Mollie Beattie Visiting Scholar in Forest Policy Program 

Established by the SAF Board of Directors in 2016, the SAF Mollie Beattie Visiting Scholar in Forest Policy Program is named after Mollie Beattie, the first woman to head the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Educated in philosophy and forestry, she inspired, mentored, and dared her friends, colleagues, and young people to be more and do more than they thought possible. To honor her legacy, the program was established to foster diversity in the natural resource professions by encouraging those from underrepresented groups to become foresters or professionals in other natural resource fields. The purpose of this visiting scholar opportunity is to advance the careers of young professionals and students through experience and research in forest and related natural resource policy. 

Funding for the program is provided by the Mollie Beattie Fund. Future contributions will help to support and expand these efforts. Please donate today!


SAF seeks research project proposals with clear policy implications for forests and related natural resources in the United States. SAF will consider proposals for a broad range of topics, but special consideration is given to projects focusing on underserved communities. Proposals from the physical or biological sciences must articulate an immediate and obvious link to forest policy matters.


The program supports one graduate student, post-doctoral student, faculty, or early career professional (within 5 years of their degree) in forestry or related natural resource disciplines. Applicants from underrepresented groups in natural resources professions will be given priority. Advanced undergraduates with strong faculty support may also be considered. The program is open to both US and non-US citizens.


Up to one year

Terms of Award

The program carries a one-time stipend of $7,500 awarded to one recipient. Due to ongoing concerns and uncertainties with COVID-19, the requirement to live in the Washington, DC area will be waived for the scholarship term. Instead, SAF staff and the recipient will identify organizations and individuals working in areas related to the proposed project and facilitate virtual networking opportunities. The stipend can be used according to recipient needs. However, as the original intent of the stipend is to support travel and living expenses, SAF encourages the recipient to reserve funds in the event that travel becomes feasible and safe to Washington, DC or other locations for events such as the 2021 SAF National Convention.

Recipients will give at least one presentation (virtual or in-person) to SAF national staff, Board of Directors, and/or partner organizations. Staff will also work with the recipient to explore opportunities to present at the 2021 SAF National Convention. SAF requires acknowledgement on all related materials and publications.

How to Apply 

The 2021 application period will open later this year. For reference, below is an application from 2020. Please contact Danielle Watson with questions or suggested candidates.