Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Harold Glasser

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Hearit

Third Advisor

Wil Reding


My honors thesis is a culmination of my work done over the year during my HONORS 399 Field Experience course and my HONORS 499 Thesis course, which were made possible through the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Award, as well as the Deans Summer Research Grant. The first component of my thesis includes the research I did in the Asylum Lake Nature Preserve and the surrounding property of WMU's Gibbs House for Environmental Research and Education, where I lived as a research fellow and now work as the coordinator. During my fellowship, I researched, observed and journaled in this area to complete the exercises, journals, maps and graphs outlined in the level one and two workbooks of the independent Kamana Naturalist Training Program. Through my field experience class, I also attended two five-day Michigan Outdoor Skills School (MOSS) sessions in October of 2006 and June of 2007, which I reflect upon.

A second component of my thesis includes a brief history and policy overview of the Asylum Lake Nature Preserve and the Gibbs House in order to obtain a firm grasp on both the cultural and natural environment where I focused my research. To educate community members about my project, I purchased several field guides for the fledgling research center that I developed at the Gibbs House during my fellowship. Additionally, I helped organize an outdoor education day at the house where we introduced these field guides to nearly 300 students. In the future, I plan to host a Kamana informational night and encourage other WMU students to complete this program. I also plan to continue organizing several outdoor skill workshops through the Naked Seed, the resident skill-sharing collective at the Gibbs House that I help direct.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only