Student Research Projects

Changing Jamestown: Environmental Conditions and the Starving Time

Student Brandan Adams
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department History
Course History 460: Senior Project Seminar


In founding the colony of Jamestown in 1607, the English experienced harsh circumstances. By 1609 and 1610, Jamestown looked to flounder due to poor governmental leadership, a weak relationship with the Powhatan Indians, and various environmental issues that the English were ill-prepared to tolerate. The environment, which caught the English by surprise, initially proved to be a larger challenge for them to handle. These various environmental issues, including extreme climatic weather patterns, the introduction of domesticated animals, and the alteration of land due to humans all provide valid explanations as to why the English went through a period known as the Starving Time.


Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History Scholars Finalist
2007 VWC Summer Research Grant