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Skidmore College

ESS Capstone Projects

All ESS Seniors participate in a year-long research-based capstone experience. Teams of students conduct original community-based research focused on a single, local environmental issue. Each team uses a different disciplinary perspective and approach to investigate the issue, and hence the class as a whole is immersed in an interdisciplinary exploration of environmental issues.  The course culminates in the presentation of the research projects to ESS faculty, students, and community members.

Click here to view Capstone abstracts by year, and click here to view Capstone abstracts by theme.

The capstone courses are described below. ES 374 is taken during the fall, and ES 375 is taken during the spring.

ES 374. Environmental Studies: Methods and Approaches

A seminar required of all Environmental Studies majors taken during the fall of their senior year in preparation for their senior capstone project. Students will discuss topics in Environmental Studies and identify potential senior research projects. In addition, students will develop their skills in research and oral and written communication as related to Environmental Studies. The course includes presentations and discussions by students and guest lecturers, field trips, and a community service project. Students will present proposals for their senior capstone projects at the end of the seminar. Prerequisites: Declared Environmental Studies major and permission by the instructor.

ES 375. Case Studies in Environmental Sustainability

A research-oriented capstone course required of all Environmental Studies majors during their senior year. Building on ES 374 Environmental Studies: Methods and Approaches, this course is designed to enhance students' research, written, and oral communication skills relating to Environmental Studies, and to strengthen their awareness of environmentally related issues by engaging students in a semester-long service-learning project. Case studies and contemporary readings will serve as a foundation for discussion related to the service-learning project in the course, while primary literature will be used to guide students through the appropriate methodologies for the project. The course culminates in the presentation of the service-learning project to Environmental Studies faculty, students, and community members. Prerequisite: ES 374.