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Our 2021 Annual Meeting is underway! Join us

Eco-Service Award


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in partnership with the Student Section of the Ecological Society of America, will honor two young scientists, each with a $500 cash prize, for their contributions to the discipline of ecology that have extended beyond the realm of academia and into the broader communities of which they are a part. The goal of this award is to recognize research that promotes application, outreach, and education. The awards will be presented to the winners by the Union of Concerned Scientists during the Student Section Business meeting.

According to Roberto Salguero-Gomez and others in a recent publication, ecoservice is outreach beyond the basic expectations of a graduate student (research and teaching assistantships). The goal of ecoservice is to help pass scientific knowledge to the public. Some examples include volunteering for non-profit organizations, teaching K-12, organizing workshops, or consulting with land managers and policy makers. 


  • You must be a member of ESA and the Student Section. Membership in UCS is strongly recommended.
  • You must be enrolled as a student (high school, undergraduate, Masters or Ph.D).
  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • You must attend the Student Section Business Meeting. 
  • If selected for the award we kindly request that you volunteer 3 hours of your time at the annual meeting to serve at our Student Section booth during the poster sessions (Mon-Thur, 4-7pm). This time may be broken up into two 1.5 hour slots.
  • Minorities are encouraged to apply.


A panel that includes the boards of both the Student Section and Union of Concerned Scientists will evaluate each applicant’s contributions to ecoservice, which includes but is not limited to outreach, environmental justice and education. The goal of this award is to engage young ecologists in research that reaches beyond inquiry and into application. For more information on what ecoservice is, please read this article: Salguero-Gómez R, Whiteside M, Talbot J & Laurance W. 2009. After Eco comes Service. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7, 277-278 (link).


Need more clarification? Take a look at these blogs about ecoservice written by our previous winners!


The application package consists of the following 4 parts which are all due by 5 pm EST on June 1st Annually:

  1. UCS-ESA-SS Ecoservice Award Application form (link below)
  2. Current CV
  3. Unofficial transcript
  4. Letter of recommendation

Please send your current CV and unofficial transcript to with the subject line of “ECOSERVICE AWARD APPLICATION MATERIALS, applicant’s last name, applicant’s first name”. Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly to the same e-mail with the same subject line. Applicants will be notified of their award status on July 1st, 2016.

UCS and ESA-SS are equal opportunity organizations.

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