Senior Seminar - Intro message from a former Env. Sci. BC major I guess, I just wanted to see what you are up to, and also to thank you because as I look back to Barnard, one of the memories that come up in my mind most often is all the classes that I took for the Environmental Science major, and even writing my thesis...(which I must admit, back then, I could not understand the purpose of writing one, but now as I look back... I realize that a lot of the projects that I am working on now resemble small theses... the research, the timing, the developing of the ideas... the editing and the collection of all thoughts into one small project...)." January, 1999. This student graduated in 1997 and is now working as a Sr. Statistical Analyst for an Investors Service. Elements of Senior Research Projects in Environmental Sciences/Biology/Policy: An environmental issue is identified. Other people's work on the topic is collected and evaluated. Data necessary to solving the problem are either collected by the student, or obtained from other sources. Data are analyzed using techniques appropriate to the data set. Results of the analysis are interpreted in light of the initial environmental issue and communicated to others. Three groups of students 2nd semester senior seminar, research mostly completed, focus on writing the thesis 1st semester students Thesis proposal extending research performed over the summer Thesis proposal based on ideas developed at the beginning of this semester Goals of Senior Seminar 1st semester senior seminar identify project/mentor formulate hypothesis understand background develop/refine appropriate methods begin/complete data collection & analysis summarize state of project as thesis proposal progress as far as possible with the elements listed both 2nd semester senior seminar complete data collection and data analysis write results, discussion and conclusion sections complete senior thesis information & data collection, data analysis communication (oral, written) skills independence/professionalism Structure of a thesis (proposal) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Title page Abstract Table of contents Introduction Thesis statement Approach/methods (Preliminary) Results Discussion (Work plan including time table) Implications of research List of references Appendix Website tour http://cool.barnard.edu/envsci/ Purpose of writing a thesis proposal is to demonstrate that the thesis topic addresses a significant environmental problem; an organized plan is in place for data collection and analysis to help solve the problem; is to ensure (as much as possible) that the project can be concluded on time. To be able to write good proposals is a very useful skill in general!