Precapstone Tutorial

ENVR 599a mandatory webinar presentation.


Undertaking the ENVR 598a Consulting for Sustainability & Development Practice Precapstone Tutorial is preceded by advising sessions with Will O'Brien where the following topics will be covered:

  1. Your professional experience and knowledge which you hope to apply and enhance during the capstone project.
  2. Ideas regarding the types of Industries or organizations; e.g., corporate, non-profit or governmental that you'll want to work with.
  3. Strategies for leveraging your professional and personal network to identify, qualify and secure a commitment with the right  client  for the capstone project.
  4. Identification of stakeholders within client organizations potentially impacting, or being impacted by the capstone project.
  5. The importance of obtaining a commitment from an executive in the client organization to support the capstone project.
  6. The consulting methodology to be used during the capstone project, the importance of project scoping as well as properly setting the client’s expectations.


The semester prior to capstone enrollment (no earlier), you register for the noncredit ENVR 598a Sustainability & Development Practice Consulting Precapstone Tutorial. The purpose of the tutorial is to help you craft a high-quality capstone proposal. You'll receive guidance and mentoring while you iterate on your individual capstone proposal until the document reaches a satisfactory quality.

You need to submit the required prework in order to remain registered for the tutorial. The prework demonstrates that you have done enough prior reading and research on your topic to begin the capstone proposal process.

Prework. Create a document that answers all the following points, in detail. Then send the document by email to with "ENVR 598a Consulting Capstone Prework" in the subject line.

In order to submit a successful prework document, you'll be (1) identifying a client and (2) upon receiving a commitment from a client executive, you'll resubmit the capstone proposal with client specific information. Once approved for acceptance into the tutorial, you'll then (3) develop a draft Statement of Work (SOW) for review and feedback by Will O'Brien.

Be prepared to submit your prework early in the submission period in order to ensure a client has been identified and an executive sponsor confirmed by the prework approval deadline (see Timeline).

In three to four pages (not including references) respond to the following requests for information for your proposal:

  1. Provide your full name, address, email address, employer, current job title and prior degrees.
  2. Describe the areas of interest that you would like to focus on as you work with a client to develop a Sustainability Action Plan or Development Plan, as appropriate.
  3. Do you have a prospective client or clients in mind for the project? If so, please list the client or clients.
  4. Provide the name and title of the client executive sponsor of the project.
  5. What do you hope the project will accomplish?
  6. How has your coursework prepared you for this undertaking?

Given the uniqueness of each student’s professional competencies/experience, interest and career aspirations, it is recommended that students work as individuals on capstone projects; i.e., not with teams.

Works cited: You need to begin a working bibliography as soon as the topic is approved. Eventually, this document will become your final bibliography, which will include all sources that you use during your research. It is helpful to use bibliographic software like RefWorks, EndNote, and others (free research tools from the Harvard Libraries is available at, under Get Research Help.