The ENVS senior capstone, a requirement for all ENVS majors, involves the application of critical thinking to real-world problem solving and the development of communication skills. The capstone provides the academic space, time, and mentoring for students to integrate and build upon the knowledge and skills obtained during the previous three years.
Capstone projects can take many different forms, and topics vary from year to year, but generally they are group projects in which students engage with a real world problem and apply what they have learned to the study and solving of the problem. Along the way, students develop teamwork skills and hone their ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
In fall 2021, for example, students studied the problem of water management in western U.S. states in the current context of climate change and drought. They developed a series of proposed changes to water policies that would enable states and the federal government to better manage water resources in an equitable and environmentally sustainable manner. While students in the fall of 2022 designed their own capstone which ranged from economic valuation to biodiversity conservation.
ENVS seniors enroll in the 3-credit AS.271.496 Senior Capstone and the 1-credit AS.271.499 Senior Seminar in the fall semester. In additional to completing the capstone as a group, in the Senior Seminar, students meet weekly to share their personal experiences and explore career options and pathways with guidance from faculty and a Life Design Educator from JHU’s Life Design Lab.