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Frances 'Fran' Hamerstrom Memorial Scholarship

Frances ‘Fran’ Hamerstrom was an innovator, a free spirit, iconoclast, and an outstanding wildlife biologist – who inspired many generations of future naturalists. Fran published over a hundred technical papers, 12 different texts, multiple children’s books, and a wild foods cookbook. Fran learned by doing; with creative trouble shooting, and always with a hint of nontraditional flair. She and her husband encouraged and trained many young naturalists and ornithologists. The purpose of the WCTWS Frances ‘Fran’ Hamerstrom Memorial Scholarship is to stoke the fires of inspiration for students that are in the early stages of their undergraduate education; to support innovators; to embolden those that share Fran’s free spirit to advance our field forward, and in so doing, honor the memory of Frances ‘Fran’ Hamerstrom. This $750 scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student who has made a commitment to the wildlife profession, is in the early stages of their formal education (Freshman or Sophomore standing at the time of application), and who has demonstrated great potential through creative thinking and nontraditional solutions to complex problems – someone who stands out as an innovator. Undergraduate students at any of Wisconsin’s accredited colleges or universities are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

To apply, students must submit the following information, emailed no later than February 7th, 2022 to: Lesa Kardash - 

Application Materials: Electronic submission of all documents is required (documents may be scanned)

  1. A letter of application including a statement describing how the student meets the criteria of the scholarship and demonstrates a commitment to wildlife conservation.
  2. An official copy of college or university transcripts.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from people able to characterize your character within the scope of the criteria of this award.

Applicants will be evaluated based on

  1. completeness of the application materials
  2. coursework breadth and diversity that reinforces the applicants aspirations as an innovator
  3. how well the letter of application and letters of recommendation convey that the applicant meets the aforementioned criteria
  4. the applicant conveys a deep personal passion for wildlife conservation. 

Past Recipients


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