Each year Environmental Studies is proud to award dozens of scholarships totaling over $40,000 to students majoring in any of the degrees offered by the Environmental Studies Program (B.A., B.S., and Hydrologic Sciences).

The 2024 Application Portal is now CLOSED (annual application cycle for most ES Scholarships opens in late January).  

Note: The ES Mini-Grant Research Enhancement Awards are available year 'round and a proposal form is available under the Mini-Grant section below or click here.

Other environmental related campus scholarships such as the Pearl Chase Scholarship, UCEAP and Benjamin A. Gilman International Study Abroad Scholarships, and URCA research grants have separate deadlines. 

If you're an Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences major who plans to further your learning beyond the classroom by conducting research under the guidance of a faculty member, participate in environmental internships or field studies programs, undertake a project related to civic and environmental leadership, or attend an academic conference or participate in a special creative activity and need financial support, then check out and apply for one or more of these Environmental Studies scholarships:

  • Barker Scholarship for Unpaid Environmental Internships (one to two $1,250 awards)
  • Decker Memorial Scholarship for Participation in Field Studies & Wildlife Management or Conservation (one $1,250 award)
  • Paul Wack Scholarship for Internships in Environmental Planning (one to three $1,500 awards)
  • Stapelmann Scholarship for Participation in Environmental Field Studies Programs (multiple $2,000-$5,000 scholarships)
  • Tom Rogers Scholarship in Civic Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship (one or two $2,500-$5,000 awards)
  • The Wenger Scholarship for Undergraduate Research in Energy, Sustainability, Environmental Justice or Climate Change (multiple $1,000-$2,000 awards)
  • ES Mini-Grant Research Enhancement Awards for Undergraduate Research, Creative Activities, and Special Opportunities (up to $500 each and available year-round)

Detailed info about each of these ES scholarships is provided below!

Other campus scholarships include:

See below under "other scholarships" for detailed info on these opportunities.

TO APPLY for one or more of the Environmental Studies scholarships you will access the ES Scholarship Application Portal (click here) and follow the directions to reach the questions related to the scholarship(s) that best fit your need(s).  A student is welcome to apply for multiple scholarships.  Before you begin, be sure to review the description and criteria of the scholarships being offered (scroll down). 

If you have any questions about these scholarships or the application process, please email the ES Advising team at advising@es.ucsb.edu

IMPORTANT NOTES:  (1)  This scholarship funding is intended to support activities starting this summer or next academic year. We will consider proposals for undergraduate research or unpaid internships that begin this spring, but awards may not be processed until midway through spring quarter.  (2)  All scholarships must be used while registered at UCSB and prior to graduating. Any unused funds will be returned to the department.  (3)  Be aware University Policy and federal and state regulations require the reporting of monetary awards students receive if they are financial aid recipients. Although rare, adjustments may be made to a student’s financial aid package if a scholarship like these results in overage of the recipient’s maximum financial aid award amount determined each year by UCSB’s Financial Aid office. Please direct any questions regarding how this scholarship may affect one’s financial aid to your Financial Aid Advisor. 

Environmental Studies Program Scholarships


Barker Scholarship for Unpaid Environmental Internships

One to two $1,250 scholarships per year to assist students who enroll in unpaid environmental internships.

One or two $1,250 scholarships per year given to lessen the financial burden on students so they may pursue unpaid or underpaid environmental internships and gain valuable hands-on learning experience in the environmental field of their choice before graduating.  The Barker Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:  This scholarship is eligible to declared Environmental Studies or Hydrology majors of at least sophomore status at time of application and possess a minimum overall GPA of 2.75.  Applicants will need to explain why they want to undertake an environmental internship, how it will relate to their studies and career goals, and how the award would ease financial burdens that may otherwise limit their participation in an internship.  Applicants don’t need to have an environmental internship prior to applying for this award. But disbursement of the scholarship money is contingent upon securing an internship and enrollment in a minimum of two units in ENV S 192 (Internship in Environmental Studies course), during any academic quarter prior to officially graduating. Although financial need will be considered in the selection process, eligibility for financial aid is not required to receive this scholarship.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winner(s) announced in early April, and the recipient(s) may use their scholarship any quarter starting that summer and before graduating.  Upon completion of their internship, and prior to graduating, a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient(s) highlighting their internship experience.


