The Department of Ecology announces available scholarships to current students each Fall semester, around the start of classes. Student applications are submitted and reviewed by the appropriate parties, and recipients are announced in October at the Departmental BBQ / Awards Ceremony. This year, 16 students were awarded a total of $30,790 in scholarships for the academic year. Scholarship awards are listed below, followed by the application requirements for each scholarship.


All 2017 Scholarship Recipients
Scholarship recipients pose with their plaques at the Annual BBQ and Awards Ceremony at the Lindley Center on October 12, 2017. From L to R: Michael Lance, Shannon Hilty, Michael Forzley, Kelli Poole, James Dufficy, Sara Amish, Megan Heinemann, Michael Yarnall, Joan Macdonald for Kaitlin Macdonald, Jackson Riepe, Kurt Heim, Adrian Massey, Blake Lowrey, Nick Voss.


Izaak Walton League of Amer. Natl. Conservation Scholarship - $2500

          Sara Amish

T.B. Holker Memorial Award – $600

          Kelli Poole

Kevin Hurley Wild Sheep Biology Award –$2350

          Jackson M. Riepe

Matthew F. Clow Memorial Awards – 2 for $1600 each

          Kurt C. Heim

          Jacob Williams

Jim Belsey Graduate Student Scholarship – 2 for $2425 each 

          Michael Lance

          Nicholas S. Voss

John H. Rumely Award - $1850

          Anthony Slominski

Jim Patton Wildlife Management Scholarship –$990

          Michael James Forzley

The Don C. Quimby Graduate Wildlife Research Scholarship - $1950

          Shannon Hilty

Montana Trout Unlimited Fisheries Scholarship – 2 for $500 each

          Adrian Massey

          James Dufficy

Jack Creek Preserve Wildlife Scholarship – 3 for $2500 each

          Megan T. Heinemann

          Blake Lowrey

          Kaitlin Macdonald

Shikar Safari Club Scholarship - $4000

          Michael Yarnall

See application information below regarding the most recent Ecology Department Scholarships. For information on scholarships for the broader MSU student body, click here


Announced September 1, 2017

The Ecology Department and the Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management Program are pleased to announce the availability of 13 scholarship awards totaling $26,790 this year to recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate students.  All scholarships consist of a wall plaque and a monetary award that can be used to offset tuition and fees, research expenses or travel.  We encourage everyone qualified to apply for the recognition that these awards confer.

Application Instructions:  Please review the criteria for each award and provide a separate application for each award. The application process for most awards is as follows. Each application should be prepared as a single .pdf file that includes the name of the award, your name and banner ID number, resume including current GPA, and a 1-page essay on why you are deserving of the specific award and how you would use it to further your education.  Please name your application file with a standard convention of award name, followed by a dash, followed by your last name (For example: Clow-Smith.doc, Belsey-Smith.doc, Holker-Smith.doc).  Applicants for each of the awards are also allowed to submit one letter of support from a member of the MSU academic community, but supporting letters are not required. If a supporting letter is submitted please have the letter author directly submit the letter using the same file naming convention as your application file with the addition of ‘Let’ at end of file name (For example: Clow-SmithLet.pdf). Some awards have unique application processes that are described below.

Send applications to Bob Garrott at no later than September 20. Awards will be announced at the Ecology Dept BBQ/potluck that is scheduled for 12 October at the Lindley Center. The intent of the faculty is to recognize as many outstanding students as possible so we request that in your application you list all awards you have previously received as this will be taken into consideration when selecting recipients.



T.B. Holker Memorial Award – T.B. Holker was a captain in the US Air Force who was killed during a flying mission in the Pacific in 1954.  His family established the award in honor of his lifelong love of Montana’s wildlife.  The recipient must be a junior or senior enrolled full-time in a Biological Sciences degree in the Ecology Department.  The 2017 award is $600.

Kevin Hurley Wild Sheep Biology Award – This award was established and endowed by The Wild Sheep Foundation in recognition of retired Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife manager, Kevin Hurley, for his exemplary accomplishments, tireless efforts, and contributions toward conservation and management of wild sheep in North America and beyond to recognize his dedication and commitment to wild sheep. The purpose of the student award is to support the development of the next generation of wildlife biologists and scientists devoted to the management and conservation of wild sheep.  The award shall be made to an upper-level undergraduate student pursuing a career as a wildlife manager that has a strong interest in North American wild sheep and/or mountain goats and a desire to participate in an internship working on wild sheep and/or mountain goats. This year’s $2350 award will be given to an undergraduate student that has been selected for an internship with a Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks biologist. See description of internship duties here.




Matthew F. Clow Memorial Award - Matthew Clow was an MSU graduate student who died in 1998 while conducting research on whirling disease and wild trout.  The award was established by his parents in his honor to recognize graduate students who share Matt’s love and commitment to wild trout and native fishes.  The recipient must be a graduate student enrolled in a M.S. or Ph.D. degree program engaged in, or about to be engaged in whirling disease, wild trout, or native fish research.  There will be two awards in 2017 each for $1600 applied toward tuition and fees. 

Jim Belsey Graduate Student Scholarship - Jim Belsey was an avid trout angler and conservationist.  Jim established this award to support graduate students pursuing a degree in the Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management Program with research emphasizing coldwater fisheries.  The recipient must show evidence of a commitment to trout conservation.  There will be two awards in 2017 each for $2425 applied toward tuition and fees. 

John H. Rumely Award - The purpose of the John H. Rumely Award is to support the instructional, research and scholarly activities of the curricula traditionally known as Botany.

Preference is to support graduate students conducting field studies of native Montana plants, to be used toward research equipment, analysis, or travel associated with field research or professional meetings.  The 2017 award is $1850 applied toward tuition and fees and/or research expenses.

Jim Patton Wildlife Management Scholarship – Jim Patton served as Undersecretary at Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries from 1998-2004. Jim's mother and father's families were prominent pioneer residents of Deer Lodge Valley and Livingston, Montana, respectively. Both of Jim's parents and his maternal grandfather attended Montana State College. Jim and Carol are both graduates of Cornell University, and wish to honor his Montana heritage, recognizing the importance of the quality education provided by Montana State University. Recipients shall be students pursuing a Masters in the Fish & Wildlife Ecology and Management Program with wildlife ecology as their area of study; shall be citizens of the United States; and shall have a record of strong academic performance in the Program. The 2017 award is $990 applied toward tuition and fees.

The Don C. Quimby Graduate Wildlife Research Scholarship - This scholarship was established to honor Dr. Don C. Quimby, a biology teacher, student advisor and founder of the Wildlife Program with MontanaStateUniversity’s Biology Department in 1948.  Dr. Quimby served as the head of that program until his retirement in spring 1975.  In 1955 Wynn G. Freeman (Game Management Division Chief, Montana Fish and Game Department) and Dr. Quimby combined efforts to establish the Master of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management as the entry level educational requirement for employment of game/wildlife biologists by that state agency.  Eligibility criteria include: 1) enrolled in MSU’s graduate school, seeking either a M.S. or Ph.D. in the Ecology Department, or a M.S. or Ph.D. with a Wildlife-Range Management project in the Animal and Range Sciences Department, 2) field research project focused on a free-ranging wildlife species within the state of Montana, 3) an ability to conduct independent research, 4) scholastic seriousness and intellectual honesty, 5) enthusiasm and willingness to work with fellow professionals and the public, 6) commitment to a career in wildlife management. The 2017 award is $1950 applied toward tuition and fees and/or research expenses.  If interested in being considered for this award please email Bob Garrott ( for full application materials and instructions.




Montana Trout Unlimited Fisheries Scholarship. - This scholarship was established by the state of Montana chapter of Trout Unlimited to support undergraduates who seek an education and career in fishery science.   The recipient must be a junior or senior undergraduate.  There will be two awards in 2017 each for $500 applied toward tuition and fees.

Jack Creek Preserve Wildlife Scholarship - This scholarship is sponsored by Jon S. Fossel co-founder of the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation. The Jack Creek Preserve Foundation is dedicated to conserving and protecting wildlife and its 4,500 acre habitat on the Jack Creek Preserve and the surrounding area of the Madison Range in southwestern Montana.  To learn more about the Jack Creek Preserve and Foundation please visit their website at:  The recipient must 1) be a Ecology Department at least a sophomore undergraduate student or a graduate student enrolled in an academic program aimed at educating and training students for a career in natural resource conservation and management, 2) have completed at least two semesters at MSU and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, 3) have a strong interest in wildlife/fisheries populations, habitat, and conservation, 4) have an appreciation of the role of hunters and hunting in wildlife conversation in North America,  and 5) have a commitment to a career in natural resource management. There will be two awards in 2017 each for $3000 applied toward tuition, fees, or other expenses.  One award will be given to an undergraduate student and the second award to a graduate student.

The Selection Process:  Selection of the recipient of this scholarship will be made by Jon Fossel and the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management Program with consultation from the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation’s scholarship committee. Students who are graduates from Gallatin and Madison County, Montana high schools will be given special consideration. There is also an expectation that the recipient of this scholarship will participate in one of Jack Creek Preserve’s summer youth programs or provide some other service to the Jack Creek Preserve Foundation prior to completing their degree program.

Application Instructions:  Please review the criteria for this award and provide an application prepared as a single MS Word file that includes the name of the award, your name and banner ID number, resume including current GPA, and an essay (2 -page maximum) discussing your educational plans, why conservation is important to you, your understanding of the role of hunters and hunting in wildlife conservation, why you are deserving of this award, and how you would use it to further your education. Please include in your application a list of all academic awards and scholarships you have previously received. Please also identify yourself if you are a graduate of a Gallatin or Madison County, Montana high school.

Shikar Safari Club Scholarship - The Shikar Safari Club Foundation will support an annual $4000 scholarship for an Ecology Department undergraduate or graduate student that is involved in studies of wildlife management and/or range management.  Applicant requirements are as follows:

 1.  Course work hours qualifying as at least a junior at the time of application,

 2.  Must have a strong pro-hunting viewpoint on wildlife management and land management,

 3.  Must be an active hunter,

 4.  Must have a 3.0 or better grade point average, and

 5.  Must show good leadership abilities.

This scholarship will be award toward the end of spring semester.  The application procedure will be the same as described at the start of this document, with the addition of a 1-page thesis/dissertation description also required for graduate student applications.  A committee of Ecology Department faculty will then review and select the recipient and forward her/his application material to the leadership of the Shikar Safari Club for review and final decision. The deadline for application submission will be March 1, 2018 and a reminder will be sent out to all students in Feb.