Capstone

Overview

The ENVS senior capstone experience, a requirement for all ENVS majors, involves the research, planning and execution of a tangible sustainability project on or off-campus. The capstone provides the academic space, time, and mentoring for students to integrate and synthesize the knowledge and skills obtained during the previous three years into a coherent framework in preparation for life and work after graduation.

While working in groups, ENVS seniors research, design, and implement a sustainability project or initiative on campus or in Baltimore. The project, and each student’s role within their group, should be useful and relevant for that particular student’s chosen path post-graduation.

All ENVS seniors enroll in the ENVS Senior Capstone Seminar in the fall semester. Prerequisites include current status as a ENVS major, completion of all core courses, and an acceptable plan for completing all requirements for the major by the end of the senior year, or approval of the director.

All majors make an oral presentation of their capstone experience to involved faculty, advisers, and fellow students at the end of their senior year. Students also develop a poster presentation for display at DREAMS (the annual undergraduate research day) and during commencement week.

Client-based Approach

To ensure that each capstone project is useful, the capstone utilizes a client-based model. Each team has a specific client for whom they develop and hone their project concept. Teams report to their client on a regular basis, and the final capstone product involves a tangible deliverable for that client.

The terms “client” and “deliverable” can take on many forms. A client may be a local environmental non-profit organization, JHU’s Office of Sustainability, a professor whose research could translate into an applicable capstone project, etc. The deliverable may also take on various forms, including but not limited to:

  • A detailed design proposal
  • The creation of a physical project (e.g. an outdoor environmental classroom)
  • A comprehensive policy proposal
  • An educational program or behavioral change initiative