Matthew Charles Decker Memorial Scholarship for Participation in Field Studies & Wildlife Management or Conservation

$1.250 awarded annually to help cover the cost of participating in an environmental field studies program.

One $1,250 scholarship is awarded annually to qualified UCSB Environmental Studies or Hydrology majors to diminish the costs of participation in an environmental field study program specifically in the area of wildlife management or environmental conservation. Eligible field study programs must be offered through an accredited academic organization such as, but not limited to, The Wildlands Studies Program, The School for Field Studies, Sierra Institute, or The Wild Rockies Field Institute. The recipient is expected apply the credit earned towards their major and/or graduation requirements. This scholarship was established in the loving memory of Matthew Charles Decker, an Environmental Studies undergraduate major at UCSB, who suffered a fatal skiing accident in 1995 during his junior year.  He completed a wildlife study program in the Fall of 1994 during which he interacted with wolves, bears and the astonishing beauty of nature. This educational experience left him in awe of our environment and instilled in him a resounding commitment to work on behalf of the environment.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:   Applicants must be a declared Environmental Studies or Hydrology major with at least sophomore status and with a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 at the time applications are due.  The award can be used any quarter prior to graduation, and it’s expected units earned from the completed program will be applied towards one’s major/graduation requirements. It’s not required to be accepted into a field-based program to apply for this scholarship; but proof of formal enrollment in a field studies program will be required before the money will be distributed to the winner. Applicants will be asked to convey why they wish to study in the field on wildlife management or environmental conservation, how doing so relates to their studies and career aspirations, how this scholarship would assist in accomplishing their goals, list any potential programs they have been accepted to or considering applying, and any other relevant information about the challenges they may have faced in funding their education. Being a financial aid recipient is not required to apply; but additional consideration will be given to students who can demonstrate this scholarship is critical to allowing one to participate in a field-based program.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winner announced in early April, and the recipient may use their scholarship any quarter starting that summer and before graduating.  Prior to graduation a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient highlighting their accomplishments and activities since receiving the award.


Tom Rogers Scholarship in Civic Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship

One to two $2,500 to $5,000 awarded to a student(s) whose efforts embody the ideals of civic responsibility and environmental stewardship.

One or two scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 each are awarded to current UCSB Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Science major(s) whose past and present efforts best embody the ideals of civic responsibility and environmental stewardship. The goal of this scholarship is to enable talented and dedicated students to take on activities (academic or environmental activism) that they would not otherwise be able to engage in.  Recipient(s) may use the award to defray expenses associated with their undergraduate education, such as tuition and fees, living expenses, books, supplies, and special project costs associated with their civic and environmental activities. The Tom Rogers Scholarship was established in late 1999 to honor Tom Rogers, a role model for civic and environmental leadership. Among the many achievements of Tom Rogers are his service on the Santa Barbara City Council and County Board of Supervisors through 1994. As a civil servant, he voiced and voted for sound environmental planning and progressive policies for long-term community benefits. 

Eligibility & Application Requirements:   Selection of scholarship recipients is based on their personal efforts that embody the ideals of civic responsibility and environmental stewardship exemplified by Tom Rogers in his career.  Qualified applicants must be continuing declared majors in the Environmental Studies Program and have demonstrated civic, community, educational, and environmental involvement. Applicants should have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 at the time the application is due and plan to be enrolled at UCSB for at least three quarters after receiving the award. Applicants will be asked to provide a list of past and/or present civic, community, or environmental services or organizations, explain how their experiences in civic responsibility and environmental stewardship influenced their decision to become a major in Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Science, and how this scholarship would enable them to enhance their education and civic, community, and environmental involvement while at UCSB and after graduation.  Although financial need will be considered in the selection process, eligibility for financial aid is not required to receive this scholarship.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winner(s) announced in early April, and recipient(s) should expect to see 1/3 of their award deposited into their BARC account at the beginning of summer or fall, and the start of the next two quarters. Prior to graduation a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient(s) highlighting their accomplishments and activities since receiving the award.


Stapelmann Scholarship for Participation in Environmental Field Studies Programs

Multiple $2,000-$5,000 awarded annually to cover the cost of field-based program’s tuition, in-country fees, travel expenses, camping equipment, scientific diving training, etc.

