CC&E Undergraduate Research

At CC&E, students can participate in cutting edge research and help develop solutions to today's most pressing environmental problems.

When you participate in research as an undergraduate you:

  • build valuable hands-on scientific skills
  • deepen your knowledge of the subject matter
  • make professional connections that can last a lifetime
  • develop critical thinking skills
  • have the opportunity to present your original research at meetings in the college, the university or even professional organizations

This page contains information to start you on your research journey.


Identify your passion

CC&E offers a wide range of research opportunities in a variety of settings. It’s best to determine your own interests and preferences before applying to work in a lab.

students in the field with notebooks

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • What topics or subjects interested you the most in the classes you have taken?
  • What sort of environment do you prefer to work in? Some examples include working indoors in a laboratory, conducting field work outside, or using a computer to build models or analyze data.
  • What issues or problems strike your passion?
  • Are there any scientific breakthroughs you find exciting or inspirational?

You can also visit the Career Center's Explore page to find more helpful career and personality assessments.



Begin your journey

Now that you have identified your interests, you can begin to look for a position in one of our labs.

a student on a microscope

  1. Visit our faculty websites and lab pages to learn more about what research is being conducted.
    Department of Environmental Sciences Faculty
    Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Faculty
    CC&E Faculty Labs
  2. Identify 2-3 faculty members whose research interests you.
  3. Email them to make an appointment.
  4. In the meeting, discuss your interests and goals, and why you would like to work with that faculty member. Professionalism is appreciated.
  5. Find a place in a lab and begin your research journey

For additional guidance during any step of this process, contact our Associate Director, Dr. Giulio Mariotti.


Pursue Independent Research Opportunities

Some students pursue their own research projects. Students may choose to receive course credit for their project, or apply for a funded project.

While students in the Environmental Science and Research (ESR) concentration are required to take a minimum of two credit hours of research, any CES major can enroll in Independent Study Research Hours and conduct independent research. 

This research experience can be approached in one of two ways.

All research courses require a faculty sponsor.

Students can receive up to six credit hours to perform their own research project working under the direct supervision of a faculty member. The student proposes plans and executes a research project, and usually, a written report of the project is required upon completion. Contact a specific faculty member about the possibility of doing this type of research.

ENVS 3999 & OCS 3999 are CES courses intended usually for advanced undergraduate JUNIOR (60 credit hrs., but fewer than 90 credit hrs.) or SENIOR (90 or more credit hrs.).

These courses can be taken for a maximum of 6 credit hrs. with a variable credit of 1 – 3 credit hrs. per semester.  However, only two credit hours will be counted for the CES degree.

To enroll in ENVS 3999 & OCS 3999, students must submit the following: 

  1. Risk Waiver
  2. Undergraduate Independent Research Contract.  This document identifies the independent research project's learning objectives, which are jointly outlined by the student and faculty sponsor, who must approve them before submission. This document also includes the project description/location (What will you be doing? Proposed hypothesis and approach, Where?) and timeline (When will activities be done, report drafts, evaluation date, final copy, etc.) 

The complete package needs to be emailed to Dr. Giulio Mariotti ( before students can be allowed to register for the course. Upon completion of these forms, Dr. Mariotti will notify the school and the student will be able to go ahead and register for the course.

CES majors in the LSU Honors College may fill their two-hour research requirement while completing their Honors College thesis. Students work under the supervision of a faculty member to complete a research project and must write and defend a thesis on their results.  

Here are some organizations that may be able to provide funding for undergraduate research.

LSU Discover provides funding for undergraduate student research through our Project Grants. The purpose of these grants is to provide students with a learning opportunity through participation in faculty-mentored projects.

Learn more on their website

The National Academies Gulf Scholars Program (GSP) aims to prepare undergraduate students from any major to address challenges and issues facing the Gulf South region. LSU Gulf Scholars will participate in immersive projects, courses, excursions, and activities focused on supporting people, ecosystems, and industries in and around the Gulf of Mexico. 

Learn more on their website

Sea Grant's UROP provides talented undergraduate students interested in pursuing advanced studies in coastal related disciplines by providing funding for hands-on research experience.

Learn more on their website

The National Science Foundation Funds Research Experiences For Undergraduates, providing stipends and, in many cases assistance with housing and travel. A REU site can host a group of ten or so undergraduate students who will work in a research program at the host site.  Each student will work on a specific research project, working closely with faculty and other researchers.

Learn more on their website



Student Research Highlights

Coastal Environmental Science student Jonathan Russell has developed a Gulf of Mexico specific hurricane forecast.

Oceanography & Coastal Sciences graduate student Matthew Parker took a research cruise to the Laborador Sea last winter to investigate the air-sea gas exchange in cold weather environment

CC&E is excited to welcome its newest set of alumni!


Past Research Projects