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Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Environmental Leadership Program

The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) provides undergraduate students from any major an opportunity to receive a scholarship to complete leadership training and implement a community-based project in Northeast Florida. The program was created in 2015 with the goal to create the next generation of environmental leaders. The ELP has been able to continue growing thanks largely to the generous support of the Cummer Family Foundation, Felburn Foundation and the IERE Community Council.

Who is this program for?

This program is open to all undergraduate students interested in gaining real-world experience, developing leadership skills, and expanding their professional network. The ideal student is self-driven and passionate about the environment and making an impact within their community. 

Fall Semester

Students will complete leadership and sustainability training while also expanding their network by meeting with community leaders. The semester ends with students being paired with the community partner which they will work with as they implement an environmentally-focused project during the spring semester.

Fall 2024 Overview

  • Applications are due — Sunday, Sept. 8 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Participation in an ELP orientation — Friday, Sept. 27
  • Attend a community partner event — Friday, Oct. 25
  • Completion of online leadership and sustainability training
  • Develop project plan and timeline with community partner
  • Students will be accepted into the spring semester based on performance during the fall semester

Spring Semester

Acceptance into the spring semester is not guaranteed. Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis based on performance during the fall semester.

Students accepted will implement an environmentally-focused project with a community partner. The project will utilize the environmental and leadership training students received in the fall with the guidance of their community partners in the spring. The program will culminate with the Spring Symposium, where students showcase their projects.

Spring Overview

  • Participation in an ELP Spring Retreat — January
  • Implementation of a community-based project (minimum commitment of 50 hours)
  • Participate in the UNF SOARS conference — Friday, April 19 
  • Participate the ELP Spring Symposium — Friday, April 19 at 9:30 a.m.
Student and IERE director

Scholarship Information

Students accepted into the ELP will be eligible to receive a $1,750 scholarship split between the fall ($250) and spring ($1,500) semesters. Students accepted into the ELP will be eligible to receive a scholarship. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, students must satisfy all of the requirements below. The Department of Financial Aid determines eligibility of students and may reduce the award based on that specific student's cost of attendance. Students with questions regarding scholarship eligibility should contact Financial Aid

Dr. Karen Patterson having a conversation with Devon, an ELP student representative, discussing her project with her poster and other attendees in the background.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be in good academic standing in accordance with the University's policies
  • Comply with all University regulations, rules, codes of conduct governing students on campus
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and maintain minimum GPA throughout scholarship period
  • Must be enrolled a minimum of 12 credit hours as a degree-seeking undergraduate student throughout scholarship period
  • Consent to release grades to the Division of University Development and Alumni Engagement for the purpose of reporting to the donor
  • Must successfully complete all program expectations to continue receiving ELP scholarships
Student standing with poster

Past Students and Projects

Every student who completes the ELP will create a poster to present at the Spring Symposium. Posters from the symposium are all available in the Environmental Leadership Program archive.

 Past Students and Projects