Honors in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies (ES) Program honors are awarded to an ES senior who has maintained the required college and department grade averages and who enrolls in ES 376 - Senior Thesis during fall of their senior year. Distinct and separate from the ES capstone project, the ES Senior Thesis gives Environmental Studies students the opportunity to engage in original, independent research under the careful supervision of an ES faculty member, who serves as the senior thesis advisor. The senior thesis advisor must be a member of the ES faculty or ES affiliated faculty. To avoid conflicts with the rigorous demands of the collaborative ES capstone project, the Senior Thesis project is a fall only undertaking. The ES Steering Committee must approve the sneior thesis proposal prior to enrollment in ES 376 - Senior Thesis. In addition to the necessary grade averages and an A- or better on the ES senior thesis, the student must receive the recommendation of the ES program to receive honors at graduation.
The Senior Thesis Proposal (procedures, deadlines, and guidelines):
The ES Steering Committee must be completed during the summer or fall semester following junior year. The ES Steering Committee must approve all senior thesis proposals before the projects are initiated and before enrollment in ES 376 Senior Thesis.
You must submit your ES senior thesis proposal electronically to both the Director of Environmental Studies and your thesis advisor by April 15 of your junior year. This will allow the Director of ES to verify that your thesis advisor approves of your submission prior to its review by the ES Steering Committee.
The Director of ES will provide the student and his/her thesis project advisor with a summary of the suggestions made by the ES Steering Committee members and indicate whether the project has been approved within several weeks of the April 15 deadline. Only after receiving this approval can the student register for ES 376-Senior Thesis.
To submit a proposal to the ES Steering Committee for review, the student must first identify a senior thesis advisor and work with that advisor to complete a proposal. The senior thesis advisor must be a member of the ES faculty or ES affiliated faculty. Your thesis proposal should include the following components:
- A title page listing the project title, the student's name and the thesis advisor's name. Some thesis projects may be sufficiently broad as to require additional faculty perspectives. In this case, the student should identify any faculty members that will serve as second readers of your project.
- An introduction that provides background and context for the proposed subject of the thesis project. The student must clearly demonstrate that the project falls under the domain of environmental studies (i.e., how the project deals with the interaction between humans and the natural world).
- Additional background information detailing the preparation the student has completed to undertake the project, such as ES courses or other college courses, internship experiences, study abroad, or volunteer work.
- A concisely worded thesis statement, study objective, hypothesis, or central argument or focus of the project.
- A detailed description of the methods that the student will use to address the thesis, study objective, hypothesis, or central argument or focus, including the sort of material the student will review or data that the student will collect, and the ways the student will analyze the relevant material or data.
- A timeline indicating the completion dates for the major project benchmarks.
- A brief description of all types of final outcomes of the thesis project (e.g., paper, journal article, presentation at professional meeting, concert, museum exhibition, art show, film, web page). We strongly encourage all students to submit their final project for presentation at Skidmore's Academic Festival at the end of the spring semester.
- A complete bibliography for your project proposal.