Multiple $2,000-$5,000 scholarships are awarded annually to qualified UCSB Environmental Studies or Hydrology majors to significantly diminish the costs of participation in an environmental field-based learning opportunity. “Out in the field” programs offer an incredible opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to solve complex environmental problems through hands-on research with professionals and community leaders in a variety of natural and cultural settings across the country and around the world. This award is intended to assist with covering the cost of field-based program’s tuition, in-country fees, travel expenses, camping equipment, scientific training, etc.  Eligible field study programs must award UC transferable units and be offered through an accredited organization such as, but not limited to, The Wildlands Studies Program, School for Field Studies, Sierra Institute, Wild Rockies Field Institute, or UC Natural Reserve System. This scholarship fund was created by long-time UCSB Trustees, Jack and Judy Stapelmann.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:   Applicants must be a declared Environmental Studies or Hydrology major with a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 at the time applications are due.  Awards can be used any quarter prior to graduation, and it’s expected units earned from the completed program will be applied towards one’s major/graduation requirements. It’s not required to be accepted into a field-based program to apply for this scholarship; but proof of formal enrollment in a field studies program will be required before the money will be distributed to the winners. Applicants will be asked to convey why they wish to study in the field, how doing so relates to their studies and career aspirations, how this scholarship would assist in accomplishing their goals, list any potential programs they have been accepted to or considering applying, and any other relevant information about the challenges they may have faced in funding their education. Being a financial aid recipient is not required to apply; but additional consideration will be given to students who can demonstrate this scholarship is critical to allowing one to participate in a field-based program.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winners announced in early April, and the recipients may use their scholarship any quarter starting that summer and before graduating.  Prior to graduation a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient highlighting their accomplishments and activities since receiving the award.


Paul Wack Environmental Studies Alumni Scholarship in Planning

One $1,500 scholarship given to an undergraduate pursuing an internship in environmental planning.  

This annual scholarship of $1,500 shall be given to a UCSB Environmental Studies undergraduate that can demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in environmental planning.  This scholarship may be used to sponsor a planning internship as part of the Center for Undergraduate Environmental Leadership (CUEL)/Environmental Leadership Incubator Program (ELI) or secured independently by the student recipient. The Paul Wack Environmental Studies Alumni Scholarship in Planning has been established and in honor of Mr. Paul W. Wack’s 40 plus years of teaching as a Senior Lecturer within the Environmental Studies Program. The scholarship is funded by a generous gift from Paul Wack and by contributions from his appreciative colleagues, students, and Environmental Studies alumni.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:   The recipient shall be a student majoring in Environmental Studies or Hydrology with at least junior standing at the time of applying and have completed ENVS 135A, or currently enrolled in the course at the time of submitting the application and are subject to completing the course before accepting the scholarship.  Applicants will be asked to submit a statement regarding why they wish to pursue an internship in planning, include the name and brief description of the organization(s) they have, or hope to, secure an internship with, and how this scholarship would assist in their internship experience and accomplishing their career goals.  Disbursement of the scholarship money is contingent upon securing an internship in Planning and enrollment in a minimum of two units in ENV S 192 (Internship in Environmental Studies course) during any academic quarter prior to officially graduating. Although financial need will be considered in the selection process, eligibility for financial aid is not required to receive this scholarship.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winner announced in early April, and the recipient may use their scholarship any quarter starting that summer and before graduating.  Prior to graduation a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient highlighting their accomplishments and activities since receiving the award.


The Wenger Scholarship for Undergraduate Research in Energy, Sustainability, Environmental Justice or Climate Change

Multiple $1,000 - $2,000 scholarships for students pursuing research learning opportunities with faculty in Energy, Sustainability, Environmental Justice or Climate Change.

Multiple scholarships of $1,000-2,000 each will be awarded each year to undergraduate students majoring in Environmental Studies or Hydrologic Sciences pursuing research-driven learning opportunities with a UCSB faculty member.  Recognizing engaging in such opportunities can require a significant time and/or financial commitment that may prevent some students from participating, these scholarships offer financial assistance to support students conducting research with UCSB professors in the areas of energy technology, environmental justice, renewable energy, or climate change.  This scholarship is available because of the amazing generosity of UCSB Environmental Studies alumni Howard and Lisa Wenger. The Wengers are members of the Lancaster Society and enjoy supporting environmental sustainability at UC Santa Barbara, including establishing the Manalis Environmental Leadership Fund. Mr. Wenger became a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation in 2016.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:   Applicants must be a declared Environmental Studies or Hydrology major with a minimum overall GPA of 2.7. The award can be used any quarter prior to graduating.  Eligible applicants must have an interest in energy technology, environmental justice, renewable energy, or climate change.  A statement regarding why they wish to conduct research on one or more of the above topics, along with how this scholarship would assist in accomplishing their career goals, will be required.  Awardees will need to secure an Environmental Studies or UCSB faculty advisor working in one of the above environmental areas prior to receiving the award.  Being a financial aid recipient is not required to apply; but additional consideration will be given to students who can demonstrate financial need and are underserved or underrepresented students.

Applications are due at the end of each February, winners announced in early April, and the recipients may use their scholarship any quarter starting that summer and before graduating.  Prior to graduation a one-page report will be required of the scholarship recipient(s) highlighting their accomplishments and activities since receiving the award.


Environmental Studies Mini-Grants for Undergraduate Research, Creative Activities, and Special Opportunities (available year ‘round)

Up to $500 per award available year ‘round to support individual research, similar creative activities, or participate in a special opportunity.  

Up to $500 per individual award is available year ‘round to assist students majoring within the Environmental Studies Program to enhance their educational and career goals by conducting individual research, similar creative activities, or participate in a special opportunity.  Funding may be requested to cover expenses related to supplies, campus recharge for space/facilities usage, equipment rental, mileage reimbursement or other travel expenses, printing of posters, costs to attend or participate in a professional seminar or conference, or other similar expenses related to one’s environmental research project or educational goals.  Funding cannot be used for salaries. 

Eligibility & Application Requirements:  Applicant must be a sophomore, junior, or senior Environmental Studies or Hydrology major with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 and must be conducting environmental research, participating in a creative activity, or attending a special event under the guidance of a UCSB faculty member or instructor.  All applicants must have secured a faculty sponsor at the time of applying for the grant.  Applicants will need to provide a budget and outline how and when the money will be spent.  Funds must be spent while enrolled in an academic quarter and reimbursements will be done directly through Environmental Studies. They can’t be placed into a student’s BARC account.  Students must save and file receipts or fill in travel forms for mileage or other travel reimbursement. A student funded by a faculty member’s research grant can apply if they are conducting their own clearly identifiable piece of research within the larger framework of the project. 

Applications are due during the annual ES Scholarship Application cycle in February.  They can also be accepted on a rolling basis year ‘round and dependent on available funding. To apply for a mini-grant outside the scholarship cycle submit your information on this form. If you have any questions, contact an ES Advisor at advising@es.ucsb.edu with ‘ES Mini Grant Application” in the subject. Funds must be spent while the student is enrolled as an undergraduate at UCSB. Unspent funds will be returned to the department. Recipients are strongly encouraged to contribute a poster to the annual UCSB Undergraduate Research Symposium in May and/or write a one-page report of how the funds contributed to the research project and their educational goals before they graduate.

Other UCSB Environmental Scholarships


Pearl Chase Scholarship 

$1,500 awarded annually and to a qualified UCSB undergraduate working/studying environmental conservation, environmental education, historic preservation, and/or urban planning.  

Award: $1,500 annually

Application Deadline: Normally late-April or early May: 2023 deadline is Friday May 12, 2023

Description: The UCSB Affiliates Pearl Chase Scholarship of $1,500 supports undergraduate students pursuing research, internships, field work, volunteer service, and/or other activities focused on any of the following areas: environmental conservation, environmental education, historic preservation, and/or urban planning. There is a preference to support students who are pursuing research and/or activities within Santa Barbara County.

Although financial need will be considered in the selection process, eligibility for financial aid is not required to receive this scholarship. Recipient(s) may use the award to defray expenses associated with their education, such as: tuition and fees, living expenses, books, supplies, and special project costs associated with their extracurricular activities.

