Reid Bryson Scholarship

The Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offering the 11th annual Reid Bryson Scholarship to honor the life and legacy of our founder, Professor Reid Bryson. The scholarship rewards exemplary students whose research mirrors the innovative and interdisciplinary studies of Professor Bryson. This year, we will offer over $5,000 in awards for the top research projects presented by graduate and undergraduate students.

Applicants will showcase their research in a poster (maximum allowable size is 4’ x 4’) at the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences building’s Community Poster Reception at Union South on February 13, 2023. Research projects should either be ongoing or completed, rather than proposed work (a poster presented previously is fine). Please print your poster and bring it to the event.

A panel of judges will determine the winning projects based on originality, presentation, methodology, topical relevance, and overall importance of the research. Don’t worry if your schedule prevents you from being at your poster for part or all of the session. Your poster should speak for itself, so you won’t be penalized for partial or complete absence, but your presence is helpful for answering questions and promoting your research.

Applicants must be a registered undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The research should either address either (1) fundamental climatic and meteorological processes or (2) environmental issues at the interface of climate, people, and the environment. Professor Bryson’s research was highly interdisciplinary, so students from across the sciences and humanities are encouraged to apply. You can refer to past scholarship poster sessions to see what topics have been covered in previous years.

Applicants should apply through the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub. The due date is February 1, 2023.

Professor Reid Bryson (1920-2008) was the founder of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Meteorology and Center for Climatic Research and was the first director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (now the Nelson Institute). Dr. Bryson was one of the pioneers of modern climatology and among the first to explore the influence of climate on humans and human culture. He gained fame for his studies of past and future climate, the relationships between climate and the biosphere, and the interaction of climate and human societies. A polymath, Bryson’s scholarly interests ranged from studies of archaeology and geography to geology and limnology, and he tied them together through an abiding interest in weather and climate.

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Further questions? Email Steve Vavrus (

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Supplemental Questions
  1. Please list any co-authors of your poster, their email addresses, and whether they are a graduate or undergraduate student:
  2. If this is a group poster, please list how you would like the award money to be split among your student co-authors (non-students are ineligible to receive awards). For example, you might request 1/3 each for all three authors or 2/3 for the lead author and 1/6 for the other two co-authors.