CC&E Student Research

At CC&E, we offer you the opportunity to gain experience working with faculty and graduate students in one of our college labs, or to pursue your own, independent research project under the supervision of a mentor.

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
  • have the opportunity to present your own original research at meetings, symposiums and conferences in the college, the university or even professional organizations.

Getting Started


two students stand with notebooks in the middle of a field

  • Learn more about faculty members and their research interests by reading their faculty bios and lab websites.
  • Determine the faculty member whose research aligns with your interests. Not sure? Contact our Associate Director Giulio Mariotti for help.
  • Reach out to the faculty to find out if they have any availability. Depending on circumstances, positions may be funded or on a volunteer basis.
  • Find a position and begin your research journey!  

Students may receive course credit or be paid for their work.


a student in an LSU shirt looks in a microscope

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:


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 at

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.  


Finding a Faculty member to work with

Whether you are seeking a part-time volunteer position or would like to find a research mentor, it’s important to establish a good relationship with the faculty member you’d like to work with.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Know their research. Read their bio in the faculty directory, take a look at their publications and visit their lab website. Use these links to get started.
  • Make an appointment to speak with the faculty member you would like to see.
  • In the meeting, be clear about what you would like, what your goals are, and why you would like to work with that faculty member.
  • Be professional, both in your email etiquette and your meeting.


Important Funding Sources for Undergraduate Research


Many CES students are able to find funded positions in faculty labs. Reach out to a faculty member whose research aligns with your interests to see if they have any openings.


A specific project can also be funded through an external organization. Here are some organizations that may be able to provide funding:

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.


LSU Discover Project Grants

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


SeaGrant UROP

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. 


Gulf Scholars Program

The National Science Foundation Funds Research Experiences For Undergraduates (REU), 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.




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