The Izaak Walton League funds two $2,500 national scholarships each year to complement scholarships awarded by League chapters and divisions. The national scholarships help educate tomorrow’s conservation leaders by supporting college students pursuing degrees in natural resources and related subjects. These scholarships are made possible with support from League members and a generous annual grant from the Izaak Walton League of America Endowment, Inc.
Kristen Leanne Peterson is a senior studying Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She is a member of the League’s Breckinridge Chapter and has previously received scholarships from the Breckinridge Chapter and the Minnesota Division.
Peterson has been involved in grassroots conservation efforts for many years. In 2010, she founded a small-scale recycling service for her neighborhood. In 2013, she was elected an Environmental Task Force Leader by the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group for her work toward eliminating plastic water bottles from campus, gathering grassroots support for strong clean air standards, and organizing a press conference to raise awareness and support for a high-speed passenger train.
“Since I was about 10 years old, I have been telling myself that I will dedicate my life to helping the environment in some way,” says Peterson. After graduation, she plans to work in an environmental field before pursuing a graduate degree, possibly in environmental economics.
Natalie Rae Studer (pictured) is a Forestry Management major with Business Management & GIS and Spatial Analysis minors at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She has been a Bill Cook Chapter student member since 2010, serving as the student chapter president for 2013-2014. She is also an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, snowboarding, and rock climbing. She even earned advanced certification in chain saw safety!
After graduation, Studer would like to work in natural resource management, which she says is “the very foundation of conservation.” Initially, she is considering becoming a certified tree climber and professional tree house builder to combine her love of the outdoors and passion for working with her hands. Eventually, she would like to earn a masters degree and start her own business. She also plans to continue to challenge herself to explore and help preserve the natural beauty of the environment.