May 31, 2024

LISD student Patrick B. Newcombe ’25 is a recipient of the 2024 Udall Scholarship. One of two recipients from Princeton University, Patrick is a birder, a wildlife photographer and conservationist who studies Ecology & Evolutionary Biology with minors in African Studies and History & the Practice of Diplomacy. Broadly, he is fascinated by efforts to protect biodiversity in a changing world. Since his entry at Princeton, Patrick has been involved at LISD with the projects of Prof. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, LISD Founding Director: he has been his research assistant on environmental effects of warfare for the “Ukraine Crisis Compendium”, an active participant in the PORDIR and GDSC seminars, and the key undergraduate researcher in LISD’s Project on Global Food and Water Security. Patrick is also an International Policy Associate at LISD. His writing has been published in numerous outlets, including (popularly) Mongabay News (reporting), the Durango Herald (op-ed), and the New York Times (letter), and (academically) the Journal of Field Ornithology, the Bulletin of the Ornithological Association of Costa Rica, and Biology Letters, a Royal Society journal.

“Patrick Newcombe is one of those fortunate students who has found what he very much cares about: serious research and academic writing, spending hours in nature and observing his subject at any time of day, in any climatic conditions, and basically anywhere on our globe” Danspeckgruber noted. “Whether birding in Princeton, doing fieldwork in African savannas, and working with local populations there or in Latin America, Patrick clearly loves and cares for his subject matter and wants to meaningfully contribute to scholarship and policy. Obviously, this also makes him to a trusted and admired leader both in experience and understanding, inspiring his peers, as well as persuading and impressing senior academics and decision-makers.” 

Elsewhere on campus, Patrick has been active in designing and implementing a robust bird-window collision monitoring project in partnership with the Stoddard Lab. He has conducted field research in Costa Rica, Peru, Kenya, and Mozambique and is conducting his senior thesis research under the supervision of David Wilcove, professor of ecology, evolutionary biology, and public affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University, and vice dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. 

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation was founded by the United States Congress in 1992 as an independent federal agency honoring U.S. Representative Morris Udall and his brother, U.S. Representative and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance, health care and stewardship of public lands and natural resources.