Department of Geography
Honors Research Theses
The College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate student to pursue two semesters (six credits) of independent research under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Students meeting the GPA eligibility requirement submit their application proposals early in the senior year. Proposals are evaluated by the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Committee and, if approved, students can register for honors credit.Honors Thesis students are encouraged to meet a standard of excellence that can lead to the publication or formal presentation of their results.
Honors Thesis students are encouraged to meet a standard of excellence that can lead to the publication or formal presentation of their results. This year, four of the students submitted thesis papers to the Association of American Geographers and were invited to present at the AAG annual meeting in March 2009 in Las Vegas.
Recent student research projects
EMELIE BAILEY is working on a comparative study of Vermont CARES and Kawempe Home Care Initiative for her College of Arts and Science Honors thesis. Emelie spent the spring 2008 semester studying abroad in Uganda and worked for the Kawempe Home Care Initiative, a community-based AIDS service organization, and studied the political geography of access to HIV/AIDS healthcare in Uganda. DR. GLEN ELDER, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Thesis Title: "The Geography of HIV/AIDS Care: A comparative case study of Kawempe Home Care Initiative, Uganda and Vermont CARES, USA"
HANNAH FJELD is exploring the ways European ideas about Morocco are constructed and how the town of Assilah's identity is a hybrid of local perspectives, European ideals, and active place-branding the local government. Her thesis is building on her spring 2008 study abroad experience in Rabat, Morocco. DR. REECIA ORZECK, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Thesis Title: "Discovering Morocco: Guidebooks and the Maghreb in the European Imagination"
MARSH GOODING is combining his geography major with his minor in applied design (CDAE) to explore issues of urban sustainability. He will perform a qualitative assessment of Burlington's planning process using interviews and document analysis to figure out why there is such a mismatch between the ideal and the reality of urban sustainabliity initiatives. DR. MEGHAN COPE, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Marsh was invited to present his thesis at the March 2009 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Thesis Title: "Balancing the Scales: Implementing Urban Sustainability in Burlington, VT"
RAE ROSENBERG is writing an honors thesis on Tel Aviv, Israel as a queer city and a new "hot spot" for queer travel destinations. He is exploring how queer identities and cultures are located in the city and how this compares to images that have been created for queer travelers through advertising campaigns. Rae will look at how global forces like Americanization have influenced these advertising campaigns, where these images focus in terms of spatial locality of queerness, and how these images reflect, and how they affect, existing queer communities and identities in Tel Aviv. DR. GLEN ELDER, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Rae was invited to present his thesis at the March 2009 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Thesis Title: "Pink Dollars and the Global Queer: Commodification, Creations, and Visions of Queer Bodies and Space in Tourism for Tel Aviv, Israel"
ANNA ROYAR will be evaluating Burlington's characteristics for older residents' needs and interests. Anna's project aims to answer the question "What social and spatial practices facilitate the creation of an elderly-friendly city?" She will explore five facets of elderly residents' experience, and these topic areas will be addressed through community mapping and interviews with elderly Burlington residents and service providers. DR. MEGHAN COPE, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Anna was invited to present her thesis at the March 2009 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Thesis Title: "Geography of Aging in Vermont
ANDREW TURGEON proposes to take on the questions of youth outmigration from rural Vermont in his research. He will conduct participant-based research with Bennington area teenagers on their views and use of their local place and their plans for the future.This research promises to help address a critical social issue in Vermont by engaging young people in solving civic and social problems. DR. CHERYL DUNKLEY, thesis advisor, academic year 2008-2009. Andrew was invited to present his thesis at the March 2009 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Thesis Title: "Young People's Place in Community: Cross-Examining Teenagers" Identities, Spaces and Social Differences in Southern Vermont"
HELAINE ALON, Geography and Independent Studies Major, Hispanic Dairy Workers in Vermont: Health Needs and Access to Care, DR. GLEN ELDER, advisor, academic year 2006-2007.
EDEN FURTAK-COLE, senior Geography major, and Dr. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Associate Professor of Geography, have co-authored a book chapter that is in press at this time. It was part of a spring 2008 Readings and Research project. The complete citation for the chapter is: Dupigny-Giroux, L.-A. and Furtak-Cole, E. (2008) "Multiangular imaging of wetlands in New England," in Wetlands: Ecology, Conservation and Restoration, Raymundo Russo (editor), Nova Science Publishers, Inc. in press.
MICHAEL OLDHAM, senior geography major, and UVMPolitical Science PROFESSOR GARRISON NELSON collaborated on a research project in which Michael used his geographic expertise to create the maps used in the paper. The paper, “Democracy, Diversity, and the 2008 Presidential Election: Mapping State Electoral Votes by Diversity Propensity” was recently published in The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations, Volume 8. An article, “Mapping a Path for a Woman President” related to this work also appeared in Vermont Woman, a monthly newspaper published in South Burlington, Vermont.
Other graduated undergraduate students who had been involved in PROFESSOR LESLEY-ANN DUPIGNY-GIROUX'S research projects include:
- ERIK ENGSTROM, used Principal Components Analysis to quantify the spatial and temporal characteristics of storm cells over the Jay Peak area. This research was subsequently published: Dupigny-Giroux, L.-A. Hanning, J.R. and Engstrom, E. (2006) "Orographic influence on frontally-produced flooding in northern Vermont - The 14-15 July 1997 event6", Physical Geography, Volume 26, No. 2, pp. 1-38.
- SHAWN BRISTOW, COLIN BLACKWELL, and GREGG OLSON, participated in a research project on ice storm damage on Mt. Philo with Professor Dupigny-Giroux. This research was subsequently published with the students listed as co-authors in the International Journal of Remote Sensing, ("Vegetation response to ice disturbance and consecutive moisture extremes", International Journal of Remote Sensing, 2002).
- ERIN BURKE, Geography major, received a $1000 award and a $2125 budget for her Historical Drought Analysis research with the State Climatologist, Prof. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, through the URECA! program.
Undergraduates who have been involved in PROFESSOR BEVERLEY WEMPLE'S research projects include:
- ASHLEY FEERER, Geography major, field work on paired-watershed study at Mt. Mansfield, Sept 2001-May 2002.
- MARIANNE MUTH and LELIA PASCALE, Environmental Science majors, field and laboratory research: Sediment production from paved and unpaved parking lots in the West Branch watershed, Mt. Mansfield, spring semester 2002.
- JULIE JANOW and KIM DeMAYO, Environmental Science majors, field research and GIS analysis: Mapping sediment deposition in the Waterbury Reservoir, fall semester 2002.
- KEVIN MILLS, Geography major, GIS research: Spatial patterns of road development and road-stream interactions in the Upper White River watershed, fall semester 2002.
For further information on research opportunities or on the internship program, please contact the department chair, Meghan Cope at Meghan.Cope@uvm.edu or (802) 656-2074.
Last modified August 19 2009 06:38 PM