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 Student Scholar Fellow
Henry Kramer, MA (in progress) will be focusing on philosophy in the community projects related to the human-nature relationship, environmental ethics, ecology, eco-phenomenology, and the phenomenology of imagination and story. His work will be published on our website and other relevant forums. Community projects will take place in Helena, MT and surrounding areas.
“I have always focused my studies on the relationship between the human mind and the natural world, the potentials of that relationship, and the role of the imagination. I take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of philosophy, religion and the human search for meaning. My long-term academic goals are to further research and better understand the imagination from an experiential perspective, and to link the internal human imaginative world with the external, dynamic ecological world. Through a deeper understanding of the connections between these two worlds, I hope to combat anthropocentrism and assist people in achieving a deeper empathy and relationship to the natural world.” — Henry
Henry’s Planned Philosophy in the Community Projects
- Eco-Phenomenology, Environmental Ethics & Phenomenology of Imagination and Story — Discussion leader and co-philosopher-on-trail for two to three philosophy walks that will take place in the Summer and Fall of 2019 with topics ranging from eco-phenomenology and environmental ethics to the phenomenology of imagination and story.
- The Human-Nature Relationship — Workshop design and implementation/facilitation on issues relevant to the human-nature relationship. The workshop will be conducted in conjunction with one of the philosophy walks he will be co-leading in the Fall of 2019.
- Philosophy Community Discussion — Program design and implementation/facilitation at a community gathering in the Fall of 2019 featuring a full-length film (specific topic TBD) followed by philosophical discussion.
Learn more about Henry...
Henry Kramer, MA (in progress). Henry is a graduate student at the University of Montana, Missoula currently working toward two Master’s Degrees — one in Environmental Philosophy and the other in Literature. A cum laude graduate from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, City University of New York (BA, Psychological Dimensions of Religions), Henry is the co-founder and a former cultural researcher at Storyeon (a research focus group at C.G. Jung Institute of Manhattan, NY and a member of ARAS (Archive for Research into Archetypal Symbolism) committee. He has served as a panelist for the United Nations, a speaker on Tedx, and a guest lecturer at Hunter College, as well as a coordinator and facilitator for the Joseph Campbell Mythological Roundtable at the Center for Symbolic Studies in Rosendale, NY and a work-study assistant to cultural ecologist and philosopher David Abram. Henry has also studied abroad in New Zealand at the Victoria University of Wellington and has spent time in Europe backpacking and working on an organic farm. A lover of inquiry and wonder, clarity and understanding, and being immersed in the great outdoors, Henry is passionate about helping people connect with nature through new and novel modes of understanding and experience. His philosophical interests lie in the phenomenology of nature (i.e., eco-phenomenology) and the phenomenology of imagination and story.
2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow
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