Eligibility: Must be currently enrolled full-time and in good academic standing; Minimum overall GPA of 3.0; and not plan on graduating before at least Spring, 2024.

How to Apply:  Complete the online application at: https://forms.gle/ibdqe6KW3zkqD46NA:

  • Describe your academic and career interests and how you plan to utilize this scholarship.(400 words max.)

  • Describe how you will benefit from this financial support. (250 words max.)

  • Updated Resume (1 page only)

  • If utilizing these funds to support participation in an internship or work experience, please provide a letter from the employer/organization confirming your internship.

About Pearl Chase: Pearl Chase (1888-1979) was a longtime activist in local community affairs, as well as at the state and national level. She played a key role in the development of Santa Barbara's unique character. Her efforts are widely evident in Santa Barbara's architecture, health and building codes, parks, and historic landmarks. She organized the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and helped establish many local organizations, including the Red Cross and United Way. She was also instrumental in establishing the Santa Barbara Indian Defense Association, which later became the National Association of American Indian Affairs. Pearl Chase was a founding member of the UC Santa Barbara Affiliates, a group dedicated to building and celebrating connections between campus and the greater Santa Barbara community.

URCA Grant

The URCA grant is an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to pursue funding for their own independent research project. With up to $750 at your disposal for project-related expenses, this is your chance to take your skills and knowledge and add to your field of study!

Eligibility & Application Requirements:  

To qualify for an URCA grant, you must meet a few general requirements and submit a completed proposal online by the application deadline. If you receive an URCA grant, you are must present your work at URCA Week the following May.

To be eligible for the URCA grant, you must:

  • Be a UCSB undergraduate in good academic standing and remain so throughout the funding period.
  • Be currently engaged in a research or creative project, or planning to initiate one. Grants cannot be awarded retroactively for completed projects.
  • Identify a faculty member who is willing to supervise your project, and will fill out an online form on your behalf as a part of your grant application. Your faculty mentor must be the instructor of a department seminar or a member of the Academic Senate. (You can view the membership list here)

Application Requirements:

  • Application form
  • 2 page proposal
  • Timeline
  • 100 word abstract
  • Detailed budget (must use official form)
  • Faculty mentor endorsement form

Applications are normally due in Mid-November each year. 

To learn more, visit the URCA website or attend one of URCA's info-session workshops. Register on Shoreline.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships 

Scholarship resources can be utilized by visiting the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Additional Scholarships Sponsored by Organizations

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Nearly 3,000 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for U.S. citizen undergraduates of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. To be eligible for the Gilman Program, applicants must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof that they will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship.

Eligibility & Application Requirements:  

To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, an applicant must be:

  • A citizen or national of the United States;
  • An undergraduate student in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States (including both two-year and four-year institutions);
  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof that they will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship;
  • In the process of applying to, or accepted to, a credit-bearing study abroad or internship program. Proof of program acceptance is required prior to award disbursement;
  • Applying for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country or area with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System, or is on the list of approved Travel Advisory Level 3 countries/areas. However, certain locations within these countries or areas may be designated within the Travel Advisory as either “Do not travel to” (Level 4) or “Reconsider travel to” (Level 3) locations, as such; students will not be allowed to travel to these specific locations.

If you are unsure about your eligibility status, please consult Frequently Asked Questions

There are three essays required as part of the Gilman Scholarship application: the Statement of Purpose Essay and the two Community Impact Essays, which are the Building Mutual Understanding Essay and the Follow-on Service Project Proposal. For those applying for a Critical Need Language Award, an additional essay is required.

Application Deadlines

The March 2023 Deadline application will open in mid-January 2023 for applicants whose in-person programs or internships start between May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024. This cycle encompasses Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Academic Year 2023-2024, and Spring 2024 programs or internships. The application deadline is Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 11:59pm Pacific Time, and the advisor certification deadline is Thursday, March 16, 2023.

The October 2023 Deadline application will open in mid-August 2023 for applicants whose in-person programs or internships start between December 1, 2023, to October 31, 2024. This cycle encompasses Winter or January term 2024, Spring 2024, Maymester 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Academic Year 2024-2025 programs. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 11:59pm Pacific Time, and the advisor certification deadline is Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Please be aware that the application deadline is in Pacific Time and take into consideration any time difference as you prepare to submit your application.