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Public Lands Transportation Fellows Program


The Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) program, previously known as the scholars program, provides fellowships to outstanding masters and doctoral graduates in a transportation-related field. The fellows are provided with a unique opportunity for career development and public service working directly with staff of Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) on key visitor transportation issues.

Fellows are assigned to work with staff at a unit or region/field office facing a transportation issue to facilitate a transportation planning or implementation project. The assigned projects help the land units develop transportation solutions that preserve valuable resources and enhance the visitor experience.

Program Goals

The program has four goals, which are to:

  • Encourage emerging transportation professionals to pursue their career serving federal lands.
  • Provide much-needed transportation expertise to FLMA units and regions to help them address critical transportation issues.
  • Support the development, implementation and evaluation of viable alternative transportation for visitors to FLMAs.
  • Encourage multi-agency alternative transportation programs that serve visitors to multiple FLMA units.

Overview Video


The Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) program, previously know as the scholars program, began in 2012 and was modeled after the very successful Transportation Scholars program managed by the National Park Foundation (NPF) that served the National Park Service (NPS).

From 2012 to 2014, the PLTF served the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and was funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program and the USFWS and conducted in partnership with the Eno Transportation Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, BLM, NPF, NPS, USFS, and USFWS. From 2014 to present, the PLTF has been funded directly by and served only the USFWS.

Apply for 2020 Class

Locations and application information for the 2020 Fellows class is expected to be released in early 2020.

(Please note that job offers will be made contingent on funding appropriations and qualified applicants.)

2019-2020 Timeline

  • July 9-11, 2019 – Fellow Orientation at Potomac River NWR
  • Sept. 3-5, 2019 – Fellow Orientation at Valle de Oro NWR
  • Sept. 15-20, 2019 – Low Volume Roads Conference and TRB ADA40 Midyear Meeting
  • Nov. 4-8, 2019 – Cost Estimate Training
  • Jan. 12-16, 2020 – Poster Session at the Transportation Research Board
  • Jan. 21-March 13, 2020 – Advanced Fellow Rotation at Headquarters
  • May 8, 2020 – Potomac River NWR Fellow Complete On-site Assignment
  • May 15, 2020 – Detroit River IWR Fellow Complete On-site Assignment and Final Report Due
  • June 5, 2020 – Potomac River NWR Fellow Final Report Due
  • July 3, 2020 – Valle de Oro NWR Fellow Complete On-site Assignment
  • July 31, 2020 – Valle de Oro NWR Fellow Final Report Due
 Contact Information