Congratulations to 2017 Bullitt Environmental Prize – Cornelius Adewale The 2017 winner started an organic farm in Nigeria on five acres of abandoned land and used his earnings to study at Washington State University On October 30th, 2017 this year’s Bullitt Environmental Fellow was honored at the 11th annual Bullitt Prize Awards Dinner. This year’s Fellow is Cornelius Adewale, a PhD student at Washington...


2015 Bullitt Fellow Heather Fowler Receives Presitigious Omenn Award Veterinarian Heather Fowler just received the highest award offered to University of Washington Phd students in the School of Public Health.

Environmental Fellowship

A program to identify environmentally focused leaders in the Pacific Northwest

Environmental Fellowship Selection Panel

The Bullitt Foundation has a strong interest in helping to create a more diverse set of leaders in the environmental field. This prize is intended for exceptional individuals from underrepresented communities who possess a capacity for leadership and who show exceptional scholarship. Establishment of this fellowship is based on the understanding that if America is ever again to hope for a leadership role on global and environmental issues, it must produce environmental leaders who resemble a majority of the world’s inhabitants. In establishing the Environmental Leadership Fellowship, we are providing more opportunity and support for such leadership to emerge.

Selection Panel Members:

Peter Bloch Garcia – Vice President, Latino Community Fund
Edmund Seto – Associate Professor, UW Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Erim Gomez (Committee Chair) – Scholar, Washington State University
Rod Brown – Managing Partner, Cascadia Law Group
Amber Knox – Grants and Communications Manager, Campion Advocacy Fund
Keith Matthews – Deputy General Counsel, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Megan Owen – Director of Government Affairs, McKinstry Co.
Sudha Nandagopal – City of Seattle
Jessie Woolley-Wilson – CEO and President, DreamBox Learning
Denis Hayes (ex officio) – President, Bullitt Foundation

Fellowship Overview

The Bullitt Environmental Fellowship is a two-year, $50,000/year fellowship for currently enrolled graduate students interested in pursuing leadership positions within the environmental field.

The Bullitt Environmental Fellowship is offered in memory of longtime Foundation Chair, Priscilla Bullitt Collins. In her honor, an outstanding, environmentally knowledgeable graduate student from a community under-represented in the environmental movement, who has demonstrated exceptional capacity for leadership as well as scholarship, will receive the fellowship award. The Foundation encourages applications from a broad diversity of students, with a particular emphasis on students of color and others who have overcome discrimination or other significant hardships.

Priscilla (Patsy) Bullitt Collins who devoted much of her life to working for the public good, donating first her time and energy and then—after receiving a multi-million-dollar inheritance—donating all of her money to causes she believed in. She embraced the idea of stewardship, supporting projects that touched the future in some way, whether by nurturing a love of reading in children or setting aside open spaces for generations to come.


Eligible applicants will be:

  • Nominated by a faculty member. Knowledge of the applicant’s studies and field work (if applicable) is highly recommended.
  • Currently enrolled student in a graduate candidate program in British Columbia, Washington State or Oregon, not restricted to environmental studies;
  • Demonstrates a strong desire and capacity for leadership; and
  • Seeking leadership opportunities to make substantial contributions to the environmental field.

Please visit the Fellowship FAQs if you have specific eligibility questions.


The fellowship is offered to graduate students attending universities physically located in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. The Bullitt Foundation supports efforts in these states to build a regional model of a healthy, sustainable environment.

Applications must be submitted through our Online Application Portal on or after January 1, and must be submitted NO LATER THAN April 1; or the next business day if that date falls on a weekend or holiday. No paper applications are available, nor will they be accepted. All applications will be reviewed and scored based on faculty recommendations, applicant responses, and thoroughness of the application package.

A blue-ribbon selection panel will review finalist applications and an in-person interview will be required for final selection. Interviews are held in late June at the Foundation office in Seattle.

Award recipient must be willing to attend an award event to be held in Seattle, Washington at a date to be announced.

Nomination letters and transcripts can be sent to the Foundation’s offices in Seattle:

The Bullitt Foundation
1501 E Madison St, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98122

Inquiries may be directed to:

Fellowship FAQ


January 1: Applications may be started through our Online Application Portal
April 1: application submission deadline
June: selected finalists are interviewed
September/October: Fellowship winner is announced at an award dinner


How do you define “under represented” in the environmental movement?
We leave it up to nominators and applicants to decide for themselves what “under represented” means to them, trusting that faculty will use their best discretion in nominating candidates. You can find announcements about past Fellowship announcements elsewhere on this Web site.

