Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship

Elwha River, WA

Elwha River, WA | National Park Service

The Lapham Fellowship provides an excellent professional development opportunity for talented post-graduates pursuing careers as leaders in the field of conservation advocacy.  Recent graduate degree (MA/MS/PhD/JD/MBA) recipients will focus on an applied research project that will make a tangible contribution to American River’s mission.  Working with a team of professional staff, the individual will apply practical research and advocacy skills and develop a network of professional contacts in their field of expertise.  The individual will be an integral part of a dynamic organization comprised of experienced conservationists and emerging leaders and will participate in a range of organizational functions including staff retreats and Board of Directors meetings.

This fellowship honors the memory of Anthony A. Lapham who served for many years on the board of American Rivers, including as its Chairman.  The program reflects his integrity, intellect, concern for humanity and commitment to excellence; we seek candidates who possess these qualities.


Stormwater flooding in Washington, DC

Stormwater flooding in Washington, DC | Lynette Batt

The goals of the Anthony A. Lapham Fellowship Program are to develop the next generation of conservation leaders and to generate work products that directly support the mission and goals of the organization.  Advancements in river conservation will be especially important during the coming years due to the extreme threats to rivers, headwater streams and freshwater supplies brought on by global warming, population growth and sprawl.  We need to develop the next generation of skilled leaders who can promote practical environmental solutions that achieve measurable results for natural and human communities. 

The Lapham Fellow will help shape community-oriented solutions to river conservation challenges, educate civic leaders about the benefits of healthy rivers, inform legislative and legal proceedings, and influence opinion leaders.  The fellowship includes the implementation of a project that directly supports the goals of one or more of American Rivers’ conservation programs.

The project will fall within one of four categories: (1) sustainably managing our freshwater resources; (2) restoring rivers (through approaches such as dam removal) and achieving natural flood protection by restoring the natural functions of rivers, wetlands and floodplains; (3) conserving America’s heritage by protecting our remaining free-flowing rivers and connecting communities to their rivers; and (4) achieving resiliency in natural and human communities in the face of global warming.  Projects might include analysis of the contributions of healthy rivers to employment, property values, public health and safety and other community priorities; or the impacts of poorly managed rivers on water supply, flooding or public safety.  The topics will change depending on the needs of the organization in any particular year. Fellows will publish results in an appropriate format and present their project results to various audiences.  For more information about the project areas for the 2013-2015 Fellowship year, view the application form.

The 24-month Fellowship will be supported by a team of conservation staff and members of our Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, which includes some of the nation’s foremost experts on freshwater conservation science and policy. Conducting an applied research project under the guidance of expert advocates will provide the Fellow with invaluable experience as they begin their career.

Fellows also will receive lobbying training, have opportunities to participate in meetings with congressional offices and federal agency officials, and attend congressional hearings.  Additionally, Fellows will engage in organizational activities including meetings of our Board of Directors; staff meetings and retreats; and National River Cleanup® activities.