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 that have lacked the professional social capital to access skill-building opportunities and thus been effectively barred or dissuaded from pursuing graduate education. The VIEW Fellowship aims to disrupt this cycle.
Beyond their research projects, VIEW Fellows engage in professional development activities with their cohort, such as a Resume Workshop, a Graduate School FAQ Panel, socials with FWCS faculty, tours of the FWCS mammals and fish collections, local conferences, and field days visiting their peer's research sites. VIEW Fellows have helped check camera and macroinvertebrate traps at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the central Oregon Cascades, and learned about marine mammal acoustics at Hatfield Marine Science Center. Finally, at the end of the summer, VIEW Fellows present on their personal and professional experiences in a Final Internship Presentation, joined by supervisors, faculty, and the public. Click these links to watch the 2022 and 2021 VIEW Presentations!
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!
As 2022 VIEW Fellow, Mayah Baker, shares, "My advice for future VIEW Fellows is to not be afraid to embrace their different backgrounds or identities. This fellowship is a great opportunity to explore more about yourself and your goals, knowing that it is a safe place to do so."
We are actively seeking funding to expand the VIEW Fellowship for 2023 and beyond. Please contact the FWCS Internship Coordinator, Shalynn Pack, at FW.email@example.com 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 Shalynn Pack. Faculty proposals will be solicited over winter break.
If you are a student interested in applying for the VIEW Fellowship outside of the open application period, 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!
As a 2022 VIEW Fellow, Nat Godwin, shared, "I would tell any students interested in the program to apply. I almost didn't apply because I felt like my own background wasn't valid enough to place me in this opportunity, and if I hadn't, then I wouldn't have experienced the personal and academic progress that I did this summer. Your experience is valid, your background gives you character, and you have plenty to offer a program such as this. You can diversify the field just by being yourself."
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, who researched topics such as the effects of microplastics on fish, bighorn sheep demography in the Mojave Desert, the ecology of Washington's Nisqually Delta, and the ecology of intertidal seagrass along the Oregon Coast.
In 2022, VIEW expanded to host 7 VIEW Fellows, who worked with FWCS faculty on projects including marine mammal acoustics at Hatfield Marine Science Center, threatened fish surveys in southeast Oregon, elk demography in the Oregon Coast range, and native bee and pollinator dynamics. One VIEW Fellow, Mayah, even joined a 3-week research cruise with OSU's Marine Mammal Institute, surveying for marine mammal and seabird abundance along the Oregon Coast! Mayah says of the trip, "Being on the cruise granted me exposure into the everyday life of a marine mammal scientist. It was a life-changing experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Meet and learn about our VIEW Fellows and their projects below:
Jose Robles, an OSU FWCS 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, an OSU FWCS 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, an OSU 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, an OSU FWCS 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, an OSU FWCS 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, an OSU FWCS 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.
What the Fellows say about VIEW
“My experience as a 2021 VIEW Fellow, tracking bighorn sheep in the Mojave Desert with Dr. Clint Epps, was essential to me getting my current position, working for USGS in Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve. I will always be grateful to the VIEW Fellowship for opening these doors in my career” - Jose Torres, 2021
“VIEW has reminded me that the doors of graduate school are open for me to pursue, and 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 of my Spanish-speaking community into my career...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.” – Gisell Anderson, 2021
“I am going to remember this as one of the best summers I've ever had...I not only got to contribute to a conservation effort in my home state, I also found mentors, considered graduate school in depth for the first time, and saw the importance of representation in this field. The VIEW Fellowship proves that opportunities like this are available to those who seek them out, and I believe that anyone who sets their mind to a career in fisheries, wildlife, or conservation sciences can achieve it!" - Carmen Pryor, 2022
“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, 2021
“It's exciting to find where I belong, and I think I've really found where I belong at OSU. I feel like what I say matters in my VIEW lab meetings, and that's been great." - Casey Volante, 2022
"Diversifying STEM is super important because it can be tough to see a future career for yourself when none of the people around you share identities that are important to you. Seeing projects that specifically reach out to students from diverse communities is really inspiring and makes me feel more confident that in the future it will be possible to find an inclusive place to work and have a career where being a member of a marginalized community isn't a hindrance" - Emily Giordono, 2022
“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, 2021
“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, 2021
“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, 2021
“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, 2021
“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, 2021