Brief History
In 2015-2016, the UCSB-Smithsonian Scholars Program was co-developed by the UC Santa Barbara Office of Education Partnerships, the K-16 Regional Alliance of Community College partners, and the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The program aims to engage diverse students in experiential learning centered on multi-disciplinary conservation strategies, biodiversity research, and green careers in STEM.

Students taking measurements in the forest

Program Offerings:

  • New participants enter the program as a cohort in the late spring/early summer (May).
  • New participants join our Early Research Experience Summer (¡ERES!) Program where they are introduced to rigorous STEM content and a network of researchers, instructors, and peer mentors.
  • During the academic year we provide seminars and multi-day workshops that prepare all participants for STEM opportunities, including internships, professional development, academic opportunities, and post-baccalaureate fellowships.
  • Participants in “good standing” have access to resources beyond their initial program year and after graduation.
  • Program affiliates support participants in preparing for post-graduate professional and academic opportunities.


Participant Eligibility

We are looking to support STEM students who are first-generation and/or low-income. Students must be enrolled full-time at UC Santa Barbara, Oxnard College, Santa Barbara City College, Allan Hancock College, Ventura College, or East LA College. Participants must maintain “good standing” and be willing to try new and challenging experiences in a team environment.


Application Information

To learn more about the application process, please visit our Enrollment and Application Process page.