Fred L. Tobiason Sustainability Outdoor Learning Research Award

Be part of a campus tradition rooted in our shared love for the outdoors!

The Fred L. Tobiason Plant and Animal Sustainability Outdoor Learning Research Endowment was established through the generosity of PLU Research Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Dr. Fred L. Tobiason to support PLU students engaged in studies related to our outdoor learning spaces and natural areas. This supports a campus tradition in which students’ environmental actions and values are intentionally and locally aligned, and empower students to work toward change.

All PLU students who are excited to work independently as individuals or in a group, and who are passionate about plant and animal sustainability and outdoor learning, regardless of their major, are encouraged to apply.


  • $2,500. This amount might be used to support multiple proposals.
  • Funds may be used towards stipend, supplies, and travel.

Community Gardening

Students of any discipline should propose research projects on the outdoor natural areas on the PLU campus. Projects may reflect any discipline, as long as the research and outcome are directly related to the outdoors and environmental issues, or social implications related to how our natural outdoor spaces are used. Possible areas of focus can include, but are not limited to:

  • Educating the campus community about plant and/or animal sustainability
  • Promoting critical thought about sustainability around campus spaces, including addressing diversity and justice issues
  • Integrating outdoor spaces to co-curricular or curricular programming

Independent Research

Applicants should be comfortable working independently. Faculty or staff may choose to serve in an informal, unpaid advisory role, but this award is to support the carefully planned and independent work of the student or students.

This project may support a student Capstone or part of coursework or independent study, or as part of the student’s University service commitments.

Collaborative projects involving two or more students are welcome!


Award recipients will:

  • Present research findings in written and verbal formats
  • Share results with the campus community in multiple formats by the end of the following semester or academic year.

Application Process

Open to any PLU student or students. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will be evaluated based on the feasibility of the project and the match with the intent of the award.

Contact: for more information contact the Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Dr. Adela Ramos (

Past Projects

Alex Moore - Tobiason Student Fellow, Spring 2019
Alex Moore
Hilary Vo - Tobiason Student Fellow, 2016
Hilary Vo

2021-22 Environmental Studies Committee