Environmental Studies Capstone Experience
Students in The Program on the Environment receive a broad-based education in the social and natural sciences influencing environmental studies. In addition, all students must complete a Capstone project as part of a three-course series: Pre-Capstone (ENVIR 490), Capstone Experience (ENVIR 491), and Post-Capstone (ENVIR 492).
What is a Capstone Project?
The Capstone project is an opportunity for students to take their education into the world beyond the classroom. Students hone their skills and knowledge, and partner organizations get enthusiastic and talented interns. While doing hands-on work, students engage in scholarly study to answer researchable questions pertaining to the project.
Capstone Project Details
- Individual students or student teams work with a Faculty Advisor and Site Supervisor from a partner organization.
- Hands-on work occurs over approx. 3 months (at least 150 hours of service) during the Capstone Experience (ENVIR 491).
Partner Organization Responsibility
A Site Supervisor at the partner organization helps define the responsibilities of the student(s), monitors progress toward goals, reviews drafts, and provides direction and assistance. In addition, the site supervisor:
- Creates, reviews, and approves a work plan and list of final deliverables with the student(s) during the Pre-Capstone (ENVIR 490).
- Meets regularly (at least every other week) with the student(s) during the Capstone Experience (ENVIR 491).
- Completes an evaluation form of student performance to assist in assigning grades. (ENVIR 491)
Teamwork is Encouraged
Capstone students are encouraged to work together, whether as part of a cooperative or collaborative team or on different projects within the same agency or organization (cohort team). While organizations can host a single student, there are advantages to the team format:
- The structure increases peer support and teaches teamwork skills to students.
- Partner organizations benefit because a team can complete larger or more complex objectives than individual students, which may yield more significant deliverables.
To find out more about Capstone teams, visit our Capstone Formats page.
Are you ready to host a Capstone student?
To get started, please contact the Capstone Instructor, Sean McDonald (206.616.2186), for more information about designing a Capstone project. If you have an internship opportunity within your organization that would work for our Capstone students, you can submit your ideas online.