrestrial and aquatic impacts of climate change on wilderness areas and wilderness resources; what is the relationship between wildland fire, carbon emissions/sequestration, and climate change; what are the economic effects of climate change on wildland ecosystem services such as water quality and quantity; and what are the implications of climate change for wilderness management?

Scholarship Timeline

Typically, applications are accepted from late January to mid-April. Our selection committee reviews the applications and narrows the field to the top submissions. Then The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council reviews those applications and a winner is selected about mid-July.

Scholarship Requirements

Scholarship Payments

The scholarship is paid in two installments: the first is paid once the winner is notified, and the second is paid the following February.  The recipient may be liable for income tax on the scholarship. Please consult with your tax advisor on the proper treatment of the award. 

Additional funding will be provided to pay travel expenses for the recipient to work with staff members of The Wilderness Society on this project.  TWS wishes to encourage the publication of this work in an academic journal or other appropriate medium and has additional funds to help cover expenses of publishing and publicizing the final paper.  

Progress and Final Reports

The recipients are required to submit a paper describing the findings of their research project within 24 months of receiving the award. In order to receive the second payment, the recipient must send a letter in January or early February following the awarding of the scholarship, summarizing the status of his/her project and the expected completion date of their research project. 

How to Apply

Application Deadline: April 20, 2018

Click HERE for the application: Gloria Barron Scholarship

Please submit any supporting documents to and please reference applicant's name in the subject line. 

For more information, contact:

Barb Young, Program & Operations Specialist

No phone calls please.

TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair treatment of our employees and constituents across culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

As an organization, we aspire to being inclusive in the work that we do and in the kind of organization we are.  Internally, this means working as a team that listens to different points of view, recognizes the contributions of every employee, and empowers each employee to bring their whole selves to work every day.  Externally, this means ensuring that public lands are inclusive and welcoming so that our shared wildlands can help people and nature to thrive.  We are committed to equity throughout our work, which we define as our commitment to realizing the promise of our public lands and ensuring that all can share in their universal benefits.

To learn more about our commitment, please see


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