Environmental studies student assessing biodiversity of local stream.

The capstone experience you pursue should complement your area of concentration. The capstone is required of all environmental studies majors and is typically taken on late in your junior year or during your senior year.

Just like with your concentration, your capstone experience in many ways is designed by your interests. With the help of your advisor, you can explore many different routes to completing your capstone. Some capstone projects culminate at a symposium, state, or national presentation. Some submit articles for peer review. Your capstone advisor will offer guidance on your specific capstone requirements.

Think big! Funding for exciting projects is available from the environmental studies program. See the program chair, Rhawn Denniston, for details and submit your funding application

Finish strong

You might conduct independent research (under faculty supervision) on sea turtle population dynamics. You might pursue an off-campus internship, such as investigating pesticide contamination in Linn County wells with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Or you might use one block to investigate an issue using published resources, while under the direction of faculty.

We’ve put together a list of what some of our previous environmental studies students pursued as their capstone projects.

  • Lemur population dynamics, Madagascar
  • Implementation of the Real Food Challenge at Cornell College, Iowa
  • Penguin-human interactions, Oregon Zoo
  • Role of women in sustainable agriculture, India
  • Influence of agriculture on local surface water quality, Iowa
  • Impacts of warming on carbon storage in wetlands, Boundary Waters, Minnesota
  • Response of cave hydrology to monsoon and hurricane rainfall, Australia
  • Agroecology in the tropics, Costa Rica