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The Joan K. Hunt and Rachel M. Hunt Summer Scholarship in Field Botany

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Category: Botany

The Joan K. Hunt and Rachel M. Hunt Summer Scholarship in Field Botany 


Purpose: To promote the importance of botany to horticulture by encouraging young men and women to study field botany in the US, and to offer an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the field beyond the regular course of study.

History: Following the death of his wife, Joan Hunt, Torrence Miller Hunt, Sr. decided to remember her with a donation to the GCA Scholarship Program. During her lifetime, Joan was a director from Zone V, an active member of the Garden Club of Allegheny County, and loved her association with her club and the GCA. Members of the GCAC agreed. It was decided that the scholarship would be named in honor of Joan K. Hunt and Rachel M. Hunt, beloved members of the Garden Club of Allegheny County and outstanding women of Pittsburgh. Rachel M. Hunt, the mother of Torrence M. Hunt, Sr., was a director of The Garden Club of America from 1934-1939, and a founding member and president of the Garden Club of Allegheny County. One half of the funding would come from the Garden Club of Allegheny County and the balance would come from Torrence M. Hunt, Sr. Funding was completed in January 2003 and the first Hunt Scholar was named that March.

Provisions: Provides $2500 annually to one student for summer study in the field. (Award amount was increased from $1500 in 2008 and $2000 in 2015). Study may be for credit or beyond the regular course of study. The specific course of study and the location are chosen by the student. Some suggested studies include:

  • assisting a botanist with field studies
  • assisting a botanist with plant inventories
  • plant monitoring in a national forest
  • internship on a special project in a botanical garden

Eligibility: Open to undergraduates and graduate students up to the masters degree level with preference given to undergraduate students. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution.

To Apply: See application and information. Applications must be received at GCA Headquarters in New York City by mail by February 1 preceding the summer of study. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY ONE GCA SCHOLARSHIP, FELLOWSHIP OR AWARD MAY BE APPLIED FOR ANNUALLY.

Selection: Selection is by members of the GCA Scholarship Committee and may include additional members who have expertise in field botany. Note that the application for this scholarship and for the GCA Summer Scholarship in Field Botany are the same and will be considered together.

Fund: Joan K. Hunt and Rachel M. Hunt Summer Scholarship in Field Botany Fund 

Contact: The Garden Club of America, attn: Scholarship Applications, 14 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022-1006. Phone: 212-753-8287, fax: 212-753-0134, email:

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Scholarship Opportunities Available

The GCA offers 27 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in the areas of horticulture and its related disciplines which include medicinal and tropical botany, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research. Club-sponsored awards are given to recognize outstanding volunteer outreach that nurtures children in the appreciation of nature.

In March of 2016, 91 scholars were awarded over $360,000 to study and research a variety of horticultural and conservation topics ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research projects. This class of scholars represents institutions throughout our nation and some will participate in related field work around the world.

GCA Scholarships - supporting the best and brightest and furthering knowledge of our natural environment.