The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity (CCB) offers an exciting, annual student grant opportunity that provides funds ($2,500 and more) to students to gain experience in the fields of ecology, biology, geology, water science, environmental policy, engineering, exercise fitness, photography, art, history, First Nations studies, education, and inclusivity/diversity/equity. Funds awarded to undergraduate or graduate students are used to complete a project in collaboration with a UW-Green Bay faculty or staff member. Students may propose to work on a new project of interest to them or help fund existing work (e.g., master's thesis, independent study). They may apply for up to five different grant opportunities outlined in the CCB Student Grant Application (pdf link), which provides a minimum of $2,500 plus additional funds.
You can view the 2023-34 grant recipientsnhere.
Cofrin Student Research Grant ($2,500)
The proposed student project must take place at one or more of the six UW-Green Bay Natural Areas (Cofrin Memorial Arboretum, Kingfisher Farm, Peninsula Sanctuary, Point au Sable, Wequiock Creek, Toft Point) and/or involve work completed in the Fewless Herbarium or Richter Museum of Natural History. Projects may focus on any number of topics, including traditional scientific research from any discipline but may also focus on the arts, photography, mental health, wellness, equity/diversity/inclusion, history, outreach, education, etc. These grants are made possible thanks to a generous endowment from the family of Dr. David Cofrin and the late John Cofrin and to the late West Bend philanthropist Ron Horn who donated part of his estate to the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. The student will be paid for a minimum of 133.3 hours of project-related work for an hourly wage of $15/hr (=$2,000 award). The remaining $500 can be used for project supplies, equipment, mileage, or vehicle rentals or be used for additional student wages (at $15/hr). If a project includes Kingfisher Farm Natural Area, the student will receive an additional $250 for travel costs.
Krischan Grant for Botanical Research ($250)
This grant is named in memory of Thomas Krischan, donated by his widowed wife. This grant supports students conducting botany-related research that supports management and conservation of Toft Point Natural Area. Projects must strive to increase botanical knowledge of plant species at Toft Point as their major goal. Acceptable topics include plant biodiversity surveys, invasive plant control, plant population genetics, microbial and mycorrhizal associations with plants, pollination, plant predation, plant competition, plant pathology, or similar topics. The student may use the awarded $250 for project supplies, equipment, mileage, or vehicle rentals or can be used towards wages at $15/hr.
Friends of Toft Point Student Grant ($500)
The Friends of Toft Point Grant supports students conducting traditional ecological research, as well as research or activities that support the human dimensions of conservation at Toft Point Natural Area. Acceptable projects include traditional research in ecology, conservation biology, or biodiversity research, sociology, and archaeology as well as projects related to environmental history, literature, or art that support the management, history, aesthetic appreciation of Toft Point Natural Area. The student will be paid for a minimum of 20 hours of project-related work for an hourly wage of $15/hr (=$300 award). The remaining $200 can be used for project supplies, equipment, mileage, or vehicle rentals or be used for additional student wages (at $15/hr).
Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award ($800)
The Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award is available to support conservation research in Door County, WI by an enrolled or employed UW-Green Bay student whose proposed project will involve student research conducted within the Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands, designated in 2015 as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance (which may or may not include Toft Point Natural Area). In addition to fostering original research on natural history, ecology, and biodiversity conservation of these important places, this annual award is intended to provide valuable hands-on research opportunities for students. This research award commemorates the important contributions to conservation and environmental education by Roy and Charlotte Lukes, two of Wisconsin’s most influential and beloved naturalists. The award was created by a generous endowment from late West Bend philanthropist Ron Horn. The Roy and Charlotte Lukes Research Award extends the legacy and unselfish values that these two important Door County leaders have championed for >50 years. The student will be paid for a minimum of 33.3 hours of project-related work for an hourly wage of $15/hr (=$500 award). The remaining $300 can be used for project supplies, equipment, mileage, or vehicle rentals or be used for additional student wages (at $15/hr).
