Menu Menu
Office of Education Partnerships
Menu Office of Education Partnerships
Menu University of California Santa Barbara
Menu Menu
University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB - Smithsonian Scholars Program

Brief History

In 2015 UCSB, its regional community college partners, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) co-developed an innovative summer program to engage diverse students in experiential learning centered on multi-disciplinary conservation strategies, biodiversity research, and careers in STEM.

To learn more...

Program Offerings:

The program provides activities and multi-day workshops that engage students in hands-on, skill-building activities connecting them with ongoing research projects. The overall goal of the program is to give students early research experiences that will help them prepare and be competitive for internships in STEM and to encourage students to participate in post-graduate opportunities.

We provide a variety of activities such as:

  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Field Workshops
  • Research Internship Opportunities


The UCSB‐Smithsonian Scholars Program received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Click to learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Center

Target Audience:

We are looking for 1st and 2nd year STEM students who are first generation and or low-income, specifically from UCSB, Oxnard College, Santa Barbara City College, Allan Hancock College, Ventura College, and East LA College. Participants must be willing to try new and challenging experiences and work well in a team environment.

Becoming a Scholar is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Complete Application and Eligibility Documents
  2. Provide one Letter of Recommendation
  3. Schedule a Professional Interview with Staff Coordinator

Deadline for this year's application is February 15th.

To learn more...

Stay Connected:

Please visit our UCSB‐Smithsonian Calendar page for upcoming activities and join our email/SMS text stream by emailing the coordinator:

  • First Name and Last Name
  • College/University you are currently attending
  • Primary Email (e.g. school)
  • Secondary Email (e.g. personal)
  • Declared Major
  • Cell Phone Number

Contact Info for Program Coordinator:
Please email or call Cristina Soto Balderas
Phone: 805‐893‐4789

Current NEWS:

Summer 2019

Fall 2019/Winter 2020

  • An incredible article featuring our UCSB-Smithsonian Scholars participants showcased the Fire Ecology Project on Santa Cruz Island this past year. To read the article... The project spearheaded by our UCSB‐Smithsonian Scholars is in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. We thank our scientist mentors Drs. Scott Sillett and Mario Pesendorfer. To learn more about the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center...
  • Our student scholars continue to take the lead on two research projects located on the Channel Islands. We have opportunities to get involved both in the field and on-campus: 1) Island Spotted Skunk Monitoring Project, and 2) Island Jay Fire Ecology Project. If you are interested in joining our research efforts or want to learn more...

Contact us:

Contact Info for Program Coordinator:
Please email or call Cristina Soto Balderas
Phone: 805‐893‐4789