Conservation and the Environment
The Foundation's program in Conservation and the Environment (C&E) evolved from interests originally stated by the Avalon and Old Dominion Foundations as including the preservation of natural areas and the support of "organizations concerned with increasing man's understanding of his natural environment, his relation to it, and the effects of his activities upon it." Through the early 1970s, a substantial fraction of grants supported land acquisition. Between 1974 and 1979, grants supported research in energy, natural resources and the environment including the oceans, and institutions working in these fields. From 1980 through 2002 the program supported basic research on how natural ecosystems work. This support included grants to junior faculty in their first tenure-track positions. We emphasized support of leading institutions, innovative research, and training of promising doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. Grants were originally restricted to the US but gradually expanded to include Latin America and then South Africa. Within the broad field of ecosystems research and training, we generally limited our grants to botany and terrestrial ecosystems because of their key importance to overall ecosystems and because other funding sources paid the least attention to them.
The Conservation and Environment Program is closing as the Foundation is honing its focus on its core areas of interest in the humanities and the arts, as represented in our other program areas. Proposals will continue to be accepted in two areas within the Conservation and the Environment Program: Research Bridges to South Africa, which is open to extant grantees; and our Plants Initiative.
The Plants Initiative is a partnership of more than 150 herbaria from over 55 countries working to create a database of high quality images of plant type specimens. The resulting database is available to scholars through JSTOR. Grants in the Plants Initiative area are limited to institutions holding plant type specimens. We will be glad to hear from any institutions holding plant type specimens that we have not yet reached.
Please note that overhead, indirect costs, or administrative charges are not allowed on any grants in this program area.
We prefer that initial inquiries be by email and contain a concise description of the idea being presented along with a cost estimate.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Before writing, please review the Foundation’s general requirements for grant proposals in the Grant Inquiries section of this Web site.