National Needs Fellowship (NNF) Program

Trees National Needs Fellowship (NNF) Program

If you are an underrepresented minority student interested in natural resources and/or forestry, the National Needs Fellowship (NNF) Program may be for you.

About NNF

National Needs Fellowship Program

Are you ready to be a natural resources or forestry change-maker?

If you are an underrepresented minority student interested in natural resources and/or forestry, the National Needs Fellowship (NNF) Program may be for you.

The application period for Fall 2020 has closed. However, applications for Fall 2021 will open in December 2020, with a deadline of March 2021.

We are proud to host students for the USDA National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Program. This program is ideal for students interested in a master’s degree in Forestry and Environmental Resources within the College of Natural Resources at NC State University.

Successful candidates would focus on projects which could include, but will not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Financial aspects of forestry and forest management
  • Field assessments or human dimensions of excess water and forests
  • Evaluating intercropping in forest plantations
  • Soil sustainability and productivity in a natural and/or planted forested ecosystem
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of forestry and natural resources
  • Forest extension and outreach engagement

Application Information

These fellowships are fully-funded assistantships with opportunities to work with a forest industry partner, non-profit agency and/or government agency.

Minimum qualifications for these fellowships include a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, chemistry, soil science, forestry, environmental science, ecology, natural resources or a related discipline. We will develop a cohort of diverse students and strongly encourage applications from students traditionally underrepresented (i.e., African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans) in forestry and natural resources.

To learn more about the fellowship, please review the Application Materials.

Interested and want to learn more?

Complete the Interest Form

Potential Mentors

Your mentor will help guide your research, so it is essential to have a strong match in research interest areas. Contact any of our potential mentors about your research interests to help identify a good fit.

Dr. Zakiya Leggett
NNF Team Lead/Principal Investigator
Areas of study: soil ecology, nutrient cycling, sustainability


Sam Cook Sam Cook
Forest Asset Director, Student Recruitment and Placement


Stacy Nelson Dr. Stacy Nelson
Areas of study: remote sensing and GIS technologies, diversity and inclusion


Elizabeth Nichols Dr. Elizabeth Nichols
Areas of study: forests, bioenergy, chemicals of concern, water quality and water quantity, and water Reuse


Louie Rivers Dr. Louie Rivers
Area of study: risk, the judgment and decision process in minority and marginalized communities, environmental justice


Rajan Parajuli Dr. Rajan Parajuli
Area of study: forest economics, financial analysis of forest management, economic impact and contribution analysis


Mark Megalos Dr. Mark Megalos
Areas of Interest: Forest Management, Taxation, Conservation Strategies, Climate and Outreach