Recent Senior Theses

A greater selection of senior theses can be accessed online via the Student Scholarship section of the Digital Collections Repository at Middlebury.


CROUNSE, Charles Environmental Policy major
Water is Life: Determining Indigenous Water Rights in the Colorado River Basin
Advisor: Jon Isham

CORTEZ, Diana Environmental Studies-Architecture joint major
Fluidity and Freedom: Exploring Individual and Collective Autonomy through an Abenaki Learning Center
Advisor: Erin Sassin

ENNIS, Hannah Environmental Justice major
Within the Flood: What Wetlands Teach about Resilience and Restoration in Community
Advisor: Mez Baker-Medard

HUGHES, Eleanor Environmental Policy major
American Militarism and Climate Change: A Blueprint for Bad Adaptation
Advisor: Dan Suarez

KEOHANE, Charlie Environmental Writing major
Growing Up in the Golden State: A Personal Examination and Exploration of Northern California’s Earthquakes, Droughts, and Wildfires
Advisor: Brett Millier 

KUPERSTEIN, Emily Environmental Policy major
Winds of Change: A Comparison of the Cape Wind and Vineyard Wind Offshore Developments in Massachusetts
Advisors: Chris Klyza and Dan Suarez

RICHARDSON, Eli Environmental Economics major
How machine learning can help us find local home energy and emissions savings
Advisors: Julia Berazneva and Alex Lyford

ROELOFS, Ella Environmental Chemistry major
Impacts of road salt and associated ion exchange on stream water quality across an urbanization gradient in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Basin
Advisors: Molly Costanza-Robinson

SHEPARDSON, Aidan Environmental Policy major
Red, Blue, and Green: The Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact on U.S. Renewable Energy Markets
Advisor: Jon Isham

TULAY, Pearl Environmental Writing major
Weaving the korowai: The intersection of ecosystem restoration, indigenous knowledge, and land rights in Whakaraupō, New Zealand
Advisors: Michael Sheridan and Trinh Tran

XIE, Isaac Environmental Chemistry major
Seafood for Everyone: Some Communities Deserve Tailored Fish Advisories
Advisor: Kate Crawford 


ANDREWS, Victoria Environmental Policy major
Flags of (In)Convenience: What Illegal Fishing Within Madagascar’s Marine Protected Areas Reveals About Food Sovereignty and Resource Security
Advisor: Mez Baker-Medard

BOWDEN, Aria Environmental Studies-Architecture joint major
Carbon Cobwebs: A Spatial Exploration of Memory Making, Keeping, Weaving
Advisor: Erin Sassin

BROWN, Skylar Environmental Economics major
Public Transportation Access and Transportation Disadvantaged Community Consideration
Advisor: Julia Berazneva

DEFRANCESCO, Katherine Conservation Biology major (Environmental Studies-Biology joint)
The effect of road salt runoff on mayflies (Ephemerella subvaria). An investigation into the energetic costs that mayflies suffer via freshwater salinization.
Advisor: Eric Moody

DEVOTO, Clark Henri Environmental Studies-Anthropology joint major Keep Corinth Inconvenient: A Culture Shaped by Landscape in a Small Vermont Hill Town.
Advisor: David Stoll

JUAREZ SERNA, Ivonne Environmental Justice major
Green Gold: The Avocado Agribusiness in Mexico
Advisor: Dan Suarez

KAIDEN, Eva Environmental Literature
The Environmental Impacts of Waste and Fashion at the Turn of the Century Using The House of Mirth as Focal Text
Advisors: Antonia Losano and Daniel Brayton

KROGER, Elizabeth Conservation Biology major
Community-Based Coral Reef Restoration Monitoring in the Caribbean
Advisors: Alexis Mychajliw and Mez Baker-Medard
Video of presentation

OYAGA, Andrés Environmental Justice major
The Power of South to North Exchanges: An auto-ethnography of organizing with the Vermont Agroecology and Movement School
Advisors: Molly Anderson and Mez Baker-Médard 


