Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thesis on green roofs

Soooooo good to be done my thesis. I can't believe I made it or that it's finally over. For anyone who didn't know, I spend the last year completing an undergraduate honours thesis in Environmental Studies. Last summer, an NSERC research award payed me to find and categorize green roofs (literally vegetated roofs, with lots of environmental benefits) and perform a couple temperature studies. After that, I had a lot of data to analyze, which I spent most of the fall doing. In January, the write-up started, almost 70 pages later it was finished in March. After a few revisions I defended my thesis orally in April.

The whole process was very challenging, but well worth it. I'm satisfied with the result, and feel like I've contributed something useful. It was a struggle at first to figure out what I was going to do for a year that was interesting and that I wouldn't get sick of. And it was hard to force myself to meet smaller deadlines that meant a lot to a bigger deadline, because I am such a procrastinator. You can't procrastinate on something that large though, haha.

So for everyone who hadn't seen me all semester, sorry, but now you know why. It was really hard to stay in or go home early just to work on it, but I guess I learned something...I'm glad I'm not graduating this year though, sort of. It would be nice to be all done, but I would have missed out on the "last" of a lot of things. I'll catch up next year, and at least I only have a few classes left.

Doing the research and writing it up was definitely something very different than what I am used to in most of my classes. In the short term it will probably help me figure out what I want to do next. Do I want to go to grad school and keep researching, or try something different? All that is left now is a couple revisions and to get it printed and bound. I will probably do a bit more analysis on the data, once I get around to it, and hopefully submit some of it to a journal to get published. I also got to present my findings at a green roof conference in Baltimore, which was pretty exciting.

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