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Maya Kobe-Rundio receives Floyd O'Neil fellowship

Maya Kobe-RundioThe American West Center awarded Maya Kobe-Rundio, Environmental Humanities master’s student, one of the two Floyd O’Neil Fellowships for 2021-22. This fellowship, in honor of the late professor Floyd A. O’Neil, is awarded to students conducting research in the American West.

Ms. Kobe-Rundio’s project weaves human stories within the context of multispecies connections, specifically focusing on the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). This species of bird occupies a place of importance as an indicator of health and anthropogenic change in the sagebrush steppe of the American West. The fellowship provides $2,000 as well as the support and collegiality of the American West Center to Ms. Kobe-Rundio to use to conduct interviews and research guided by the following questions:

  • How can land management agencies address environmental protection and social justice simultaneously?
  • How does focusing on one umbrella species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, impact land management of sagebrush ecosystems?
  • How can stories of land management and species conservation be told to a general audience?

The culmination of this research will result in a series of creative nonfiction essays for her final master’s project. As Ms. Kobe-Rundio writes about Greater Sage-Grouse, “These birds exist—often literally—in the crossroads of human settlement, economic development, conservation efforts, and political wrestling in the West.”

Ms. Kobe-Rundio was selected for this opportunity using the following criteria: scholarly potential of the applicant herself, scholarly significance of the project, clear research approach and plan, knowledge of source materials related to the proposal, and the project’s focus on the American West.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23