The Garden Club of America Awards in Tropical Botany


History, Arundel Scholarship: The first GCA Awards in Tropical Botany were established in 1983 with a five-year incentive grant of $50,000 from the Wildcat Foundation. They were created by Mrs. Russell Arundel, horticulturist and dedicated environmentalist from the Warrenton (Virginia) Garden Club, and provided for two $5,000 grants a year so that doctoral candidates could pursue independent field study in the tropics. During that five-year period, over 100 applications were received for the grants. In 1989 the GCA Executive Committee voted to establish the awards on a permanent basis, and subsequently allocated $100,000 to fund the Arundel Scholarship.

History, Visiting Gardens Scholarship: The Visiting Gardens Scholarship was established in addition to the Arundel Scholarship with a $100,000 donation from the Visiting Gardens Committee. These monies represented donations to the GCA by participants in the Visiting Gardens’ trips.

Purpose: To promote the preservation of tropical forests by enlarging the body of botanists with field experience.

Provisions: Provides two or more grants of $5500 annually to enable field study in tropical botany. (Award amounts were increased from $5000 in 1994.) Generally, one grant is awarded in the area of tropical plant systematics and a second is awarded in tropical forest ecology.

Eligibility: Open to students who anticipate completing the requirements for a Ph.D. in Botany within two years. Applicants must already be Ph.D. candidates enrolled at a US university.

To Apply: See guidelines for application. Applications must be postmarked by January 15 preceding the proposed period of study. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY ONE GCA SCHOLARSHIP, FELLOWSHIP OR AWARD MAY BE APPLIED FOR ANNUALLY.

Selection: World Wildlife Fund has organized and managed the program since its inception. A panel of botanists appointed by WWF screens and selects candidates, and final approval is at the discretion of the GCA Scholarship Committee.

Fund: The Marjorie Arundel Awards in Tropical Botany Fund and the Visiting Gardens Tropical Botany Scholarship Fund are managed by the GCA.

Contact: Andrea Santy, Director, Education for Nature Program, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Phone: (202) 495-4447, e-mail: