Announcing our 2021 Scholarship Award Recipients

A family of black bears
A family of black bears

The Fur-Bearers are pleased to announce our scholarship award recipients for the 2021 year: Sarah Ronald, Nikki Heim, and Melanie Whalen. The Fur-Bearers provides scholarships to individuals dedicated to sharing the message of coexistence in our communities.

The Fur-Bearers Arts & Science Scholarship was created in 2021 to support individuals who are committed to improving coexistence with wildlife in Canada. The scholarship is awarded to support projects designed to promote coexistence either through the use of art or through science-based projects. This year, The Fur-Bearers is awarding a scholarship in both the Arts stream and the Science Stream. Click here to learn more about the Arts & Science Scholarship.

In addition to the Arts & Science Scholarship, The Fur-Bearers offers a full scholarship to the Beaver Institute’s training program. This program provides a comprehensive online course that mentors and trains professionals to resolve human-beaver conflicts using non-lethal and scientifically-proven techniques. Students learn about the role of beavers as a keystone species and how to build and install successful water control devices to resolve beaver dam flooding problems. Click here to learn more about the Beaver Institute Scholarship.

2021 Arts & Science Scholarship Recipients

We are happy to announce our scholarship winners for 2021 and the projects that the scholarships will support.

Sarah Ronald, British Columbia

This hand-drawn animation project is an experiential and educational art piece around encountering wildlife, focusing on animals that need heightened public education around coexistence in suburban spaces. Animations will be shared at events and screenings in conjunction with messaging and invited dialog relating to coexistence.

“My inspiration with screening the animals outdoors and temporarily/ephemerally speaks to how we often encounter the wild in general: often unexpected, the encounter gives us pause, an interruption in our daily human experiences. As an artist I am interested in non-linear storytelling and inviting audiences to interpret and relate the work back to their real-world behaviors towards animal encounters.” – Sarah Ronald

View Sarah’s work at

Nikki Heim, Alberta

Wolverine (Gulo gulo L.) are a species of special concern in western Canada. Like many wildlife, disturbance to preferred habitat for successful reproduction and rearing young is vital for species persistence. Know threats to critical denning habitat for reproductive female wolverines are climate change and winter recreation. While tackling a changing climate is an unprecedented challenge, minimizing disturbance caused by winter recreation activities can be accomplished through translating scientific concepts and findings into public awareness that guide individual actions.

Using a digital story telling platform, this project will build an interactive narrative that relates scientific information to a broader public to improve wolverine awareness and promote co-existence through responsible winter recreation activities. Taking from a collection of expert digital photography, videography, and mapping garnered through recent research efforts, this virtual Story Map will engage with mountain enthusiasts by describing key conservation concerns for wolverine populations, telling an exciting and heartfelt tale of local discovery using innovative research techniques, and offering strategies to travel responsibly – sharing the land with these emblematic animals.

2021 Beaver Institute Scholarship Recipient

Melanie Whalen, Alberta

Melanie Whalen works in the field of wildlife rehabilitation and will use the knowledge gained from the Beaver Institute program to educate the public about non-lethal solutions and practically apply the skills in her surrounding communities.

To learn more about Melanie’s work visit

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

Help Make A Difference

Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today. Your donation is tax-deductible.


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About Us

Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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