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Scroll down to learn about our (2) unique scholarship opportunities: Essay and Field
Questions? Write to us at: scholar@suwa.org

2022 Field Scholarships

Open on a rolling basis

Our Stewardship Program works with a range of youth, student, and professional groups to advance access to Utah’s public lands and provide education on the issues at the heart of our mission to preserve and protect Utah wilderness.

As an organization, SUWA acknowledges the barriers many communities of color face when seeking solace in wild, natural places despite having an equal right of access and an equal stake in the health of the outdoors.

Our Field Scholarship program $300 grants to students of color to join their first service project with SUWA. This program is one limb in a many-branched effort intended to amplify opportunities for communities of color to enjoy and care for southern Utah’s wild lands.


To qualify, applicants must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited college, university, vocational school, or technical school. Applicants are selected from historically underserved communities, self-identified by each applicant within the scholarship application. Scholars will attend (1) service project with SUWA staff and other volunteers. Following the project, scholars produce reflective media (such as a written or visual piece). Upon completion of this program, SUWA will award a $300 stipend/educational scholarship.

Equitable access is our priority. As such, Stewardship Scholars will be loaned the appropriate camping gear and supplies necessitated by the project. Transportation to and from the project site may also be provided for directly or as a transportation stipend.

Apply Online

The Stewardship Scholarship application is available online. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you have any questions please contact scholar@suwa.org.


2021 Essay Scholarships

Application deadline closed January 2. Please sign up for our email list to be notified of the 2022 Essay Scholarship contest. 

Students are invited to write a 750-1250 word essay for a chance to win a cash scholarship toward their education. One grand prize scholarship of $1000 and two semi-finalist scholarships of $500 will be awarded. Complete essays or excerpts may be printed in SUWA’s Redrock Wilderness newsletter.

SUWA’s mission is to protect the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau in its natural state for all Americans. Recognizing that people of color have historically been left out of the U.S. public land conservation movement, we are committed to our goal of raising up diverse voices across the Southwest—those who take the lead protecting public lands in Utah.

Eligible students are those who 1) are self-identified as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color, 2) live in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, or a Tribal Nation in the region, and 3) are enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate at a college, university, technical school, or vocational institution in the Spring 2022 academic year.

To enter the 2021 Stewardship Essay Scholarship contest, please respond to one of the two following essay themes. Your essay should fully respond to the prompts and questions provided. Please include a title for your essay and respond in 750-1250 words.

To enter the scholarship contest, please email your essay as an attachment, including your name, learning institution, student ID #, address, and phone number. Email your essay to scholar@SUWA.org by Sunday, January 2, 2022. Please include a brief statement of need, or 3-5 sentences outlining your personal need for the scholarship. The statement of need is for internal review and will not be shared publicly.

Essay Topics

Theme 1: Change and the Climate
According to the IPCC, global warming must not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if we are to protect our communities from climate catastrophe. To limit further warming, 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions must be eliminated by 2030. By protecting America’s redrock wilderness in its natural state, nearly six percent of the country’s carbon budget will be kept in the ground. Wilderness designation prevents the extraction of unleased fossil fuels and keeps greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere.

Prompt: Please communicate your perspective on change, loss, and growth in this era of climate chaos and the “end of the world as we know it.” In your view, what has been, or will be, lost as we struggle to adapt? And what will be gained as we strive to transform our societies and create a more just and equitable world for all living things? Where does the conservation of wild places like America’s redrock wilderness fit into that vision?


Theme 2: The Parallels of Human and Wildlife Community Connectivity
Passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act would conserve five key wildlife corridors that are essential to biodiversity and provide refuge for plants and animals coping with the effects of climate change. These corridors allow wildlife such as mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, wolves, black bears, and elk to move along the “Spine of the Continent,” which connects northern Mexico to the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic.

Prompt: From the perspective of wildlife of America’s redrock wilderness, write a letter to the human population explaining how landscape connectivity across the Spine of the Continent could also benefit human connectivity. As climate disaster continues to disrupt lifeways across the Southwest, what responsibilities do humans have to the more-than-human world and to each other? As you think about this essay prompt, we invite you to consider how landscape connectivity and protecting wildlife migration corridors impact the following areas of human life:

  •         Health
  •         Culture
  •         Faiths/religions
  •         Language
  •         Foods
  •         Migration
  •         Concept of community
  •         Concept of identity
  •         Traditional societies of the southwest

>> Learn about our 2020 scholarship recipients and read their winning essays.