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Skidmore College
ESS Capstone Projects

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.

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

ES 374 - ESS Research Capstone: Design and Methods
Credits: 2

The first half of the ESS Capstone sequence. Student teams will select a community-based, natural or social sciences environmental problem and learn how to launch a formal research project. Preparation includes drafting a research plan (purpose or hypothesis, literature review, and methods) and developing data collection and analysis plans. Teams will present their research proposals to the class and begin collecting data for their projects.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and declared Environmental Studies or Environmental Science major and permission of the instructor.

ES 375 - ESS Research Capstone: Data Collection, Analysis, and Communication
Credits: 4

A research capstone in Environmental Studies and Sciences. Student teams implement their research plans developed in ES 374 and learn data analysis techniques, and develop skills in manuscript writing, professional presentation, and communication of environmental issues. The research experience culminates in a formal public presentation to faculty, students, and community stakeholders. A portion of the course is also dedicated to professional development, including resume design, interview skills, internship, employment, and graduate opportunities. Prerequisites:  ES 374