Capstone Project Stage 3


Course Capstone Project and Assessment: Coastal Vulnerability Audit


The Fall 2017 Penn State section will NOT be using the content for the Course Capstone Project from this page. Rather, Capstone Project directions for this section will be posted in Canvas.

At this juncture, you should be well into your vulnerability audit and should be nearing the end of your data collection phase. We are 3/4 of the way through the course modules, and it is important that you do a self assessment of your progress so that you are setting yourself up for success to complete the capstone project in the next few weeks. Below, we use the same approach as we did at Stage 2, applying both the CVAT and systems thinking.

island photo with title "Capstone Project Stage 3: Progress Self Assessment"
Sean Cornell

CVAT Instructions

You will need to use this tool weekly to guide your data collection and organize your ideas and research information as you prepare your Google Earth audio-annotated tour.

Stage 1 Capstone Overview – Ready, Set, Go
Stage 2 Physical System Assessment
Stage 3 Vulnerability Planning & Action
Stage 4a Vulnerability, Planning & Action
Stage 4b Site Specific Concerns or Considerations
Stage 4c Recommended Resiliency Action Plans
Stage 4d References and Key Resources

CVAT Self Assessment: Where do you stand?

Given the listed stages above, at this point:

  1. you should have significantly advanced your research and data compilation, adding to previous sections;
  2. in addition, you should have initiated research and data compilation in the highlighted sections. This includes new work on Stage 3;
  3. your digital portfolio (PowerPoint, OneNote, etc.) should be significantly advanced. It should contain additional data, visuals, and concepts from earlier assignments;
  4. your Google Earth “My Places” folder should be advanced and nearing completion. You will have started development of your “Rough Draft“ Tour and especially your talking script;
  5. you should evaluate your list of questions about your site and ensure you are confident that you have answered them.

Remember, DO NOT give one-word responses as you fill in the CVAT. Think deeply about each response and write responses that reflect that depth of thought as informed by your research.


Download Worksheet

Capstone Stage 3 Plan

Again, we want you to think about and evaluate your progress is through systems thinking. The two-part diagram below is designed to help you think about the elements of your city's landscape that are most at risk for your city, as well as the range of natural and engineered defense options used to mitigate the impacts of coastal hazards. Download an animated PowerPoint version of this diagram here; view it in Slide Show mode to step through the steps in the plan.

info-graphic of Capstone Stage 3
Capstone Project: Stage 3: Figure 1: Capstone Stage 3 plan to evaluate student progress via system thinking, showing where Stage 3 fits in the capstone project.
Click here for a text version of Figure 1

Capstone Stage 1

Essential Question: What does the course capstone need to include, and how will you set yourself up for success?

Stage 1

  • Plan for Success
  • Evaluation Rubrics
  • Models/Examples

The diagram also shows Stages 2 - 4, but these are not essential at this time.

Stage 2

Physical System

  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Processes

Stage 3

Human System & Engineering Infrastructure

  • Natural & Engineered Defenses
  • People and their Circumstances

Stage 4

Vulnerability, Planning & Action

  • Research
  • Education
  • informed Adaptation & Mitigation
  • Policy
    info-graphic of Capstone Stage 3, Human Systems & Engineering Infrastructure Assessment.
    Figure 2. Five steps you need to take to link the different elements of Stage 3.
    Click here for a text version of Figure 2

    Capstone 3, Human Systems and Engineering Infrastructure Assessment

    Essential Question: What elements of the human landscape are most at risk for your location, and what are the range of natural & engineered defense options used to mitigate hazard impacts?

    The info graphic shows a circular loop moving from F through J.

    F1. Quantify Population & Demographics

    F2. Quantify the number of people that live with physical vulnerability and determine their relative socio-economic conditions. See Module 6.

    G1. Built Infrastructure & Human Services

    G2. Identify the types of residential, commercial, police, fire, schools, hospitals and cultural resources that are at risk to identified physical vulnerabilities. See Module 9.

    H1. Utilities and Transportation Systems

    H2. Document (quantitatively and/or qualitatively) the number/types of roads, railroads, airports, bridges, water supplies, electrical infrastructure, waste systems, etc., that are at risk to physical vulnerabilities. See Modules 6 & 7.

    I1. Natural & Engineered Defenses

    I2. Describe the types of engineered hard structures and nature-mimicked modifications implemented at your site to mitigate coastal hazards, and evaluate their relative effectiveness. See Modules 7 & 8.

    J1. Working with Nature

    J2. Articulate the actual (or potential for) implementation of smart building (renourishment, bioengineering, etc.) or utilization of layered defenses in coastal engineering solutions today or in the future. See Modules 7, 8, & 9.

    Work through the five steps, starting with F2, on a separate sheet of paper. Write a paragraph that explains how the coastal setting affects people, infrastructure, resources, and more. Do the same for G2 through J2. Discuss relationships among the various components of the systems, specifying the nature of the relationships.