The Vanguarding an Inclusive Ecological Workforce (VIEW) Fellowship, created and hosted by the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences (FWCS) at Oregon State University, is a summer research experience program that supports the professional development of future ecologists from communities that have been historically 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 develop a network of professionals who can serve as mentors and references as they move into their careers. Fellows gain marketable experience in ecological research, build relationships with their cohort, grow their professional network, and learn more about our fields of fisheries, wildlife, and conservation.
Undergraduate VIEW Fellows engage in 10-weeks of paid, mentored research experience with a FWCS faculty member or senior researcher, and participate in a suite of professional development activities with their cohort throughout the summer including resume and graduate school workshops, field days, and conferences. FWCS provides housing for the Fellows at the Corvallis campus or at Hatfield Marine Science Center, and FWCS shares the salary costs with the faculty mentor.
VIEW research projects change each year but always include a diversity of field and lab work; past projects include studying marine mammals at Hatfield Marine Science Center, monitoring macroinvertebrates and salamanders at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, surveying threatened fish populations in southeast Oregon, researching elk population genetics in the lab, documenting the effects of fire on sagebrush habitats, and tracking bighorn sheep in the Mojave Desert.
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. You can follow these links to watch the 2023, 2022 and 2021 VIEW Presentations.
We're also proud to share that the VIEW Fellowship was awarded the national Diversity Award from The Wildlife Society for 2023! You can read more about this honor at the news article here.
The VIEW Fellowship was born out of an understanding that our field has a history of excluding people from non-dominant groups, resulting in a present-day workforce that is less diverse than the general population and than the communities we serve. Communities that have been excluded from conservation often lack the professional social capital to access skill-building opportunities in this field, effectively barring or dissuading their members from pursuing graduate education. We also recognize that our field is relatively small and is built on relationships, and thus finding your first job often depends on who you know; this hiring style perpetuates existing patterns of workforce representation, and makes it hard for people new to the discipline to get their foot in the door. The VIEW Fellowship aims to disrupt these cycles.
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 2024 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 G., 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, and was officially launched in the summer of 2021.
In 2021, six VIEW Fellows researched the effects of microplastics on fish, bighorn sheep demography in the Mojave Desert, estuarine ecology in Washington's Nisqually Delta, native bees in Eastern OR, wildlife use of downed wood at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, and the ecology of intertidal seagrass along the Oregon Coast.
In 2022, VIEW expanded to host seven 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, native bee and pollinator dynamics, seagrass ecology, and the effects of fire on the sagebrush steppe.
In 2023, VIEW expanded again to host eight Fellows, who researched Traditional Ecological Knowledge in fisheries with the Yakama Nation, and harbor seals, manta rays, and marine mammal strandings at Hatfield, and conducted surveys for threatened fish in eastern OR, macroinvertebrates in the Willammette River, and amphibian surveys in the Oregon Cascades. In the fall, FWCS sent all Fellows to present their research at the 2023 National Diversity in STEM conference, hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans!
Read on to learn about a few of our VIEW alumni below!
Roberto, an OSU FWCS major, worked with Dr. Melanie Davis to survey threatened fish species in southeastern Oregon, in collaboration with teams from the USGS and ODFW. Roberto is an avid fly fisherman. After VIEW, Roberto continued fisheries research in this lab, and was selected to present at the National Diversity in STEM conference.
Maya, an OSU FWCS major, assisted the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR. Maya responded to strandings, managed the response hotline, and performed necropsies on species like harbor porpoises, elephant seals, and sea lions. After VIEW, Maya was hired to continue work with the Stranding Network.
Xavier, an OSU Bioresources Research major, worked with Dr. Fiona Tomás Nash and Dr. Ryan Mueller on the ecology of eelgrass in Coos Bay. After VIEW, Xavier went on to become a Goldwater Scholar, attend the Minorities in Natural Resources and Agriculture (MANNRS) conference in Florida, study mangroves in Puerto Rico, and advocate for other students of color through the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). He now has his sights set on graduate school. You can hear from Xavier in this article!
Mayah, an OSU FWCS major, researched marine mammal acoustics with Dr. Kate Stafford at Hatfield Marine Science Center. She even joined a 3-week research cruise with OSU's Marine Mammal Institute, surveying for marine mammal and seabird presence along the Oregon Coast. Mayah says of the trip, "Being on the cruise exposed me to the everyday life of a marine mammal scientist. It was a life-changing experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." After VIEW, Mayah presented her research at multiple conferences and is now considering graduate school options.
Jose, an OSU FWCS major and veteran, worked with Dr. Clint Epps to conduct field research on bighorn sheep in the Mojave Desert, CA. After VIEW, Dr. Epps nominated Jose for a competitive national fellowship with USGS, and so Jose spent the next summer tracking invasive Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. He excelled and was offered a permanent position with USGS upon graduation, and has now been offered a funded graduate position. Jose shares, "I will always be grateful to the VIEW Fellowship for opening these doors in my career." You can read more about Jose and his journey in this article and talk!
Heather, an OSU FWCS major and veteran, researched mammalian genetics in the Epps Population Genetics Lab on the Corvallis campus. Heather started at OSU as an Ecampus student. After VIEW, she was hired as a lab assistant there and is researching bighorn sheep genetics, and was sponsored to attend the national conference of The Wildlife Society.
What the Fellows say about VIEW
“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 go to college and get my career, and this internship experience has been a chapter in this generational story.” – Gisell, 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, 2022
“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." - Casey, 2022
“I know I will have lasting friendships with my cohort. It was so much fun getting to surround myself with other people that look like me and had similar upbringings. I learned so much from each of them and I think that just proves the point that diversity within this field will only continue to make us better scientists and conservationists. It was such a beautiful experience and I want others to experience this same kind of magic." - Sophia, 2023
"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, 2022
“The VIEW Fellowship only reinforced my belief that the field of fisheries, wildlife, and conservation sciences needs to continue creating more diversity and equity. I know that no matter where I end up, I want to continue to push for providing opportunities for other people from marginalized or non-traditional backgrounds. My friends and colleagues who come from marginalized backgrounds - maintain faith in yourself! You deserve to take space in whatever industry you're in and your presence and contributions matter." Sophia, 2023
“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, 2021
"I would like to tell any future VIEW Fellows to not be afraid or ashamed to ask as many questions as possible. This opportunity is made for YOU! Do not waste it." - Roberto, 2023