Diana Liverman Scholars Program

Sonoran Desert mountain valley

Diana Liverman
Scholars Program

Collaboration • Communication • Connection

Support the Program

Applications for 2024-2025 will open in Spring 2024

A new cross-disciplinary experiential program extending the vision and success of the Carson Scholars Graduate Program (founded by Dr. Diana Liverman in 2011) to undergraduate students.  

The Diana Liverman Scholars Program was formed in 2021 to bring the mission and vision of the Carson Scholars Program to undergraduate students at the University of Arizona. Liverman Scholars are trained  to be the communication leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow through experiential learning and mentorship.

Grounded in a connection to place, community, and one another, the Liverman Scholars participate in an experiential program to become the communication leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

Liverman Scholars work in a cross-disciplinary cohort to grow their environmental communication and story-telling skills while creating communication pieces to be used by community partners in southern Arizona. Through authentic dialogue, peer-feedback, and near-peer mentorship, Liverman Scholars build skills that will serve them throughout their lives – collaborative decision making, problem-solving, strong communication, and connection to their local communities.

Liverman Scholars engage in unique experiential connection to the robust biocultural assets of our region, traveling to sites and communities whose pasts, presents, and futures embody the grand challenges of our state and region, from climate change to systemic disparities. Each cohort is mentored by near-peer Carson Scholars and world-class faculty. Through expeditions with community partners, interdisciplinary workshops, and public presentations of learning, Liverman Scholars unpack and tackle the pressing issues of the day—from environmental resilience to social justice – and prepare to become the communication leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

Program Components

MEET THE STUDENTS

2023-24 LIVERMAN SCHOLAR BIOS

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility for the Liverman Scholars Program extends to any undergraduate student in any major enrolled for at least 9 units of credit at the University of Arizona and passionate about developing skills in environmental and resilience communication. Preference will be given to students in their sophomore and junior years. Scholars need not be majors in environmental fields; the program seeks Scholars from a wide array of backgrounds to foster richer communication and deeper learning. Applicants from all programs are welcome.

Liverman Scholars commit to participation for the duration of the 2023-24 academic year, a weekly hour-long class, and independent work on communication pieces, totaling ~15 hours engagement and effort per month. Scholars enroll in a two-credit course for each semester and receive a $500 stipend each semester for completion of the program.

Students in the Earth Grant program cannot participate in the Liverman Scholars program the same year, and vice-versa. We encourage students to apply for the programs in different years.

To grow and deepen communication skills, Liverman Scholars will learn from Planet Forward as well as local storytelling and communication experts. To cultivate deeper connections to place and explore themes of environment and resilience, Liverman Scholars will connect with an existing Flinn-Brown mentoring network and with other partners throughout Arizona, traveling to sites and communities whose pasts, presents, and futures embody the grand challenges of our state and region, from climate change to systemic disparities. Scholars will create communication products for these community partners, drawing on skills learned during monthly workshops and mentorship from faculty and near-peer Carson Scholars mentors.

This program is intended to be driven by the specific needs and input from the cohort of Scholars and community partners. Along these lines, students will help co-design the curriculum, communication products, and develop their own working relationships with mentors and community partners.

Scholars are expected to participate in weekly meetings focused on interdisciplinary collaboration and cultivating communication skills, as well as to work on their communication pieces on their own time, with mentorship support. The four weekend expeditions are mandatory. These provide unique connection to community partners and determine the focus of the communication pieces. The exact number of hours expended outside of weekly meetings a given week varies and can be decided within the cohort and their mentors.

Each semester, the Liverman Scholars each receive a $500 stipend as well as two academic credits for their participation in the program and completion of their communication projects.

Liverman Scholars engage in experiential and place-based learning that targets storytelling and communication skill building. Students will build their professional networks by meeting with and working for community partners in a diversity of fields and locations in Southern Arizona, collaborating with near-peer mentors from the Carson Scholars program and a prestigious cohort of fellow undergraduates on service projects, and learning from world class UArizona faculty and from communication experts. Furthermore, this unique experience will enable students to connect with our spectacular and unique southern Arizona biocultural region, better getting to know the histories and contemporary realities of those who call this region home and the many species with whom we share our home.

The Liverman Scholars Program will be predominantly in-person. The overnight retreat at the beginning of the program and expeditions to community partners will be in person pending any significant changes in the current pandemic landscape. These in-person activities will follow current CDC and University guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including wearing masks and social distancing. Weekly hour-long classes will be in person. Meetings with subgroups and Carson Scholars mentors may be virtual, in person, or a mix of both based on student and mentor preferences.

  • July 7th: Application Deadline for 2023-2024cohort
  • September 9th - 10th: Biosphere 2 Retreat
  • January 27th: Bisbee Science Lab retreat
  • April 18th: Student Showcase
  • April 27th-28th: Santa Rita Experimental Range retreat

Eligible Liverman Scholars near-peer mentors are alumni of the Carson Scholars program. Current affiliation status with UArizona is not necessary to be a mentor. Mentors must be able to meet ~8-10 hrs/month from October through April with a small group (4-5) of undergraduates as they put together their communication product for our community partners. Mentors are free to meet with their undergraduates in-person or virtually, and are welcome to set their own meeting schedules. Mentorship can include training in effective science communication (i.e. storytelling, how to communicate without jargon), help with researching, editing, etc. Mentors will also attend the overnight retreat in October, either in person if able or virtually if no longer in Southern Arizona, and are welcome to attend the three expeditions with community partners, though these are optional.

The program will also have 2-3 Faculty mentors who are helping craft the program and providing guidance to Liverman Scholars and their near-peer Carson alum mentors.

For more information on this program, please contact Kevin Bonine, kebonine@arizona.edu, and Maia Schneider, maiaschneider@arizona.edu.