A headshot of Benjamin Trost

UA Junior Among 55 to Receive Udall Scholarship

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Benjamin Trost, a junior at The University of Alabama, was among 55 college students from around the nation to receive the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship which identifies future leaders in environmental, tribal public policy and health care fields.

Trost, a native of Tuscaloosa, is the first UA student to receive the Udall Scholarship in 23 years.

Trost is an Honors College student majoring in biology as well as interdisciplinary studies through New College with a minor in the Blount Scholars Program. His passion for research led him to collaborate with the Black Warrior Riverkeeper on water quality advocacy projects. In addition, he’s published research on the politics of plant conservation and investigated histories of environmental racism in the South as a 2024-2025 Rachel Carson Council National Environmental Leadership Fellow.

“Receiving this award solidifies my belief that there is important environmental work happening in Alabama, a state that often gets left out of the national environmentalist spotlight,” Trost said. “I will use the resources from the Udall Scholarship to continue platforming for our state’s incredible biodiversity and highlighting citizens’ parallel struggle for environmental justice.”

The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources. The scholarship is highly competitive, with students participating in their schools’ internal competitions before receiving consideration from the Udall Foundation.

Trost is excited to connect with like-minded students at this year’s Udall Scholar Orientation as he prepares to apply for graduate programs in environmental studies next year.

“I’m deeply appreciative to the faculty who have mentored me and taught me to see the connections between my interests in environmentalism, Southern history and Queer identity,” Trost said.

The UA Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships assists students in the pursuit of national and international awards including the Udall, Mitchell, Hollings, Goldwater, Rhodes and Boren, among others. Students interested in applying for awards that require an institutional endorsement can learn more on the External Scholarships and Fellowships website.

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.


Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, bryant.welbourne@ua.edu, 205-348-8325