Environmental Studies Research
The process of scientific inquiry is very basic to an education in science, which is why the Department involves students in research in introductory biology as well as upper-level laboratory courses. If you enjoyed those experiences, you may want to try doing more intense work in a research laboratory.
Laboratory experience is almost a necessity if you are planning to attend graduate school in an environment-related field or find a job in an academic or outdoor, corporate, industrial setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do students get into a professor's research program?
Students who work in professors' research programs are enrolled in ENVI 397.
What is the application process for new students interested in research?
Study the faculty research programs. Talk with faculty. Read through the latest publications to see if you can imagine yourself doing similar work.
Meet with a faculty member and talk with them about doing research, independent study, and/or a senior thesis.
How do students get registered?
When it is time to register for the intended semester, go to the Environmental Studies Program Advisor office and set up registration for an independent study.
The number of credit-hours is variable, but most sign up for 4 credits.
Be sure to save at least 12 hours a week (and even more!) for working on your research. Make sure that those hours are in big blocks of time, with a good portion during the normal work day.
It is up to you and the professor to agree on the grading option.
Usually independent studies and thesis classes are done as a graded option (A-F).
You must get this project set up the semester before you start.
Before intersession or summer break, ask for reading material so you will be prepared when you return.
- Is it possible to continue doing research next semester?
Yes, if your faculty advisor agrees. You would then register in ENVI 497 by talking to the Environmental Studies Advisor.
- The Schumann Award–What is involved and how should students get started?
The Environmental Studies Program grants the special Schumann Award to students who have done well in research and have written an honors thesis that has been accepted by a thesis committee. This award includes funds to cover research. Applications are due in mid-September of your senior year.
- Can students credit for doing research at another institution?
You arrange this as an internship before hand. For more details, see Internships.
- Can students start the research experience earlier?
Students can start earlier through the Freshman Research Immersion Program.
Research Labs and Programs
Freshman Research Immersion Programs
Environmental Studies students are involved in a number of the Freshman Research Immersion program streams. These streams get students practical training in studying the natural world using field and laboratory techniques:
Biogeochemistry: Students tackle the complexity of biogeochemical cycles and determine what can be done to safeguard vital processes. To understand these processes and address problems in an ever-changing world, this research stream uses state-of-the-art techniques in both field and lab work. The students create a research proposal based on the protocols and equipment they have learned to use.
Environmental Visualization/Geophysical Remote Sensing: Remote sensing refers to an array of techniques that allows researchers to collect and analyze detailed data for mapping across huge spans of the Earth. This particular research stream depends on techniques that allow researchers to "see" below the Earth's surface, such as LIDAR. To understand these challenges and how best to address them in an ever-changing world, this research stream uses state-of-the-art techniques in both field and lab work.
This area of about 80 acres of woodland, stream, and shrubland is almost contiguous with the University on its southwest side. It is used by some courses for field trips, but its limited public access makes it especially valuable as a study site for students and faculty doing field research.
Binghamton University in the process of building a Living Building at Nuthatch Hollow. Learn more about the building and the design process.
The Binghamton University campus in Broome County, New York currently encompasses 930 acres of land, of which over 600 is presently undeveloped and in its natural state. The core of this undeveloped land is officially designated the Nature Preserve, and at present encompasses 182 acres of land which includes a 20-acre wetland.
Awards and Funding for Research
Herman Roberson Memorial Award
Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies has established this award to Benefit Binghamton University students who have focused on Environmental Law and Policy. An award of $500 is given annually to graduating seniors who are majoring in Environmental Studies and who have completed the Environmental Law and Policy class (or a class of a similar nature).
AASHE Sustainability Awards
The AASHE Sustainability Awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. By raising the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research, the awards program helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward sustainability.
Description: Undergraduate scholarship for students planning research careers in science, mathematics or engineering. Competition is open to US citizens, resident aliens or US nationals who are full time sophomores or juniors. Each scholarship provides up to $7,500/year for tuition, fees, books, room and board. University nomination is required; a maximum of four Binghamton students can be nominated each year.
This scholarship is awarded each year to a junior or senior who is a declared major in Environmental Science who demonstrates both academic merit and financial need.
Student must have a FAFSA on file to demonstrate financial need according to federal financial aid guidelines. No additional application or inquiry is required in order to be considered for this scholarship. A review of qualified students is done based on donor terms, and selection is made based on high academic achievement and financial need. Recipients are selected in the Spring for the following academic year.
This scholarship is awarded each year to a full time sophomore, junior, or senior with a cumulative gpa of 3.0 or above. Preference is for a student with demonstrated financial need who is majoring in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Environmental Studies, or who has expressed an interest in the study of science. Student must be a non-smoker.
Student must have a FAFSA on file. Review and selection of recipient is done by committee.
The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leaadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. Benefits include up to $7,000 scholarship and a four-day orientation in Arizona. Academics are important but so are community service and evidence of leadership. Open to all fields.
