Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarship

Eligibility Criteria
The purpose of this scholarship is to support undergraduate students in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies while honoring the legacy of Professor Reid Bryson, first director of the Institute and founder of the Nelson Institute’s Center for Climatic Research.

Professor Reid 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.

Student applicants must be enrolled full-time in and actively pursuing at least one of the following Nelson Institute programs: 1) Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Studies, 2) Undergraduate Major in Environmental Studies, or 3) Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability.

No minimum GPA or evidence of financial need is required.

Student applicants who are at least one full academic year away from graduation will be given special preference for this scholarship award.

Donor Information
This scholarship award is provided via private philanthropy from Ms. Joanne M. Thies. Joanne is Assistant Director Emerita of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; she was the second person to hold this role in the Institute, working alongside founding Director Reid Bryson.

Award Information
One $3,000 scholarship is available to be awarded during the Spring 2024 scholarship competition.

Applicants will be notified of their selection in April 2024 and will be honored at the Nelson Institute’s Scholarship Recognition Luncheon on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Contact: Tara Mohan,

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Supplemental Questions
  1. Climate change is one of the most significant challenges affecting humanity today. Finding solutions requires an interdisciplinary approach. If you could create a “dream team” (no more than 5 individuals) to work with you to solve some of these challenges, who would you select and why?
  2. How would the financial support from this scholarship impact you?
  3. Please provide the name and email address of a UW faculty or staff member who is able to vouch for your personal character and commitment to environmental issues. References may NOT be solicited from or provided by Becky Ryan, Nelson Institute Undergraduate Program Coordinator, or Rob Beattie, Community Environmental Scholars Program. Your reference will be contacted to provide a statement of support.