AMEER, Simone Conservation Biology major
Exploring the relationship between small mammal predators, mice, and Ixodes scapularis ticks in Vermont
Advisor: David Allen

BADALAMENTI, Christina Environmental Economics major
Evaluating the Impacts of Living near Superfund Sites in New York City
Advisor: Julia Berazneva

CALDWELL, Charlie Environmental Studio Art major
Emotional Responses to the Climate Crisis, in Portraiture and
The Blob: Growth from the Decay of Figuration
Advisors: Heimo Wallner and Hedya Klein

HAWKINS, Jackson Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
Ice, Ice Maybe: Investigating the Seasonal Flow and Microclimatic Role of a Talus Field Spring in Wallingford, VT
Advisor: Jeffrey Munroe

KLUETMEIER, CAMRYN Environmental Studies–Geography joint major
An InSAR-based characterization of rock glacier kinematics in the La Sal Mountains, Utah
Advisor: Jeffrey Munroe

LAIRD, Brooke Environmental Studies–Geography joint major
Destruction, Restoration, and Discourse: Exploring Wetland Restoration in the Marshes of Iraq
Advisor: Joseph Holler

LUSK, Shane Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
Finding Foraminifera: Quantitative Analysis of Microfossils to Reconstruct Deep Ocean Carbon Storage
Advisors: William Amidon and Allison Jacobel

SODERSTROM, Elsa Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
Evaluating the Contribution of Local Sources to the Dust Reaching High Mountains in the Southwestern United States
Advisor: William Amidon and Jeffrey Munroe

SOMMERS, Olivia Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment major
Imagining Beyond Apocalypse: Climate Futures, Religion, and Art in the Modern Environmental Movement
Advisor: Rebecca Gould

TOMAS, Nino Environmental Studies–Architecture joint major
Foothills Gallery
Advisor: Benjamin Allred

WERTZ, Connor Environmental Justice major
Sacralizing Sunrise: The Religious Dimensions of the Sunrise Movement’s Metanarrative and Ritualized Practices
Advisor: Rebecca Gould

WOLCOTT, Clara Environmental Studies–Architecture joint major
Points in Space and Time: Re-thinking Object Study
Advisor: Benjamin Allred


AINSWORTH, Spencer Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
A semi-automated approach to LiDAR-derived mapping of surficial geology
Advisor: David West

BLALOCK, Annie Conservation Biology major
The effects of ecological stoichiometric constraints and hydrologic regime on the functional trait diversity of aquatic insect communities
Advisor: Eric Moody

CLINTON, Emma Conservation Biology major
“Using a landscape permeability metric to assess the impacts of different residential land development patterns on ecological connectivity in Chittenden County, VT”
Advisors: David Allen and Bill Hegman

FREEDMAN, Jacob Environmental Studies–Geography joint major
“Encouraged to Ignore:” Critical education, cartography, and making more inclusive maps for environmental conservation
Advisor: Jeff Howarth

GLASS, Benjamin Environmental History major
Black on Both Sides: An Integrative Analysis of the 1988 Yellowstone Fires
Advisors: Kathryn Morse and Joe Holler

LANDAU, Arielle Environmental Justice major
A Uniquely Destructive Injustice: US Nuclear Testing on Indigenous Lands—an Environmental Justice and GIS Analysis
Advisor: Dan Suarez

LESSING, Jillian Conservation Biology major
Coral restoration in The Bahamas: Examining the biological and socio-political impacts of restoration efforts
Advisor: Mez Baker-Medard

LOEWALD, Anna Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
Testing for Evidence of Subsurface Phosphorus Transport to a Small Lake (Lake Carmi) in Northwestern Vermont, USA
Advisor: Pete Ryan

OEHMIG, Phoebe Conservation Biology major
Effect of warming sea temperatures in the Gulf of Maine on postlarval lobsters (Homarus americanus) swimming performance and activity
Advisor: Eric Moody

PUCKER, Bella Conservation Psychology major
A Consideration of Residents of Hawaiʻi’s Decisions to Remain or Retreat
Advisor: Michelle McCauley

Bella’s thesis research was later published in the Journal of Ecopsychology, please click here to view the publication.

