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Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships and awards available to ecology and environmental science, natural resource law enforcement, rangeland ecology and management and wildlife and fisheries sciences majors fall into three categories: those selected by the university, college and department. The scholarships and awards presented on a university basis represent great diversity with regard to numbers and kinds. Prospective and current students should contact the Financial Aid Office and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences on campus for information concerning availability and eligibility.

Department Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships (undergraduate and graduate) presented to students specifically within the department. These awards are provided by various individuals and groups and are typically provided only for one of our specific undergraduate majors and minors.

These students have earned the various scholarships over the past few years. The department faculty members select scholarship winners during the middle of spring semester each year. Students are notified and scholarship funds are deposited in student accounts for the following fall and spring semesters. The first annual Buffalo Banquet was in 1950 and has been held every year since then. In fact, the spring 2016 event was the 68th annual Buffalo Banquet. We awarded over $49,000 in scholarships and awards at the 2016 banquet.

Students must be aware that departmental scholarships are used by the university when determining Jackrabbit Guarantee obligations. The majority of our scholarships can be used by the university to satisfy the guarantee. The university has had a hard time communicating this concept to students, and we want to be certain of your understanding.

Opportunities to support the NRM Department

Student Education Enhancements, Scholarships and Endowments:

Your impact: Expanding undergraduate scholarship dollars available to support students enrolled in ecology and environmental science, natural resource law enforcement, rangeland ecology and management and wildlife and fisheries sciences. Expanding competitive graduate student research awards.

  • The Natural Resource Management Department. Funds that enable strategic initiatives in academic and research programs through implementation of the department strategic plan.
  • Clifford H. Fiscus Endowment that helps supports our NRM Departmental seminar series. Clifford H. Fiscus (B.S. 1950) was a long-time friend of the department. In 2004, he provided an endowment to the department that is used to bring guest speakers to campus. This is an important aspect of our graduate student training and pursuit of scholarly excellence.
  • NRM Education Fund. This fund enables talented undergraduate students to present their research at local and national meetings.
  • Program Targeted Scholarships. Gifts of less than $1,000 can be targeted toward undergraduate scholarships funds in (1) ecology and environmental science, (2) natural resource law enforcement, (3) rangeland ecology and management and (4) wildlife and fisheries sciences.

-If you are interested in donating at the $1,000 level or above, we can work with you to develop a named scholarship. A list of our current named scholarships can be found at: Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards.

  • Dave Willis Fisheries Research Award Endowment

This Endowment was established to honor Willis' life work and to sustain his legacy through promoting excellence in fisheries education and research. We encourage and appreciate your support of Dave's legacy through a donation to support the growth of this endowment. Gift pledges can be made over multiple years or as single donations. Proceeds will be used to provide competitive research awards to graduate fisheries students who have demonstrated scholarly excellence in fisheries science and best personify Dave's exceptional career and service to our nation's natural resources.

  • Kenneth F. Higgins Waterfowl Legacy Research Endowment

This Endowment honors the life and the distinguished career of Ken Higgins, a former wildlife research biologist with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and a professor emeritus in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University.

  • Clifford H. Fiscus Waterfowl Research Endowment

The Fiscus Waterfowl Research Endowment fund honors the life of of Fiscus, who earned a degree in wildlife management at South Dakota State College. This endowment provides support for waterfowl research activities which may enhance future management or welfare of waterfowl or other wetland dependent avian species and/or their habitats.

  • Pheasants Forever Upland Game Bird Research Endowment

This Endowment honors the efforts of the Brookings County Pheasant Restoration Association and the Brookings County chapter of Pheasants Forever. An initial donation of $25,000 established the principal for this endowment.

  • Kevin Honness Memorial Scholarship Announcement

The Honness Scholarship is awarded each year (March 31) to student members of the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Two awards ($500 each) are currently available, one for graduate and one for undergraduate researchers; preference will be given to students conducting research in the Great Plains. Applications will be accepted each year from Nov. 1 - Feb. 28.

  • Curtis M. Twedt Upland Game Research Endowment

Curtis M. Twedt, a native of Volga, graduated in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in 1959. Twedt enjoyed a 31-year career with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as an upland game and research biologist. The recipient of the Twedt research grant shall be selected by the Department of Natural Resource Management at SDState. The long-term vision of the Department is to eventually be able to provide a graduate research assistantship from this endowment.

  • Jesse W. West Research Endowment

This Endowment is intimately tied to the Pond Boss magazine and forum. It honors the life of Jesse W. West, a Mississippian and professor of geology. While teaching geology “summer camp” in the west, including Colorado, California and the Black Hills (one of his favorite geologic places), he developed a love of the area and its people, which he shared with his family. His strong belief in helping others along their journey in applied science is the cornerstone of Jesse's endowment.

Off Campus Research Facilities

- Oak Lake Field Station or Wildlife and Fisheries Research Unit (existing resources to which you could contribute are identified below).

Your impact: Expanding endowed undergraduate research opportunities grants for our Oak Lake Field Station and Wildlife and Fisheries Research Unit; Funding to support construction of off-campus teaching and research facilities and/or purchase large research equipment.

  • Charles and Marcia McMullen Undergraduate Research Award.

An endowment recently established in honor of Charles and Marcia McMullen who have been long-time supporters of the Oak Lake Field Station. Chuck served as the first director of the Oak Lake Field Station and was instrumental in working with President Robert Wagner to establish the field station as a resource to students interested in the natural sciences. This endowment provides support for NRM undergraduate students interested in conducting undergraduate research at the station.

  • Oak Lake John Haertel Memorial Research Award

An endowment established in honor of Jon Haertel, vertebrate biologist in biology and microbiology. Jon’s love of vertebrate animals and long-time contributions to the study of vertebrates resulted in establishment of this endowment to support undergraduate research on vertebrates at the Oak Lake Field Station.

  • Rogen-Trooien Oak Lake Endowment

An endowment established in honor of Alvera Rogen and the Trooien Family who had a long-time family connection and interest in the Oak Lake Field Station. This fund was established to support long-term maintenance and development of facilities at the Oak Lake Field Station toward the education and development of students interested in South Dakota natural resources.

  • Oak Lake Field Station Fund

A flexible field station account developed using unrestricted gifts to the Oak Lake Field Station and utilized for newsletters, web site, hospitality expenses and meeting attendance in relation to field station operations and programs.

Endowed research faculty positions in Ecology or Environmental Science, Range Ecology or Range Management and Wildlife Biology and Fisheries Biology

Your impact: Faculty endowments provide funding for perpetuity that will allow the Department to recruit exceptional faculty members and provide them with the resources that are essential to their ability to do their critical work.

(Targeted gifts would also be appreciated to support the purchase of research equipment and enhancement of research lab facilities in each of the areas identified above.)

Ways To Give: Making A Gift To Support NRM

Please visit SDSU Foundation website below to learn more about how you can make a difference in the Department of NRM.

SDSU Foundation