Undergraduate research is central to Furman’s engaged learning philosophy, a commitment evidenced by our faculty’s enthusiasm for involving students in their own research interests. Faculty-student research has opened doors for Furman students to present their own work at conferences and see their work published.
Sustainability research at Furman permeates through all disciplines. In the natural sciences, students and faculty conduct ongoing research and restoration projects such as monitoring lake health at Furman Lake and understanding the human impact on watersheds in the Upstate of South Carolina through the River Basins Research initiative (RBRI). Ongoing sustainability research initiatives include the RBRI, conservation culture research, food systems and farming research, and the lake restoration project, among others.
Furman's sustainability science major requires students to complete a senior thesis. Topics for senior theses are determined by the student and the faculty advisor; these projects focus on topics and disciplines ranging from political ecology to marketing to conservation culture to landscape history to demographic studies. Learn about the sustainability science major.
Furman's David E. Shi Center for Sustainability has also supported faculty sustainability research through its Faculty Fellows program. Past fellows have built a fiber-dye garden on campus to support teaching and research in applied plant sciences; examined the demographics of farmer's market customers in Greenville; recorded and produced an eco-acoustic percussion CD; and studied the links between economic development and water and sanitation infrastructure through an applied project in Guatemala.
Additionally, the Shi Center’s Student Fellowship Program supports students doing
sustainability research, as well as other campus and community-based
projects. For example, student Laura Eubanks '13, completed her senior thesis research and a case study of geothermal ground source heat pumps in Furman's North Village apartments.