John E. and Elizabeth B. Ross Science Writing Scholarship

Dr. John Ross attended UW-Madison and completed his M.S. degree in 1949 in Agricultural Journalism (now LSC) and his Ph.D. in Mass Communications in 1954. John was one of the first students to receive a Ph.D. in mass communications from the university. He was hired as a faculty member following his studies and taught as a faculty member in Agricultural Journalism and Environmental Studies at UW-Madison from 1954-1993. His research focused on the role of information in controversial environmental issues, the process of decision-making in developing environmental policies, and attitudes on resource exploitation. Elizabeth “Beth” Basler Ross was born in Oregon where she attended the University of Oregon in Eugene. She graduated with an English degree in 1949 and became a school teacher before marrying John and moving to Madison. She co-authored with John, the book, “Prairies Time, the Leopold Reserve Revisited.”

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 John E. and Elizabeth R. Ross Science Writing Scholarship recipients, listed below in alphabetical order.

Emma Schatz

Majors: Life Sciences Communication and Environmental Studies with a certificate in Chican@/Latin@ Studies

Hometown: Racine, WI

This scholarship is a huge honor and I am incredibly grateful to the donors for making this happen. The financial support given through this scholarship will help me participate in a study abroad program during Spring 2022. I am hoping to enroll in CEIBA’s Conservation Biology program in Ecuador. There I will gain field experience in various climates, including the Galapagos Islands, Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest. The CEIBA program will challenge my research and physical science skills, and I am prepared to bring my skills in advocacy and social sciences to the team. This trip will be extremely special to me because I have family currently living in Ecuador and I have never been able to visit the beautiful country that makes up such a significant part of my identity. I couldn’t be more grateful to have received this scholarship and will be putting the funds towards an experience of a lifetime.

Future goals: I would love to work with non-profit organizations working in advocacy and environmental policy to fight environmental injustices and the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on underrepresented communities. Engaging with the community and gaining field experience is really important to me, and I would love to partake in cultural resource management projects for underrepresented communities, both nationally and globally. After taking a few years off after undergrad, I plan to attend graduate school to study environmental policy.

Kylie Thomasen

Majors: Life Sciences Communication and Environmental Studies with a certificate in Graphic Design

Hometown: Waunakee, WI

I am honored to receive this scholarship as it will help me complete my degree and pursue a career in communications for an environmental organization. As I am considering going to graduate school in the future, this scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies.

Future goals: Growing up with a family cabin in northern Wisconsin, I’ve developed an appreciation for the outdoors. As I was canoeing along the Wisconsin River the summer after my freshman year of high school, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in environmental protection.  I particularly enjoy writing, using social media, and designing graphics and I hope to pursue a career in communications for an environmental organization.