Honors in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies majors with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 at the end of the January term of the junior year or with special program approval are eligible to apply for the Environmental Studies Honors Research Program.
Successful completion of the Honors Program will include an oral presentation at the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium, a successful oral thesis defense, and an approved thesis as well as the completion of the required course work for the major. The student fulfilling these requirements will graduate "With Honors in Environmental Studies." The decision whether or not the student will be approved to convert their fall semester seminar or independent study project to an honors project in the spring semester and continue in the ES Honors Program by enrolling in ES 484 will be made at the end of the first semester. In cases where requirements for Honors have not been fulfilled at the end of the spring semester, ES 484 (Honors Research) will revert to a graded ES 492 (Independent Study).
Honors Application Procedure:
Interested students should contact a faculty sponsor during the spring semester of their junior year to discuss a project. Before the end of spring registration, students should secure a faculty sponsor and a faculty reader for their research project. Students who are studying abroad in the spring should try to make initial contact with a potential sponsor in the spring via email, but may complete their proposal in the fall at the beginning of the academic year. The student must then petition the program for permission to undertake honors work. With approval from the program, students can register for Environmental Studies 491. Students wishing to change their honors project topic must petition the program for approval of the new topic. Honors research projects will be a total of six to eight credits and will be conducted during the student's last two academic semesters (and may include Jan Plan). Also, students enrolled in Environmental Studies 493 or Biology 493 may petition the program to expand their independent study for these courses into an honors project to be conducted in January and the spring semester.
Dates and Deadlines for Honors in Environmental Studies
Spring Semester - Junior Year
* Environmental Studies majors interested in participating in the ES Honor Research
Program are encouraged to contact potential faculty sponsors during the spring semester of their Junior year (or Fall semester, if they are studying abroad). Students should consider possible research topics, eligibility requirements, and how this program will fit with their other major and college requirements.
Fall Semester - Senior Year
* Early September:
Candidates must complete their registration for honors work by registering for ES 491 by the last day to add courses. They must also confirm their faculty sponsor and reader to the ES Program Director.
Candidates must submit a formal thesis proposal to their faculty sponsor and reader by the last Friday in September. This proposal, normally around four pages, would identify the specific research question to be addressed, the evidence on which the analysis will be based and the complete research design explaining how this evidence will be used to address the identified question.
* Last Day of Classes:
A summary of the work completed so far including a preliminary literature review, a detailed formal research design that describes the specific remaining work to be accomplished during the second semester, and a listing of significant references identified should be submitted to the ES Program for approval no later than last day of classes. The decision whether or not the student will be approved to convert their seminar or independent study project to an honors project in the spring semester and continue in the ES Honors Program will be made before end of final exam period.
Spring Semester - Senior Year
Environmental Studies Program Director and the faculty sponsor in consultation with the honors candidate select a third person to participate in the oral thesis defense.
First complete draft is due to the faculty sponsor and the reader on the Friday before spring break
Penultimate draft is due to the faculty sponsor on the second Friday in April.
* Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium:
The honors candidate will give an oral presentation at Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium (typically 30 minutes). Final draft of the honors research report is due to the sponsor, the reader, and the outside reviewer.
* Early May:
The oral thesis defense will be held before the beginning of finals. Students will be asked to give a 10-minute summary of their thesis work and to answer questions from the thesis committee. The faculty sponsor, the reader, and the outside reviewer will participate. At the end of the defense, the faculty sponsor will review the committee decision and any changes to the thesis mandated by the committee with the honors candidate.
* Last Day of Classes:
Thesis is due to faculty sponsor for final format review.
* Before the End of the Finals Period:
Students must submit six copies of their honors thesis in proper format on standard thesis paper of at least 25% rag content (see Preparation of Thesis Copies below).
Preparation of Thesis Copies
- See the Guidelines for Senior Scholars Papers and Honors Theses provided by the Colby Library
- Use standard thesis paper of at least 25% rag content (not regular printer paper). The ES Program will provide the paper.
- A margin of 1-1/2" on the left and 1" on the right of the page is required.
- Use Times New Roman font at 12 point for all text, headings, and subheadings.
- Use 1.5 line spacing your text, but table text can be single spaced. Also single space any footnotes and the literature cited section.
- The first level of headings should be in bold and caps. If you use subheadings, the second level of subheadings should be in bold but lower case (execpt for the first letter of each word excluding articles and prepositions), and the third level not bold but in italics, and the third level not bold but in italics (the first letter of each word excluding articles and prepositions should be capitalized).
- All headings should be left justified.
- The indent at the beginning of paragraphs should be the equivalent of five spaces.
- Use hanging indents for references (i.e., indent the second and subsequent lines of each reference listed in the literature cited section by two spaces. Authors should use the author date system for citations. Please see this word document on formatting a literature cited page. Students using Endnote should select the Ecology Endnote style. Please add a blank line between each single spaced reference.
- Figures and tables should follow the format outlined on this word document.
- Complete the Environmental Studies Honors title page. To see a sample title page illustrating the correct format click here.
- A copyright statement is to be included centered on the reverse of the title page: Copyright © (give year) by the Environmental Studies Program, Colby College. All rights reserved.
- The cover page should be followed by an Abstract page, which should be followed by an Acknowledgements page.