Is the geography restriction strict?
While your research may be conducted anywhere, the geographic restriction is firm. The school and program you are enrolled at must be physically located within British Columbia, Washington State, or Oregon.

Are there any citizenship requirements for this award?
Anyone, including citizens from outside of the United States and Canada, may be considered for the award – so long as they are a graduate-level student enrolled in good standing at a school physically located within the Foundation’s funding area.

Am I still eligible if I complete my dissertation during the duration of the award? Can I use the fellowship for post-graduate research?
Any student enrolled in good standing in a master’s program or higher at the time of the application deadline is eligible. Fellowship funds may be expended in post-doctoral or research activities.

I was accepted to my graduate program and will begin classes this fall. Can I still apply?
Only students who are currently enrolled in a graduate studies program are eligible to apply for the Fellowship. Students who have been accepted to a program, but have not yet started must wait until the following year to apply.

I applied last year and am considering applying again this year. Can I get feedback on my application from last year?
We welcome re-applicants, but while we appreciate that you would like to receive detailed feedback about your application, it isn’t possible for us to do so. Please do not re-submit your application verbatim from a previous year.


Who should be nominated for this award?
We hope that faculty making recommendations will encourage applicants who are exceptional not only for their academic achievements, but also for their perseverance and leadership in spite of challenges and adversity. The selection committee will review faculty recommendations and personal references to gauge applicants’ overall capabilities and character.

What does a nomination look like?
The selection process starts with a nomination from any faculty member in the form of a letter of recommendation. Only faculty recommended applications will be considered.

Can I start my application if I do not physically have the nomination letter yet?
Once a faculty member has agreed to nominate you, you may begin your application. This nomination letter should be placed in a sealed envelope that has been signed by your nominating faculty member and sent to the Bullitt Foundation Office by the April 1st deadline.


How should I structure my essays? Do you want three essays or one long one?
Most applicants answer the three questions in one brief essay for each. However, you may structure your responses in the most logical way to tell your story.

“Will the Fellowship represent a major change from the type of work you have been doing and, if so, please explain why this is the appropriate next step in your personal and professional development.” Could you provide an example to explain this sentence?
We trust that all those who have been nominated to apply will be of the highest academic quality, so the award committee will focus on how you have prepared yourself to be a leader in the environmental field, and how you have overcome obstacles to do so. We understand that receipt of the award will likely be a transformative event in your research and professional development, so we ask if the award will allow you to engage in activities that you are not doing presently, what those activities might be, and how you think the opportunity to thus challenge yourself might impact your future development. Our best advice to you is to tell your story clearly, concisely, and compellingly – and present a best-case scenario.

Is it possible to provide a standard essay sample to show your requirements?
We hope that each application will be unique and compelling, and for that reason there can be no such thing as a standard essay. Be creative.

Can you provide me with the essay questions before I start my application?

  1. Why, at this point in your career and your life, will the Fellowship be a pivotal experience?
  • What draws you to the environmental field?
  • Describe your strengths and the skills you have developed in your previous work, academics or other experience that have prepared you for the role you intend to play as an environmental leader?
  • Will the Fellowship represent a major change from the type of work you have been doing and, if so, please explain why this is the appropriate next step in your personal and professional development.
  1. Please discuss one of the most personally challenging situations you have addressed in your professional or personal life
  • What was the nature of the problem you had to solve or the issue with which you had to deal?
  • Describe how you handled the problem and the methods used for resolving the issue.
  • What did you learn during this process and how has that changed you personally?
  • How did this challenge change how you approach and handle new challenges?
  1. Describe how you would use this fellowship and what impact it will have on you in the academic or professional field you intend to enter.
  • What is the contribution you intend to make and why is it important?
  • What specifically do you feel you will gain from this fellowship experience that is significant to how your future will be shaped?
  • How do you plan to use $100,000 over two years and what will this allow you to do that you would not otherwise be able to accomplish?


How is the money disbursed? Can I have it sent it to my University or is it sent directly to me? Is this money taxable income?
It does not make any difference for US federal income tax purposes whether the Foundation provides a check to the individual, or a check to the university that is earmarked to pay expenses for the individual.  The payment will not be taxable income to the individual if 1) the individual is a candidate for a degree at a qualified educational institution and 2) the funds are used for qualified tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction.  Otherwise, the payment will be included in the individual’s income, regardless of whether the check goes to the individual or to the school.

