Conference Travel Grant Type 1 ($600):  For advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have never attended a wetland scientific conference and who have limited funds for travel.

Conference Travel Grant Type 2 ($1200):  For advanced undergraduate and graduate students with limited funding to present their wetland research findings at a conference.

Field Travel Grant Type 1 ($800):  For outstanding graduate students with limited funding to defray travel expenses associated with thesis or dissertation research on wetlands.

Field Travel Grant Type 2 ($1000):  For promising undergraduate students to attend field courses or workshops focused on wetlands.


(Note that instructions have been modified from previous years)

The application package should be prepared by the applicant and include six components:

  1. 1.A 1-2 page resumé and a separate, high-resolution photograph (jpg) of you doing fieldwork, lab work, or a hobby.

  2. 2. A statement of what you hope to be doing in five years (one page or less).

  3. 3. Transcripts of undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) records. It is acceptable to send a photocopy or a downloaded copy of a transcript, but it must contain the institutional name/logo, your name, and all of your coursework, grades, and GPA.

  4. 4. 2 letters of support, one from your advisor and/or department chair who can attest to your academic standing, academic financial status, need for travel funds, and interest in wetlands. The letters must include an official letterhead and complete contact information and should be sent separately by your references via email.

  5. 5.Current and pending support for you and your major advisor (indicate what portion pertains to you) (C&P.doc).

  6. 6.Description of how the grant would be spent (depends on type), including a budget (budget.docx):

Conference Travel Grant Type 1 :  provide the name, the location, and the dates of the conference; in addition, provide a 1-2 paragraph description of why you want to attend this conference and what you hope to gain from the experience.

Conference Travel Grant Type 2:  provide the name, the location, and the dates of the conference; in addition, provide the title of the paper you plan to present, names and contact information of other authors (if any), and a copy of the abstract to be submitted.

Field Travel Grant Type 1:  provide a 2-page description of your research, including title, and how the grant would be used.

Field Travel Grant Type 2: provide information about the field course or workshop (what, when, where, how much) and a 1-page description of why you want to attend and what you expect to get out of the experience.

The student should submit the application package by email; applications submitted by the student’s advisor will not be considered; if university rules require grant applications to be submitted by their sponsored programs office, the student must be copied on the submission email. The application package should be emailed to by the close of business (5 pm CST) on December 18. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required documents are submitted; incomplete applications will not be considered.

How to Apply

Who Can Apply

Any student currently enrolled full-time at an academic institution in the USA and who meets the specific criteria for one of the types of grants listed to the left. The funded activity (conference, research, course) may take place anywhere, including non-USA locations, and international students are eligible IF they are attending a university in the USA.

NOTE: If you do not qualify for our grants, you may qualify for a SWS International Travel Award; see this site for more information.

Selection Criteria:

1. Demonstrated interest in wetland science.  Travel grants are to support participation in wetland science education and research activities.  The successful grantee will demonstrate this interest in the application package.

2. Demonstrated intent to use the grant for wetland science-related activities. The successful grantee will clearly document this intent in the application package.

3. Demonstrated aptitude to succeed in a wetland science career. The successful grantee will clearly document their potential to succeed in pursuit of a career in wetland science.

4. Demonstrated need for the grant. Travel grants are meant to aid promising students with limited travel funds.  The successful grantee will demonstrate need in the application package and document it through current and pending support and letters of support.

Submit the application package electronically to by close of business December 18 for travel grants to be awarded in the following year.

Types of Grants

Wetland Grants

Field Travel Grants        Conference Travel Grants

The travel grants will be awarded to your institution for disbursement according to their travel policies. All educational institutions have some mechanism to accept grants, donations, or scholarships (university foundation, office of sponsored research, office of scholarships and loans, or your department office). You should check with your institution to determine the correct procedure and if you need to have your grant application approved by your institution prior to submission. The “start date” for the award should be listed as February 1 of the year following the submission deadline.

Note that it is the policy of The Wetland Foundation to support only direct costs, that is, those costs directly attributable to the award activities.  Your institution may require a copy of our indirect cost policy, which can be downloaded here: indirectcostpolicy.pdf

Our only requirement of awardees is that one year from receipt of the grant, they provide a short report (a few paragraphs) and a photograph or two describing the outcome of their conference, course, or field experience.

The Wetland Foundation®

                    ....enhancing education and research

How Awards Are Made

We have established a special travel award in honor of Dr. Ernest Davis Seneca (1937-2015), who was our major advisor in the Botany Department at North Carolina State University from 1973 to 1977. Dr. Seneca taught plant ecology courses and conducted research on the ecology and restoration of coastal dunes and salt marshes. He had a strong influence on his students, several of whom went on to long careers in science. His love of nature and devotion to student training made a lasting impression on us:

Karen:  “I particularly remember all the road trips we took to conduct fieldwork, as part of class field trips, and to scientific conferences. We often drove long distances to the mountains or to the coast, and Ernie would “botanize” the entire way. He would spot a plant along the roadside and pull over long enough for one of us graduate students to run and grab the specimen for inspection. Irv and I have carried on this tradition for the past forty years—spending a lot of our vacation time identifying plants in the area we happen to be visiting. I also remember how Ernie’s class field trips were run like a military operation, with students assigned to specific tasks during meal preparation or setting up the campsite. Although I did not realize it at the time, this experience prepared me for organizing and executing my own field expeditions to conduct research in remote locations (Belize, Honduras, Australia) where detailed planning was essential to success.”

Irv: “It’s funny how many of the experiences one has in graduate school seem like they happened yesterday. They are somehow indelibly stamped into our minds – great friends, great mentors. Ernie qualified as both. Although his enthusiasm for botany and coastal ecology, as well as his honesty and integrity, may be his most tangible gifts to me, I also remember how his actions demonstrated that, no matter our age or capabilities, we all can grow and learn from our mistakes. I certainly made plenty of errors in judgment during my graduate program. Ernie never belittled me, but always expressed that each mistake provides a learning experience by which we can grow. This simple truth has been central to accomplishing my goals in education, research, and life in general. I owe Ernie much for this and so much more, and I anticipate that the Seneca Award will allow other students to pursue their goals.”

We’ve tried to follow in Dr. Seneca’s footsteps, in part by creating this foundation to support students of wetland science and by establishing an award in his name.

How to Apply: One student each year whose research topic is wetland plant ecology will be selected for the Seneca Award ($1500). The applicant will apply either for a Conference Travel Grant Type 2 or a Field Travel Grant Type 1. In addition to meeting the four general criteria for travel awards (interest, intent, aptitude, and need), the successful applicant will conduct research on some aspect of wetland plant ecology or restoration.

Seneca Award