Senior Thesis Information

Senior thesis and the degree with honors

In order to be recommended for the degree with honors, a student is expected to have completed at least two semesters and a winter study project (031) of independent research culminating in a thesis that demonstrates outstanding achievement of an original and innovative nature. The principal considerations in admitting a student to a program of independent research are mastery of fundamental material and skills, ability to pursue independent study successfully, and demonstrated student interest and motivation.

Further advice on the major can be obtained from the department chair.

Recent Honors Theses


  • How Can Storm Waves Move Very Large Boulders: Investigations in a Wave Tank
  • Photogrammetric monitoring of coastal boulder deposits
  • A Palynological and Geochemical Approach to Understanding the Late Devonian Kellwasser Events in the Appalachian Basin


  • Reconstructing Jökulhlaup Discharge Using the Morphology of Eroded  Volcanic Rootless Cones
  • A Reconnaissance Study and Interpretation of Enigmatic ca. 1.4 Ga  Plutons in the Southern Front Range, Colorado
  • Reinterpretation of Putative Tintinnid Lorica Fossils from the Tsagaan  Olom Group, Mongolia
  • Infiltration Variability and Shallow Groundwater Response to Snowmelt  in Headwater Catchments, Niwot Ridge, Colorado
  • From on High: Geochemistry of Alpine Springs, Niwot Ridge, Colorado  Front Range


  • The Water Balance and Hydrology of the Class of ’66 Environmental Center
  • Modeling Non-Linear Storm Wave Behaviour for Coastal Boulder Transport in the Aran Islands, Ireland
  • Changes in Sediment Transport and Present-Day Carbon Storage Due to Historic Charcoaling Activity in Litchfield, CT
  • Not Just Flowers: Vases in the Neoproterozoic
  • Tiny Fossils from a Big Extinction: Microfossil Assemblage Variation Through the Kellwasser Event of the Late Devonian
  • The Geomorphology of Mountains on Io
  • Detrital Zircon Constraints on the Age of the Granville Dome Mantling Sequence
  • Tephronchronology as a Tool to Constrain Surface Reservoir Ages in the Deglacial Bering Sea


  • Comparison of Icelandic Rootless Spatter Cones with Experimental Lava Features
  • Connecting Surficial Deposits and Hydrologic Flux in Leaky, Snowmelt-Dominated Catchments, Niwot Ridge, Colorado
  • Geomorphic Effects of the September 2013 Flood in Fourmile Canyon, Colorado, Using Lidar and Field Studies
  • Boulder Movements in Western Ireland


  • The Eruptive History of Strawberry Crater, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Northern Arizona
  • A Radiocarbon Reconstruction of the Deglacial Bering Sea
  • A Paleoclimate Reconstruction of Lake Linne:  Interpreting the Influence of Sediment Sources Through Time
  • Sedimentology of Storm Deposits: Ireland, Shetland, and Beyond
  • Porewater Sulfate Content at Deep Springs Lake, California:  Applicability to the “Dolomite Problem?”


  • Assessing Relationships Between Tree Growth and Climate in the Hopkins Forest
  • Evolution and Distribution of Permeability in a Complete Section of Upper Oceanic Crust: IODP Hole 1256D
  • Geochemical Response of Two Adjacent Alpine Streams, Green Lakes Valley,
    in a Low-Snow Year
  • Geochemistry and Geothermobarometry of Alkaline Volcanic Rocks of the Late Tertiary Powder River Volcanic Field
  • Using Geophysical Techniques in The Critical Zone to Determine the Presence of Permafrost
  • Snowmelt Hydrology of a Glacial/Periglacial Alpine Landscape:  Investigating the “Losing Stream” Phenomenon