Current Research Opportunities

The Student Garden is available for faculty and students to conduct research on sustainable agriculture and related fields. Plots of land can be reserved for a designated period of time for use in research or class projects. Email Lucy Davis ( for more information.

Previous Research Projects 

Student Garden

In 2011 Ande Buskirk, a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies graduate, developed the initial student garden program plan as a graduate internship project with Crop Up and Dr. Tracy Burkett. Her internship report led to the funding of the Student Garden. Additionally, Ande oversaw the first year of the Student Garden’s physical development.

Permaculture Guild Demonstration

In 2012, Gloria Wilson conducted an independent study course studying permaculture practices. Her independent study project resulted in the consultation and eventual development of a permaculture guild demonstration and a hugelkultur bed.

Fruiting Tree Installation

In 2012, Taylor Bridges developed an independent study course researching effective alternative agriculture techniques. His independent study project focused on perennial fruiting trees and resulted in the planning and installation of fruit trees at the student garden.

Apiculture Initiative

In 2013 Tyler Hassig, a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Peace Corps Master’s International student, collaborated with the Charleston Area Beekeepers Association to bring a honey bee hive to the Student Garden. Additionally, Tyler received funding from the Office of Sustainability’s ECOllective Student Projects to purchase suits and apiculture accessories for beekeeping as well as plants to provide bees sources of nectar.

Double Barrel Composter Project

In 2013 Nicole Machuca, a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Peace Corps Master’s International student, and Jason Sonnefeldt developed an applied project, building a double barrel composter for the Student Garden as a demonstration of alternative composting systems made out of recycled materials.

Aquaponics Project

In 2014 Sylvie Baele, and undergraduate student, conducted a project developing the strategic plan for creating an aquaponics system at the College of Charleston, growing vegetables and raising fish in a sustainable system. With the assistance of Dr. Seth Pritchard, Sylvie conducted the research and developed a preliminary planning document for implementing an aquaponics system on campus.

Shade Garden Demonstration

In 2014 Colleen Stanczykiewicz, an undergraduate student, developed an applied project establishing a shade garden demonstration plot at the Student Garden. Colleen utilized her skills designing, budgeting, and planting a demonstration garden focusing on native perennial plants that thrive in the shade.

Soldier Fly Composting Project

In 2014 Brian Elmore, a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies and Peace Corps Master’s Internation student, developed a soldier fly composting system and wrote a manual for its operation.