Undergraduate Research

At Cornell, undergraduates enjoy research opportunities in a wide range of projects and disciplines related to environmental studies. Students gain experience in all aspects of research, from field and lab work to presentations and publications, because the focus is on teaching and learning in close relationship with faculty mentors. Many research projects happen in the summer, but Cornell's One Course At A Time schedule also enables meaningful work to occur during courses and independent study blocks.

Student symposium

Each spring, Cornell students from many disciplines present the results of collaborative and independent projects at the Cornell Student Symposium. During the symposium, students describe their research and creative projects through oral presentations and poster sessions.  Abstracts for projects related to environmental studies can be found on the Student Symposium site.

On-going Research Projects

Cornell faculty sponsor a number of on-going researching projects, allowing students to work collaboratively and build on results over time. These projects include studies of:

  • Species diversity and plant-animal interactions in tropical rainforests
  • Ecology and conservation of the threatened ornate box turtles in eastern Iowa
  • Ecology and evolution of fire corals in the Bahamas
  • The fall migration of raptors in eastern Iowa
  • Phenotypic plasticity in fire corals and gray tree frogs
  • Prehistoric climate conditions based on stalagmites and ancient coral from locations around the world
  • Climate change effects based on comparisons of modern and ancient coral
  • Mechanisms of mountain formation and subduction zone behavior
  • Polyoxometalates and their potential for mitigating heavy metals and nuclear waste
  • Dye-sensitized organic solar cells
  • Wind potential and energy maps for turbine development


Pease refer to the environmental studies faculty page for links to research pages.