Is there a specific requirement on the use of the Fellowship? Can this Fellowship be used in my research project OR in my personal expense?
If awarded, you may use the fellowship for any expense related to accomplishing your research goals – living expense, tuition, books, equipment, hiring assistants, lab fees, etc.

Should my future budget be equal to $100,000 over two years? If my budget is much less than $100,000 over two years, does this situation affect my application?
If awarded, you must account for your entire award disbursement. It is possible that any award money left unspent at the end of two years would have to be returned to the Bullitt Foundation. Some of the award not spent on tuition, fees, books, equipment, etc. would be taxable as personal income.

Fellowship Award Winners
The Bullitt Foundation +

2017 - Cornelius Adewale

Cornelius Adewale is a PhD candidate at Washington State University (WSU)’s School of the Environment. A native of Ilesa, an agricultural-based community in Nigeria, he began weeding and harvesting cocoa with his grandfather at the age of six and his interest in agriculture has grown ever since.

In Nigeria, Cornelius earned a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). During this time, he became the national leader of all agricultural students in Nigeria. The position exposed him to the enormous environmental and economic challenges farmers face in Nigeria, and the potential to engage more people in agriculture. He saw how farmers lacked access to information, tools, and resources for sustainable farming and decided to spend his life and career helping to foster sustainable food production in Nigeria. After graduation, he began a successful organic vegetable farm and began to wonder if he could quantify the positive environmental impacts of sustainable farming. After three years, he pursued a graduate degree focused on building models and creating practical tools to promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.

For his Master thesis in Soil Science at WSU, he worked with farmers in Washington State to examine different soil testing methods that best suit organically farmed soil. Today, he is a fourth year PhD candidate and together with researchers and farmers, he has developed a practical model for estimating agricultural ecosystem services and impacts called OFoot, which is a publicly available website application which can be used to calculate farm greenhouse gases, carbon sequestration, nitrogen leaching, and carbon footprint.

Cornelius plans to further expand his research and develop a technology and research-driven tool farmers can use to manage soil quality in Nigeria. His research will foster the adoption of environmentally conscious farming practices and reverse soil degradation. The research also will explore and document the effects of soil testing and soil management on productivity and farm profitability in the area. Following his PhD, he plans to focus on leveraging technology as a tool for sustainable food production. When he is not working, Cornelius enjoys reading, hosting cook-outs and taking road trips with his wife and son.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2016 - Carol Bogezi

Carol Bogezi – the 10th winner of the Bullitt Environmental Fellowship – is a doctoral student at the School of Environment and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. Raised on a farm in Uganda, Bogezi has long looked for ways to reduce conflict between people and wildlife.

As the oldest child in a large polygamous family, Bogezi honed her diplomacy skills early. And as a Ugandan woman, she has had to overcome social pressures against education for girls. At age 22, Bogezi lost both parents in a six-month period, leaving her responsible for four younger siblings. Once again, she had to overcome social barriers against women to take control of and manage her family’s farm. Through these challenges, Bogezi never lost her passion for science and conservation.

After college, Bogezi worked as a field research assistance and later senior field officer with the Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS). In 2012 she received the WCS Beinecke Africa Wildlife Conservation Scholarship to pursue a PhD. She chose to come to the Pacific Northwest because there are large mammals in close proximity to fast-growing cities. Her current research focuses on interactions between people and carnivores in Washington State.

In the future, Bogezi plans to apply her experience to wildlife conservation in Uganda. Ultimately, she wants to establish a scientific research center in Kidepo Valley National Park. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources, both from Makerere University in Kampala. When she is not working, Bogezi enjoys reading, hiking, wine-tasting and road trips with her husband.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2015 - Dr. Heather Fowler

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Dr. Heather Fowler always knew she wanted to grow up to become a veterinarian. Dr. Fowler, like many aspiring veterinarians, planned to work in small animal practice and own her own clinic. As she got older however, her interest in veterinary medicine slowly evolved as she realized her true passion was to work in public health keeping both people and animals healthy. Now as a PhD student at the University of Washington she plans to work in the emerging and transdisciplinary field that brings experts from human, animal, and environmental health together, i.e. One Health, to help solve the world’s most difficult and complex problems.

