Capstone Courses

The environmental studies capstone course (Envir St 600) is a required component for students completing our major. Priority is given to students declared in the environmental studies major.

Fall 2023 Capstone Courses

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Envir St 600 Section 001: Environmental Justice and Indigenous Communities

Professor Grace Bulltail
Tuesdays, 2:25–4:55 p.m.

Indigenous communities often contain vast natural resources and members have little authority to act as effective land stewards. As a result of resource extraction, these communities experience environmental degradation and are disproportionately impacted by climate change, environmental injustice, and health disparities.

This environmental capstone course will center on the interactions of land use and natural resource management impacting tribal communities. We will consider regulatory and policy considerations governing environmental management regimes in tribal communities. We will also explore interventions to address environmental impacts and inequities.

Students will focus on areas of interest as possible interventions that may include food sovereignty, improved tribal natural resource authority, data sovereignty, capacity building, and equity.

Envir St 600 Section 002: Invasive Species Monitoring and Management

Cooper Rosin
Thursdays, 2:25–4:55 p.m.

A central goal of the UW–Madison Arboretum is to conserve and restore native species and ecosystems. One of the major challenges to achieving this goal is the persistent and widespread presence of non-native invasive species.

Understanding the long-term effectiveness of invasive species management is critical for the Arboretum to develop realistic restoration targets and use resources efficiently. Monitoring the occurrence and abundance of key species is a straightforward way to understand if management is having its intended impact.

In this course, we will work with the Arboretum to advance the scientific monitoring of invasive species impacts, and assist land care staff in developing appropriate management strategies.

Envir St 600 Section 003: Soils and the Environment

Professor Nick Balster
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
Meets with Soil Sci 499

A capstone applying independent and team problem solving, critical thinking, and oral and written communication skills to issues in soil and environmental sciences.

Envir St 600 Section 004: Food, Power, and Social Change: A Community-Based Approach

Ana Fochesatto
Mondays, 2:25–4:55 p.m.

In this capstone course students will interrogate power structures within the food system while engaging in community-based projects with farmers and community organizations working to support a just food system across the Upper Midwest. We will partner with BIPOC farmers raising animals in regenerative silvopasture systems to develop group projects that directly support on-farm efforts and organizing across the supply chain.

Students will engage in interdisciplinary learning, exploring debates in food justice, ecological impacts, social stratification, and community-based research methods. We will engage in praxis by applying the concepts we learned in class within group projects and centering reflection exercises to better understand power structures and our positionality within them.