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Student Travel Scholarship Program

ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program
Increasing diversity in wildlife and conservation sciences through student experience



Are you or do you know a Black or Indigenous high school student in southern Arizona who loves wildlife, nature and adventure?


The ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program exists to support equity and inclusion in conservation and wildlife careers and increase the diversity of perspectives represented when solving the world's environmental crises. This program specifically offers Black and Indigenous high school students in southern Arizona an opportunity to gain first-hand experience through educational travel.


Application Deadline: 13 February, 2023.

Summer 2023 Programs Eligible through this scholarship include:

Baja & the Gulf of California - Marine Science & Conservation (NatGeo Student Travel)

Often called “the aquarium of the world”, the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, teems with marine life, from acrobatic dolphins and sea lions to massive manta rays and whale sharks. Travel to Baja, Mexico this summer and dive into this incredible underwater ecosystem. Choose your On Assignment theme, learn about marine conservation and terrestrial photography from professionals, and embrace adventure as you snorkel, kayak, and paddleboard. Alongside marine biologists and conservationists, see groundbreaking conservation initiatives in action and lend a hand in research projects and the preservation of at-risk habitats. (Departures July 14–July 25, 2023 & July 27–August 7, 2023)

Belize - Wildlife Conservation from Rainforest to Reef (Putney Student Travel)

Shadow professionals and explore a potential career path in zoology and marine biology. Interact with veterinarians at The Belize Zoo, talk to conservationists at animal sanctuaries, and study marine life alongside scientists as you explore Belize’s barrier reef. (Departures June 25–July 12, 2023 & July 22–August 8, 2023)

Canadian Arctic - Polar Bear Capital of the World (NatGeo Student Travel)

Travel to the Canadian Arctic this summer to experience this habitat and wildlife up close, using an Arctic research facility in Churchill, Manitoba, as your base. Choose either the Photography or Wildlife Conservation On Assignment, and delve into your focus area as you set out with a National Geographic Explorer to learn more about the unique adaptations that allow species to survive the extreme Arctic conditions, and how they and the communities that live there are coping with a changing climate. (Departures July 18, 2023  –  July 28, 2023 & Aug 6, 2023  –  Aug 16, 2023)

Ecuador & the Galápagos - Biodiversity Hotspot (NatGeo Student Travel)

This summer, travel to Ecuador, one of the world’s most biodiverse countries to learn about wildlife conservation or photography. Begin in the lush chocó cloud forest before ascending to the Andean páramo, a highland ecosystem considered to be one of the fastest evolving regions on Earth. Then, explore the geologically unique landscapes and extraordinary wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, home to giant tortoises, lava tunnels, equatorial penguins, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. During the program, choose either the Photography or Wildlife Conservation On Assignment theme, and delve into learning under the guidance and expertise of marine biologists, naturalists, photographers, and community conservationists. (Departures June 28, 2023  –  July 13, 2023 & July 3, 2023  –  July 18, 2023)

Hawaii - Island Habitat Restoration (Putney Student Travel)

On this high school service program, collaborate on projects centered on environmental conservation and cultural revitalization as you work with local organizations, meet with Native Hawaiians, and learn about the islands from a unique perspective. Help preserve the islands’ volcanic and marine environments, and cap off the trip with snorkeling, hiking, and camping on Maui. (Departures July 1–July 14, 2023)

Puerto Rico - Agriculture & Conservation (Putney Student Travel)

Work alongside residents, conservationists, and young Puerto Ricans who are aiming to restore and protect the island’s ecosystems, from tropical rainforest to coral reefs. Meet with leaders and changemakers who are spearheading community-scale solar initiatives and sustainable farming practices. Participate in the farm-to-table process and learn how it is applied in different areas on the island, and get inspired by the breadth of opportunities in the field of conservation. (Departures June 22–July 5, 2023 & July 6–July 19, 2023)

Application Instructions

Completed applications to the ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program must be received electronically or at the address specified below no later than February 13, 2023. The Scholarship Application may be submitted online, through email, or by physical mail and is a separate process from the Putney online application on the Putney Student Travel website, including the Putney Student Travel Agreement Form. Applications must arrive by the deadline with all requested application components to be considered.


  • Online Application Form

    • .PDF Application Form

  • Online Personal Reference Form

    • .PDF Personal Reference Form

A complete application consists of:

  1. 2023 ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program Application Form

  2. Two completed Personal Reference Forms (consisting of at least one teacher). To maintain confidentiality, references should be sent directly by the reference or placed in sealed envelopes with the reference’s signature across the seal.

  3. Parent/Guardian statement explaining the household’s financial obligations: Scholarship eligibility is not based solely on financial resources, however, priority may be given to applicants that demonstrate a limitation to attending a Putney Program in the absence of financial assistance. (If the applicant is financially emancipated or serves as head of household, this can be completed by the applicant.)


Please submit completed applications online/email/mail to:


ENGAGE Student Travel Application

PO Box 40354

Tucson, AZ 85717

Email: (Subject: Student Travel Application)

As a condition of receiving this award, recipients of the ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program will also need to meet the Putney Student Travel requirements and will be required to complete additional application materials as required by Putney. Recipients and their parents will be required to sign and adhere to all Putney Student Travel Agreement Forms and any Binding Arbitration.

The ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program agrees to pay for the following costs associated with participating in a Putney Student Travel program: 

  • Putney Program application and program costs

  • Travel to/from the student’s home state to the destination, in coordination with Putney Student Travel itineraries.

  • Cost of a US Passport (renewal or new application) if required.

  • Travel Protection Plan, including medical coverage

  • Up to $500 discretionary spending money for obtaining clothing/gear required for travel to the specific location and pocket money while on the program.


  • Applicant must be enrolled in high school at the time of application submission (student may graduate prior to participation in the program).

  • Applicant must attend school and have their permanent address located in southern Arizona (Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise or Yuma counties).

  • Meet the demographic criteria of Black and/or Indigenous 

This scholarship program is aimed toward providing opportunities for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, specifically Black and Indigenous, in the fields of conservation/wildlife/biodiversity. If you feel you qualify and are not represented by these categories, please inquire by submitting your questions below.

Applicant Selection

Applications are reviewed by committee and applicants are carefully selected on the basis of their maturity, enthusiasm, motivation, intellectual curiosity, and potential to thrive within and contribute to a close community environment. 

Post-Travel Scholar Evaluation
To ensure the health, growth and longevity of this program it is essential that we receive detailed feedback from all scholarship recipients about their experiences during their program. As a condition of receiving an award, each scholarship applicant and the applicant’s parent/guardian agree as follows:
Scholarship recipients will submit an evaluation of their program and experience for review by ENGAGE Student Travel Scholarship Program within 15 days of the end of their summer program.

Questions? Please Contact Us

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