“How has my capstone benefitted from my general preparation as an ENVS major?”
My initial reaction to this question is to be snooty and say that my capstone benefits in every way for my time in ENVS as it grew directly out of my academic career. However, the more I think of that answer the more it makes sense to me. For (especially our year) our whole academic career was almost entirely dedicated to focusing in on a subject and working on that subject from sophomore year to senior year, and then producing an outcome (for many a Capstone). However, as I mentioned in a previous post I do have the unique position of changing my topic at the last minute, so I think this question can also be taken in a much more intended context as well.
I think my time as any and yes major has significantly benefited my time and 400 and the results that are produced during that time. There are several different things about my time in the department that I think reflected well Upon My Capstone.
The first major benefit that comes to my mind is the diversity of my learning in the last 4 years. Sometimes I have been a bit apprehensive that I’ve not specialized in one field more, instead of taking a broad interdisciplinary approach. Luckily for me, this turned out to be quite useful. With my first capstone, I was integrating lessons from SOAN, ENVS core classes, and Environmental Economics. In fact, most of my ideas for the project came from outside the program. After I changed my capstone, I became even more reliant on the interdisciplinary background, as I was not working on something that I had proposed sophomore year. I relied heavily on courses in learning from history and geology. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of ENVS, I was not limited by a shortage of learning options.
Building off of the last point, when writing a capstone, especially this year, we all have to be incredibly flexible and adaptable. This is something you learned pretty early on in ENVS. While we have a really great opportunity to customize our learning, the sheer number of class requirements, especially before the new major, means your four year plans less a rigid schedule so much as constantly changing options. The major teaches you to roll with the punches quite well while still staying focused.
Our capstones are a culmination of our time in the department and effectively demonstrate our diverse and adaptable learning.