Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

 

The interaction between humans and the environment is not a purely scientific matter. Questions of politics, economics, ethics, religion and culture also come into play. Recognizing this, the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) Program offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the environment. Toward the end of the program, each student undertakes a Capstone Project, an independent, one-semester research exercise that demonstrates the student's mastery of the subject matter. While less comprehensive than a traditional master's thesis, the Capstone documents the student's ability to define a research question; design a protocol to address that question; acquire the data necessary to clarify, if not resolve, that question; critically assess the quality of the data acquired; draw defensible conclusions from those data; and communicate that process and those conclusions to professional colleagues with clarity and precision. More information about the Program and Capstone Project may be found here.

MES students should complete this Author Agreement and submit it with their capstone projects. Once received, the electronic version of the capstone project will then be uploaded onto this site.

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Capstones from 2017

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Land Use and Water Quality in Bangladesh and Bhutan, Bryan Currinder

Capstones from 2016

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Restoring Habitat in Densely-Populated Suburbs in the Northeast: A Demonstration Project, Mary A. Westervelt

Capstones from 2015

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The Environmental Benefits of Trees on an Urban University Campus, Corinne G. Bassett

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Promoting Sustainability and Equity in WASH Service Coverage With Indicators - Proposal for UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, Jessica Campo

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The Presence and Functionality of Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria in the Constructed Treatment Wetland at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Keith Lewy

Capstones from 2014

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An Adaptive Management Plan for the Natural Lands Section of Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Tracy Beerley

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Sustainability Issues and Strategies in the Outdoor Apparel Brand Industry, John Butow

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Environmental Psychology and Urban Green Space: Supporting Place-Based Conservation in Philadelphia, PA, Alicia Coleman

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Invasive Plant Species Management at Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve, Ambler, PA, Nathan Hartshorne

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Ensuring Sustainable Water Supply in Lagos, Nigeria, Judith Afooma Jideonwo

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A Business Analytics Approach to Corporate Sustainability Analysis, Jeff Wen

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Framing Climate Change in Local News Before and After Hurricane Sandy, Brian A. Werner

Capstones from 2013

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DNA Barcode Examination of North American Mayflies Across Their Natural Distribution Reveals Cryptic Species Complexes, Robert J. George

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Sustainability Rankings: Impacts on Corporate Sustainability, Sharon Muli

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The Voluntary Carbon Market and Business Innovation for Sustainable Development, David Schreiber

Capstones from 2012

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Understanding Tropospheric Ozone in a Montane Tropical Rainforest: An Analysis of Ozone Levels in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico, Chennery Fife

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The Compost Activist: An Educational Website to Promote Composting, Paige Hasling

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The Environmental Benefits of Urban Agriculture on Unused, Impermeable and Semi-Permeable Spaces in Major Cities With a Focus on Philadelphia, PA, Knizhnik L. Heather

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An Analysis of Rangeland Preservation in Western States, Ian Howell

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Trend Detection in Annual Temperature & Precipitation using the Mann Kendall Test – A Case Study to Assess Climate Change on Select States in the Northeastern United States, Neha Karmeshu

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Environment, Energy, and Economy: Impacts of Natural Gas Pipelines in 9 Watersheds of North-Central Pennsylvania, Stephanie Leach

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Management of the Urban Forest: A Zip Code Level Approach, Nykia M. Perez Kibler

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The Producer-Pollinator Dilemma: Neonicotinoids and Honeybee Colony Collapse, Benjamin W. Reynard

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Bangkok Recycling Program: An Empirical Study of an Incentive-Based Recycling Program, Pitchayanin Sukholthaman

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Green Brook Flood Control Project: Saving Bound Brook, Robin Blackstone Valinski

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Distribution and Habitat Characteristics of a Freshwater Gastropod, Pleurocera Proxima, in Eastern Pennsylvania, Saras Windecker

Capstones from 2011

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The Recycling of Organics: Opportunities for Municipal Programs and a Case Study for Philadelphia, Emily Marie Bush

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The Practical Air Quality Planning and Self-Evaluation Guide for Biomass Projects, William Dunagan

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Lessons Learned from EPA's Climate Leaders Program: An Evaluation to Fortify Voluntary Environmental Initiatives, Vivian Futran

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Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plans on University Campuses: Challenges and Opportunities, Steven R. Gillard

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Unionville Serpentine Barrens: Analyzing the Relationship Between Soil Profiles and Forest Succession Rate, Elizabeth Haegele

