Public Lands Transportation Scholars

The Public Lands Transportation Scholar program provides fellowships to outstanding graduates in a transportation-related field to spend ten months working directly with staff of Federal Land Management Agencies on key visitor transportation issues.

The Public Lands Transportation Scholars (PLTS) program began in 2012 and was modeled after the very successful Transportation Scholars program managed by the National Park Foundation (NPF) that serves the National Park Service (NPS). More information on the NPF Transportation Scholars program can be found by clicking here.

From 2012 to 2014, the PLTS served the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and was funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program and the USFWS and conducted in partnership with the Eno Transportation Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, BLM, NPF, NPS, USFS, and USFWS.

From 2014 to present, the PLTS will serve only the USFWS and will be funded directly by the USFWS.

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Scholars Collage

The Public Lands Transportation Scholars Program gives recent masters and doctoral graduates in a transportation related engineering or planning field a unique opportunity for career development and public service. Successful applicants are placed at a federal land unit facing a transportation issue to facilitate a transportation planning or implementation project. A scholar is assigned to work with staff at a unit or region/field office. The assigned projects help the land units develop transportation solutions that preserve valuable resources and enhance the visitor experience.

The program has four goals, which are to:

  • Encourage emerging transportation professionals to pursue their career serving federal lands.
  • Provide much-needed transportation expertise to FLMA units and regions to help them address critical transportation issues.
  • Support the development, implementation and evaluation of viable alternative transportation for visitors to FLMAs.
  • Encourage multi-agency alternative transportation programs that serve visitors to multiple FLMA units.

For the 2016-2017 program, 1 scholar was chosen to spend February – December 2016 at the USFWS Headquarter Location and 2 scholars have been chosen to spend June 2016 - April 2017 at a public land. Click here to read about the 3 locations chosen and click here to read more about the scholars chosen.

2016-2017 Timeline

  • Feb. 1, 2016
  • June 14-17, 2016
  • June 20, 2016
  • Dec. 31, 2016
  • Jan. 8-12, 2017
  • April 14, 2017
  • May 15, 2017
  • Headquarters scholar starts assignment
  • Orientation at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
  • Scholars start their assignments
  • Headquarters scholar completes assignment
  • Poster session at the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.
  • Complete scholar assignment
  • Final Reports Due

Contact Information

  • Administration Questions

  • Technical Questions