Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Travis Ryan


The consequences of increasing urbanization in many areas have led to an increase in environmental awareness. Urban green spaces, such as golf courses, can increase biodiversity and serve as valuable wildlife habitats in otherwise inhospitable areas. Golf course ponds have the potential to provide suitable habitats for semi-aquatic turtles in urban areas. Previous research on semi-aquatic turtle inhabitation has been conducted on suburban golf courses. This study investigates the viability of urban Indianapolis golf courses as habitats for semi-aquatic turtles. Golf course ponds show similar turtle occupancy compared to nearby control ponds. However, when compared to a past random pond sampling in Washington Township, this study's golf course ponds show significantly higher occupancy. Other factors, such as pond distance to the nearest road and pond surface area were also significantly different between the two pond groups. My results demonstrate the potential for urban golf course ponds to provide viable habitats for semi-aquatic turtles. Ultimately, golf courses could be deliberately designed to serve as a safe haven for wildlife, such as turtles, in an urban area.