Frank Conley Scholarship

Frank Conley (via Sue Conley)--B-15,C+25,UMThe Frank Conley Memorial Scholarship

Applications accepted January 8 – February 8, 2016

Frank Conley, Fishtrap’s longtime office manager, died of cancer in 2005. To honor his contributions to youth and to Fishtrap, the Frank Conley Memorial Scholarship was established to assist young people wishing to join in Fishtrap’s summer and winter programs. Scholarships are available to any person under 35 years of age, and high school and college students are especially encouraged to apply.


Summer Fishtrap Scholarship applications are accepted from January 8 through February 8 at 5 PM (PST). Late applications will be considered if funding allows. Applicants will be notified of decision on or before February 28, 2016.

Who is eligible:

Frank Conley Scholarships are available to any person under 35 years of age who wishes to attend a Fishtrap event. High school and college students are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants under 18 years are required to have a chaperone accompany them while at Summer Fishtrap. For more information, contact Mike Midlo, Fishtrap Program Manager.

Scholarship amounts:

The size of each scholarship is determined on an event by event basis, and may or may not cover the entire cost of the Fishtrap event. This means that scholarship recipients may need to pay part of the cost to attend Fishtrap.

How to apply:

CLICK HERE to apply beginning January 8, 2016

Send us a letter not to exceed 800 words. Provide your contact information at the top of page including your name, address, and birth date. Describe yourself. Let us know the relevance of attending Summer Fishtrap to your life, writing, interests, and explain your financial need. IMPORTANT: Submissions must be submitted online as one PDF document. 

Frank Conley & Michael Andrews at trailhead (via Michael Andrews)--cropped 3w x 2h B&W UMAbout Frank Conley

Frank Conley was born in Cove, Oregon, to one of the Grande Ronde Valley’s oldest farming families. After graduating from Cove High School in 1960, he attended Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, Eastern Oregon University and the University of Strasbourg, earning degrees in mathematics, English literature, and education.

He farmed, taught school at a private boys’ school in Boston and at the public high school in La Grande, Oregon, wrote for a newspaper, and worked as an artisan. Proudly “unlicensed, unbonded, and uninsured,” Frank owned businesses in construction, accounting and tax preparation, among other trades.

Frank Conley business card--jack of all trades--edited & downsizedWhile Frank travelled widely, he was also intimately acquainted with the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area right in his backyard. He once snowshoed from Moss Springs, near Cove, to Wallowa Lake. He was equally knowledgeable of Wallowa County’s canyon country and wrote a guide book to the trails of Hells Canyon. In response to a friend’s challenge, he began learning the names of the plants and wildlife of northeastern Oregon. His mastery of the subject became legendary.

Frank wrote of himself that he enjoyed music, fishing, writing, hunting, jogging, hiking, theater, birds and butterflies, and — above all — learning. His love of learning was augmented by his desire to share of himself with others.  These qualities helped make him the region’s premier natural historian and a popular tour guide for groups from Fishtrap, The Nature Conservancy and Elderhostel.

At Fishtrap, these same qualities led Frank to personally pay expenses for a number of high school students who could not otherwise have taken part in Fishtrap’s activities.