Dr. Fowler possesses a veterinary medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s of Public Health from Yale School of Public Health. She has experience in public health practice having worked as a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow at the Minnesota Department of Health from 2011-2013. Dr. Fowler is currently a full-time student and BEBTEH (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Bioinformatics Training in Environmental Health) Fellow in the School Of Public Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences working toward a PhD in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene. Her dissertation will focus on identifying and addressing major occupational hazards experienced by individuals that work with animals in a variety of workplace environments. In addition, she will work with stakeholders to create a model for a One Health dairy here in Washington State and the Cascadia region. Following her PhD, Dr. Fowler plans to remain in academia as an educator and a mentor.

Dr. Fowler is the Associate Director of Animal Health for the Center for One Health Research and a student member of the diversity committee in her department. In her free-time she enjoys teaching and interacting with minority youth with the goal of encouraging them to pursue the sciences as well as volunteering at the Doney Memorial Clinic, a free veterinary clinic for Seattle residents that are homeless or low-income.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2014 - Lilia Yumagulova

Lilia Yumagulova was born and raised in the Soviet Union, in a marginalized community prone to recurring floods on the outskirts of a large urban centre. It was witnessing these regular ‘disasters’ affect her community year after year that influenced her choice of profession. Lilia holds degrees in Engineering in Emergency Management from Russia and a M.Sc. in Risk Analysis (King’s College London, UK). Currently, she is a PhD Candidate at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia. Her research looks at urban and regional planning for risks, disasters and climate change. Metro Vancouver, Canada is her current laboratory in her search for resilience. Lilia plans to expand her work to the Pacific Northwest by creating a network for addressing regional climate change adaptation planning.

Lilia's interdisciplinary academic path combines engineering, social science, public policy, international relations and planning. Throughout her academic career Lilia was fortunate to study and work at the University of Toronto, Canada; York University, Canada; University College London, UK; Lund University, Sweden; UFZ, Germany and the Centre for Risk and Community Safety, RMIT University, Australia among other institutions. In her academic work, she emphasizes the value of bringing together academia, practitioners, policy-makers, planners and media for reducing environmental risk in cities. Lilia is particularly interested in the resilience of marginalized communities.
Lilia has worked in the media, government agencies and NGOs in Europe and North America. These experiences gave her solid evidence for her belief in the transformational power of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional networks. She is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network where she chairs the Young Professionals Committee. She is a founding member of the Young Researchers Urban Resilience Network and a Research co-Director for the Crisis Resilience Alliance. She is also a Member of the International Federation of Journalists and she is an international outreach coordinator for organizations working with orphanages, indigenous communities and independent documentary filmmakers.

Lilia believes that the Bullitt Environmental Fellowship will play a pivotal role in her career at this stage to facilitate the expansion and exchange of the knowledge and capacity developed in British Columbia on climate change adaptation to the wider Pacific Northwest region. Lilia’s international experience puts her in a unique position to address cross-border regional planning synergies and interdependencies. She intends to build a collaborative knowledge exchange network that would 1) facilitate creation of a regional approach to hazard management and climate change adaptation; 2) identify core critical interdependencies between the regions, and 3) facilitate active mutual learning. She intends to accomplish these goals by building strategic alliances with diverse organizations in the Pacific Northwest region whose work contributes to building resilience capacities in the region.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2013 - Amber Heckelman

In 2013, Amber Heckelman became Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia and set out to cultivate a deeper understanding of the Philippine peasant experience. She was especially drawn to working with peasants because they are extremely marginalized in the Philippines, yet they are a major source of food security, as well as engage in highly sustainable agroecological practices.

Today, Amber is a Ph.D. student in Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems. As global food insecurity intensifies due to ecological degradation, so does political instability often resulting in wars, diaspora, and the dissolution of economies. Amber’s research aims to participate in the effort to mitigate this vicious cycle and restore food security and sovereignty by exploring and documenting the affects of MASIPAG agroecological practices. Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) is a cooperative of peasant farmers that work with both scientists and NGOs to (re)implement traditional and sustainable farming methods. Amber’s research contributes to the growing efforts being made around the world to consult with peasant farmers as a means for mitigating hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation, as well as strengthening resilience to climate change.

