HCAS Birders Scholarship 2023
High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) is pleased to announce a scholarship opportunity to
support up to four young birders who would like to attend a Carolina Bird Club meeting but lack the necessary funds.
This Scholarship program is designed to encourage participation in birding activities by a
younger group than is typically found at these events. We believe that lack of funds is one reason
few younger birders attend the CBC meetings. HCAS hopes that this scholarship opportunity
will help our next generation of birders to participate in these meetings and will allow them to
experience the wonders of birding in a setting that provides tremendous learning opportunities.
The Carolina Bird Club’s website states that, “The Carolina Bird Club holds general meetings
three times a year, in mid-winter, spring, and fall. The winter meeting is usually held in late
January or early February, the spring meeting in late April or early May, and the fall meeting in
late September or early October. The main focus of the meetings is birding, thus the meeting
location is rotated among good birding locations in the three regions of the club: eastern and
western North Carolina, and South Carolina. Meetings also feature evening programs and social
hours on Friday and Saturday.”
At this time the winter 2024 meeting is planned for Nags on the Outer Banks from January 19
through January 21. Information for the spring and fall meetings have not been posted yet.
Information about past and future Carolina Bird Club meetings can be found on its website at
The HCAS Birding Scholarship will award up to $870 to a college student or recent graduate, or
up to four students/graduates who apply as a group, to help them attend a CBC meeting in either
North or South Carolina during the 2024 calendar year. Only currently-enrolled students or
people who have graduated within one year of the CBC meeting may apply. Applicants must be
25-years-old or younger at the time of the meeting and live in or attend school in one of the five
counties covered by HCAS (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Wilkes counties).
Amount: $810 – $870 provided, with the following limits:
Carolina Bird Club membership HCAS will pay $15/student or $30/non-student ($60-$120)
Meeting registration ($35) HCAS will pay for up to 4 recipients ($140 total)
Hotel (up to $400) HCAS will pay for one room for three nights (up to $400)
Evening banquet ($40) HCAS will pay for up to 4 recipients ($160 total)
Gas stipend ($50) HCAS will reimburse $50 to help with this expense
The award winner(s) will be asked to write a short story (approximately 300 – 500 words in
length) for the High Country Audubon Society’s website describing their experience at the
meeting. If HCAS resumes monthly membership meetings we encourage the recipient(s) to give
a presentation at one of these meetings describing their experience at the CBC meeting.
The HCAS Birding Scholarship began in 2015 when two anonymous HCAS members donated
$250 to HCAS to help Alexandra Vlk, a recent college graduate, attend the CBC 2015 winter
meeting at Nags Head. The chapter’s Board decided to make the scholarship an official program
and supported three Appalachian State University students attending the spring meeting in 2016.
In both 2018 and 2019 students from Lees-McRae College attended the Winter CBC meetings.
Due to the Covid pandemic no meetings were offered in 2020 and 2021. When the program
resumed for calendar year 2023 the scholarship was given to three students from Lees-McRae
The application to apply for the HCAS Birding Scholarship can be found HERE .
Applications are due by November 4, 2023, and the person(s) selected will be announced by
November 11. Funds will be available in time to be used for registration for the selected meeting.
Contact Bob Cherry at [email protected] if you have questions.