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The core SEEDS program components offer hands-on, engaging experiences with ecology that exhibit the relevance and applications of the science. Each experience also provides opportunities to interact with a diverse group of ecologists and other motivated students to both broaden and deepen students’ understanding of ecology and potential careers.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915. As the nation’s leading professional society of ecologists, ESA’s mission is to promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists; raise public awareness of the importance of ecological science; increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science; and foster the diffusion of scientific and technical knowledge, and its use.


SEEDS was established in 1996 to reduce, over time, the serious under-representation within the field of ecology of individuals from certain minority groups. The first phase of the program (1996-2002) focused on the institutional support of historically black colleges and universities. To learn more about the history of SEEDS, read “The First Six Years.”


The Ecological Society of America’s SEEDS program greatly appreciates the dedication and generosity of its supporters. The commitment of its supporters allows SEEDS to provide opportunities to underrepresented students to diversify and advance the science of ecology.

In 2019, ESA received a $1.3 million award, DEB-1929524, from the National Science Foundation, to build upon the gains achieved in the past two decades to support and retain diverse talent in the ecological sciences. The five-year award also provides funding for annual workshops for graduate students to to enhance critical research skills that have been identified as gaps in graduate programs such as data management, synthesis or translational science. See more…

Individual Support

The SEEDS program would like to thank all the generous donations from individual ESA members and the larger community. 

Make a Donation

We invite you to contribute to ESA’s SEEDS program and help support and encourage greater diversity in the ecology profession. 

Past Funders

ESA is grateful for the support we have received over the past decades that made it possible for the program to become an established part of our community.