SANTOSO, Monique Conservation Psychology major
Empathy Is Not Enough: The Effects of Perspective-Taking and Value Orientations on Environmental Action
Advisor: Michelle McCauley

STERUP, Kathleen Conservation Biology major
Analyzing the Impacts of Terrestrial Variables on Macroalgal Blooms in New Zealand Estuaries with Remote Sensing
Advisor: Eric Moody

TANGO, Maddie Conservation Biology major
Reproducibility of a Geographical Study on the Effects of Wind Turbines on Bat Fatalities in the Northeast United States
Advisor: Joe Holler

VAKHITOVA, Valeriia Environmental Studies–Geology joint major
Geochemical and Mineralogical Analysis of Terrestrial and Reef Sediments: Implications for Reef Ecosystems and Human Health
Advisors: Mez Baker-Medard and Pete Ryan

VILLANUEVA, Alitzel Conservation Biology major
The Cost of Persistent Organic Pollutant Tolerance in Fundulus heteroclitus Across a Water Temperature Gradient
Advisor: Eric Moody


BLAKELY, Valerie Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment major
A Feminist Analysis of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: Gender, Science, and Environmental Justice
Advisor: Heidi Grasswick

BUSCHMAN, Maia Conservation Psychology major
Affordable Housing Can Be Better for People and Planet: Applications of Social and Environmental Sustainability in Affordable Housing
Advisors: Michelle McCauley and Erin Sassin

CALLAHAN, Nina Environmental Economics major
Sustaining the Environment through Networks of Social Capital
Examining the Influence of Social Capital in Northern and Southern Italy as a Tool to Promote Sustainable Land Management
Advisors: Jonathan Isham and Stefano Mula

DURNING, Anna Environmental Studies–Geography joint major
“It’s more than just work and get home”: Constraints and motivations shaping migrant workers’ experiences of life in Vermont
Advisors: Jessica L’Roe and Peter Nelson

ELLICKS, Kevin Environmental Studies–Architecture joint major
Otter Creek AgriCenter + Community Table
Advisor: Benjamin Allred

FLEISCHER, Alec Environmental Policy major
Capitalism’s Response to Economic Growth Amidst Climate Crisis
Advisors: Jon Isham and Rebecca Mitchell

HUNTINGTON, Charles Holton Environmental Nonfiction major
El Potrero Chico: A Small Town’s Global Climbing Community
Advisors: David Bain and Megan Mayhew-Bergman

MCCROREY, Ryan Environmental Literature major
Witches and Woods: Female Authority, Forests, and the Supernatural in Shakespeare
Advisor: Daniel Brayton

PETERS, Kate Environmental Economics major
The Impacts of Postcolonial Democratic Institutions on Renewable Energy Development in Africa: An Analysis of Factors Facilitating Low-Carbon Energy Sectors with a Case Study Focusing on Ghana
Advisors: Jonathan Isham and Jacob Tropp

REDMON, Hannah Environmental Nonfiction major
These American Trails: Finding Power in Solitude and Joy in Community over Three Years of Walking
Advisor: Megan Mayhew-Bergman

ROWLAND, Helene Environmental Economics major
Sunshine in the Garden State: Analyzing the demographic trends in residential solar installations
Advisors: Akhil Rao and Julia Berazneva

ROYE, Karina Conservation Biology major
What Characterizes Sustainable Aquaculture in Vermont? An Assessment of Current Systems and their Implications for the Future
Advisors: Molly Anderson and Sallie Sheldon

SAUDERS, Jessica Environmental Studies–Architecture joint major
Regenerative Place-Making: A Study in Adaptive Reuse for Activating Community
Advisor: Benjamin Allred

SCHWARTZ, Orli Environmental Studies–Architecture joint major
The Idea Mill: Rethinking Interpersonal Connection Spatially
Advisor: Benjamin Allred

SHALE, Lily - Environmental Nonfiction major
Swallow, Eating Bodies and Devouring Place
Advisor: Spring Ulmer