ENVS Departmental Awards

Every spring the faculty in the Environmental Studies Department gets together to consider students for departmental awards. It is one of the most enjoyable parts of our job. It is a time we can celebrate the outstanding scholarship and service they engage in every day. Below are this year's award recipients, with prior award winners listed at the bottom. We offer a well-deserved congratulations to this year's winners and also a deep thank you. It has been an honor to work along side you and support your growth as scholars, as community members, and as future leaders in environmental problem solving. We so look forward to what you all will do next. 

2023 Award Recipients

A portrait of a student with long dark hair wearing a knit shawl in front of a sea green background

Outstanding Graduating Senior

Clary (she/her) is graduating with a degree emphasis in Environmental Education and Eco-Social Justice, having achieved a 4.0 GPA. In her time at the College of the Environment, Clary served on the college’s Diversity and Community Affairs committee and led the organization of a Gear Lending Library project to increase access to field-based programs for CENV students. She spent her final quarter at Western in the Environmental Education Spring Block program, working to facilitate land-based learning for Indigenous youth. After graduation, Clary is looking forward to returning home to Northern California, where she will continue to work with young people in outdoor experiential settings. She plans to pursue a Master’s of Education degree in the near future.

Clary Greacen de la Montagne
Education and Eco-Social Justice Emphasis, BA
A student wearing gloves standing in a forest holding a mass of soil and plants with both hands

Outstanding Community Service Award

Brynn Vogel is graduating with a BA in environmental education and eco-social justice. During their time at Western they served as an intern for the College of the Environment Strategic Visioning Committee and participated in the Spring Block environmental education cohort. They are excited to pursue a career in environmental and outdoor education and see the world after graduating!

Brynn Vogel
Education and Eco-Social Justice Emphasis, BA
A student in a grey tshirt with a bison and the seal of Wyoming on it stands in front of tall dark plants

National Council for Geographic Education Award

Kiernan Park-Egan is majoring in Environmental Studies with a Geographic Information Science Emphasis. He enjoys his spare time making maps for various U.S. Elections. He has been accepted into a master's program at Northwest Missouri State University, where he will be perusing a Master's in Geographic Information Science.

Kiernan Park-Egan
Geographic Information Science Emphasis BA, Geography Minor
two photos combined, split diagonally, in the top left a student in a puffy blue jacket and sunglasses on the side of a mountain, on the bottom right a student in a large navy knit sweater leaning on the rail of a boat in calm seas..

Community Builders Award

Anna came to Western not knowing what they were going to do in school and so leaned into communities on campus to figure it out. As they worked on their Environmental Education degree, they started running a chapter of a nonprofit that focused on connecting women and non-binary folks with shared outdoor interests. They have helped organize community events like clothing swaps and outdoor adventures that range from trail runs to speaker series learning about avalanche safety. They have worked in the outdoor ed field through the Environmental Education Spring Block program, and returned to the program as a TA to help other educators come into a space of communal learning and supporting reparations in the environmental education field. After graduating they are hoping to leave the tools and structure to help others maintain the communities they were dedicated to.

Zoe Harper is graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies with and emphasis in Environmental Education and Ecosocial Justice. They transferred to Western specifically for this program, and it's safe to say it has changed their whole life. Through their studies they helped to design and sustain a field school in cooperation with both the Lummi and W̱SÁNEĆ nations in and around the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. In the second year of this field school, Zoe, and their good friend Anna Friedrich, came back as TA's to help a new cohort of students in finding their passions in this work. Zoe is leaving Western inspired by their now vibrant connection to Place, where they had come into this program most excited by environmental education, they're leaving with an emboldened passion for Ecosocial Justice.

Anna Friederich, Zoe Harper
Environmental Education Spring Block
A black poster with gold text and designs for an Intersectional Ecofeminism event, centering a globe above open hands, with modern tarot-like motifs around the edge.

Social & Environmental Justice Award

A group of students helped bring and host two visitors (one in winter, two in spring) to help the Department, College and Campus learn about Intersectional Environmentalism and what it could mean here. Winter events included a large class talk and reception afterward; a Black History Month Luncheon talk in the MCC; and small group discussions all with Jarre Hamilton. Spring events for Jarre and IE Exec. Dir. Diandra Marizet were closely tied to Earth Week, and included several class visits; small affinity group meetings; a big evening event with two music acts; a dinner and a panel discussion on Intersectional Ecofeminism; a Community Resilience Workshop; and an appearance at the Outback Unplugged support event.

