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UCSB Awards Environmental Science Fellowships

Monday, December 3, 2007 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Twenty doctoral students at the University of California, Santa Barbara have been awarded fellowships designed to help them identify and begin to solve environmental problems. The announcement was made today by university administrators.

The Luce Environmental Science to Solutions Fellowship Program, supported by The Henry Luce Foundation, is designed to educate Ph.D. students on the full scope of environmental issues, from the identification of important environmental problems to the implementation of solutions.

The Luce Fellows will each receive $6,000 over two years. The 2008 UCSB Luce Fellows are Reginald Archer, Kristin Carden, Robyn Clark, Brian Clarke, Frank Davenport, Gail Drus, Carola Flores, David Forest, Elizabeth Hoaglund, Alisa Hove, Sara Hughes, Peggy Lynch, Michael Marshall, Lisa Max, Felipe Murtinho, Lisa Needles, Nada Petrovic, Steve Sadro, James Watson, and Annie Yau.

H. Christopher Luce of the Henry Luce Foundation said: "As part of our nationwide endeavor to enhance environmental education, the Henry Luce Foundation is pleased to support UC Santa Barbara's novel, interdisciplinary and hands-on approach to training our nation's future leaders to tackle some of our world's pressing environmental challenges."

UCSB received $450,000 from the Luce Foundation this year to fund 36 Luce Fellows in two groups, one beginning in Jan. 2008, and one beginning in Jan. 2009. Additional funding from the California Institute for Hazards Research (a UC-wide project in natural hazards research) will support four additional Luce Fellows.

The fellowship program is offered to students from a range of scientific disciplines. Luce Fellows will receive specialized training in leadership, communication, and ecoinformatics. They also will have opportunities for collaborative research, real world problem solving, and information sharing among the science, policy, and corporate arenas. The fellows will experience the advantages of cross-disciplinary teamwork and will become acquainted with political, legal, and economic dimensions of environmental challenges.

To receive the fellowship, students must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in mathematics, life or physical science, social science, environmental science, or engineering at UCSB. They must also have at least three years of graduate studies remaining before degree conferral. Fellows may apply the award to a broad range of activities to enhance their educational experience.

The Luce Fellows funded by the California Institute for Hazards Research will investigate natural hazards using skills developed during the specialized training program and their experiences in working groups.

Over the course of the fellowship, among other things, the Luce Fellows will receive training in informatics at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) based at UCSB. They will also initiate or participate in a two-year Luce Environmental Working Group at NCEAS. They will receive training in communication of science to policy makers, media, non-governmental organizations, resource managers, and industry. The fellows will be encouraged to participate in the University of California's Washington, D.C. or Sacramento programs. And they will refine proposed environmental solutions that emerged from the working group's activities based on feedback from practitioners, including elected officials and other policy makers.