Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is a federal agency providing programs to promote leadership, education, collaboration, and conflict resolution in the areas of environment, public lands, and natural resources in order to strengthen Native nations, assist federal agencies and others to resolve environmental conflicts, and to encourage the continued use and appreciation of our nation’s rich resources.

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment. In 2017, the Udall Foundation will award 50 scholarships of up to $7,000 each, and anticipates that at least 20 scholarships will be awarded in Tribal Public Policy and Native Health Care. The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Learn more about the Udall Scholarships and UW application process.
Learn more about UW’s 2018 Udall Scholars Alishia Orloff and Ashley Lewis.

2017-2018 UW Nominees:

Tiara Adler

Junior, Environmental Studies; Spanish

I am a junior double majoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish. I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest which has influenced much of who I am and what I am passionate about. Love of the natural world was instilled in me at a young age through backpacking, camping, skiing, and swimming. Through my academics, my understanding of our environmental challenges has transformed into a desire to create solutions. This coupled with my passion for global social justice has given me an intersectional lens to act upon.

As a freshman, I continued my prior involvement with suicide prevention through Huskies for Suicide Prevention and Awareness (HSPA), where I have educated our community and advocated for mental health policies on state and local levels. This grew my interest of policy and its connection to the environment, which led me to a Climate Change internship at the Sierra Club, where I worked on grassroots campaigns against coal and oil transport in Seattle. This year, I am working at a Co-Manager of the ASUW Student Food Cooperative. Our mission is to create a culture of sustainability surrounding food through tackling food insecurity, and creating access to sustainable, local, and ethical food. Outside of the classroom, I am a farmer, play on the UW Women’s Water Polo Club, and love to get outside.

After graduation, I see myself pursuing graduate research in urban and environmental planning. I hope to investigate the intersection between development, protection, and usage of land. As human populations are becoming increasingly urbanized, challenges surrounding ecological preservation are growing. Cities are beautiful part of our world; they are full of culture, diversity and the hustle and bustle of human life. However, their innate isolation from natural wilderness perpetuates the belief that our species is separate from nature. Our day-to-day lives allow us to benefit from the Earth’s resources without thinking critically about this impact. I believe that through pursuing higher academia, I will be able to begin to understand more deeply the underpinnings of this philosophy.

Rachel Fricke

Junior, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Environmental Studies

A lifelong affection for freshwater and the organisms it plays home to has motivated Rachel to pursue studies in aquatic sciences and environmental policy. As a Spokane, WA native, she grew up with a keen awareness of how the Northwest’s lakes, rivers, and streams provide habitat for diverse life as well as essential services to human societies. She is fascinated by both aquatic ecosystems and the policies and legal framework which dictate their use, and aims to bridge boundaries between these two disciplines in all of her pursuits.

This past summer Rachel worked in Senegal for six weeks as a field technician for the Upstream Alliance, a group reducing schistosomiasis infection in the Senegal River basin by reintroducing native prawns whose migration upstream has been impeded by a dam. Since returning, she continues to synthesize water resource management and public health in the Wood Lab by researching the encystment behavior of another waterborne parasite, Fasciola sp. Additionally, she is currently working in the Olden Lab to analyze a dataset on angler movement from NetFish’s sonar-enabled iBobber and compare trends in recreational fishing traffic with frequently-used invasive species pathways.

On campus, Rachel is co-leading a collaborative effort to publish the UW’s first print and digital environmental outreach journal, FieldNotes. The journal will feature news articles and research synopses on environmental work being conducted by the UW and local organizations throughout Puget Sound, and all entries are written, photographed, edited, and designed by undergraduates. She also serves as Director of Sponsorship for the all-women’s outdoor group Northwest Women, and strives to outreach to prospective students and community members beyond the UW fold as a Student Ambassador for the College of the Environment. Ultimately, she will pursue employment within academia, an administrative agency, or non-profit with the goal of bringing together diverse stakeholders in service of our freshwater resources.

