M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science

Funding Opportunities

Please note:

If you wish to apply for funding opportunities, you need to apply as a completely separate process from the online application to the TCBES program at UH Hilo. Positions will be posted to the NEOGOV website. You should apply for the Graduate Assistantship positions and the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Fellowship positions, even if you have not yet heard if you have gained acceptance to the TCBES program, so that you are in the applicant pool. If questions, please email uhhtcbes@hawaii.edu.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are offered to prospective and current Master's students within the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences (TCBES) program at UH Hilo. In return for Graduate Assistants teaching or assisting programs in the department to which the candidate will be assigned, Graduate Assistants receive a monthly salary and full tuition remission (not including student fees). Graduate Assistants will be given 1-year terms and will be required to reapply to renew for a second year. Priority will be given to students in their 1st and 2nd year of the TCBES program.

Renewals will be based on satisfactory performance. At the end of each semester, GAs in the TCBES Graduate Program will be evaluated by the GA mentors (people who they worked with to teach classes and/or facilitate the running of the TCBES Graduate Program) and also conduct a self evaluation of their performance. These evaluations will be reviewed by the TCBES Executive Committee for consideration for reappointment in the next academic year. The Executive Committee will determine if the student 1) meets expectations of being a GA, and 2) is in good standing with the TCBES program according to the TCBES Professional Conduct Policy to be reappointed. If the student does not meet these two criteria, they will not be reappointed for a second year.

Reappointment decisions will be made initially after the Fall semester evaluations, to meet the Admissions Committee process for selection of the next year’s GAs. If the Spring semester evaluation shows that the student does not meet the two criteria, and efforts to ameliorate problems have been unsuccessful, the GA reappointment will not be offered. Generally, GA reappointment letters go out by March-May. The TCBES Executive Committee will vote on each student and provide a list of students for reappointment to the Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences.

All applications must be submitted through the NEOGOV website.

You should apply for the Graduate Assistantship positions, even if you have not yet heard if you have gained acceptance to the TCBES program, so that you are in the applicant pool.

Inquiries:

Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Fellowship

The Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation and the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are pleased to announce the availability of three graduate assistantships for students dedicated to careers in conservation biology and environmental science in the state of Hawaiʻi. In addition, UH Hilo is part of the Environment Leadership Pathways that is a major focus of the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation.

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  1. good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the fellowship)
  2. from Hawaiʻi, as evidenced by having graduated from a high school in Hawaiʻi
  3. pursuing a M.S. degree in TCBES
  4. track record of supporting Hawaiʻi’s environment (e.g., internships, volunteer opportunities) and serving in a leadership capacity or demonstrated leadership potential (academic, athletic, extracurricular, and/or professional)
  5. commitment to attaining and pursuing a long term career in conservation biology and environmental science in Hawaiʻi.

The Fall 2023 announcement can be found here. All applications must be submitted through the NEOGOV website.

You should apply for the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Fellowship positions, even if you have not yet heard if you have gained acceptance to the TCBES program, so that you are in the applicant pool.

Inquiries:

USDA Forest Service - US-Affiliated Pacific Islands Graduate Fellowship

The Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (https://www.fs.usda.gov/psw/programs/ipif/index.shtml) of the USDA Forest Service in collaboration with the UH Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program (http://tcbes.uhh.hawaii.edu/) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo are pleased to announce the availability of one graduate fellowship for a student dedicated to a career in forestry, conservation biology, and environmental science in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (US-API). In addition to working with a faculty member in TCBES, the student will also be mentored by a research scientist at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF) (https://www.fs.usda.gov/psw/programs/ipif/staff.shtml) to develop a project in the US-API (Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia). The fellowship comes with generous support for 2 years, including a stipend, tuition costs, health insurance, and costs for travel and supplies needed to conduct research work associated with the research project. The fellowship recipient is expected to work with their IPIF mentor part-time in the school year and full-time in the summer breaks.

Through research, knowledge sharing, and partnership the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry provides scientific and technical information needed to restore, conserve, and sustain tropical forests and wetlands of the Pacific. The overall goal of the IPIF graduate fellowship program in TCBES is to help develop the next generation of forestry and environmental leaders (e.g., conservation biologists or environmental scientists) in the US-API. The following eligibility criteria apply: (i) acceptance to the TCBES graduate program and pursuing a M.S. degree in TCBES (either Thesis Track or Professional Internship Track); (ii) have a letter of support from a research scientist at IPIF stating acceptance to serve as a mentor for the fellowship; (iii) have a letter of support from a natural resource agency based in the US-API; (iv) track record of supporting the US-API’s environment (e.g., internships, volunteer opportunities) or demonstrated leadership potential (academic, extracurricular, and/or professional); and (v) commitment to attaining and pursuing a long-term career in forestry, conservation biology, or environmental science in the US-API.

Application Details: - If you are not currently a TCBES graduate student, you must first apply to the TCBES program submitting all required material for admissions to TCBES (either Thesis Track or Professional Internship Track). The priority deadline for TCBES is December 1, but applications will continue to be accepted after that on a rolling basis until all slots are filled. See the Graduate School Admission website for more information (https://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/graduate/) and the TCBES website (http://tcbes.uhh.hawaii.edu/apply). Once you have been accepted into the TCBES program, you can then apply for the IPIF US-API Graduate Fellowship. - Current TCBES graduate students are eligible, but preference may be given towards incoming students. - Applications for the IPIF US-API Graduate Fellowship will be accepted starting January 1, 2023 with a March 1, 2023 deadline for priority consideration. Applications will be accepted after March 1st on a rolling basis until the fellowship is filled. - Send a complete application packet to: Susan Cordell (Susan.Cordell@usda.gov) with “IPIF US-API Graduate Fellowship Application Fall 2023” in the subject line.

A complete application includes: - A copy of the TCBES acceptance letter - Undergraduate and/or post-graduate transcript(s) (unofficial are fine) - A personal statement (1000 words maximum), written as a coherent narrative that tells your story. The personal statement should address the following: (i) What experiences have led you to want to pursue a Master's degree in tropical conservation and environmental science? (ii) How will acquiring a Master's degree in tropical conservation and environmental science support your short-term and long-term career goals, as well as benefit the US-API? (iii) What personal attributes make you well-suited and committed to studying and stewarding the environment in the US-API?

The Fall 2023 announcement can be found here.

Inquiries: Please contact Dr. Susan Cordell at USDA Forest Service with questions: Susan.Cordell@usda.gov |

Other Funding Opportunities

Hawaiʻi Community Foundation offers annual scholarship opportunities for students.

The University of Hawaiʻi System awards a variety of scholarships annually to registered UH students.

Need other options? Below are compiled lists of funding opportunities put together by previous cohorts.

UH Hilo Financial Aid Office

The UH Financial Aid Office can assist with specific financial aid questions.