The College of the Environment Capstone Courses
2021-22 Capstone List
ENVS 410 Agroecology (4) Spring:
Ecological concepts and principles applied to design and management of sustainable food production systems. Consideration given to food and farm politics and economics, as well as the experience of place and policies for relocalization. Includes case studies and laboratory/field experience in sustainable agriculture horticulture and strategies for resilience.
ENVS 429 Pyrogeography (4) Fall:
We will explore the spatial and temporal relationships of fire and society as an integral landscape process with an emphasis on the maintenance of North American ecosystems and the threat of wildfire to the built environment. We will assess historic and contemporary implications of fire management and policies, and where appropriate we will compare fire processes and practices from abroad. The course will end with interdisciplinary group projects delving into specific fire issues and developing proposals and solutions.
ENVS 430 Borderlands (4) Fall:
Geographic Investigation of cross-border resource management and other issues associated with the growing importance of the United States' cross-border regions, especially our northern border with Canada; selected trans-border environmental, resource management, sustainability, economic, and urban topics. Also offered as C/AM 430.
ENVS 466 Greening Business Applications (5) Spring:
This course is an experiential capstone combining faculty and student teams from the College of Business and Economics and the College of the Environment of the Environment. Student groups prepare a Green Business Assessment for a community or campus organization and compile, distribute, and present a final report to the campus and the client organizations. Also offered as MGMT 466.
ENVS/UEPP 474 Planning for Sustainable Communities (4) Spring:
Synthesis and application of principles, practices and policies in sustainable development and the design of projects, processes, and products using a systems approach to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. Students apply sustainable design techniques to local regional and international community problems.
ENVS 493 Environmental Impact Assessment (5) (WP3) Fall, Spring:
Environmental Impact Assessment requires a range of professional qualifications and involves a wide spectrum of disciplines and methodologies. This interdisciplinary capstone course involves class preparation of an impact assessment of a local project, summarizing physical, biological and social aspects of a study area. Review of pertinent laws and EIS documents. Also offered as ESCI 493.
ESCI 431 Watershed Biogeochemistry (5) (WP3) Winter:
This course is an investigation of the physical, biological, and chemical processes that determine the hydrology and hydrochemistry of headwater catchments (watersheds). Course requires Saturday field trips.
ESCI 454 Science and Management of Contaminated Sites (4) Spring:
Students select an aspect of contaminated site cleanups in Washington State and develop a project under faculty direction that will address specific questions or needs. The projects will include technical components related to cleaning up contaminated sites with an additional emphasis on how to communicate the technical information to a general audience. The project will be completed as a group. Previous examples of student projects are available. Supplemental lectures will support the group projects.
ESCI 490 Environmental Risk Assessment (4) (WP3) Spring:
Principles and methods of quantitative environmental risk assessment, data analysis and risk communication.
ESCI 491 Oceanography of the Salish Sea (4) Fall, Winter:
Focuses on estuarine circulation and its relation to biological and chemical processes in Puget Sound. Students conduct a capstone research project integrating oceanography and public policy. As a capstone, course is for Seniors only.
ESCI 493 Environmental Impact Assessment (5) (WP3) Winter:
Environmental Impact Assessment requires a range of professional qualifications and involves a wide spectrum of disciplines and methodologies. This interdisciplinary capstone course involves class preparation of an impact assessment of a local project, summarizing physical, biological and social aspects of a study area. Review of pertinent laws and EIS documents. Also offered as ENVS 493.
ESCI 494 Marine Conservation (4) (WP2) Winter, Spring:
Students will apply principles of marine conservation including the scientific basis of our understanding of marine systems, conservation through law and treaties, and strategies for conservation through community action. Students will engage with stakeholders through a partnership with a local or regional partner organization, agency or tribe. Student teams will carry out capstone projects serving the needs and goals of the partner organization, including a detailed report and any other products or deliverables in the scope of the project. Projects may range from practical (such as a monitoring plan for an ongoing restoration project, or analysis and collection of data) to exploratory (such as a proposal for new directions the partner agency could move in conservation efforts).
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To provide a real world problem identification and solution driven experience.
To provide an opportunity to work collaboratively in small groups with other students.
To provide an opportunity to work with students from different disciplines, reflecting the reality of the work world.
To integrate skills and knowledge gained from previous courses and experiences.
To practice the full complement of communication skills, including written reports and platform presentations.
Capstone Course Methods
Capstone courses should use the methods of experiential learning.
Students work in small groups and participate in the organizational and decision-making process required to accomplish tasks requiring a variety of expertise.
The learning processes should include reflection and evaluation.
Written and oral presentation of results to audiences outside the classroom.
Capstone Course Content
Tied to real-world problems
Current topics and problems
Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary