Student Grant Program
About the Grant
The mission of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF) is to “promote the conservation of whitebark pine and other high elevation five needle white pine ecosystems through education, restoration, management, and research.” In support of this mission, the WPEF offers a research grant of $1000 to an undergraduate or graduate student (MS or PhD) conducting research and writing a thesis on whitebark pine. For 2023 we are also partnering with John Van Gundy to offer a second $1000 scholarship for anyone who is doing research in whitebark pine dynamics under climate change.
Monies for the WPEF funds will only be awarded for travel expenses for field work or consumable research supplies. However, the Van Gundy funding may also be used for analysis. Grants shall not be used to buy equipment that will be used beyond the duration of the project (and thus would be retained by the lab in which the student works).
Proposals will be evaluated based on sufficient objectives, economic feasibility, quality of science, scientific originality, and sufficient justification.
Please send application materials (electronic only) to [email protected] by February 1, 2023.
For more information on both grants view or download the 2023 WPEF student research grant RFP
The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundations annually offers a research grant of $1000 to an undergraduate who is writing an undergraduate thesis or graduate student (MS or PhD) conducting research on whitebark pine.*
Monies will only be awarded for travel expenses for field work, or consumable research supplies. Grants shall not be used to buy equipment that will be used beyond the duration of the project (and thus would be retained by the lab in which the student works).
Relevant areas of research include, but are not limited to:
- Threats to whitebark pine, including mountain pine beetle, white pine blister rust, successional replacement, and climate change (only in whitebark ecosystems)
- Interactions with wildlife, such as Clark’s nutcracker or other birds, red squirrels and grizzly bears
- Restoration strategies for whitebark pine, including both field operations and nursery seedling production
- Ecosystem level impacts of whitebark pine die off
- Social or policy aspects of whitebark pine decline and restoration, including wilderness issues
Because of concern over whitebark pine populations, destructive sampling (particularly of mature, healthy trees) is strongly discouraged, and if the killing of mature, healthy trees is needed for your research, please discuss alternatives and justify your chosen sampling method. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you have all the necessary permits from land management agencies before starting any field work.
Grant recipients are encouraged to present their research findings at a subsequent WPEF annual science meeting and are expected to publish a research summary in our bi-annual journal Nutcracker Notes.
* While the WPEF is concerned about all high-elevation, five-needle white pines, we are focusing this grant just on whitebark pine.
- 2022 – WPEF Student Research Grant – Jeremy Greenberg: Pining for change: Can whitebark pine be restored in Canada’s interior rainforest?
- 2022 – John Van Gundy Student Scholarship – Katherine Sparks: Whitebark pine carbon allocation under drought stress
- 2021 – WPEF Student Research Grant – Chloe Wasteneys: Physiological traits and stress resistances of whitebark pine
- 2021 – John Van Gundy Student Scholarship – Sean Hoy-Skubik: Patterns of whitebark pine carbon allocation: implications for stress resistance and conservation strategies
- 2020 – Henriette Gelink: Grizzly bear habitat management in a changing world: the impact of blister rust, bark beetle and wildfire on whitebark pine, and its influence on grizzly bear habitat management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
- 2019 – Iain Robert Reid: Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) recovery: use of assisted migration and rust resistance in long-term restoration efforts
- 2018 – Michael Howe: Is whitebark pine more amenable to mountain pine beetle attack behavior than historical hosts?
- 2017 – Kiah Allen: Determine the level of hybridization and introgression of the hybrid pine stem rust Cronartium x flexili and to assess its level of fitness
- 2016 – Maegen Rochner: Past, present, and future climate change and forest dynamics in a high-elevation whitebark pine ecosystem in Wyoming
- 2015 – Colin Maher: Does whitebark pine have a refuge from mountain pine beetle at treeline?
- 2013 – Zolton Bair: Identification of blister rust resistance genes on whitebark pine to facilitate breeding and restoration and the Nutcracker Notes Project Report by Zolton Bair
- 2012 – Signe Lierfallom: Evaluating the effects of seed source mortality on whitebark pine regeneration dynamics after stand-replacing fire