Prairie Springs Excellence Award

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Prairie Springs Instructor and Student Excellence Awards

Applications for the second annual Prairie Springs Instructor and Student Excellence Awards are now being accepted. Each of these $1,000 awards is funded by Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust. 

These awards are intended to encourage UWL instructors, undergraduate students and graduate students to continue the environmental education and conservation work that were the passion of the trustee, the late Paul Fleckenstein, and to inspire others to do the same. Students who graduated in December of the academic year in which the award is granted may apply.

We encourage interested instructors and students to:

  • self-nominate by submitting the instructor or student self-nomination form and providing two references (see button on this page), or
  • nominate a colleague or student by submitting the third-party nomination form (see button on this page)

All nominations are due February 24, 2023. Those who have been nominated in the past may apply for the award again using the same project, but must be able to demonstrate new advancements in their work. Past Prairie Springs Excellence Award winners can apply for the award every five years.

Please contact Kelly Sultzbach at with any questions.

Prairie Springs Paul Fleckenstein Trust logo

Paul Fleckenstein with family

Application Criteria

There are two $1,000 Prairie Springs Excellence Awards. One $1,000 award is to be granted to a UWL undergraduate or graduate student and a second $1,000 award to a UWL instructor, including tenure-track faculty and instructional academic staff. The awardees will have made substantial and sustainable contributions to one or more of the following areas:

  1. Environmental Studies
  2. Environmental Research
  3. Environmental Education
  4. Environmental Outreach

The criteria for both the student and instructor awards includes the following, in order of priority:

Impact of the individual’s environmental accomplishment(s)

  • Original and inventive work or research that both advances the discipline, and results in tangible and practical contributions to environmental education, conservation, and restoration. The former could include endeavors that contribute to the advancement of public awareness for the betterment of the total environment.

Scope of environmental accomplishment(s)

  • Demonstrated engagement with UWL and the broader Seven Rivers local community and stakeholders.

Sustainability of accomplishment(s)

  • Accomplishments involve the creation of enduring opportunities/possibilities that make a substantive impact.

The criteria for the instructor award includes the previous three listings plus the following:

Fostering and promoting student environmental leadership

  • Pursuits that motivate, mentor, and inspire students to become influential environmental leaders.

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