Darvin DeShazer Scholarship Program

The Sonoma Mycological Society (SOMA) is pleased to announce three types of educational scholarships: two for graduate students in mycology, up to three for undergraduate college students, and up to five for K-12 grade students. Our hope is that these scholarships will stimulate further interest and study in the amazing world of fungi. Funds for these awards are earned from the proceeds of our annual SOMA Camp.

K-12 scholarships

Application deadline: May 31, 2019

There will be two separate opportunities for up to 5 students to obtain K-12 scholarships of $100 per student. Students entering either the Sonoma County Science Fair, sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education, or the Healdsburg County Science Fair will be eligible. Each winner will also receive an additional $100 for the sponsoring teacher or school.

A team of judges from SOMA will be on hand at the events. Entries may be in the form of a poster, drawings, science project, an original report, or any other item related to the biological studies. Projects with an emphasis on fungi will be given extra attention.

Following guidelines set for the science fairs by the organizers is paramount. Please download SOMA judging standards:

K-12 Scholarship Guidelines

Awards will be presented at the usual presentation ceremonies of the respective science fairs.

NOTE: Award winning work may be selected to be displayed as educational material at our annual Mushroom Camp, one of our monthly meetings, or placed in our monthly newsletter. Artistic credit and copyright will always remain with the student.

College level scholarships

Application deadline: May 31, 2019

This year we will be offering a new level of scholarship. This is for students of science who produce a project on botany. Projects with an emphasis on fungi will be given extra attention. We will be presenting up to three $250 scholarships for worthy projects that fulfill requirements for either MESA (Mathmatics, Engineering, Science Achievment) or a particular science class project or report.

A team of judges will be present at the Santa Rosa Junior College MESA evaluation process to select winners.

College Scholarship Application & Guidelines
ALSO: Along with the submission of the project, please write a paragraph briefly summarizing the project goals and conclusions.

NOTE: Winning applicants are expected to give a 5-7 minute overview of the project at one of our monthly meetings at the Farm Bureau in Santa Rosa. The project may also be asked to be displayed at our SOMA Mushroom Camp in January. (Winning students need not be present for that event). Winning written projects may be published in our monthly newsletter.

Graduate level scholarships

Application deadline: May 31, 2019

The two collegiate scholarships are open to graduate students interested in studying fungi:

Winning applicants will give a presentation dealing with some aspect of mycology at one of the regular SOMA meetings during the next 24 months. The subject matter of the presentation can be quite diverse and original, but is often related to the winning applicant's unique focus and interest in mycology.

Graduate Scholarship Application & Guidelines

Required materials in addition to application:

  1. A brief letter on what you are studying, your major, and whom you are working under. This should also include a list of college courses taken about fungi.
  2. A statement confirming your willingness to present a talk/slide show at a monthly meeting of SOMA in Santa Rosa, CA.
  3. A brief letter or recommendation from someone connected to your academic pursuits.

How to apply

There are two easy ways to apply if you are submitting this individually (not part of an organized science fair or MESA project. Those submissions are done at the site of the event):

  1. Bring in your materials to a monthly SOMA meeting. We meet on the third Thursday of the month, September through May, at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, 970 Piner Rd., Santa Rosa, CA. Map
  2. Or email everything to:

If you have any questions, feel free to .