College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Policy

Honors in ENSP

Honors in Environmental Science and Policy

Departmental Honors gives you an opportunity to conduct your own (original) research, collect and analyze data, and discuss and write about it with like-minded othersSuccessful honors students are inquisitive, self-motivated, and good time-managers -- the kind of students with whom most faculty members enjoy working! Additionally, the coursework normally "counts" towards requirements in your concentration, so shouldn't affect your graduation.

The goal of ENSP Honors is to encourage and recognize superior scholarship by providing opportunities for students to engage in independent study and research.

The research project will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor, usually in the student's area of concentration, and will result in an Honors thesis.


What does the program entail?

  • 9 credits of coursework, which can include up to two Honors Option courses, or 600-level graduate courses.  With permission of the student's concentration advisor, these courses can also double-count as ENSP Restricted Electives
  • 6 credits of self-conucted research under the supervision of a faculty member (ENSP499)
  • Oral Defense of completed research/thesis
ENSP Honors Program Guide - includes admission requirements and program details



Getting Started:  Students are encouraged to start considering topics during the spring semester of the sophomore year, and no later than the fall semester of the junior year.  It is a 3-semester commitment.

Requirements: Junior status (at least 45 credits earned, but no later than 75 credits); GPA of 3.25 or higher and a 3.5 or higher in all ENSP major requirements is required

Applying:  Students must have identified a thesis advisor (typically a faculty member) before an application will be reviewed.  All completed applications must be submitted to the ENSP Director by November 1 or April 1

The Application Packet will include:  an official UMD transcript; a personal statement of interest in and a rational for the proposed research topic; and a letter of support from the thesis advisor


Contact Angela Mazur-Gray and read the materials below to learn more!


Helpful resources:

  • Writing an Honors Thesis - provides a great, overall introduction and suggestions for "keeping it do-able." (The Writing Center, UNC - Chapel Hill).
  • Zotero - a FREE research tool that collects, manages, and cites research sources; it's easy to use and lives in your Firefox browser - Univ of Arkansas
  • APA Style Guide - Purdue University OWL (Online Writing lab)
  • Social Science Research - a 2-page introduction to the various components in a social science research paper. (The Writing Center, University of North Alabama).
  • Scientific Writing - includes samples of formats required by scientific journals. (Biology Department, Bates College).
  • MLA Style Guide - Purdue University OWL (Online Writing lab)
  • Basic Legal Citation (Cornell University Law School Library)
  • The Defense - practical advice for a successful thesis defense (Wheaton College)


Successful ENSP Honors students include:

  • Leah Schliefer - Environmental Politics & Policy, May 2015
  • Sze Wing Yu - Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, May 2015
  • Sara Mack - Environmental Restoration & Management, December 2014.
  • Neda Movahed - Environmental Politics & Policy, May 2014.
  • Sabra Bushey - Environmental Politics & Policy, December 2013.
  • Kara Loyd - Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, May 2013.
  • William Brodie Marrow - Earth Surface Processes, May 2013.
  • Jason Chun Yu Wong - Environmental Economics, May 2013.
  • Whitney Beck - Soil, Water & Land Resources, May 1012.
  • Clara Kollm - Environmental Politics & Policy, May 2011.
  • Hanna Poffenbarger - Environment & Agriculture, May 2011.
  • Amanda M. Garzio-Hadzick - Soil, Water & Land Resources, May 2009.
  • Zane Hadzick - Soil, Water & Land Resources, May 2009.
  • Patrick McLaughlin - Environmental Economics, May 2009.
  • Toby Dachman - Environmental Politics & Policy, April 2008.
  • Vera Jaffe - Soil, Water & Land Resources, May 2008.
  • Amalia Pleake-Tamm - Environmental Politics & Policy, December 2006.
  • Rebecca Blank - Soil, Water & Land Resources, May 2005.
  • Cynthia Chang - Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, May 2005.
  • Kushi Desai - Environmental Politics & Policy, June 2004.
  • Jayni Shah - Environmental Politics & Policy, May 2004.
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