For DonorsFor Applicants

Muir Way Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Nov 27, 2023
Winners Announced
Dec 31, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Two or four-year undergraduate student
Non-profit or volunteering experience
Field of Study:
Environmental science or conservation

There’s nothing more important than the environment, both in terms of necessity and the love for adventure it can teach.

There are many ways to become involved in conserving and appreciating the environment, in a variety of different career industries. A traditional path to pursue is environmental science, while other opportunities include GIS (geographic information system mapping) and even cartography.

This scholarship seeks to support students who are pursuing higher education and careers related to environmental conservation.

Any two or four-year undergraduate student who has non-profit or volunteering experience and is pursuing environmental science or a major related to environmental conservation may apply for this scholarship, but those pursuing cartography or GIS are preferred.

To apply, tell us how you plan to make a difference in the future.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published May 26, 2023
Essay Topic

How do you plan to make a difference?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Madison Wong
University of California-BerkeleyFremont, CA
In high school, I volunteered at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. There, I helped plant Spartina foliosa with fingers numbed by the cold, surveyed the extent of Alectoria sarmentosa as I waded through mud and set up irrigation wires as rain pelted my jacket and egrets stalked nearby. I had always loved looking for the glint of the SF Bay through the fog and running down the beaches, but it was here at Don Edwards that I truly fell in love with the ocean and the vast diversity of ecosystems that surround it. Four years later as a senior studying Environmental Policy at the University of California, Davis, our oceans still have a special place in my heart. My long-term goal is to study environmental law and, perhaps not surprisingly, my primary interest lies in water policy. Recently, I had the opportunity to delve into this topic by analyzing the ongoing Yurok Tribe, et al. v. United States Bureau of Reclamation case. Writing my analysis ultimately required knowledge of water and species protection laws, management plans, and environmental justice. However, at its core, the case was a complex science question, requiring a fundamental understanding of water flow, pollutant dispersion rates, chemical interactions, and ecological cascades. I also wrote a policy brief for kelp forest restoration off the California coast, an endeavor that involved compiling environmental restoration studies from around the world, remote sensing maps, and presenting my policy suggestions in a concise two-page document. These two challenging tasks were gratifying, as I was able to produce works that demonstrated the complexity of water policy while also breaking down the information for a broader audience. Going forward, by continuing to combine my science and policy knowledge, my goal is to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders to promote conservation. Throughout my university experience, I have also been involved in environmental work outside of academics. I got to further explore the biology and hydrology aspects of water policy when I contracted with a water advocacy organization and helped them research and design a series of water conservation education posts. I also joined the Sierra Club Young Adult Advisory Board and several environmental clubs on campus. Additionally, this summer I am very excited to volunteer as a researcher with a conservation non-profit for which my role is to read theoretical literature and test the conclusions in real life to improve conservation messaging and engagement. Working at Don Edwards greatly influenced my love of the ocean because I had the rare opportunity to visit healthy, biodiverse sites under strict protection by the state and careful minding by an army of scientists and volunteers. I aim to ensure that marine ecosystems stay healthy enough to continue inspiring future generations with the wonder of the natural world. I know my degree in Environmental Policy and my future career in environmental law will equip me with the necessary tools and knowledge to help protect our oceans. Through my work, I want to advocate for policies that preserve marine habitats, mitigate climate change impacts, and promote sustainable uses of ocean resources, and by working towards these goals, I aim to ensure that future generations will have access to healthy marine ecosystems that provide invaluable benefits to our planet. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application!


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Nov 27, 2023. Winners will be announced on Dec 31, 2023.

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