Capstones from 2010

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Greening the Antarctic Leadership Venture: Preparing Leaders for a Sustainable Future, Kathleen Atkins

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Understanding Pennsylvania's Underground Storage Tank Regulations; A Guidance Document for Storage Tank Owners and Operators, Julie Baniewicz

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Environmental and Human-Health Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in Belarus, Valerie Frankel

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Spatial Variation of Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Ratios and C:N of Perennial Plant Species in the Steppe Grassland of Northern Mongolia, Robert Goldman

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The Global Development of a CSS-Based Service and Technology Market with a Focus on the US, France, and China, Cameron Rolfe McQuale

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Building a Sustainable Business Community in Cherry Hill, NJ, Tony Tancini

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A Study of the Irregation Water Pricing System in China, Xizi Wang

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Fish Production in Streams With and Without Natural Broan Trout Populations, Scott Weisinger

Capstones from 2009

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Energy Efficiency Projects in Pennsylvania Small Businesses, Joseph J. Lavin

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Every Drop Counts: Short Stories on Global Water and Sanitation Issues, Nalat Phanit

Capstones from 2008

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Compact Discard: Finding Environmentally Responsible Ways to Manage Discarded Household CDs and DVDs, Alan W. Biehn

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Combining DNA Barcoding and Macroinvertebrate Sampling to Assess Water Quality, Tanya Dapkey

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This Land is Our Land: Raising Awareness of Contemporary U.S. Environmental and Social Justice Issues through Folksong, Joshua Marcus Greenberg

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A Glacier Runs Through It: Effects of Late Wisconsinan Glaciation on Stream Drainage Near the Terminal Moraine Boundary in North Central Pennsylvania, Krista Heinlen

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Collaboratively Addressing the Growth of the Port Industry to Ensure Environmnetal Justice, Matthew T. Lee

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Evaluating Strategies to Protect Open Space and Slow Sprawl in the Philadelphia Region, Paul Lumia

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Community Managed Water Projects and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study from Guatemala, Sarah Martiny

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Acid Mine Drainage Pollution in the West Branch Schuylkill and Upper Schuylkill River, Schuylkill County Pennsylvania: A Case Study and Recommendations for the Future, Tara Sadak

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Examining Human-Elephant Conflict in Southern Africa: Causes and Options for Coexistence, M. Zoë Warner

Capstones from 2007

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Dog Parks: Benefits and Liabilities, Laurel Allen

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Mapping Electricity Use on the University of Pennsylvania Campus, Shani Arbel

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Hiking Benton MacKaye's Hike: Expanding the Appalachian Trail Experience, Julia DeGagne

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Valuing water and sediment tradeoffs between forest and pasture in montane tropical environments in Puerto Rico, Elizabeth A. Gingold

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Global Water Finance: Assessment of the Funding Needed to Attain the Millennium Development Goals for Water and Sanitation, Hideyuki Hiruma

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A Framework for Ecosystem Services Conservation Zoning: An Integration into Land Use Planning, Joshua Kahan

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Private Investment in Brownfield Redevelopment in the Greater Philadelphia Area: A Case-Study Analysis, Ryan Kraske

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Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Spring of Life, Lori A. Swanson

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard: And Options for the Future, Nicholas Tichich

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Sustainable Management Practices of Under Story "Brush" Species in Southern Coastal Oregon, Bill Vought

Capstones from 2006

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Electric Energy-Saving Education Guidelines for Senior High School Students in Honduras, José Jorge Canales Martinez

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How Should Global Society Address Climate Change? - The Kyoto Protocol and Its Future, Takeshi Hamada

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The Junior Ecologist Program, Katera Y. Moore

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The Influence of Urban Street Characteristics on Pedestrian Heat Comfort Levels in Philadelphia, Masayoshi Oka

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Evaluating The Use of Fairmount Dam Fish Passage Facility By Anadromous Fishes In The Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Joseph A. Perillo Jr.

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Trends in street tree survival, Philadelphia, PA, Lara Roman

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RMP Compliance, Stephen T. Roth

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The Necessity and Possibilities of Constitutional Environmental Rights, Christina Simeone

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Are we preserving the right land? Recommendations to improve New Jersey farmland preservation, Lauren Wasilauski

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The Status of Recycling in Philadelphia: Analysis and Recommendations for Philadelphia’s Floundering Recycling Program, Megan Wellington