MEM Capstone Courses and Guidance
Learn more about the capstone requirement and courses.
On This Page
A highlight and requirement of the MEM curriculum is one designated capstone course, or one independent capstone project with a faculty advisor, during the second year of study.* All YSE capstone courses can be found below, and additional information about the MEM capstone experience can be found in the MEM Capstone Guidance section.
*Part-time students can complete the requirement any time after completing the equivalent of one full year of study; joint degree students can complete the requirement during, or any time after, their final two matriculated YSE semesters; MEM-5 students can complete the requirement in either semester.
Note that a capstone course used to fulfill the MEM capstone requirement cannot also be used toward fulfilling an MEM Specialization requirement; a capstone course taken once cannot be used to fulfill multiple requirements.
For specific capstone questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capstone Course Listings
- ENV 770 Western Lands and Communities Field Clinic: Research to Practice (Justin Farrell)
- ENV 951 Strategic Environmental Communication (Anthony Leiserowitz)
- ENV 953 Sustainable Business Capstone Consulting Clinic (Peter Boyd)
- ENV 954 Management Plans for Protected Areas (Mark Ashton)
- ENV 956 Strategies for Land Conservation (Brady Gentry)
- ENV 957 Field Skills in Land Stewardship (Mark Ashton)
- ENV 959 Clinic in Environmental/Climate Justice, Sustainability, and Public Health (Laura Bozzi)
- ENV 962 Tribal Resources and Sovereignty-Clinic (Patrick Gonzalez-Rodgers)
- ENV 968 Grand Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development (Susan Clark)
- ENV 970 Environmental Protection Clinic Policy and Advocacy (Douglas Kysar)
- ENV 971 Land Use Clinic (Jessica Bacher)
- ENV 972 Advanced Environmental Protection Clinic (Follows Law School Calendar) (Doug Kysar)
- ENV 979 Capstone: Deep Decarbonization by Sub-national Actors (Rob Klee)
- ENV 980 Social Justice in the Global Food System (Kristin Reynolds)
- ENV 982 Green Engineering and Sustainability (Julie Zimmerman)
- ENV 985 Capstone: Neighborhood Planning Workshop (David Kooris)
- ENV 990 Climate, Animals, Food, and Environment Law & Policy Lab ("CAFE Lab") (Doug Kysar)
- ENV 991 Advanced Climate, Animals, Food, and Environment Law and Policy Lab (Doug Kysar)
- GLBL 6300, Sustainability Transitions: Principles and Practice in India (Jessica Seddon)
- MGT 529 Global Social Entrepreneurship (Fall) (Tony Sheldon)
- MGT 865 Global Social Entrepreneurship (Spring) (Tony Sheldon)
- MGT 955 Urban Resilience: Cities in a Post-Covid19 World: From Crisis & Recovery (Murali Chandrashekaran)
Goals of the YSE MEM Capstone Experience
A requirement of the MEM curriculum is one designated capstone course, or one independent capstone project with a faculty advisor. Capstone courses are intended to offer MEM students a culminating professional experience by engaging them in projects that connect their prior coursework with real-world efforts to understand and improve the management of environmental resources.
While a wide range of projects may qualify, some examples include efforts to address climate change, water scarcity, energy access, pollution burdens, habitat conservation, urban resilience, sustainable production and many others. The capstone should be a minimum of three credits and allow for the integration of different experiences into a single representation of a student’s work, helping to set up the transition to a professional career.
Students can take any capstone course at any point during their time at YSE, although the MEM capstone requirement can only be fulfilled during the second year of study. (Part-time students can complete the requirement any time after completing the equivalent of one full year of study; joint degree students can complete the requirement during, or any time after, their final two matriculated YSE semesters; MEM-5 students can complete the requirement in either semester.)
Guiding Principles for Capstones
Designated capstone courses and independent capstone projects should seek to:
- Focus on real-world problems or opportunities of the types students are likely to encounter in their professional careers;
- Incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives as appropriate for effective environmental management;
- Challenge students to make judgments in the face of uncertainty;
- Provide opportunities to work with clients in a clinic-based format;
- Encourage participation of students from any MEM specialization;
- Require a group or individual deliverable that represents the culmination of work over the course of the project, following the development of an initial project work plan.
Applying Guiding Principles
Courses that may qualify as capstones will be reviewed against the principles above by the Senior Associate Dean for Professional Practice and recommended to the Master’s Program Committee (MPC) for comment and approval by vote. Independent projects that may qualify as capstones should be reviewed against the criteria above by the advisor of record, who will also make the determination of whether the project will count as a capstone prior to official enrollment.