EME 466
Energy and Sustainability in Society

Capstone Project Overview


Capstone Project Overview

This project represents the culminating experience of your time as an ESP student. As such, it should pull together the wide array of knowledge you've learned and apply the skills you've refined in a practical scenario in the real world. We're going to be venturing out from behind your computers this semester to have a tangible impact in your community. In this inquiry-based project, you'll tackle the wicked problems of sustainability you see and experience in your own community (or workplace, perhaps). You will identify, organize, execute, and reflect on a local issue related to energy, the environment or sustainability more broadly with particular emphasis on policy-based solutions.

Project Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply the knowledge you've acquired over the course of your degree to a local sustainability problem in your own community.
  2. Approach, engage, and collaborate with community partners, subject matter experts, and citizens to better understand the problem and its challenges and the opportunities you have to address them.
  3. Develop and present a thoroughly researched, feasible solution to the problem while providing clear identification of the next steps and areas for further inquiry based on your project's scope.

Challenges to Consider:

  • You'll be managing competing perspectives through diverse stakeholders on potentially contentious issues.
  • You'll need to adapt to unintended consequences of policy decisions and navigate around roadblocks as they emerge.
  • You'll address distant drivers of change at a variety of scales - recognizing the potential for cascading effects from international and national level decisions at the municipal or organizational level.
  • Timing is everything - there may be forces beyond your control that prevent you from submitting your project-related deliverables on time. You will need to submit a Notice of Delay via submission comment on the assignment in question at least 48 hours before the due date to request additional time. This notice of delay must include the following information. Failure to provide a notice of delay and to submit work on time will result in forfeiture of the opportunity to earn credit for the missed assignment (that's right, no late penalty, it's just gone). 
    • reason for delay
    • actions you're taking to address this issue
    • proposed revised submission date

Project Deliverables:

As you can see, the project components themselves constitute the majority of your grade.

Deliverables and Grading Structure
Project Proposal
Project Agreement (first we'll draft it, then you'll get your Community Partner to sign it)
Literature Review
Draft Community Partner Deliverables
Presentation Rehearsal
Digital Story
Weekly Journals