Each summer, Lafayette College students have the opportunity to participate in academically meaningful experiences outside the classroom. Students selected as EXCEL Scholars engage in collaborative research projects with Lafayette faculty, enhancing their academic skills as well as developing other skills that will be useful in post-graduate education and careers. This summer, we are highlighting several scholars who are working on hands-on, collaborative research projects with faculty and other students.

Lafayette student Areeb Atheeque sitting down outdoors and holding a laptop in front of a background of trees

Areeb Atheeque ’25 is assisting with research on the efficiency of carbon offset projects

Student researcher: Areeb Atheeque ’25
Majors: International affairs, mathematics-economics
Adviser: Caleb Gallemore, assistant professor of international affairs
What is your research all about? 

“Analyzing factors and reasons as to what contributes to increased or decreased efficiency of carbon offset projects.”

What appealed to you about doing summer research for this project?

“Environmental economics and climate change are things that are  of interest to me. So, the chance to work on something in this realm caught my eye. Forest carbon offsets have a number of economic applications too, so it kind of combined the areas that my two majors delve into.”

How did you connect with Prof. Gallemore?

I reached out to Prof. Gallemore after reading about some of the work he did during the fall of my freshman year, and that led to a conversation about this very project I’m working on. I have been working on it ever since. He is a person who is very down to earth, cool, calm, and very nice to talk to. Our conversations range from Netflix shows to places we’d like to visit, and he always creates a very healthy working environment.”

What is the expected/hopeful outcome of your research?

“There’s nothing to share as per our findings yet, but we have come across a very niche form of forest carbon offset called ‘ejidos,’ which are found in Mexico. These are communal farms that have been run by locals since the Mexican Revolution. 

“This research could shed light on a very important means that firms use to become more environmentally friendly. If factors and reasons behind the efficiency of carbon offset projects are known, they would serve as important tools in the fight against climate change.”

Will you be continuing the research beyond this summer?

“Prof. Gallemore is on sabbatical during the next semester, so I won’t be working with him in the fall. We are, however, hoping to reconnect during the spring to continue working on this project or start something new.”

Why is this research experience valuable to you?

“My post-graduation plans are in the realm of finance, so they’re not necessarily directly related [to this project]. However, my biggest takeaway was strengthening my research skills. The ability to find what you are looking for, condense that into a form that is understandable, and juggle large sums of data at the same time were something that I found to be an important outcome.”

Hands-On Research

Lafayette's EXCEL Scholar Program

Lafayette's EXCEL Scholars program allows students to work closely and collaboratively with faculty on significant research projects that hone critical-thinking and communication skills

Learn more