In 2003, Taylor launched the Master of Environmental Science program integrating Christian faith with learning to train students in “science for stewardship and service.” A generous external gift supported the program and students through the Boren Graduate Fellowships. From 2003 until the last graduates in 2015, the MES program played a vital role in Christian higher education. Ninety-four students entered the program, of which, forty students came from Taylor undergraduate degrees and fifty-four came from thirty-five other institutions. Eighty-six students completed the degree and were successfully placed in PhD programs or careers in governmental agencies, private sector consulting, environmental education, non-government service agencies or other positions.

Thirty-nine of the MES graduates chose to complete a thesis (instead of a six-month internship); Dr. Paul Rothrock guided over half of them. The theses included in this collection represent some of Taylor’s finest scholarship. Their research covers a range of topics including assessments ecosystem, restoration, and mitigation; evaluations of landscapes and watersheds; and surveys of environmental education, attitudes, and behaviors.

Disclaimer: Taylor University’s institutional repository, Pillars, provides access to scholarly and creative content produced by University constituents. The opinions and sentiments expressed by the authors of content available in Pillars do not necessarily indicate the endorsement or reflect the views of Taylor University, its employees, or its students. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their work. Please address questions to Pillars.


Theses from 2015


Surveying Environmental Attitudes, Behavior and Knowledge at a Christian Liberal Arts University: Exploring Faith, Stewardship, and the "New Ecological Paradigm", Kathryn R. Rudy

Theses from 2014

Assessing the Relationship Between Riparian Width and Neotropical Migrant Bird Species Richness in the middle Mississinewa Watershed, Indiana, USA, Mary B. Chapman


Biodiversity of Corticolous Macrolichens in a Selected Northeastern Indiana Forest and Implications for Conservation, Margaret L. (Gray) Kubina


Testing Disturbance Methods to Aid Interseeding Forbs in a Grass-Dominated Prairie Restoration in Northeast Indiana, Adam Thada

Theses from 2013


Using Best Professional Judgment to Create Biological Benchmarks for Habitat Assessment of Wetlands and Oak Savannas in Northwestern Indiana, Brad Gordon

Theses from 2012


Distribution of Biological Control Agents (Galerucella spp., Hylobius transversovittatus, Nanophyes marmoratus) and their impact on Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) in Indiana, Joshua S. Britton

Theses from 2011


Spatio-Temporal Boundary Dynamics in an East Central Indiana Tallgrass Prairie Reconstruction, Daryn J. Dockter

Theses from 2010


An Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Taylor University, Kevin P. Crosby

Theses from 2009


A Comparison and Validation of Four Aquatic Macrophyte-Based Lake Assessment Techniques, John Brittenham

Theses from 2008

Implementing Landscape Indices to Predict Stream Water Quality in an Agricultural Setting: An Assessment of the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) Protocol in the Mississinewa River Watershed, East-Central Indiana, Derek R. Shiels

Theses from 2007


The Effects of Chronic Nitrogen Application on a Mature Tallgrass Prairie Restoration and Nitrogen Mobilization into Above-ground Biomass of Andropogon gerardii, Ann M. (O'Neill) Ebert

Theses from 2006


Analysis of Response Calls to Diverse Ground Predators from Three Geographically Separate Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Subpopulations, Sarah A. (Bales) Douglass


Geographical Information System Analysis of Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Colony Site Selection in Northeastern Indiana, Jason M. Kauffman

Monitoring Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Performance Using Floristic Quality Assessment, Janna M. McIndoe Riley

Theses from 2005


Quantification of Call Variations Between Sub-Regional Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Populations, Kory C. Russel