Anza-Borrego Foundation administers grants that encourage research in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Colorado Desert. Below you can find information on grant opportunities and past recipients. For further information on these grants, contact Briana Puzzo(link sends e-mail) or call 760-465-2604. 

Anza-Borrego Conservation Research Grants

The Anza-Borrego Foundation is pleased to announce two competitive conservation research grants:

  • Howie Wier Memorial Conservation Grant
  • Paul Jorgensen Research Grant

Each grant will award $2,500 annually to researchers conducting field studies in ecology, systematics, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. Grants are designed to assist with travel, supplies, equipment and other costs associated with field work (refer to online guidelines for allowable costs).


2022 Anza-Borrego Conservation Research Grant Application:

Download the application here: ABF Conservation Grants Application


Proposals will be evaluated for scholarly merit, project design and feasibility, and contribution to the future of conservation in the region. Researchers must obtain all necessary permits prior to conducting field research.

The deadline for the 2023 grant cycle is December 15, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the award by email by January 15, 2023.

Howie Wier Memorial Conservation Grant
The Wier Grant assists graduate students conducting field studies in the Colorado Desert and Peninsular Range region of southern California.

Harold A. “Howie” Wier (1952-2001) was a native San Diegan and a lifelong naturalist. He worked as a biological consultant and conservation biologist throughout Southern California. He was active in the California Native Plant Society, a past President of San Diego Audubon and a long-time member of the Anza-Borrego Foundation. This grant program was established by Anza-Borrego Foundation with the help of Howie’s family, friends and colleagues as a fitting tribute to Howie’s passion.

Paul Jorgensen Research Grant
The Jorgensen Grant assists graduate students, post-graduate researchers or professionals conducting field studies within the Colorado Desert and Peninsular Ranges of southern California. Research within State Parks of the region may receive special consideration in the award process.

Paul D. Jorgensen (1946-2012) was born in San Diego and spent his life enjoying the diverse ecosystems of the region. He surfed the coast, studied wildlife on the Channel Islands, managed the Tijuana National Estuarine Sanctuary and worked as a State Park Resource Ecologist in the Colorado Desert District of California State Parks. Paul was passionate about bird research and restoring local ecosystems. He studied the light footed clapper rail for his Master’s Degree in Ecology, made many discoveries of bird species in the region, managed nesting surveys for the endangered least Bell’s vireo, coordinated the San Diego County Bird Atlas for the east county, conducted post-burn studies in Cuyamaca Rancho after wildfires and led many birding tours throughout the region. Paul was always grateful for a grant he received while in college to carry out his field work on the clapper rail. This grant is given in his memory as a fitting way to carry on his passion and legacy.

Begole Archaeological Research Grant

The Begole Archaeological Research Grant (BARG) program is designed to support scientific archaeological research in Colorado Desert District (CDD) parks and in other areas of the California and Baja California Desert regions that may have direct connections with or scientific applications to CDD parks. Two grants are available annually. Funds requested can be up to $5,000 for each research project.

The deadline for proposal submissions is July 31, 2022. Submit complete applications by email to sends e-mail). All applicants will be notified by August 31, 2022. Please direct questions on the grant and application process to Finance and Operations Director, Briana Puzzo at sends e-mail) or 760-465-2604.

There are no restrictions on the topics of the research proposals, as long as they are archaeological in scope and/or focus. Priority may be given to original research dealing with the earliest periods of prehistory. Applicants may be registered undergraduate or graduate students, faculty and/or titled researchers at academic institutions, staff of federal, state or county agencies, employed in the private cultural resource management sector or independent scholars. The BARG is funded through an endowment created by pioneering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park archaeologist Robert S. Begole.

Applicant Guidelines

2022 Grant Application

Begole Grant Area Map

2016 Award Recipients – Melanie Saldana, Susan Hector and Mark Basgall


ABDSP Paleontology Society Educational Support Program

The Paleontology Society Educational Support Program provides grant support to its members, State Park staff, scientists and scholars pursuing educational or research activities relevant to paleontology in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and its surrounding region. Applications for grants have no deadline.

Application for Grant Support

Application for Small Grant Support (less than $250)