To help make these happen team member Angela Romeo provided a campus tour and was worked with the Disability Outreach Center to connect and find other interested folx. Abby Louise Bounty stepped up to provide an opening act for the dinner; Maiyu Nanouk Jones spoke as a panel member; and Natalie Harris and Erica Richardson did the lioness’s share of coordinating with Earth Week plans and dealing with many aspects of the Ecofeminism panel and Outback events. Joined by others playing smaller roles such as accompanying the guests around campus or for meals, and meeting many different needs, the team ensured a pleasant visit and a successful intro to IE.

Angela Romeo, Natalie Harris, Abby Louis LaBounty, Maiyuraq (Lauryn) Nanouk Jones, Erica Richardson
Intersectional Environmentalist Events
A student in a dark beanie, rain jacket, and gloves standing at the top of a mossy overlook of some thin evergreens and an overcast ocean

Outstanding Departmental Applications Award

Tegan Keyes spent her senior year interning with LEAD, WWU’s ecological restoration program. She assisted in designing and implementing a native ecosystem restoration project on a degraded site on WWU’s campus, using the Miyawaki Method afforestation technique. The project culminated in a large-scale work party on Earth Day, 2023, where over 200 community volunteers planted 1000 seedlings that will grow into a dense, diverse, mini-forest.

Tegan Keyes
Environmental Studies BA, Salish Sea & Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minors
A student in a long sleeve shirt with sunglasses on their head standing in front of a mountain

Outstanding Departmental Research Award

Olivia Hobson graduated in December 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Journalism and the GIS Certificate. During her time at Western, she spent countless hours in newsrooms on and off campus finding stories in her community that explained, uncovered or celebrated the connections between the human and the non-human, the spatial and the temporal, and the climate challenges with the climate solutions here in the Pacific Northwest. Olivia started taking GIS classes her junior year at Western and knew the program would provide her with an exciting new set of skills to broaden the ways she could tell stories. Using spatial data and visualizations to explain or enhance the climate trends, problems and solutions she writes about has been a fun new challenge and opens up a new way of thinking about how stories can be told and how they can be shared with the communities they're about. Olivia hopes to use GIS in her future work to emphasize environmental justice, sustainable development and community resilience in the face of climate change.

Olivia Hobson
Environmental Journalism BA, GIS Certificate
A student in a green puffy jacket and tan beanie sitting at a picnic table at a campsite

Outstanding MA Graduate Student

In her short time at Western, Ava has made impressive contributions to the Bellingham-area community, Western Washington University, the College of the Environment, and the ENVS MA program. She has successfully authored or co-authored four grant proposals. One of those grants was a SEJF grant to install a mini-forest on the WWU campus using the Miyawaki Method, including a WWU/community Earth Day community event where volunteers planted nearly a thousand plants on degraded property co-owned by WWU and the City of Bellingham. Ava brought together five community organizations and hundreds of volunteers for the project. She has also been one of the graduate student co-directors of the LEAD program and was instrumental in bringing it back after the pandemic. In addition to facilitating the standard LEAD work parties, Ava used the mini-forest project and funding as an integrating context to re-engage students and community members in the LEAD program. Her thesis, “Adoption of Agroforestry Practices in Northwest Washington State: An Ex-ante Case-Study,” represents one of the first examples of using stated choice, an econometric experimental design method, to explore landowner adoption of agroforestry practices. While achieving a 4.0 GPA at Western, Ava has focused on developing her ability to evaluate and scope future natural climate solutions relevant to the PNW, including agroforestry, reforestation, and regenerative agriculture projects.

Ava Stone
Environmental Studies MA
Two photos combined, one of a student in a small boat at sunset, another giving a thumbs up from a viewpoint overlooking a glacial valley

Patrick Monahan Award

The Patrick L. Monahan Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students with geography-related majors who show strong potential for contributions and leadership in the field of geography. Academic achievement and need are also important considerations. Full-time undergraduates as well as community college students transferring to the College of the Environment as geography-related majors are eligible.

Department geography-related degrees include:

  • Geography
  • Environmental Studies -- Geography emphasis, BA
  • Environmental Studies – Geographic Information Science Emphasis, BA
  • Geography – Elementary, BAE
  • Geography/Social Studies, BA
Gordon Brunson, Harriett Grantz, Marko Foster (not pictured)

Past Awardees