My capstone, currently titled The Management and Comparison of Freshwater Scarcity in Southern California and Israel, is partly influenced from my interests in freshwater resources prior to my freshman year as well as coursework and experiences throughout my time at Lewis & Clark and the Environmental Studies department.
Before coming up to Oregon, I spent my entire life down in Southern California, mostly in the Coachella Valley region (also referred to by many as the Desert). Some time in high school, the California drought started picking up and affected the amount of water residences and businesses could withdraw as well as restricted where water could be applied to. From then on, I have always had a passion for freshwater conservation as well as processes such as desalination.
Being a student at Lewis & Clark College as well as being a part of the Environmental Studies major have both expanded my knowledge about freshwater issues as well new ways of thinking regarding these issues. Just being in a different biome and climate has enhanced my connection to the natural world and further appreciate my love for the Desert. However, the courses I took (out of interest and requirements) as well as experiences I had were vital elements to forming a solid capstone topic. Environmental Analysis (ENVS 220), Environmental Theory (ENVS 350), and Independent Study (ENVS 499) were the most useful core courses to developing my capstone, to prepare for Senior Seminar (ENVS 400).
Unlike the core courses, the breadth courses and concentration/elective courses were critical in enhancing my knowledge of themes regarding my capstone as well as Environmental Studies as a whole. The courses that benefitted me the most were Environmental/Natural Resource Economics (ECON 260), Environmental Law/Policy (ENVS 460), The Fundamentals of Hydrology (GEOL 280), and Spatial Problems in ESS (GEOL 340). The type of work I have been putting into my capstone is most influenced by these courses, and further allowed me to better understand and properly address an issue I have cared about deeply for a long time.
Beginning the capstone process back in my sophomore year, I thought I would mostly pursue my work through an Environmental Science lens rather than Studies due my initial concentration proposal, which was titled Technology and Planning: Instruments for Managing Water Resources. Two years later however, not only have I developed new interests but I view freshwater issues with multiple lenses, including the understanding of the issue in multiple regions of the world.
Although there is still more work to be done for my capstone, I am confident by the first week of May I will have something I am proud of, and best represents what I have learned from my general preparation as an ENVS major.