For DonorsFor Applicants

Ventana Ocean Conservation Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$4,160
Application Deadline
Jul 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Aug 15, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate
Ocean conservation, marine science, environmental science, marine biology, etc.

Ventana Surfboards & Supplies is committed to being the most environmentally responsible surf company on the planet. 

They donate a portion of their profits to ocean conservation, and they are passionate about encouraging the future generations to carry on their mission. The Ventana Ocean Conservation Scholarship seeks to support students who care about ocean conservation and are passionate about making a difference.

High school seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students are eligible to apply if their major is related to ocean conservation. This includes marine biology, ocean conservation, marine science, environmental science, etc. To apply, write about why you care about protecting the oceans and how your degree will help you do so.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 21, 2023
Essay Topic

Why do you care about protecting our oceans, and how do you plan to use your degree to do so?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Alexiss Rivas
University of California-IrvineSan Diego, CA
I will graduate from the UC Irvine Master of Conservation and Restoration Science program in June of 2024. My Bachelor's degree from UC San Diego is in Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience, but since I was a child I had known that I wanted to study marine science. Receiving a PTSD diagnosis in my second year of undergraduate study encouraged my interest in pursuing research on neuroscience topics to better understand myself and promote my healing. During my senior year, I began to explore how I could combine my love for the ocean with this neuroscience background. It seemed highly implausible and proved to be a struggle in finding those with similar interests. I knew that I wanted my future to exist in the marine conservation world, and I was willing to find any route to get there. I finally found my answer in the field of Conservation Psychology and began to see the possibilities of merging these areas of interest. With the goal of using our understanding of the human brain to create pro-conservation behavior change, I began my pursuit of higher education. I was told by my now professor that she wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a graduate program out there for me, that I'm a pioneer in this field and it's important that it gets developed. She told me that I needed to pave the way, and after years of discouragement and loads of volunteering, I was accepted into the UCI program as a marine track student. This past year in this Master's program has allowed me to learn about topics that I had never even realized existed in the academic field. On top of gaining a solid background in core ecological and conservation principles, as well as performing tons of marine fieldwork and species identification, I have been exposed to the world of Social Ecology and believe that my future work will target socioecological issues surrounding coastal living as well as deep-ocean political issues. The California coastline, for example, has long been a site of conflict, with social and environmental disputes shaping the land use, accessibility, and vulnerability of coastal communities for centuries. Growing up in Southern California and currently residing in San Diego, I have noticed how the coastline is home to diverse communities, including low-income and communities of color, but these minority groups often experience disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards and extreme weather events. The distribution of people and pollution is a result of both historical and contemporary social and political processes that reflect systemic inequities and power dynamics. I will use my degree to gain a more complete understanding of current ecological and social issues and combine this knowledge with my cognitive background and socioecological interests to create effective marine conservation management programs that are easily communicable to the public. Analyzing the policy and history of environmental laws and regulations, while gaining technical knowledge in the marine conservation field, will help me to emphasize interdisciplinary communication to contribute to an effective alliance of leaders in the conservation world. My academic history has already offered me a unique perspective in my classes and exposure to other students’ various backgrounds has strengthened my overall understanding of the different ways that people conceptualize the world. This integrated knowledge will help provide solutions via law and regulation, education, community management, and appeals to personal beliefs and ethics. This degree program fosters collaborative efforts that deliver cohesive answers and is essential in my continued pursuit of examining underlying social values and power dynamics that shape marine-focused environmental patterns.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Aug 15, 2024.