The Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center will provide funding to graduate students to support their attendance at conferences and workshops on a case by case basis. Students wishing to attend conferences covering the fields of population biology, ecology, evolution, systematics, behavior, behavioral ecology, conservation biology, conservation policy, sustainable development, and ecosystem ecology are encouraged to apply. No geographic restrictions apply to where the research was undertaken. Funds up to $500 will be given for all or part of travel expenses, registration fees, housing or per diem expenses. Applicants must seek support from the Department of Biology and the Graduate School prior to requesting funding from the Harris Center.
The Harris Center provides support in terms of travel costs and course fees for UMSL graduate students to participate in Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) courses. OTS offers field courses in Costa Rica (and several other tropical countries) that cover a wide range of topics from field biology to conservation to public policy, and course credits can be transferred to UMSL. Contact Dr. Nathan Muchhala (firstname.lastname@example.org), the current UMSL faculty representatives to OTS, for further information on the courses. To apply for Harris Center support, send your CV to Angela Stern (email@example.com) along with a short paragraph explaining how the OTS course will be beneficial at this point in your career. Priority will be given to applicants who have applied for tuition scholarships from OTS as well.
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Since summer 1992, the Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis has facilitated the placement of graduate students in conservation internships. International students from Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Spain, Venezuela and Zambia have completed internships. Internships have been conducted in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Puerto Rico, as well as in Missouri, Louisiana, New York, Utah, and Washington, DC. Internships have been conducted with international non-governmental conservation groups (e.g., Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund), multinational institutions (e.g., The World Bank), federal agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution), and private organizations (e.g., Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity, Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo).
A number of the graduates of this program have obtained positions in conservation-related fields, and the conservation internship has been instrumental in securing post-graduate school employment for a number of interns. For example, Monica Romo joined Conservation International (based in Lima, Peru), Pedro Lopez-Valencia joined World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC (Pedro is now working with a national research agency in Bogota, Colombia), Kevin Cool works for the State of Missouri as a Geospatial Analyst and Patricia Baiao now works for Conservation International in Brazil.