BC Nature Scholarships

Bert Brink Scholarship

Bert Brink

The scholarship honours the memory of Dr. Bert Brink, a past president of BC Nature and strong advocate of nature stewardship and conservation.

This scholarship for $2500 is awarded to graduate students. Applicants should be registered in full-time studies towards a post-graduate degree at an accredited institution of higher learning, in a program which will lead to a Masters or Doctoral Degree in a discipline which contributes to an awareness, appreciation, improved management of flora and fauna, conservation, restoration, and understanding of our natural environment.

2024 Bert Brink Scholarship Application : Closed

2025 Applications available: Link

Rene Savenye Scholarship

Rene Savenye

The scholarship honours Rene Savenye, an enthusiastic contributor, mentor, and organizer at numerous naturalist and hiking clubs. He was the consummate teacher exhibiting uncommon patience and enthusiasm while explaining the marvels of nature.

The scholarship $2000 is awarded to a post-secondary student enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that contributes to awareness, appreciation, and understanding of our natural environment.

2024 Rene Savenye Scholarship Application – Closed for 2024

2025 Applications now available: LINK


Rene Savenye, Naturalist and Mentor (October 9, 1938 – July 26, 2002)

Rene was born in Holland then came to Canada and grew up in New Westminster. He graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science degree and became a teacher at Princess Margaret Secondary School in the City of Surrey. Rene taught for 31 years (without missing a day!). Rene married Anne Johnson in 1962 and they had three sons, Mike, Paul and Ed.  Rene was a family man and enjoyed taking his family on outdoor  excursions.

Rene became a marathoner and competed in several in the 1980s before pursuing his passion: hiking in nature. He became an expert botanist, especially on native plants, fossils and mushrooms, and was well-informed on all matters of natural history. While fossil hunting in the Merritt area, Rene came upon the find of his life: a fossilized bee thought to be  between 52 and 54 million years old. He donated the fossil to Simon Fraser University which later went to the Royal BC Museum.  There is the possibility the fossil will be named “savenyensis.”

Rene was an enthusiastic contributor to numerous clubs: the North Shore Hikers, Vancouver Natural History Society, Valley Outdoor Club, White Rock and Surrey Naturalists, Surrey Green Timbers Forest advisory committee and the Geological Survey of Canada. Rene mentored a number of organizations at their start-up and was always quick to volunteer to lead a nature walk in the community. He was the consummate teacher, exhibiting uncommon patience and enthusiasm while explaining the marvels of nature.

Rene passed away doing what he loved. He was taken by lightning while hiking and fossil hunting on Mount Fairview near Lake Louise.