Prairie Springs Excellence Award

Prairie Springs Instructor and Student Excellence Awards

Applications for the first 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. Candidates are required to fill out the short application attached to this page and provide two references. Applications are due February 12, 2021.

These awards are intended to encourage UWL instructors and undergraduates 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.

We would encourage interested individuals to forward a link to this website to worthy candidates. Please contact Sam Cocks 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 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 and Education, including institutional outreach and resources for citizens
  2. Wildlife Protection
  3. Wildlife Habitat Protection
  4. Conservation
  5. Ecological Technology

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 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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