- The Abstract and the Acknowledgements should be printed on separate pages and not backed.
- The order of the thesis components should be: cover page, abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, thesis text, personal communications, literature cited, and appendices. The headings for each of these sections should be in bold, all caps, and left justified. A blank row should be placed below each section heading.
- Page numbering (except for the first page) should be centered at the bottom of the page.
- For the pre-introductory pages (Abstract, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents) please number using i. ii, iii.
- Table of Contents can be auto-generated in Microsoft Word. Office 2003 (or 2004 for Mac) users use: insert/references/index and tables/Table of Contents. Users of the newer version of Word can use Word's Documents Elements feature. Table of Contents should: be single spaced, have numbers right justified, dots connecting text and numbers, indents for subheadings, and no bold headings.
- Print your thesis double sided.
Delivery of Thesis Materials for Archiving:
Before departing campus please submit six original copies of the honors thesis to the ES Program Director for archiving in the Colby library (2), ES Program records (1), ES Seminar Room (1), Thesis sponsor (1), and Honors student (1). The Library will send thesis materials to the bindery for permanent binding. Also, please submit two CDs each containing all of your thesis files as a Word document and a complete document as a pdf. One of these CDs will be kept by the ES Program and one will be sent to the library for electronic archiving.
Fill out a copyright and agreement form: http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/studentsubmit.html, which will make this thesis accessible, via DigitalCommons@Colby, to the Colby College community and/or, if you so choose, make it available outside of the college, retrievable through the Internet and allow the thesis to be circulated at the Library.
Library Access and Thesis Use:
Theses are cataloged and listed in the Colby Library Catalog. One copy will reside in Special Collections with a circulating copy available in the general stacks.
Library Photocopy Policy:
Special Collections acknowledges that the intellectual rights for each Honors Thesis remain with the author. However, the act of depositing these materials with Special Collections indicates a willingness by the author to share her/his work with the Colby community and with the general public.
Past Honors and Senior Scholars Projects
John Abbett (‘10)
The Impacts of Land Use and Development Patterns on Water Quality of the Belgrade Lakes
Ian McCullough (‘10)
Achieving Carbon Neutrality at Colby College through Carbon Offsets
Lindsay Driess (‘09).
Protecting Maine's Mammals: A Model of Human Footprint and Biodiversity in the North Woods
Caitlin Dufraine ('09).
An Identification and Assessment of Human-Carnivore Conflict Hotspots and Large Carnivore Policy Implications in the United States
Patrick Roche ('09). Learning the Lay of Their Land: Data Recording by Maine Land Trusts
Megan Saunders (‘09).
Factors Influencing Conservation Success or Failure in Tiger Range States
Charles Carroll ('08).
An Analysis of Carbon Sequestration Potential in Maine
Alaina Clark ('08).
Courtney Larson ('08).
Designing a Green Graduation at Colby College
Separating People and Wildlife: Zoning as a Conservation Strategy for Large Carnivores
Jamie O'Connell ('08).
Carbon Neutrality at Colby College
Kerry Whittaker ('08).
Using Variable Stomatal Sensitivity to CO2 in Conifers to Reconstruct Ancient Atmospheres and Predict Future Implications of Climate Change
Katie Himmelmann ('07)
Developing a Tool to Assess Human Health Impacts of Purchasing.
Emilia Tjernström ('06)
"Be the Change You Wish to See: National Attitudes and Climate Change Policy". A co-authored paper (with her mentor Tom Tietenberg) based on this project with the new title "Do differences in attitudes explain differences in national climate change polices?" has been accepted for publication in Ecological Economics in 2007.
Alexandra Jospe ('06)
Modeling Spatially Explicit Human-wildlife Conflict: GIS and Moose-vehicle Collisions in Maine.
Sarah Kelly ('06)
Energy Use Patterns and Potential Areas for Energy Conservation in Dorm Rooms at Colby College.
Hilary Langer ('06)
The Cost of Conservation: Payments for Environmental Services on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
Jenna Morrison ('06)
Environmental Awareness of Waterville Junior High Students.
Jessica Beetz ('05)
The Role of Private Ownership in the Conservation of Exotic Species.
Brendan Carroll ('05)
The Transboundary Implications of Wolf Reintroduction and Recovery in Maine
Allison Stewart ('05)
The Forest Service's Quest for Power and Money and its Implications for the American Public
Kellie Phelan ('04)
Estimating the Impact of State Policy Incentives on Wind Power Development.
For a summary, click here.
Catherine S. Benson ('02)
Local Participation as a Determinant of Success in World Bank
Environmental Projects in Africa: What is the Evidence?
Jacob A. Mentlik ('02)
The Private Forest Periphery: Industrial Colonization of the Maine Woods
Sharon K. Lee ('02)
The Impact of Socio-Economic Status on Hazardous Waste Cleanup in Maine
Katie Wasik ('01),
"Corporate Interests and International Environmental Negotiations:
The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change"
Johanna Reardon ('00)
"Is Radical Environmental Activism Effective: A Look At Forestry
Protests in the United States."
Abby Campbell ('00),
"Marketable Permit Systems: Is there a Recipe for Success?
Amanda Carucci ('00)
"Analysis of Environmental Effects of Economic Sanctions though the