Ashley Lewis

Junior, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

I am, and always will be, an advocate for the great outdoors. Fishing and hiking on the Olympic Peninsula is where you can find me outside of the classroom. As a fishing guide, sharing my passion with others has taught me much about needs of our outdoor spaces. My experiences as a fishing guide helped me see that I wanted to make a greater impact than on one river, so I returned to higher education. As a student, my goal is to continue my education on through an M.S. of Aquatic Fisheries Science at the University of Washington. Professionally, I want to work in policy to help strengthen Pacific Northwest fisheries. Through outreach and advocacy, I want to educate people in outdoor recreation while showing them that investing in outdoor spaces benefits us all. I want to show that leaders can even come as female Native American fishing guides.

Alishia Orloff

Junior, Environmental science and Resource Management

Alishia Orloff is an undergraduate researcher currently obtaining her B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management at the University of Washington. She has a strong interest in terrestrial and riparian. She is heavily affiliated with research regarding hydrologic landscape patterns and wildlife management. Captivated by the interdisciplinary processes of our ecosystems, Alishia endeavors to use her understanding of our world to better the relationship between people and their lands. Headed for her doctorate degree, she aspires to become a top researcher in an ecological organization that shares the same motives to preserve our resources through proactive efforts in community engagement.

Ben Weymiller

Junior, Business Administration; Chinese

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Ben was born with a strong sense of environmental stewardship, pushing him to pursue a career in renewable energy implementation. Over the past 7 years, he has studied Chinese, a pursuit which has already taken him to China twice. In his travels, Ben has grown an interest in combining his passions for Chinese and the environment to help build a culture of environmental awareness in the US and China alike. Looking beyond government-funded environmental protection efforts, Ben wishes to help build and spread a business case and passion for creating more fiscally and morally sound sustainable business practices. To help him achieve his career path, Ben is pursuing a double degree in Chinese and Business Administration, focusing in Operations and Supply Chain Management, and receiving a Certificate of International Studies in Business in China. Outside of the classroom, Ben has been involved with Green Greek Eco-Reps to help reduce the UW Greek Community’s environmental impact, and UW solar, an organization testing, researching, and implementing solar projects on the Seattle UW campus and the Greater Seattle Area. To enrich his understanding of both the business and environmental work environments, Ben has worked as an environmental conservation outreach associate with Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy, and as a global sourcing coordinator for a large merchandising company. Ultimately, Ben would love to combine his knowledge of the Business world with his passions for Chinese and the environment. Ben’s ultimate goal is to help both the US and China to become the two global leaders in fighting to create a cleaner, brighter, and healthier future for all those who will come after us.

2016-17 UW Nominees:

Madison Bristol

Sophomore, Environmental Science & Resource Management, Dance majors

The unique relationship between the Earth and humanity has compelled me to be an interdisciplinary environmental problem solver. My mission is to learn and understand as much as possible about the world around me, to be an advocate for the environment and humanity, to create quality research, and to empower my community to act. My commitment to this goal is reflected by my continuous active engagement as a student of the environment at the University of Washington, and as a developing artist with a uniquely environmental perspective.

I intend to pursue a master’s degree and hopefully even a PhD in environmental science, where my thesis will likely reflect the implications of environmental change for humanity—especially in relation to coastal ecosystems. These large population centers will be dynamically affected by environmental change, and I am curious to explore this relationship through a scientific and cultural lens. Since my interests directly relate to the community I am a part of, I also value the potential of community engagement with science. I believe that making research accessible to the public is one key way to spur environmental advocacy. I am also attempting to expand the audience for environmental discourse through the means of dance, my lifelong art. I plan to remain connected to this world throughout my professional career and desire to utilize dance as a novel form of communication.

Outside of college in the environmental sphere, I look forward to joining a professional industry, organization, or agency that fosters scientific research, disseminates information and knowledge, and has the ability and willpower to create change. Regardless of what my journey may bring, I will be at my best when surrounded by motivated, interdisciplinary people like myself who have the desire to create tangible change, together.

