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National Needs Fellowship

usda national needs graduate fellowship

PhD at the Warnell School

Full Fellowships for PhD Degrees

The Warnell School ( prepares leaders in the conservation and sustainable management of forests and other natural resources; to discover ways to restore and better use the earth’s natural resources; and to put into practice forestry and natural resources knowledge into practice.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is frequently required for research and staff specialist positions, and is nearly always required for university faculty positions. The PhD is often regarded as a degree of specialized education within a relatively narrow field of expertise. For more information regarding this degree see:

Past Students

USDA National Needs Fellows:

Sabrina Adkins

Graduated Fall 2015, Current Employer: International Papersabrina adkins and friend

Sabrina is originally from Byron, Georgia and recently ​received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Georgia College and State University. Sabrina's biology degree and undergraduate entomology research led to her interest in forestry. Sabrina now attends UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. She is pursing a Masters in Forestry Resources degree with a concentration in forestry business. Sabrina is focusing her education on timber management and consulting. Although Sabrina is new to this field she plans to use her excellent education, hands on experience,willingness to learn,and outgoing personality to carry her into her future career.

Dana Bloome

Graduated Fall 2014, Current Employer: International Paper

Dana BloomeDana is a native of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English at Claflin University located in Orangeburg, SC. Although she studied English, she has always expressed a passion for the forest. During her undergraduate career, Dana spent a great amount of time outdoors and even interned with the Clemson Cooperative Extension in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dana attended the University of Georgia as a graduate student in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources where she earned a Master of Forest Resources degree. She plans to use the knowledge, skills, and techniques that she obtains at this institution, along with other experience related opportunities to pursue a career in Timber management. As a hobby, Dana portrays the seen and unseen characteristics of the forest through poetry and short stories.

Danielle Hernandez

Graduated Spring 2014, Current Employer: Georgia Forestry Commission

Danielle HernandezDanielle obtained a Bachelors of Science in Forest Resources from UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources in wildlife sciences, and earned a Master of Forest Resources degree within the School. Through extracurricular activities during her undergraduate career, she discovered a passion for trees, and decided to redirect her career path towards the forestry field. Her current career goals are to become a forest planner, based on a recent internship with Weyerhaeuser and her educational background. Confident in her direction, she feels she has an ability to recognize small scale objectives while understanding the large-scale plan, and she is interested in incorporating different perspectives and components in efforts to solve problems. Her goal is to be able to incorporate all of the different aspects and objectives, such as social, wildlife and forestry, in efforts to recognize the best plan of action for a company or a landowner.


PhD Fellowships are designed to develop competent and capable managers and researchers who can pipeline into successful careers in forest economics, management and planning. Fellows will enhance their core competencies in forest management decision sciences, oral and written communication skills, and their ability to become effective in a global and technology-driven world economy. Through this program Fellows will be immersed in interdisciplinary teaching and outreach efforts and acquire experiential training through participating in summer internships with private (e.g., Weyerhaeuser) and state (e.g., Georgia Forestry Commission) forest organizations. The relationship with our research cooperatives and the Southern Regional Extension Forestry office will allow Fellows to acquire exceptional graduate training opportunities. Furthermore, Fellows will have the opportunity to attend and participate in international timberland investment meetings sponsored by the Harley Langdale Jr. Center for Forest Business and other conferences.


We are seeking highly qualified and motivated applicants at the PhD level. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or native residents of U.S. territories.  Prior degrees and job experience in natural resources field are desirable.
Underrepresented minorities and first generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply.

The University of Georgia is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer.

Fellowship Benefits

PhD fellowships will provide:

  1. Student stipend of $24,500 per year for up to three years
  2. Full tuition waiver
  3. Potential summer internships with private and state forest organizations
  4. Participation in international and national conferences

Past Activities

UGA Timberland Investment Conference 2013

Dana Bloome:

The University of Georgia’s 2013 Timberland Investment Conference was the largest, most organized and successful conference that I have yet to attend. With over five hundred people present, the conference served as a magnet, drawing in people from all around the world to come together and talk about timberland’s past, present, and future. As one of the few graduate students who were afforded the opportunity to attend, I shook hands and held conversions with investors, private land owners, and even the CEO of one of the most well known and respected international forest products companies. The speakers provided information on the economy and timber investments, investment trends in the current economy, TIMOs and REITs, the role of IT in timberland investment, and much more. I became aware of some of the issues the forestry industry has been facing and is still facing today, along with the trends and challenges of the future.

Fellows with Dan Fulton, CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company

Fellows with Dan Fulton, CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company

Danielle Hernandez:

The Timberland Investment Conference allowed me to gain further insight into the current challenges our industry faces, especially those from an economics standpoint. This is important to me as there is only so much you can learn in a classroom. Having those experiences and listening to professionals with various backgrounds helps provide a well-rounded picture of the industry. While I lack a strong forest economics background, the lectures and breakout sessions at this conference have dramatically increased my knowledge and advanced my understanding of forest economics. Most importantly, the conference provided me with ample opportunities to network with new people, as well as strengthen the relationships and connections with those I currently hold. These opportunities are invaluable and irreplaceable, as those relationships can only be built and strengthened with one-on-one interactions and personal conversations.

fellows at meeting

Fellows and Graduate Students at UGA Timberland Investment Conference