Amber grew up in a community afflicted with gangs, drugs, and violence; and in an environment that reared generations of children who grew increasingly aggressive, defensive, and misguided. For Amber’s single immigrant mother and older brother, there were no resources, assistance, or structural support available, making life difficult and often lonely. But these vicissitudes have nurtured Amber’s humility and have given her the capacity to contextualize the experiences of other marginalized communities. Moreover, they have given her the drive to make a difference. For the last decade, Amber has served the communities she’s lived in, from mentoring at-risk youth near her hometown in San Diego, CA; to completing 3 years of service as an Americorps volunteer; to conducting a workshop for the Philippine American Student Association at WSU, covering profound challenges facing Philippine peasants; to developing a food justice workshop for “low status” and underserved youth in Vancouver, WA. Amber will continue to engage in community service projects as a means for ensuring that families, like her own, have an alternative experience. One in which isolation is replaced with relationships, segregation is replaced with community, and aggression is replaced with compassion.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2012 - Ricardi Duvil

Ricardi Duvil is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University, a fellow of the National Science Foundation. His research involves using nitrate as a remediation technique to prevent methylmercury contamination of freshwater biota in lakes, contamination that can cause severe heath effects in wildlife and humans.

Ricardi plans to investigate the dynamics and mechanisms of nitrate control on mercury cycling in surface waters, as well as policy and management implications of using nitrate to ameliorate mercury contamination of aquatic biota. This research will combine lab studies, field studies, and microbial ecology studies to illuminate the dynamics, mechanisms and effectiveness of nitrate control on methylmercury cycling at the sediment-water interface of lakes. Results of this work could contribute to the form and content of new regulatory action towards mercury contamination, the acceptance and use of new technology, and the development of alternative ways to implement policies that effectively mitigate mercury contamination in freshwater life.

His pursuit of higher education began at Boston's Suffolk University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering. He decided to study environmental engineering because of its applied nature and strong connection to public health. Following graduation from Suffolk, he went on to earn a M.S. degree in Applied Geosciences from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

His academic achievements, work experience, and passion for research have prepared him to become a leader in preventing environmental degradation linked to human health problems, especially in developing nations such as Haiti, where people suffer unimaginable heath problems from everyday exposure to environmental pollution. Throughout his career, Ricardi has served as a role model and encouraging minority high school students to pursue their dreams of being a scientist or engineer and protecting the environment, despite obstacles along the way.

Ricardi’s goal is to make a significant contribution to the scientific and engineering knowledge of mercury pollution and water resources problems in Haiti and across developing nations. With his doctoral degree, he is confident that he will become a leader in solving water-related health problems and preventing the unnecessary destruction of lives and the environment, degradation that he encountered first-hand as a young man in Haiti. After earning his PhD, he plans to continue with research, teaching, and community outreach at the university level. He is optimistic that with his vision of making a real difference and protecting human and environmental health will become a reality.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2011 - Erim Gomez

Erim Gomez is a Ph.D. student in Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. He is deeply interested in environmental and non-profit organizations, having formerly served as Co-Director of Southern Oregon University’s Ecology Center of the Siskiyous and on the Board of Directors of Oregon Stewardship. His research interests include the conservation of endangered species and the ecology and sustainability of freshwater ecosystems.

As an undergraduate he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and minors in Economics and Political Science because he sees the urgent need for connecting environmental policy and science. He believes scientists should be effective communicators with the public and policy makers, while understanding complex economic and political influences on environmental issues. He believes that the more lenses through which we can see the world, the better able we are to solve the pressing global environmental problems faced by society.

Gomez has been active in wildlife conservation and research efforts across the west, including work in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California on water quality and the ecology of lizards, aquatic insects, crayfish, amphibians, salmon, and other fresh water fish. His master’s research focused on exploring ecological factors that determine diversity and abundance of amphibians in Palouse Prairie wetlands in eastern Washington. For his dissertation he plans to conduct wetland ecology research in the Moses Lake area of central Washington, and produce conservation and management plans, which he hopes may be used to save the state endangered Northern Leopard frog from extinction.

Erim is devoted to encouraging students from under-represented groups in science to pursue higher education and frequently gives presentations to high school students, mentors undergraduates, serves on advisory panels, and gives educational workshops to students. Gomez frequently is asked to share his experience as a first generation college student to encourage others to continue with their education. He plans to pursue a career as a professor because he is passionate about teaching, having volunteered as an environmental educator for youth science programs and serving as a graduate teaching assistant. In the future, he hopes to continue his teaching and research career while working with non-profit organizations and natural resource managers to help produce ecologically sound environmental management and policy.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2010 - Tracy Fuentes

Tracy Fuentes is a student in the Interdisciplinary PhD program in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. A third generation Mexican-American, Tracy is the first person in her family to attend college.

