Student Research

The Environmental Studies Program encourages majors to consider independent research projects or an honors project as part of their academic program. Projects can be an extension of work begun in an ES seminar course.

For juniors, considering ES Honors during their senior year, please note the following schedule:

  • February 10: Initial deadline for Institutional Research Fellowships
  • By April 3: Students should meet with potential ES faculty advisor regarding proposed Honors Project
  • By May 1: Students should sign up for ENVS4001
  • Friday, May 8, Juniors should attend ES Honors presentations (time and location TBD)

Completed Honors Projects

Environmental Studies Honors Project Guidelines 2014-2015

An Honors Project in Environmental Studies provides students with an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research and analysis. ES students should elect an Environmental Studies Honors Project if they have an interest in an area that is interdisciplinary in nature and the topic of their project cannot be addressed through their departmental major. The Environmental Studies program expects that honors projects require more than one semester of research and writing in an Advanced Independent Study in ES (ES 4000-4003). For those students graduating in December, they should start the honors project in the spring of their junior year.

The ES Honor Project committees are comprised of at least two ES faculty members. Selection of the faculty committee is the responsibility of the faculty advisor and the ES Program Director. The format of the ES Honors Program will be developed by the faculty committee to reflect the focus of the student's research interest. Students who are interested in an Honors Project must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in ES courses by the spring of their junior year or approval of the ES Program Director.


By September 17 , Honors candidates should register for ENVS 4001 and have selected a faculty advisor and committee members.

By October 13, Honors candidates should submit a proposal for review by the faculty committee that includes the following: statement of problem, significance of problem, analytical and theoretical framework, expected results, a description of the question that the student is researching, an outline for the paper, and a description of other project components. The proposal should include a preliminary bibliography of primary and secondary sources and the name and affiliation of committee members.

October 20, all Environmental Studies faculty and all Honors candidates will meet to hear each candidate speak briefly about his or her Honors Project proposal. Copies of the proposals will have been distributed prior to the meeting to ES faculty. ES faculty will respond with suggestions for ways of improving or sharpening the candidate's approach to the subject. Advisors will meet with candidates after the presentation to discuss the program faculty's suggestions.

By December 15, the Honors candidate should submit a draft of the first chapter or section to his or her Honors committee and have completed a literature review and discussion of methods.

By Monday February 9, the Honors candidate should submit a draft of the next substantive section (or chapter) of the project.

By Monday, March 2, the student should submit a draft of all substantive sections (or chapters) of the project.

By Monday, April 5, the Honors candidate will hand in a completed draft of the project. During the month of April, the Honors candidate will revise the project. Soon after these drafts have been read by the advisory committee, the Honors candidate and committee will meet to review the project to ensure that satisfactory progress has been made up to this point.

The Honors candidate will follow the schedule as set by the Office of Student Records for submission of a final copy to the ES program and two copies to the library.

Friday, May 8, the Honors candidate will provide an oral presentation to the ES faculty committee for approval. During senior week, after approval, all ES Honors students will present their Honors Projects to ES faculty, students and invited guests.  Juniors wh are considering pursuing ES Honors during their senior year are strongly encouraged to attend.


Each Honors candidate's faculty committee will evaluate the Honors Project based upon quality of research, writing, originality of topic, effective use of primary materials (as appropriate), and completeness.