Our fellowship programs are opportunities for scholars and students in the Helena, MT and surrounding areas to research and write about topics that are important to them, as well as design and co-direct various Merlin philosophy in the community activities and events. Fellows will work under the mentorship of a Senior Fellow and create a project (or series of projects) that contributes to and advances philosophical sensitivity, awareness, understanding, and engagement about a variety of issues. Fellows will receive an honorarium and research and writing projects will be published on the Merlin website, as well as other forums, as applicable; philosophy in the community projects will take place in Helena, MT and surrounding areas (as well as others locations across the state, as applicable) and archived on the Merlin website, as well.
Community Scholar Fellowships
The Merlin Community Scholar Fellowship will provide you with a chance to network with thinkers in diverse fields of study and apply philosophy to your chosen area of focus. The program is ideal for people who value critical, creative thinking, have a knack for (or would like to develop a knack for) communicating complex and nuanced ideas in non-technical terms, believe in the importance of sharing ideas and broadening perspectives, and have a strong compassion for humanity and the environment.
Student Scholar Fellowships
The Merlin Student Scholar Fellowship will provide you with a chance to work with thinkers in diverse fields of study and apply philosophy to your chosen area of focus. The program is ideal for students who value critical, creative thinking, have a knack for (or would like to develop a knack for) communicating complex and nuanced ideas in non-technical terms, believe in the importance of sharing ideas and broadening perspectives, and have a strong compassion for humanity and the environment. Priority will be given to applicants interested in developing and co-directing community activities and projects (that apply your research and writing ideas in the community), as opposed to research and writing projects sans the community element.
2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellows
Thomas Baumeister, PhD will be focusing on research, writing & philosophy in the community projects related to the human-nature relationship. Environmental and conservation challenges, concerns, and issues will also be explored within this context. His work will be published on our website and other relevant forums. Community projects will take place in Helena, MT and surrounding areas, as well as others locations across the state, as applicable.
Thomas’ Planned Philosophy in the Community Projects
- Philosophy, Conservation & Biomimicry — A conservation and biomimicry-themed version of our Montana Conversations program “Philosophy: What Is It Good For?”, this program will explore how philosophy and biomimicry can inspire and contribute to our thinking and actions relative to Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding communities. The event will take place at Red Lodge Ales Brewery in Red Lodge, MT. Thomas will be a discussion leader & co-presenter alongside Marisa Diaz-Waian.
- TED-Talk & Philosophy Inspired Community Discussions — Program design and implementation for several community gatherings throughout the course of the year incorporating 1-2 TED Talk films per session, followed by philosophical discussion.
Thomas’ Planned Research & Writing Projects
- The Human-Nature Relationship — Regular editorials on various environmental and conservation issues. Research and writing will incorporate exploration and discussion about the human-nature relationship and raise questions geared to inspire philosophical thinking, continued dialogue, and action.
Learn more about Thomas...
Thomas Baumeister, PhD (Conservation Educator & Executive Director, Montana WILD). Thomas co-founded and currently runs Access WILD, a business devoted to introducing people to the wilds of the West. As Faculty Associate at Carroll College and Arizona State University, he teaches courses on The Science, Ethics, and Practice of Animal Welfare; Wild Animals & Society; The Human-Nature Connection; and The Biomimicry Ethos—A Pathway from Practice to Philosophy. While serving as Conservation Education Bureau Chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Thomas facilitated the establishment of Montana WILD, wrote the state’s hunter education manual, and chaired the committee for the International Hunter Education Association to develop U.S. hunter education standards. In addition to serving as Board President for Orion – The Hunter’s Institute, he also serves on the board of the Helena Hunters and Anglers Association and is chair of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame. Thomas has been recognized as “Professional of the Year” by the International Hunter Education Association and is a three-time recipient of the Montana Governor’s Award for “Excellence in Performance.” He holds two M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. in Biology and Wildlife Biology from Universities in Germany and Montana