Two Great Locations, One Organization

Student Prizes & Awards

2021 Student Prizes and Awards for PITE and SEAS Students
Purpose: Two sets of cash prizes and awards are available this year. They promote creative work and scholarship that relates to the values and mission of the Matthaei-Nichols. They are not intended to be student stipends (in lieu of salary.)  Learn about our mission here.
Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in PITE (Program in the Environment – for undergraduates) or SEAS (School for Environment and Sustainability – for graduate students.) Students who have concurrent majors/minors/degree candidacy with other units are eligible as long as one is PITE or SEAS. The work that merits a prize or award may be recent, current, and/or proposed for the near future. Preference is given to students who have not won previously. Candidates may apply directly or be nominated by other students, staff, or faculty.
Scale: About $14,000 is expected to be distributed. In recent years, most awards and prizes have ranged from $500 to $2,000.
The Nanette R. LaCross Prizes and the William D. Drake Prizes

The Nanette R. LaCross Prizes and the William D. Drake Prizes recognize affiliation of SEAS graduate students or PITE (Environ) undergraduate majors with the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) in some way. This affiliation can be past work, current engagement, or proposed activity relevant to the MBGNA.

The range of awarded past activities encompasses regular volunteering, conducting research or artistic endeavors related to the properties, or participating as student employees at the MBGNA. Proposed activities that would be completed before your graduation are also appropriate as long as there is meaningful “affiliation” with MBGNA. Examples have included botanical, zoological, or ecological studies; environmental stewardship projects; green technologies and design related to the built environment; environmental art installations; gardening with children; local food production and sustainable agricultural systems.

To apply for these prizes you must submit a 1-2 page statement describing past, current, or proposed new affiliation activity, articulating how it has or will contribute to your personal and career goals. Also include a copy of your resume, your contact information, your student ID number, and the names and contact information of three references.

To nominate someone, please write a short one-paragraph statement about the person you’d like to nominate and their connection to Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum and submit (see below.)

Prize range: $500 – $2,000.

Submission Information: To submit a nomination, please email the student’s name and email address to Dr. David Michener at To submit an application, please merge all parts into one (1) pdf and email to The deadline for applications is midnight, Friday, February 19, 2021.

Students conducting research at Matthaei

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