Scholarships are awarded in any of three areas:
To students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, economics, and other related fields; or
To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy, including fields related to tribal sovereignty, tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American justice, natural resource management, cultural preservation and revitalization, Native American economic development, and other areas affecting Native American communities; or
To Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native health care, including health care administration, social work, medicine, dentistry, counseling, and research into health conditions affecting Native American communities, and other related fields.
Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program is open to full time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited 2 or 4 year college or graduate school in the U.S. Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture. International students may apply as long as they are studying at a U.S. school. Scholarships are $10,000 per student.
One-year scholarships are available to juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing a Master's Degree in fields of study related to horticulture and the environment. Applicant must be planning a career related to gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, floral design, or horticulture. Annually up to 41 Scholarships are available, each in the amount of $4,000.00.
The Garden Club of America has funded more than 1,300 recipients. The GCA offers 28 merit-based scholarships in 12 areas.
Earth Island Institute established The Brower Youth Award for Environmental Leadership in 2000 to honor renowned environmental advocate David Brower, who was quoted as saying "I love to see what young people can do, before someone old tells them it's impossible." It is with this spirit that we recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection of our shared planet.
Each of the six recipients of the Brower Youth Awards will receive a $3,000 cash prize and more.
To honor Dr. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr's dedication to the environmental industry, we offer a $5,000 Dr. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. Scholarship to support students who are interested in pursuing a career in the environmental profession. Further scholarships are offered for Minority, Women, LGBTQ, and Navajo.
The World Water Issue Scholarship is open to entering and current college students. You must submit an essay on the topic of the water scarcity crisis and a possible solution in order to be considered for this award.
Tough Turtle Turf Scholarship recognizes the importance of investing in students in the environmental and/or water conservation industry. We are proudly offering an annual scholarship of $1,500.
This fund was established in 2001 by Robert F. and Marilyn H. Schumann. Awarded to a Harpur College student in the Environmental Studies program who has been recommended by a faculty member to write an honors thesis on an approved topic. Recipients must exhibit high potential and motivation to successfully complete their field.
The Harpur Edge Student Support Fund was established to provide Harpur undergraduates with financial assistance to pursue experiential educational opportunities. Examples include:
Students who have been matched for Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE), for travel and related expenses
Other experiential educational initiatives (research, volunteering, special projects, internships)
Who is eligible:
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students
Minimum GPA of 2.75 in good academic standing
Current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at the University's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. Students with financial need will have priority.
Confirmation of LACE match for upcoming session OR valid proposed use of funding for educational pursuit
The Undergraduate Award to Support Research and Creative Work is designed to support the expenses for students' independent research or creative work. To qualify, your project must be supervised by a Binghamton University faculty member. Funding is competitive and award amounts vary. The maximum award is $300.
Undergraduates from all Binghamton University schools and colleges are eligible. Must be enrolled in independent study or honors credit in the semester in which you apply (exceptions may be granted only if a student has exceeded the maximum number of thesis or independent study credits allowed by his or her college).
Preference will be given to students who do not have access to support through faculty research grants, who have not already received an Undergraduate Research Award, to those completing senior theses, and to upper-level students.
The Binghamton University Undergraduate Research Center offers the Summer Scholars and Artists Fellowship to support undergraduates in special research, scholarship or creative activities during the summer. This award provides a stipend for students to conduct primary research or creative activities with guidance from faculty mentors. The fellowship is intended to support the student's original research or creative project(s), not to support research assistance for a faculty member's research project. The fellowship supports undergraduate students in at least eight weeks of full-time scholarly activity. Each fellowship consists of a $3,000 student award and a $1,000 faculty award. In addition, a stipend is available for campus housing if needed. Support for the awards is provided by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.
The nature of the summer experience is discipline specific. For example, proposals for theater apprenticeships or individual study for students in music performance are appropriate along with those for other types of creative activities. Proposals from students in all academic disciplines, departments and colleges are welcome.
Fran Garside Award for Environmental Studies
The League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga Counties offer a special award in honor of Fran Garside, a distinguished member of the League. The League provides $500 award to a full-time or part-time student who is enrolled in a degree program, needs financial support, and demonstrates an interest in environmental studies. The award will provide funds for school costs with the objective of helping maximize a student's ability to obtain a degree.
Criteria for this award are:
Students must be enrolled in environmental studies or closely related fields
Awards will be presented for the following school year
Preference will be given to a non-traditional student
Echoing Green will provide more than $4.6 million in unrestricted seed-stage funding and strategic foundational support this year to emerging leaders working to bring about positive social change. Over the past three decades, our total investment is over $40 million to more than 700 world-class leaders.
The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) supports faculty-mentored undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity. We encourage undergraduates to pursue scholarly and creative projects and to present their results at regional and national professional meetings or conferences. Support is available from the URC to help undergraduate students pay for professional meetings or conferences.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered:
Must be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing. Cannot receive funding for a conference/meeting that takes place after graduation.
Must be presenting your research as first or second author (on the research abstract) at a professional conference or meeting.
Must be attending the conference or meeting during the academic year in which you apply. Summer conferences should be applied for in the spring semester.
Group applications are not accepted. You must apply as an individual and clearly state your contribution to the project.