Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF)

We are a science-based non-profit dedicated to counteracting the decline of whitebark pine and enhancing knowledge about the value of its ecosystems.


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Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation
PO Box 17943
Missoula, Montana 59808

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Student Grant Program

About the Grant

The mission of the WPEF is to “promote the conservation of whitebark pine and other high elevation five needle white pine ecosystems through education, restoration, management, and research.”

Each year, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation awards a $1000 grant to a graduate student to help with field and lab work on their research project. If you are a graduate student interested in high-elevation, five-needle pines and need a little extra cash to finish your project, please submit a proposal for possible funding by the WPEF. Proposal Deadline extended to March 1, 2021.

For 2021 we are offering a second $1,000 grant that can only be applied to fieldwork in the Malheur National Forest and/or Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, thanks to the generosity of John Van Gundy. Applications for both grants will be evaluated according to the same criteria, with the exception of location for the Malheur grant.

For more information on both grants view the 2021 WPEF research grant RFP

Proposal Requirements

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

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 five-needled pines, we are focusing this grant just on whitebark pine.