Lone Mountain Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for scholars, journalists, policy-makers, and environmentalists to advance our understanding of the role of markets and property rights in protecting and enhancing environmental resources. Lone Mountain Fellows are resident at PERC in Bozeman, Montana, for periods ranging from a week to a year, depending on the nature of their projects.
Here is a small sample of the types of projects that a Lone Mountain Fellow might undertake:
- Completion of a book or other large-scale research project while on sabbatical
- Initial development of a dataset or other source materials to be used for subsequent research
- Writing a policy study, magazine article, or newspaper series
- Initiation or completion of a scholarly paper for a major academic journal
The project focus must be on natural resources and environmental issues, including the study of property rights. Whatever the nature of the projects, all Fellows are expected to give at least one seminar at PERC. Lone Mountain Fellows are expected to interact with other PERC scholars and fellows while in residence, and it is intended that the fellowship period be thought of as an opportunity to either establish or strengthen a continuing relationship with PERC.
Stipends for Lone Mountain Fellows vary with the nature of the work, duration of residence at PERC, and the Fellow's qualifications. For example, some fellows will be funded to spend a few days at PERC; others will spend a month or two in residence, and will receive commensurate support. There may even be some instances in which a fellow's funding will be an important salary supplement during a sabbatical semester or year spent at PERC. Fellows are responsible for their own travel, living arrangements, and living expenses. Timing of stipend payments varies with the circumstances of the fellowship, although in every instance 25 percent of the stipend is withheld until completion of the final project, generally expected by Dec. 31 of the year in which the fellowship is undertaken.
In my mind, the most outstanding feature of my experience in the LMF program was the active intellectual summertime climate at PERC. There were not only daily interactions between the LMF participants, but there were also frequent interactions with the student fellows, with other PERC visitors (journalists, academics, and so forth), as well as with the year-round PERC personnel. The seminars were valuable as a forum for exchanging ideas and thoughts regarding a broad range of policy issues related to the institutions and incentives that might be used to protect and enhance environmental quality and natural resource use and management. The thoughtful comments provided and questions posed—both in seminars and in one-on-one interactions—have substantial potential to result in improved public policies for the management and use of natural resources and the environment. –Randy Rucker, 2012