She has a B.S. in Botany from the University of Washington and an M.S. in Plant Biology from Arizona State University. Tracy’s master’s research focused on understanding the role that fire and a fungal disease play in the population dynamics of longsepal globemallow (Iliamna longisepala), a rare plant found only in two counties in eastern Washington State.

Her doctoral research will explore how land use and land use changes affect plants at the local, watershed, and regional scales. Many ecology and natural resource programs do not include specific considerations of people and land use in habitat restoration or species conservation. She plans to work with tribes, land managers, and plant resource professionals throughout the Puget Sound, but will have a specific focus on land use change, priority habitats, and plants in the Snohomish River Basin.

Developing more integrated conservation tools and techniques will allow botanists, weed managers, and other plant resource professionals to more effectively protect and restore habitats. This will include linking field observations to remotely sensed data, identifying land use patterns that most affect vulnerable plant species and communities, and assessing how people directly and indirectly spread invasive plants.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2009 - Juan Mario Michan

Juan Mario Michan, a postgraduate student at the University of British Columbia, was selected to receive the third annual Priscilla Bullitt Collins Environmental Fellowship. Mr. Michan, a native of Colombia, South America, has had an interest in science, technology, and the environment from an early age. Being from a disadvantaged family limited his opportunities of obtaining postsecondary education, but obligatory military service opened the door to college and training that eventually led him into a job in the marine industry implementing systems to prevent and clean pollution caused by freighters and port equipment.

Due to personal circumstances caused by violence in Colombia, Mario was forced to flee, arriving in Canada as a convention refugee. He soon found work as a bicycle mechanic while completing night school and learning English. He has since become a Canadian citizen, completed an Engineering Physics degree, researched physics, optics and nanotechnology, and worked as an electrical engineer designing hardware and software in high-tech companies.

Mario’s master’s research focused on electron emission from carbon nanotubes, which are tiny tubes made of carbon several times smaller than a DNA strand. Due to their molecular configuration, carbon nanotubes are stronger than steel and can conduct much more electric current than copper. This research investigated a mechanism to extract electrons from their tips by applying electric fields.

Mr. Michan’s doctoral research will investigate techniques to use carbon nanotubes to remove air pollutants from the environment. He theorizes that electrons generated by nanotubes could be used in industrial applications to start chemical reactions that will remove air pollutants that cause acid rain, smog and global warming.

Mario feels very fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, a region he believes is a hub for technological innovation and environmental leadership, and he is proud to call it home. He seems destined for an important role in solving the environmental challenges confronting us.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2008 - Clarita Lefthand Begay

Clarita Lefthand Begay, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington has been selected to receive the second annual Bullitt Environmental Prize.

Ms. Lefthand, who is fluent in Navajo, is deeply committed to serving her community. Raised in a culture in which pursuit of a doctorate in a scientific discipline is highly unusual, Clarita intends to apply environmental health science to reservation problems and to serve as a role model for younger Native Americans.

For her master’s thesis, Clarita tracked microbial sources of fecal contamination for the Tulalip Tribes in the estuarine waters of Tulalip Bay, conducting the research in ways that directly addressed tribal concerns. Her work was selected for presentation at national meetings of the American Society for Microbiology and the National Environmental Health Association.

Ms. Lefthand’s doctoral research will attempt to advance techniques to distinguish viable pathogens from nonviable detritus in the environment—increasing the accuracy of predictions of risks to human health from aquatic ecosystems. Her research interests are summarized on her Web site at:

At the University of Washington, Clarita is a member of the Planning Committee for the Environmental Health Research Experience Program. She has represented the Department of Environmental Health at the last two annual meetings of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. She is a key member of the local chapter of Native American Students in Advanced Academia and she spearheaded that organization’s 2007 national meeting on the UW campus.

The Bullitt Foundation +

2007 - Aimy Bazlak

The first Bullitt Environmental Prize was awarded to Aimy Ming Jii Bazlak Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto.

A daughter of Chinese immigrants, Aimy has already done research in plasma physics, nanotechnology, microfabrication and computational fluid dynamics. She gives frequent lectures on energy and climate change to school audiences and business organizations.

Aimy plans to devote her career to improving the performance of fuel cells, facilitating the transition to a hydrogen-based economy. Her doctoral thesis focused on microscale fuel cells. Her research is presented on her Web site at:

Images from the 2017 Fellow Awards Dinner