Point au Sable/Wequiock Creek Grant ($500)
The proposed student project must involve the Point au Sable or Wequiock Creek Natural Area in some way, though the project may involve other locations. Like Cofrin Student Research Grants, projects may focus on any number of topics, including traditional scientific research from any discipline but may also focus on the arts, photography, mental health, wellness, equity/diversity/inclusion, history, outreach, education, etc. This funding is made possible thanks to a generous endowment from a group of Fox River businesses. The student will be paid for a minimum of 26.7 hours of project-related work for an hourly wage of $15/hr (=$400 award). The remaining $100 can be used for project supplies, equipment, mileage, or vehicle rentals or be used for additional student wages (at $15/hr).
Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at any UW-Green Bay campus may apply.
- April 15 - Grant applications due to firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 1 - Applicants will be notified of the decision
- March or April (of following year) - Grant recipients are required to present at the annual Cofrin Student Research Grant Symposium
- May 1 (of following year) - Grant recipients are required to turn in an archive of the project (e.g., raw data files, photographs, metadata), borrowed or purchased equipment (unless otherwise instructed), and a final report to the Cofrin Center's Data Manager.
How to Apply
Students interested in applying should first contact an appropriate UW-Green Bay faculty or staff member to discuss or develop a project. Once the project has been planned, the student must email their completed CCB Student Grant Application and a brief (2-5 pages) grant proposal containing the following information (email@example.com; CC your advisor to the email submission):
- Basic Information: Student name, student email, student advisor’s name, and a descriptive project title
- Introduction: Literature review and project objectives
- Proposed Methods: Must clearly explain the field, lab, or project methodologies, location of study,expected data analysis, and project schedule and duration
- Anticipated Outcomes or Results: Describe what you expect your project to produce
- Proposed Budget: Please itemize with associated costs and links (when appropriate):
- Equipment and supplies
- Estimated mileage or fleet vehicle rentals (will be billed at current state rates, $0.655/mi); todrive fleet vehicles or request mileage reimbursement, student must be authorized to drive
- No need to include a stipend request as that will be determined by the grants committee andwhich grants for which you applied
- Proposals should be submitted as a .doc, .docx,.rtf, or .pdf files.
View our Call for Proposal here. For more guidance on writing the proposal, check out the an example from a past proposal. Note that the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity can loan students the following equipment: GPS units, binoculars, spotting scopes, compasses, water thermometers, plant presses, writing utensils, hand lens, dbh tapes, trail cameras, SD cards, and counters. We also have a reference library for you to browse. If you have questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Project Examples
Students may propose any project of their choosing as long as the project meets the criteria outlined in the CCB Student Grant Application. Here are some project examples for students to consider:
- Biological inventories of any of our natural areas across any taxa (e.g., birds, mammals, reptiles,amphibians, insects, spiders, mosses, ferns, plants)
- Photography, illustration, or video project of birds at Point au Sable and Wequiock Natural Areas
- Natural and cultural history of indigenous people from one of UW-Green Bay’s natural areas
- Curation and databasing of specimens from CCB natural areas in Richter Museum or Fewless Herbarium
- Building outreach materials (e.g., laminated quick guide on mammals/birds/bugs of a natural area)
- Work with our natural areas team on adaptive management of vegetation communities
- Understanding the genetics of a plant species at Kingfisher Farm Natural Area
- Monitor water clarity and oxygen levels using an environmental sensor at Mahon Creek
- Curation and databasing of fern and lycophyte specimens collected at Toft Point Natural Area
- Development of K-12 student curriculum for the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum
- Mindfulness study or the psychology of spending time outdoors
- Environmental engineering and technology
- Peatland bryophyte survey of Toft Point Natural Area
- Drone video project capturing our natural areas across the seasons
- Fungal diversity study at Wequiock Creek Natural Area
Student, faculty, and others may view our list of past projects and request final reports or presentations from the Data Manager at email@example.com. In the future we plan to make these reports and presentations available for download on the web, though some are available through the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library's Phoenix Research Collection.
Natural and Applied Sciences Heirloom Plant Fund Student Research Grants
Enrolled graduate students in the UW-Green Bay Environmental Science and Policy program are eligible to apply for NAS Heirloom Plant Student Funds to support an independent research project. Undergraduate students with an interest in environmental sciences may also apply, though graduate student projects are prioritized. Students may be awarded up to $1,000 for graduate research projects and up to $500 for undergraduate research projects. To learn more, visit the Heirloom Plant Fund website.