Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Denise Keele

Second Advisor

Jeff Spoelstra


Students and registered student organizations (RSO) at Western Michigan University (WMU) have increasingly shown interest in climate change and environmental issues. However, student leadership roles are often held short-term due to the rapid displacement cycle of student bodies caused by graduation, institution transfers and other factors. New leaders often struggle with picking up where former students left off and advancing previously established efforts. WMU student groups lack an effective system of maintaining institutional knowledge, including student-led campaigns and accomplishments, to support a smoother transition that would empower student leaders and build upon prior progress. The goal of this project is to provide a repository for environmental and climate-focused institutional knowledge for use by future student leaders to advance efforts to address climate change and foster sustainability on campus. The repository will be built from two major sources: 1) existing publicly available documents from RSOs, and 2) online survey data collected from current student leaders. This research will be used as a reference document for future student leaders in sustainability and climate and will be made available through the WMU Office for Sustainability.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access