The Capstone Experience is the culmination of students’ academic work and includes professional development, an internship and public presentations to share their research.
Students majoring in Environmental Studies gain valuable professional experience and explore potential career paths through a 3-quarter Capstone Course Series which includes a quarter-long internship, study abroad experience or research with a faculty member. Students produce a written deliverable and tie this professional and hands-on component with their academic study.
The Capstone is usually centered around an internship with a community site partner. Potential Capstone sites range from local non-profits and government agencies to faculty research projects and private sector initiatives and the Capstone instructor organizes a Meet and Greet mini career fair with site partners who have pre-selected projects for students to work on.
The Autumn 2018 Capstone Symposium is on Wednesday, November 28. Join us! See schedule below.
Capstone projects can be done individually, or with a team of students depending on the needs of the site partner. With the mentorship of your faculty adviser and site supervisor, you will gain hands-on experience, explore career possibilities and build professional communication skills. The end result is a Capstone Experience that is academically rigorous, extremely practical and personally meaningful.
Capstone Experience (10 credits)
All three courses are required as part of the Capstone Course Series:
- ENVIR 490: Environmental Studies Capstone – Preparation
- This seminar introduces students to the job search process, with sessions on resume and cover letter writing and ways to practice and present their pitch for an information or formal interview.
- ENVIR 491: Environmental Studies Capstone – Internship and Research
- Students develop research questions to guide their hands-on learning and gain project management skills, reporting regularly to their site supervisor.
- ENVIR 492: Environmental Studies Capstone – Synthesis and Communication
- Students reflect on their experience through journal reflections, an analysis paper reporting their research findings, and informal discussion on a class blog. Students also present their research at the culminating Capstone Symposium.
We hold Capstone Symposiums each Spring and Autumn. Check back for schedules and student abstracts. This event is open to the public and we encourage students interested in learning about the Capstone, as well as members of our community, to join us. For those who can’t attend in person, follow our live tweets on Twitter: #POEcap.
Previous capstone symposiums have covered presentations that range in topic, from food and healthcare sustainability, environmental education and outreach, corporate social responsibility and policy regulation for environmental pollutants.
Autumn 2018 Symposium Schedule
Wednesday November 28
4:30PM Welcoming remarks
Session A – Capstone Lightning Talks
4:35 – 5:50PM
Joy Shang – Parks are in trouble if they don’t diversify
Joshua Jones – What’s goin’ on? The role of cultural events in diversifying Washington State parks
Brooke Stroosma – Uncovering the barriers to proper waste disposal in multifamily homes
Sara Becker-Mayer – Who is taking care of all that trash: Waste collection management problems and solutions
Mary Cappelletti – The false dichotomy of climate change mitigation strategies
Olivia Scott – Residential energy efficiency: A conversation about equity
Jordan Fleming – Invisible plant keepers: Shedding light on plant blindness
Katherine Ort – Making your spring break sustainable: Can tourism be a driver for positive change?
5:50-6PM Break (heavy appetizers served)
Session B – Poster Presentations
Aliya Al-Sadi – Northern exposure: Assessing the dangers of solid waste burning in Native Alaskan villages
Meghan Avila – Nature-based therapy: Moving beyond affluent rehabilitation
Kyle Bosch – Incorporating public engagement in urban trail design: South Beach trail
Nicholas Brown – Assessing obstacles to local vegetables
Alisha Bruner – Love isn’t always on time: Observing the timing of peak pupping periods for Steller sea lions utilizing pyramid rock
Chuqi Cai – Understanding visitor usage: What information is needed to improve urban park management?
Hakan Cakir – Discovering the barriers and motivations behind food waste reduction
Emily Dangerfield – Assessing diversity and accessibility barriers for UW Farm
Gigi Dawn – Using data visualization to show UW energy consumption
Zhaoyi Fang – Could EPA grant application evaluation be more consistent and effective?
Morganne Flores – Components that lead to successful risk communication within the EPA in regard to air quality
Minghao Gao – Evaluating the effectiveness of interpretive signage within Discovery Park to guide future education outcomes
Carly Lester – Improving direct farm marketing outlets through examination of marketing strategies
Eleazar Loyo – How are plankton faring in the Bering Sea?
Gardner Allen Patton – Nurturing conservation: Urban farms as a tool for environmental education
Mikaela Steudel – Investigations into human involvement in climate action
Edward Tung – Wait, there are healthy veggies planted next to my home?
Corina Yballa – Enhancing stewardship through community-oriented outdoor experience
News about the Capstone
- UW’s Shelby Logsdon sets out to collect and analyze park data, Washington State Parks Foundation, February 2018
- Environmental Studies Capstone winners skillfully cover food security, urban waste design, fishery certification and plant-microbe partnerships, UW Program on the Environment, December 2017
- Ava Holmes asks, how can elephants and people co-exist?, Center for Creative Conservation, August 2017
- Environmental Studies students present capstone projects, UW Sustainability blog, June 2016
- Chickens on campus and a mood shift at EPA: Relevant projects are nature of environmental studies capstone, UW Today, May 2016
- Dean’s Letter: Education that’s experiential – at the College of the Environment’s core, UW College of the Environment, May 2016
- Leah Litwak channels better food assistance integration at local farmers markets, UW College of the Environment, March 2016
- Capstones as real-life applications, UW Provost Report, Connecting the Dots: Linking Academic Passion to Life and Profession, May 2015, page 9
- Empowering young women through nature excursions, UW Program on the Environment, Capstone Q&A with Corina Yballa
- Crunching data to trace the impact of recreational fishing on the movement of aquatic invasive species, UW Program on the Environment, Capstone Q&A with Rachel Fricke
- Activating behavior change for proper waste disposal in WA, UW Program on the Environment, Capstone Q&A with Brooke Stroosma
- Who’s paying for WA state parks, who’s not visiting, and what can we do to provide access for all?, UW Program on the Environment, Capstone Q&A with Joy Shang
- WWOOFing in the Netherlands to sow seeds for the future, UW Program on the Environment, Capstone Q&A with Carly Lester
- Building Citizen Science with Volunteers as Partners, UW Washington Sea Grant, Natalie White
- Student Perspective: What is it like to be a student studying connectivity?, Conservation Corridor, Amy Haymond