The Program

The Vanguarding an Inclusive Ecological Workforce (VIEW) Fellowship, created and hosted by the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences (FWCS), is a summer research experience program that supports the professional development of future ecologists from communities that have historically been excluded or are currently underrepresented in our field.

The goal of the VIEW Fellowship is to increase participants’ access to graduate school by helping them attain technical skills and by developing a network of professionals who can serve as a mentor and reference as they move into their careers. Fellows will gain marketable experience in collaboration and research, build relationships with their cohort, grow their professional network, and learn more about our field of fisheries, wildlife, and conservation.

The VIEW Fellowship was born out of an understanding that the fields of conservation and ecology have a history of exclusion of people from non-dominant groups, resulting in a present-day workforce that is often not as diverse as the general population, nor of the communities we serve. Also, we recognize that the fish, wildlife, and conservation fields are relatively small and are built on relationships, and thus finding your first job can often depend on “who-you-know.” This hiring style can perpetuate existing patterns and make it tough for people to get their foot in the door, either because they are new to the discipline, or because they are from communities whose members have lacked that vital professional social capital through which to access the skill-building opportunities and thus been effectively barred or dissuaded from pursuing graduate education. The VIEW Fellowship aims to disrupt this cycle. 

The Students

VIEW Fellows participate in 10 weeks of full-time, paid research between June and August with one or more FWCS faculty and/or graduate student scientists. As FWCS faculty propose different VIEW projects each year, project assignments vary in terms of setting (lab vs. fieldwork), research questions, and ecological focus. Housing may be available for Fellows whose work will be based outside their home area. Fellows will also engage in social and professional development activities with their cohort throughout the summer and deliver a final presentation on their research and Fellowship experience.

To be eligible for VIEW, student applicants must be currently enrolled in at least half time in a 2- or 4- year college seeking a degree in a natural resources, biological sciences, or ecological social sciences discipline, AND identify as a student whose community has historically been excluded and underrepresented in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation sciences fields, who has significant family obligations, who is a first-generation college student, who manages health conditions, or who is eligible to participate in TRIO, CAMP, LSAMP, or similarly intentioned programs. VIEW aims to support students without previous experience in this field.

Student applications will be accepted and reviewed during the winter term. If you meet the above criteria and are interested in engaging in exciting research in the fields of fisheries, wildlife, or conservation sciences, we encourage you to apply!

The Future

We are actively seeking funding to expand the VIEW Fellowship for 2022 and beyond. Please contact the FWCS Internship Coordinator, Shalynn Pack, at FW.internship@oregonstate.edu if you’d like to get involved with this growing Fellowship.

If you are a FWCS faculty member interested in hosting a VIEW Fellow, please contact the Internship Coordinator. Faculty proposals will be solicited over winter break, and accepted faculty projects will be posted on this website for student viewing.

If you are a student interested in applying for the VIEW Fellowship, please fill out the Sign Up form below to be notified when the VIEW application period opens. Student applications will be solicited and accepted over winter term. Students will be able to view the available faculty projects before applying. We hope to see your application!

Sign Up for Updates

The History

VIEW was first developed by the FWCS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in 2018. In the summer of 2021, we officially launched the VIEW Fellowship, with an outstanding cohort of six OSU undergraduates:


Jose Robles, a third-year FW major, worked with Rachel Crowhurst in elk genetics, and with Dr. Susanne Brander in microplastics in fish. Jose is an avid fly fisherman and practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu.

Samantha Muñoz, a fourth-year Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences (FW) major, worked with Dr. Ivan Arismendi on a field project at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the central Oregon Cascades, examining the effects of streams on mammal movements. Sam is interested in working with mammal conservation and research.

Xavier Tacker, a first-year Bioresources Research major, worked with Dr. Fiona Tomás Nash and Dr. Ryan Mueller on the ecology of eelgrass in Coos Bay. Xavier is interested in biotechnology and conservation genetics and enjoys Latin percussion centered around Africanisms.

