Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Research Statement: Casey Shultis

Senior Capstone in Environmental Studies

As a culmination of my work at Bates College, I aim to increase the accessibility of environmental education and its profound connection to climate change. As a senior soon to graduate with a degree in environmental studies, I have seen an array of climate education. I found myself frustrated with the inaccessibility of the information and learning that I obtained in college. How could I combine my college education in environmental science and my previous experience in environmental education for thousands of people on social media to make climate science more accessible for my capstone project in environmental studies?

My research will focus on the multifaceted and complex science behind soil. Soil science, which focuses on the intricate connections of the abiotic and biotic components of a soil ecosystem, plays a significant role in both learning about climate change and how a vital ecosystem can mitigate the impacts of a fluctuating climate. My research will uncover the intricacies of soil science such as understanding the basic principles of structure of texture within the soil. My research will later build off of the basic systems and components to make greater claims about the significant benefits of a healthy soil ecosystem. This will culminate with several links to climate change, which is where my research will differ from the literature and materials already available. While environmental research is available, most fail to connect to the overall significance of climate change. My research will also go a step further and explain what climate change means for soil.

In the end, I will compile my research in the format of a chapter book for a middle school audience. This is the main component of my research, though I also will write an op-ed style piece. This can be something they are assigned for homework in class or even something that can be found in a library. This is the perfect audience for my research, as there is a lack of communication between the science of environmental topics, systems, and processes for kids who demand to know more about the world that is constantly changing around them. The popular idea within society is that the next generation will need to solve the climate crisis. Not only is environmental education limited, but it is rarely linked to climate change. Guided by research that I break down, this chapter book will focus on the science behind soil, the benefits of soil for our planet, and how soil health directly impacts the climate crisis. My goal is to provide younger generations with a starting point to spark their curious minds about environmental sciences and climate change. My research and this book will serve as the spark to jumpstart young minds into the world of environmental science and provide them with the inspiration to protect the world around them.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Christine Martinez

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

Research Statement, Op-Ed, Chapter Book


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.