Research experience is available to Environmental Studies majors to enhance the classroom learning. The benefits of doing research as an undergraduate include preparation for graduate level study, development of your analytical and critical thinking, creation of new knowledge, and exploration of possible career fields. Some of the options available are:

Summer Research

Grants allow some faculty members to pay students as summer researchers working closely with professors on their research. In addition, students may apply during their sophomore year to be a Ford Scholar. This scholarship program provides a stipend, free housing during the summer after their junior year, and money for supplies or travel.

    The Ford Apprentice Scholars Program in Eckerd College was launched by a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1987, sustained by a second Ford grant in 1991 and is now supported by the College. Each year up to twenty rising Juniors are given the opportunity to participate in a two year course of study designed to prepare them for graduate school and to pursue a career in college or university teaching. Faculty select and sponsor the participants on the basis of academic achievement, intellectual promise, and a willingness to explore college teaching as career. The program involves special coursework, summer research in collaboration with a faculty sponsor, a major project during the Senior year, and supervised teaching experience. Recent research topics:

    • Small mammal use of forest fragments in Thailand
    • species distribution in sacred groves of Ghana
    • Greenhouse Gas emissions of Eckerd College and development of an Action Plan to minimize emissions
    • Community conservation of Sacred groves in Sierra Leone

    Research Associateships are awarded to incoming freshmen to work closely with a member of the faculty on a research project of mutual interest. Students are selected on the basis of their overall high school record. The associateship includes a one-year stipend of up to $1,000. Sample research areas:

    • global ecovillages
    • shorebirds
    • beaches
    • sacred sites

    Students can earn academic credit for completing a research project by getting an Eckerd Environmental Studies professor to sponsor them. Examples:

    • Influence of disturbance on populations of shorebirds
    • Pinellas County Osprey Monitoring
    • Pinellas County Shoreline Sampling

    Environmental studies students design and complete senior theses in which they engage in original research projects. Some sample titles include:

    • Food Behavior in St. Petersburg, Florida
    • Adherence to the Marine Mammal Protection Act by dolphin-watching companies in Pinellas, Florida
    • Movements of marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) on Eckerd College Campus
    • Nesting habitat selection of the coastal Least Tern