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Forest Sustainability Fellowship Program

Forests face new challenges in this era of unprecedented global change. Global markets for wood products, human population pressures, and a changing climate impact forests throughout the world. Forests must be managed not just to provide timber, but also to provide wildlife habitat, enhance water supplies, sequester carbon, and support cultural and psychological well-being.

The Bren School's Forest Sustainability Fellowship, generously supported by the Michael J. Connell Memorial Fund, focuses on scientific understanding and policy tools required to manage forests for long-term biological, physical, and social sustainability. Through training, research, and communication, the Forest Sustainability Fellowship program prepares a new generation of high-impact leaders in forest science and management. 

The Forest Sustainability Fellowship program provides students with:

  • Full or partial tuition, fees and health insurance for one or two years
  • $5,000 toward costs associated with summer internships or research
  • PhD students receive a quarterly $8,000 stipend during their fellowship year
  • Specialized curriculum and a Fellow-led seminar speaker series
  • Network of forest sustainability professionals and fellowship alumni

Master's Fellows

Forest Sustainability Fellows in the Master of Environmental Science and Management program may specialize in a variety of areas including Conservation Planning, Economics and Politics of the Environment, Water Resources Management, Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Energy and Climate or Corporate Environmental Management. In addition to standard coursework, Forest Sustainability Fellows take two courses on issues related to forest sustainability and lead a seminar speaker series.

Fellowships for MESM students typically cover fees, health insurance, and full or partial tuition for one year. A $5,000 stipend is provided during the summer toward a related internship experience. The fellowship may be renewed for a second year if students remain in good academic standing and their interests continue to be aligned with the Forest Sustainability Fellowship program.

PhD Fellows

Forest Sustainability Fellows in the PhD in Environmental Science and Management program shape their research with guidance from Bren School faculty mentors. Bren faculty who do research in the area of forest sustainability and provide mentorship to students include:

Fellowships for PhD students cover fees, health insurance, and full tuition for one year. A quarterly stipend of $8,000 is provided during the fellowship year and a $5,000 stipend is provided during the summer. 

Forest Sustainability Courses

Science and Management for Forest Sustainability Seminar (2 units) for first-year Forest Sustainability Fellows (Fall)

This course provides a graduate-level introduction to forest sustainability from an applied interdisciplinary research and environmental problem-solving perspective. The course meets weekly, each class examining a current challenge in forest sustainability through lectures and readings. Through these topics students are introduced to the ecology and biophysical science of forests and the management strategies that can contribute to their sustainable management. During the course, students will also develop a research proposal (PhD) or group project proposal (MESM) related to forest sustainability and present their proposal in the final week.

Forest Sustainability: Issues and Solutions (4 units) for second-year Forest Sustainability Fellows (Spring)

This course provides an in-depth examination of a current challenge to achieving forest sustainability from a multi-disciplinary perspective, with the goal of providing students the opportunity to learn key skills in applied problem solving in the area of forest sustainability. The end product will be a collaboratively written brief that summarizes the issue and presents a set of recommendations that will move towards a more sustainable future.

Students sitting in shade of oak trees


Applicants to the Bren School's Master of Environmental Science and Management and PhD programs may submit applications for the Forest Sustainability Fellowship. Qualified applicants must have an excellent academic record and show strong, relevant experience and interest in forest sustainability.


Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) and PhD Deadline:
December 15, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time

How to Apply

Forest Sustainability Fellowship applications are submitted along with all other required Bren program application materials when completing the UCSB graduate application (UCSB e-app).

Download and complete the Forest Sustainability Fellowship Supplemental Application found below. While completing the online UCSB graduate program application, upload the Supplemental Application to the "Statements & Supplemental Documents Application Section" section.

To attached/upload it:

  1. Click on the "Statements & Supplemental Documents Application Section" and select "Edit Section."
  2. After you have uploaded the three required application documents (Statement of Purpose, Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement, and Resume or CV), select "Other Document Type.”
  3. In the Document Title text bar, enter Forest Sustainability Fellowship Application. Click "Browse" to find and upload your responses to the fellowship application questionnaire as a PDF or in Word format. Then click "Upload Document."
Tall oak tree

Explore Bren's graduate programs in environmental science and management

Learn more about the UCSB Bren School's graduate programs relevant to the Forest Sustainability Fellowship program, and contact admissions for more information.

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