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David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain Memorial Scholarship Fund Accepting Applications Now

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Photo Credit: Penny Andrews/James Ficklin HAVOC.

David Nathan”Gypsy” Chain was a young forest activist killed while trying to prevent illegal logging during an Earth First! action adjacent to Grizzly Creek State Park. He traveled to Humboldt County in the midst of the timber controversy, learned tree-climbing and nonviolent protest tactics, and took the wood's name "Gypsy." He was killed during a face-to-face conflict between timber fallers and Earth First! forest defenders on September 17, 1998, when irate Pacific Lumber Company timber faller A.E. Aemmons cut and felled a tree directly at a group of Earth First! forest defenders. The story of his vibrant life and tragic death at 24 is documented in A Good Forest For Dying, by Patrick Beach (2004).

On the 20th anniversary of Gypsy's death, community leaders, friends, and fellow activists established the David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide an annual scholarship for a local high school senior or first year student at Cal Poly Humboldt or College of the Redwoods who has demonstrated commitment to issues of forest ecology through volunteer and/or academic projects.

The David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain Memorial Scholarship Fund application is housed within the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Universal Application portal. Students can access the 2023 HAF/WRCF Universal Application by visiting See a full list of opportunities (including fund descriptions and criteria) that are housed in the Universal Application here. All Universal Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors or college students entering their first or second years. Applicants must demonstrate activism and a continuing passion for protecting the environment and write an additional essay about their hopes and personal commitment to environmental activism.


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