Gisell Anderson, a fourth-year FW major and Ecampus student, worked on a remote project with Dr. Sandra DeBano on the ecology of Oregon’s native bees. After graduation, Gisell aims to represent her Hispanic community and advance conservation education as a bilingual zookeeper.

Jose Torres, a third-year FW major, worked with Dr. Clint Epps to conduct field research on bighorn sheep in the Mojave Desert, CA. Jose is a U.S. Navy veteran and avid hiker who aims to serve as a game warden.

Vanessa Ramirez, a fourth-year FW major, worked with Dr. Melanie Davis on a field project in the Nisqually Delta, WA, examining estuarine ecology and brine shrimp. Vanessa enjoys rock climbing and leading outdoor adventure trips.

Beyond their research projects, VIEW Fellows in 2021 engaged in a resume workshop, an ice cream social with FWCS faculty, tours of the FWCS mammals and fish collections, and in a field day checking camera traps at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the central Oregon Cascades, and attended the national conference of The Wildlife Society.

The VIEW Fellows present on their experiences and what they’ve learned in a Final Internship Presentation, joined by supervisors, faculty, and the public. Learn about the 2021 VIEW Fellows’ research and advice for future Fellows by watching their presentations here:

Learn more about what the 2021 Fellows have to say about the VIEW Fellowship

What advice do you have for future VIEW fellows?
 

“It’s such a wonderful opportunity; I’m sure every other Fellow feels the same way. I would tell them to do the craziest thing you can find - get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to the limit.” - Jose Torres


“Pick the brains of not just your supervisors and mentors, but also the other people in your lab, to hear about their experiences and how they’ve gotten to where they are. Make yourself available and be as good of an intern as possible, because then, maybe you’ll be able to work past the end of the internship!” - Xavier Tacker


“Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor or mentor if there’s anything you want to research or include. My supervisor was so open to anything I wanted to explore.” - Gisell Anderson


“Take advantage of the environment and the people you’re surrounded by. In my lab, people were so open and willing to talk with you about things beyond just the project. It’s nice to surround yourself with people who are active in the field you're interested in, and it's a great gateway into other new things as well.” - Samantha Muñoz

 

What was your favorite aspect of VIEW? What did you learn?
 

“VIEW has reminded me that the doors of graduate school are open for me to pursue, snf increased my confidence as an Ecampus student and in my identity -- it’s given me the opportunity to get connected to OSU and research, and reminded me of the bigger picture of bringing representation into my career...This has always been important to me personally, as English is my second language and Spanish serves as a bridge between my community and English. My family has sacrificed so much for me to be born in America, go to college, and get my career, and this internship experience has been a chapter in this generational story...As the first in my family to go to college, not only did this internship help me to meet the internship requirements to earn my bachelor’s degree, but also in my applicant confidence to apply and put myself out there in competitive applications that I may have thought twice to apply to.” – Gisell Anderson


“My favorite aspect of the VIEW program was meeting new people. I’m so thankful to have been able to meet a lot of great people who had my back. I’ve had the support to continue and push through and chase this dream of mine, and continue to get exposure in this awesome field of fish and wildlife.” – Jose Robles


“I come from a forestry background and most of my experience has been in genetic improvement of forest trees. So when I was filling out my application for the VIEW program, I made it very clear that I’m really looking forward to a different kind of experience so that I may learn and broaden my horizons, and become a more well-rounded scientist. I think that’s very important for young students like myself to get outside of your comfort zone, outside of what you liked. Because who knows? You might like something better.” – Xavier Tacker


“The time I spent out in the Mojave National Preserve tracking bighorn sheep has allowed me to reinforce my professional goal of becoming a game warden or wildlife biologist….In the Mojave Desert we carried all the resources we would need on our backs, and it was a humbling experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life…Thanks to this opportunity, I now feel ready to face whatever challenges may come in the future, including graduate school if I decide to go that route.” – Jose Torres