California Native Plant Society

Student Travel Stipend Fund Sponsorship

Please consider donating to the Student Travel Stipend fund to help college students attend the CNPS 2012 Conservation Conference. Your donation will go directly to support students like the ones listed below. To donate, contact Josie Crawford at or call (916) 447-2677 ext 205.

Student Testimonials

Being able to attend the California Native Plant Society Conference 2012 would enhance my current research of a rare sunflower. Unfortunately, I have to be parsimonious with my finances in order to assure my education, living expenses, and family needs are paid for - which leaves a limited amount available for additional activities. I am a single mother working two part-time jobs while attending graduate school. A substantial cost for me is my 150-mile commute each trip to school. Any additional funding made available for travel would alleviate financial pressures of the 1300-mile commute from Redding to San Diego.

–Gina Sideli

I am a Mexican-American senior in college and I am the second in my family, the first was my older brother, to attend a four-year university. My parents have worked extremely hard to put us both though college. My grandparents moved from Mexico to California to encourage their children to never settle for less. I am extremely grateful for all my family has done to help me though my schoolwork and I plan on exceeding their expectations. I hope to expand my knowledge of plants and learn more about what the scientist are doing out in the field. I have a passion for learning about a field that is understudied. I appreciate this opportunity to attend the CNPS conference.

–Jacqueline Millan

I am a graduate student, a parent and a botany enthusiast.  With the reduction in funds for our state schools, it has left teaching assistants like me without teaching fee waivers-- paying for a tuition out of pocket with a salary that cannot buffer the extra cost.  I am grateful for the California Native Plant Society granting student fee waivers because without it I would not be able to go.  I am looking forward to learning about rare plants and their communities as well as plant restoration.  I am hopeful that someday I will be able to start my own native plant nursery with a focus on plant restoration in wetland communities.

Thank you California Native Plant Society!

–Adrianna Wenzel

I grew up in Arkansas in a relatively undeveloped area full of botanical beauty, much like Humboldt County. Unfortunately I had what researchers call “plant blindness” and was completely unaware of this until a year ago when I took a Natural History class. I believe this plant blindness was caused by being raised in a very religious household where the natural world, let alone science, were not subjects that I was encouraged to explore. Even my high school Biology teacher refused to teach evolution, which left me unaware of one of the most important aspects of Biology. Since I left the south many years ago, I have been on a path of self discovery. Now I am studying Biology with a focus in Ecology and Biodiversity at Humboldt State University. Not only am I the first in my family to go to college, I am a non-traditional student in my late twenties and I receive no financial assistance from my family. Unfortunately, I can not work more than 10 hours a week as a science student and I have to rely on student loans to supplement my income. Being able to go to the conference would mean so much to me. I want to learn more about the native flora of California and to see what opportunities there are for undergraduates in the botanical world.  Your generous donation can help offset the travel costs associated with the conference, but more importantly, show your support for the next generation of scientists in California.

– Kathryn Wiles

My name is Alexsis Shields and I attend San Jose State University, pursuing a BS in Environmental Studies with a minor in Water Management  and currently hold an AS degree in Environmental Horticulture. I work part time as a Water Conservation Specialist at a small water district in Los Altos Hills. I am an African-American woman and am first of my immediate family to receive an AS degree and will be the first to receive a BS.  As I am putting myself through college, consecutive semester tuition fee hikes have placed great strain on my financial flexibility, forcing me to look for supplemental employment and limiting my oppertunity to volunteer and expose myself to different opportunities. This month I was offered an internship working on the serpentine grasslands of Coyote Ridge in San Jose, CA. I am extremely interested in the complexity of the ecosystem that encompasses native flora and fauna found on serpentine grasslands. For me, the CNPS conference would be exceptional exposure to native flora and invasive plant impacts. Also invaluable to me would be the exposure to professionals and their insights on native plant restoration applications similar to the restoration efforts underway on Coyote Ridge.  The conference would also offer volunteer opportunities for me. Volunteering is the best way to network, in my mind: by offering up one’s free time and passion. I would be very grateful for travel assistance, and at this time, it is the only way for me to attend the conference. I absolutely love what CNPS represents and would be grateful for an opportunity to immerse myself in the educational and volunteer opportunities offered at the CNPS 2012 Conference.  Thank you for the chance to explain my need of travel assistance.

–Alexsis Shields

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