- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published May 06, 2019
University of Wyoming junior Tessa Wittman, of Minneapolis, Minn., has been named a 2019 Udall Scholar, one of just 55 people to receive the award nationwide this year.
Each year, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. Wittman is majoring in wildlife and fisheries biology and management, and environment and natural resources, with minors in honors and reclamation and restoration ecology.
“From the start of her academic career at UW, Tessa has set herself apart with impressive academic prowess, personal commitment to excellence, and extensive undergraduate research and service experiences,” says UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources Associate Lecturer Maggie Bourque. “She is a voracious thinker and insightful colleague, seeking to understand the depth and range of the natural world as well as the complexity of the human experience. I’m grateful to all the faculty who supported Tessa’s Udall Scholar application from the Honors College and Haub School, as well as the departments of Zoology and Physiology, and Economics.”
Among her activity at UW, Wittman spent the past two summers working as a field technician for the Wyoming toad program through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wyoming toads are one of the most endangered amphibians in North America, and they are endemic to the Laramie Basin. Her personal research involves developing genetics tools that will allow researchers to tell whether a toad has been in the water with a simple water sample.
In addition, Wittman works as a research assistant in the Ruckelshaus Institute on a project studying the human dimensions of sagebrush management, in partnership with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
As part of her Udall award, Wittman will spend five days in Tucson, Ariz., at Scholar Orientation, where scholars extend their professional network, meet other scholars and alumni, and learn new skills.
“Receiving this scholarship is a huge honor and reinforces all of my hard work here at UW,” Wittman says. “I aspire to contribute to positive solutions for our biosphere, and connecting with fellow Udall Scholars is an excellent way to build a collaborative network with students and professionals who are as passionate as I am about ecosystem solutions. I am excited to join a cohort of exemplary environmental scholars as we all forge a new path in conservation.”
Wittman chose UW for having “the most cutting-edge research, the most access to federal lands and the most field-research opportunities.”
On campus, she is involved in UW’s Wildlife Society and serves as president of Restoration Outreach and Research Club on campus. Through that club, Wittman is working with BikeNet on land and trail restoration.
“Tessa has actively sought out diverse interdisciplinary experiences inside and outside the classroom that give her the foundation to grow into a future environmental leader,” says UW Haub School Professor of Practice Drew Bennett. “The Udall Scholarship is an explicit recognition of her talent, and we are extremely proud of her achievement. We can’t wait to see all she will accomplish in her career.”