Lily Glidden Award

Lily Glidden ended her last adventure in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand, January, 2014 at the age of 24. She was traveling and observing the wildlife in southeast Asia after completing an internship in southern China. Lily planned to pursue a life as a biologist or a veterinarian, but after graduation from the Washington Wilderness School in 2008 and from Tufts University in 2012, she pursued other dreams for the next two years, taking internships and positions that brought her closer to the wildlife she loved. She spent time in the western U.S. working with coyotes, wolves, and other mammals, and in southern China collecting and tagging bamboo pit vipers for relocation. Between jobs, Lily explored the natural world on her own terms, often backpacking alone into the farthest wilderness she could find. She loved to laugh and her infectious personality inspired others.

Lily Glidden
Lily Glidden

With the Lily Glidden Award, Lily's family and friends honor her memory and carry on her spirit of curiosity, never-ending adventure, irreverent tolerance of the rules, determination to surmount all obstacles, and above all, the wonder and joy she took at immersing herself in and learning about the natural world. Her life was about finding and seizing opportunities to turn her dreams to realities, and she would wish to help others do the same.

It is our hope that these funds allow Lily to continue to help others to tread paths they might otherwise hesitate to take, paths that lead to their dreams of exploring and understanding the natural world. We wish to help clear financial obstacles that keep a student from pursuing a dream, in the U.S. or internationally, to explore and learn about the interconnected life on our planet. Preference will be given to those who appear to be stepping out of their comfort zone with an experience unlike what they may have previously pursued. Awardees will be chosen on the basis of a written essay, not more than 500 words, and the applicant's resumé and transcript. Tell us what you want to do and how you propose to do it. Awards are not limited to biology majors.

Available Funds: Awards up to $2500 allowed.

Deadline: Review of applications will begin February 15, 2024.
Please submit your application electronically in a single PDF (application form, essay, resumé, and unofficial transcript – all documents in PDF format) to the Biology Department.

Download application

Reflections of Previous Awardees:

"Through adverse weather conditions and rugged hiking environments, I experienced extreme emotional shifts and growth. My biggest lesson from this trip was learning to cope with the unpredictable nature of fieldwork."

"I was able to appreciate my natural surroundings and really take in the epic beauty around me. I hope to leverage this experience in the future in many areas of my life and future career."

"I find myself a stronger person leaving this trip after surviving in the wilderness through adverse weather conditions that I could have never imagined going into the trip, wild winds and driving rains."

"Although I did not achieve all of the goals I set out to accomplish, I find myself more prepared for the unpredictable future..."

"Traveling independently unlocked a confidence in myself and allowed me to explore my potential. I learned I adapt well to new environments and I enjoy learning about new cultures and customs."

"Working in the field helped me gain new skills for research, apply the knowledge I gained in my coursework, and learn more about the context of the Tasmanian devil declines."

"This is truly a species worth saving and I am so have been a part of the cause to help the devils thrive once again."