The Environmental Education graduate program offers three completion options: exam, project, and thesis. Most students select the exam option. It offers the fewest complications and makes it easy to graduate in a timely manner.
However, for some, a thesis or project is the appropriate option, and we support this. A thesis or project allows you to establish demonstrable expertise in an area that will help you as you pursue your career. For example, a field biology research project (with environmental education implications) can lead to a PhD program in biology or environmental education or a position in a community college. For another example, a graduate with a thesis focusing on assessment will be valued by a nonprofit providing environmental education services, as most grant applications today require the demonstration of the effectiveness of a given education program. There are other reasons, too. Everybody’s story is different, and we are happy to sit down and discuss the pros and cons of the various options to help you make the best choice.
Students conducting research through data collection in the field of Environmental Education will complete a thesis, while those producing a product should develop a project that contributes to the field of Environmental Education. An academic document will result from either option.
A student must apply for either a thesis or project completion option no later than the middle of Fall Term in the first year of coursework at SOU. An advisor must be secured before you apply for this option. Note that the thesis or project also substitutes for one of the science electives. Should you choose this option, be prepared to extend your Master’s degree by one or two quarters, as this will add a significant amount of work outside of the program requirements.
Examples of past theses:
Evaluating the effectiveness of an Environmental Education program: North Mountain Park fall field studies for grades 3rd – 5th, Ashland, Oregon
Restoring timber roads using Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsonaina), a threatened native species
Habitat difference between native great gray (Strix nebulosa) and invasive barred owls (S. varia) on the Dead Indian Plateau of southern Oregon
Papers Published from the Program
Peter N. Kleinhenz & Michael S. Parker (2017) Video as a tool to increase understanding and support for the Endangered Species Act, Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 16:1, 41-55, DOI: 10.1080/1533015X.2017.1282333
Abraham P. Karam, Michael S. Parker & Lindsey T. Lyons (2012) Ecological Comparison between Three Artificial Refuges and the Natural Habitat for Devils Hole Pupfish, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 32:2, 224-238, DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2012.672870
Nationally Accredited Graduate Program
by the North American Association for Environmental Education