Natural History is the broadest study of science and attempts to tie together observations of the natural world into a single interwoven fabric. As such, the knowledge base of natural history has grown beyond a single category of study and has been divided into smaller and smaller and more and more isolated disciplines. It is not uncommon that professional biologists study a single organism in a laboratory, far removed from its natural habitat. The NatureJournal Scholarship for Natural History Research supports the broader view.

Natural History is accessible to all who love and enjoy observing nature. In his essay on the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, as a naturalist, wrote that . . .
"It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us."
Who among us has not contemplated nature and been inspired to learn about the connectedness within diversity? In this sense, natural history has attracted not only the scientist, but the artist and poet; natural history has become the romantic science. The romance of natural history stems from our desire to relate to the natural world, to regain a connectedness to it, and to preserve its diversity.

NatureJournal has partnered with Saturdaze (a company of biologists and artists, who have created online courses and textbooks available through NatureJournal) and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to fund scholarships to encourage research that helps to explain one or another "entangled bank". The NatureJournal Scholarship for Natural History Research rewards exceptional students attempting to discover interactions in nature. NatureJournal, Saturdaze and the Museum share the goal of . . .

About the scholarship. Annual scholarships from $500 to $2,000 may be awarded to current high school students in Santa Barbara and current or former Santa Barbara City College students. The recipient must be actively involved in natural history research with an advisor from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, from the Biological Sciences Department at Santa Barbara City College, or from the applicant's transfer institution. There are no stipulations as to how the scholarship award can be used.

Application Requirements. In general, scholarships are awarded based on completed research projects or current research projects for which work already has been initiated; however, in unusual circumstances scholarships have been awarded to support future research or for travel expenses required to join a research group. Applications must be complete as follows in order to be considered.

1. A resume or curriculum vitae containing your full name, mailing address, eMail address, current student status and institution, year or level in school (high school grade, freshman, sophomore, junior senior), prior biology, botany, zoology classes by institution, year and semester, and current biology, botany, zoology classes by institution, year and semester. Include other science classes as well (Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences). For all classes noted, indicate the grade achieved in each class. (A formal transcript may be requested, but is not required for the initial application.) Former experience in research, if any. Publications, if any.

2. A statement describing your academic and professional goals. Tell us about your plans for your continued education, the highest degree you expect to achieve, any transfer plans you have (including names of institutions you are considering), and future majors and / or specializations you expect to pursue. Describe your professional goals and how or if your research applies to these goals.

3. A description of your current (or proposed) research. Tell us about your interests in your particular research area, the organisms and habitats being studied, and the importance of this type of research to the growth of biological knowledge. Include a prediction of how this research will contribute to your educational and professional goals.

4. A formal research abstract. Provide a formal presentation of your research as an abstract in 1000 or fewer words. This abstract should contain a concise summary or synopsis of the research or proposed research including experimental techniques and strategies, the hypothesis being tested, the results obtained or expected, and the major conclusions or interpretations of the data.

5. A letter of recommendation from your advisor describing the research project in which you are involved and indicating how involved you were in the origin/conceptualization of the project and the development of project protocols, your primary role and contributions to project implementation, and your potential for research.

All application materials should be sent as PDF files to:

Application Deadlines. Applications are reviewed periodically with the following deadlines for review during 2016-2017: 1 November 2016; 1 May 2017; 1 October 2017. Applicants will receive notification when their application is complete and, after review, if they are a finalist for an award and if any further documentation is requested or required in support of their application.