Talia Haller

Junior, Business, International Studies majors

Talia Haller is a junior dedicated to tackling the climate change challenge. She hopes to make her mark by perpetuating the renewable energy revolution and promoting sustainable development. In 2014, Talia enrolled at the University of Washington to pursue a double major in Business Administration and International Studies with a focus on the environment.

As a freshman at the University of Washington, Tali jumped into campus sustainability efforts by volunteering for the Campus Sustainability Fund during her first quarter. Additionally, under the direct supervision of the President of the Puget Sound Association of Sigma Kappa, Talia had an integral role in the creation and development of an award winning pilot project implementing sustainable goals and initiatives at UW Sigma Kappa Sorority. The program has grown to national potential and has begun to develop objectives and goals for further national growth and development.

Tali’s passion about sustainability and environmental activism didn’t stop within her own sorority. Going above and beyond, Tali acted upon her exemplary vision to develop a Greek-wide sustainability project that also included collaboration with other sustainability-oriented UW entities (for example, the UW Farm, the UW Biodiesel Cooperative, and UW Solar). In 2015, Tali co-founded and has directed the Green Greek Representative Program (GGRP), a student run program working to make the UW Greek Community a more sustainable place.

After graduation, Talia plans to pursue graduate studies in Energy & Environmental policy. Ultimately, she wants to help promote clean energy, climate action and sustainable development in Latin America and other developing countries. She sees herself as the Leader of a Latin America team, such as those at Bloomberg New Energy Finance or the Natural Resources Defense Council, under which she can serve as the voice to corporations, media, public-policy leaders, and others, in regards to regional financial, economic and policy analysis.

Emily Menz

Sophomore, Environmental Studies, Economics majors

Through her studies of the environment and economics, Emily hopes to capitalize on the intersections between these two often contradictory fields and develop solutions for climate change that appeal economically to large corporations. From a young age, Emily loved exploring the Pacific Northwest by skiing, running, kayaking, and hiking with her family. This young love transformed into a sense of responsibility to our environment and by combining this with her interest in quantitative sciences and leadership she wants to dedicate her career toward tackling climate change.

Emily has shaped her Husky Experience to make the most of her undergraduate years. First, she serves as a student leader in the Honors program. In the fall, she worked as a Peer Educator teaching a class of incoming freshman where she facilitated discussions about climate change. In the spring, she works as a Peer Mentor – meeting with prospective UW Honors students and helping guide their college decision. Emily also plays trombone in the Husky Marching Band, plays on the UW Women’s Club Soccer team, and participates in the Green Greeks Representatives program working to make UW’s Greek Community more sustainable. This spring, she also interned with COASST – Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team – communicating with volunteers to monitor the marine ecosystems of beaches all along the west coast of the United States.

This summer she will be working as an outreach associate for 3 Degrees – a renewable energy firm partnering with Puget Sound Energy to spread renewable energy plans to residents in Seattle. Then in August she will leave to spend four months in Iceland conducting renewable energy research and studying the impacts of climate change on fragile Arctic ecosystems. After UW, Emily sees herself pursuing graduate research environmental economics and policy, working with sustainability and conservation non-profits, and helping lead environmental businesses to impact sustainability changes in the private sector. She sees our environmental crisis as one that requires dedication from professionals in all disciplines, and hopes to help ignite passion for solutions by bringing people together.

Nola Peshkin

Sophomore, English major

Born and raised in a family of avid outdoors enthusiasts, Nola Peshkin grew up surrounded by ideals of promoting conservation and practicing sustainable habits. She is currently pursuing a degree in English and French, and hopes to become a backcountry outdoor educator, as well as an author for the rhetoric of outdoor education. She was inspired her leaders and educators while spending time at Island Wood outdoor school on Bainbridge Island as a child, and during her month-long backcountry expedition with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Through reflective and immersive outdoor experiences, Nola helps to instill sustainable practices as the status quo for generations to come. While at UW Nola spends her free time as the Executive Director of the Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED), working as a development intern at Hillel UW, hiking with Northwest Women, and racing on the Husky Ski Team.