Student Research

Senior Essay Research

The senior essay project is the capstone for the Environmental Studies Major.  Seniors in the major write a substantial piece of original research that draws on upon their concentration.  The senior essay project provides students with the opportunity to research and write a substantial in-depth treatment of an environmental topic or problem.

Gaylord Donnelley Prize in Environmental Studies

Beginning in 1999, the Environmental Studies Program has recognized its most outstanding seniors for their academic achievements with the Gaylord Donnelley Prize. The award is made by faculty to the author of a distinguished piece of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Prize is presented to a senior at commencement. It is funded by an endowment from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Donnelley Family, in memory of Mr. Gaylord Donnelley, a conservationist dedicated to advances in research and education. The Donnelley Foundation also endows a post-doctoral fellowship through the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Funding for Conservation & Environmental Summer Experiences

Funding sources for summer conservation and environmental work can be found here. Students should consider applying for multiple fellowships to fund summer research. 

The Summer Environmental Fellowship and the Climate Technologies fellowship are managed by the Environmental Studies Program. Both fellowships welcome applications from all Yale undergraduates (rising sophomores through rising seniors) interested in learning about environmental issues. The Summer Environmental Fellowship supports students who wish to intern with an environmental organization or governmental agency, work on a research project in the field or laboratory at Yale or at another institution, or conduct research for their senior thesis. Students interested in applying should visit the Yale Student Grants & Fellowships website and search for “Summer Environmental Fellowship.”  

Students whose research focuses on improved technologies related to climate change are invited to apply for the Summer Climate Technologies Fellowship. This fellowship is made possible by the generosity of John M. Amatruda, MD ‘66.