The Wyss Fellows Program provides campaign experience and training for individuals who have the potential to become future conservation leaders. Fellows work at sponsoring organizations on a variety of projects and campaigns determined by the sponsoring organization during their two-year fellowship. Fellows must focus their work on one or more of the following areas: Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, or New Mexico.
Wyss Fellowships are ideal for talented and committed individuals just completing their education and looking to launch their career in conservation, or for those looking to make a career change. Fellows gain experience in all aspects of conservation advocacy, including policy development, grassroots and grasstops organizing, coalition-building, research and writing, media and communications, and fundraising.
Fellows also participate in annual week-long training programs, where they have the chance to meet and learn about other Wyss Fellows’ work.
If you are an organization interested in applying to sponsor a Wyss Fellow position please see our Application Guidelines.
2017 Wyss Fellows program applications are now closed. Look for 2018 applications to open this coming March.
Marcel Gaztambide is the Animas River Campaign Organizer with the San Juan Citizens Alliance, based in Durango, Colorado. He’s helping to build a community engaged with the health of the Animas by providing information on threats to the watershed, elevating the stories of regional stakeholders, and encouraging water users to feel more intimately connected to their water sources.
The Wyss Scholars Program supports the graduate-level education of a new generation of leaders in western land conservation. Wyss Scholars learn the latest in conservation law and policy and apply that knowledge in careers at land management agencies and nonprofit conservation groups. Wyss Scholarships are awarded to students currently enrolled at one of the six host schools.
The Wyss Scholars Program covers up to half of the tuition and expenses of getting a Masters degree or a third of the tuition and expenses of getting a Law degree. Half of the award is made during the Masters or Law Program, and the remainder is available for Scholars who enter qualifying employment. Scholars are also awarded up to $5,000 to cover their summer research or internship to provide conservation work experience.
The Wyss Scholars Program also provides access to a broad community of current and past Scholars–people who share an interest and passion for conservation and are working to protect western landscapes.
For the purposes of the Wyss Scholars Program, the American West is defined as Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.
My work with Trout Unlimited in 2017 has been dynamic to say the least. One of my main focuses are forest revision plans which must be updated every 15 years. The purpose of these revision plans is for the National Forest to evaluate their current forest plan and find ‘Needs for Change’ within the forest. This planning process takes many years to complete with multiple opportunities for organizations like TU to comment and suggest guidelines on how the forest should be managed with retrospect to healthy trout streams and watersheds. In Arizona, I am currently working on the Tonto Forest revision plan and the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4Fri). In New Mexico I am working on the Gila Forest revision plan and the Lincoln Forest revision plan. Also, I often work with our local TU chapters, helping with fundraising events, restoration projects, and our TU program, Trout in The Classroom. TIC (trout in the classroom) is a great opportunity to bring nature into the classroom and teach kids about the life cycle of trout. Thanks to the Wyss foundation, TU can have a full time staff on the ground here in Arizona. This is extremely beneficial to support our volunteers, and the overall conservation community.
Our water temperature monitoring effort is now in full swing. This project has been led by myself and TU chapter vice president Joe Miller and requires getting our state and federal agencies talking and sharing information on current stream temperature data. Once we’ve identified missing pockets of water temperature, data volunteers and I hike into these remote areas and place monitors ourselves. We’ve place over 20 stream monitors so far and have a goal of placing 50 monitors by the end of September. Not only will this data be shared with our game and fish department and national forests, but also uploaded to the Northwest data base which is a collection of air and water temperatures all across the country.
Lastly, the project that I am most passionate about is a campaign built around the transfer of public lands here in Arizona. We’ve had several bills proposed to transfer public lands from the federal government to the state. I am in the process of building a brand and movement around stopping this transfer by bringing together many other conservation and local sportsmen’s groups to meet with our senators and representatives. Public lands stay in public hands!