All our majors engage in independent undergraduate research projects as part of the Environmental Studies program. The topics of these projects vary greatly, depending on the interests of the students.Â We firmly believe that students learn by “doing” and incorporate hands-on, interactive learning in virtually all of our courses.
Examples of student/faculty research
Faculty and students in the environmental studies and geology programs have been involved in a variety of research projects studying the effects that humans have on the natural world. Dr. Michele Hluchy and several students, funded by a National Science Foundation research grant, have investigated the impact of acid precipitation on watersheds in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Acid precipitation is depleting the watersheds of the element calcium, which in turn affects the biological organisms in these ecosystems. Professor Hluchy has traveled to the Adirondacks regularly with her students to collect samples, monitor watersheds, and apply powdered limestone to some of the study areas to see how they will respond to artificial inputs of calcium.
As part of a National Science Foundation research grant with Colgate University, Dr. Michele Hluchy co-teaches workshops on the Impact of Acid Precipitation on Adirondack Ecosystems to secondary school teachers in New York state in the summer. These workshops introduce teachers to the techniques used by scientists to study ecosystems and help them to adapt these techniques for use in their classrooms.