"Teaching 599A, Consulting with Clients capstone, is rewarding and inspiring on many levels: working with committed professionals enabling client organizations to reduce costs and environmental impact; sharing my experience to help future leaders become environmental stewards and effective change agents; and advancing students' careers by building essential skills and confidence to make a difference."
— Will O'Brien, Instructor
"Students' capstone designs, in 599 Independent Research capstones, open up fresh realms of thinking and impact. During the semester, further meaning and fun stem from their collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing salient information. Here, my role is akin to “Thrilled Harbormaster.” Beyond providing safe haven for a flotilla of extraordinary research initiatives, I revel in advising project pilot-testing, launching, navigating, and success."
The sustainability program offers two capstones: independent research and consulting.
ENVR 599 Independent Research Capstone provides you with an opportunity to complete an original study related to your personal or professional interests within sustainability and environmental management. ENVR 599a Consulting with Clients for Sustainability Solutions Capstone offers you the experience of consulting for a real-world organization to offer them a customized, carefully designed and well-researched Sustainability Action Plan (SAP). You complete the work for either capstone in a classroom setting with fellow degree candidates, all of whom are working towards the same goal.
Registration for the capstone is the same as a course, but your capstone topic and capstone proposal (research plan) must be approved many months in advance by registering in the noncredit Capstone Proposal Tutorial.
To support your research, we recommend that you review Harvard Library's information on environmental studies research. Visit guides by subject, and choose subjects related to your area interest. Also, George Clark is Harvard Library's environment and sustainability reference librarian.
Jennifer Cole, PhD, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Richard Wetzler, PhD, Research Advisor, Sustainability, Harvard Extension School
Neil Hawkins, ScD, President, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
William O'Brien, MBA, JD, Associate Professor of Practice, Graduate School of Management, Clark University