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Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Forest History Fellowship

Lynn Weyerhaeuser Day (1932-1999) and her husband Stanley R. Day (1925-2002) endowed the Society's Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Forest History Fellowship in 1986 to honor the memory of Lynn's father, F. K. Weyerhaeuser (1895-1978), to support FHS programs, and to strengthen the Society's affiliation with Duke University. The fellowship provides a stipend to Duke University graduate students pursuing research in the fields of forest, conservation, or environmental history.

    Award Details     |     Submission Guidelines     |     Recent Recipients 


Fellowship Details

The fellowship consists of an $11,000 stipend, distributed quarterly, to support the research of a Duke University graduate student whose research examines in some way forest and conservation history. The recipient is selected on the basis of merit; proposals are judged in terms of overall significance and quality of presentation. The project must be historical in nature and treat land use, forestry, or the environment in some general way. Examples of acceptable topics include:

  • general changes in a forest ecosystem caused by natural or human intervention;
  • environmental change resulting from the introduction of a nonnative tree or plant species;
  • the evolution of policies or practices relating to natural resource use or management;
  • the historical development of resource-dependent communities;
  • changes in science or technology affecting forestry, natural resource conservation, or environmental management.

The committee that selects the recipient typically includes the Forest History Society (FHS) president, a representative from Duke University, and a couple of FHS Board members. The fellowship is awarded on an annual basis.


Submission Guidelines

1. Provide a cover letter that states the title of the proposed research, a one-paragraph summary of the significance of the project, and a description of the historical nature of the project.

2. Prepare a narrative description of research (up to eight pages), including significance of topic, research approach, author's background, research and writing schedule, and budget (how you plan to use the fellowship if awarded). Attachments are not necessary but may include previous publications, written chapters, and basic bibliography, etc.

3. Supply curriculum vita and 2-3 letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable of your research. Letters of recommendation should address the author's qualifications and may describe the significance of the topic to forest and conservation history.

4. Send 5 hardcopies of the proposal to: Forest History Society, 701 William Vickers Avenue, Durham, NC 27701-3162 and an electronic copy of the proposal without supporting documents to: Andrea Anderson.

5. Deadline is January 31. Winner usually announced mid-April.

Winners of this award are required to submit one bound copy of their thesis or dissertation, when completed, to the FHS library.


Recent Recipients

2010-2011 (3 winners)
Matthew Ruttledge's project is "Oak Regeneration and the Restoration of Hardwood Forests: Utilization of Low Value Species and Restoration of the Historical Covertype." This project will use historical inventory date to analyze the changing composition of hardwood stands. The project will attempt to understand how historical management techniques caused the trend in species composition of hardwood stands and potentially reverse the trend and restore this historical dominance of oak and hickory.

Risha Druckman worked on "Knowing the Wind and Which Way It Blows: A Genealogy of Wind-Knowledge Production in America (1600-2000)" Wind played a key role in the growth and expansion of the American nation. It allowed settlers to arrive on the North American continent via sailing ships, to explore and settle the west aided by windmills and sail-wagons, and it granted courageous adventurers access to the blue skies and beyond. As knowledge about the wind changed over time, so too did its applications. What were the social and cultural consequences? How did wind become intimately tied to American national identity as a symbol of the country's unique mission and destiny and as a source of its power? This project explores these questions through an investigation of five regimes of wind-knowledge that emerged between 1600 and the present.

Yaron Miller examines "The Secondary Effects of Federal Historical Land Preservation Strategies and their implications for Land Trusts." He analyzes the consequences of changes in federal land preservation strategies of Civil War battlefields from both an ecological and governance stand point. This study will determine to what extent policy changes have altered the size of parcels, connectivity of protected habitats, and type of ecosystems targeted and preserved.

2009-2010
Genteelly Williams's project entitled "From Pine to Oak: A Mycorrhizal Perspective on Old-field Succession" examined the relationship between ectomycorrhizal host preference and plant community succession. This research will 1) determine whether adult trees effectively pre-select the EM fungi available to newly recruited seedlings, 2) examine the impact of fungal host preference on seedling survivorship and growth, and 3) identify fungal taxa most likely to aid in forest recovery after land use. These data will help to address controversies over the historical relationship between oak and pine species and will suggest new directions for forest restoration in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

2008-2009
No award given.

2007-2008
Kristin Wintersteen, a History Department Ph.D. candidate, studied "Fishing for Food and Fodder: The Transnational Environmental History of Fishmeal in Chile and Peru, 1960-1998." Her project traced the history of the fishmeal industry in the Southeast Pacific, where two of the top five global fishing nations have grappled with environmental limits and powerful interest groups within a shifting international political, socio-economic, and legal landscape since the 1960s.

2006-2007
Krithi Karanth, a Ph.D. student, investigated "Forests, People, and Wildlife: Forest History and its Influence on Large Mammal Range Contractions and Extinctions in India." Her proposal integrated both forestry and historical questions into a larger project. Karanth's ambition of integrating the landscape changes and shifting species distribution patterns into a comprehensive framework that interrogated the last 150 years of land use and wildlife policy was a compelling and promising project.

2005-2006
Jason A. Jackson, a Ph.D. student, investigated "Fungal Succession: A History of Fungal Communities and Land Use Change." One reviewer wrote, "This sophisticated piece of science and history comes the closest to integrating what I think of as the objectives of the Weyerhaeuser Fellowship. Jackson nicely proposes to integrate forestry, history, and ecology, making this an exceptionally worthwhile project."

2004-2005
The Forest History Society awarded Ashwini Chhatre, a third-year graduate student in the department of political science, the 2004-2005 fellowship to support his research on "Political Landscapes: Property, Environment, and Democracy in the Western Himalayas." His project included an examination of the interaction between property rights, environmental change, democratic politics, and forest policies from 1846 to 2003.

2003-2004
Master of Environmental Management and Master of Public Policy candidate Elaine Lai won the 2003-2004 Weyerhaeuser Fellowship. Her project "Path of the Panther: Land Use Change Analysis and Reserve Design in Southeastern Mexico" integrated history, policy, and science in an effort to best inform conservation planning in Mexico.

2002-2003
Benjamin Poulter received the 2002-2003 Fellowship to assist his Ph.D. studies on the response of a coastal North Carolina forest to recent sea-level rise and land use change. His project involved reconstructing the historical extent of coastal forests for the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula. In 2002 he was a second-year student in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences program at Duke University.