Senior Capstone

Students complete a research project in their senior year that is meant to act as a capstone to their undergraduate degree. The senior thesis is required of all majors in DEES with the exception of Earth Science majors interested in Geology. Those students have the option to participate in a Geology Field Camp in place of the senior thesis.

The senior thesis research project is required of all majors in DEES. It is guided by a faculty mentor, as well as a course that is taken in the fall and spring of senior year typically (UN3901 Senior Seminar)

Gathering data for the project is an essential step. We recommend you start thinking about your project as early as your junior year, so you can create an achievable timeline for the completion of it. Many students participate in summer internships in their junior year that provides them with data they end up using for their thesis. However, that is not the only method for data collection. Actively pursue questions about your senior thesis through the DUS or UPM, and by finding a mentor early on to help guide your process. 

Students can find mentors within DEES, Lamont, Barnard, or any of the other affiliated institutions. Typically, a student finds a mentor with similar research interests to them so they can work on a project the mentor already has, or plan a new project together. All mentors outside of DEES faculty must be approved by the DUS. 


Students in the Earth Science major interested in Geology have the option of participating in a Geology Field Camp in place of completing a senior thesis. The camps are in-depth field experiences that occur over the summer, typically for six to eight weeks. Students typically participate in the camps during the summer before senior year. If interested in pursuing a geology field camp, contact the DUS or UPM.  

Find resources below that provide further information on field camps and comprehensive lists of camps offered throughout the United States. We also included field camps that our students have either attended or been suggested to the department in the past. 


General Info 

Survey of Geoscience Field Camps (USGS) 

Geology Field Camps - A Comprehensive Listing (


Field Camps 

Indiana University

SAGE Field Camp 

University of Arizona

University of Buffalo 

University of Michigan

University of Missouri

University of Oregon