Capstone Seminars

The culminating experience of the environmental studies major is the capstone seminar course. Under the direction of a faculty member, students with a variety of majors concentrate on a single, environmental topic. Recent examples include: "Oceans in Peril," "Environmental Justice," and "The Green Campus: Swarthmore and Sustainability." The class members collectively work on a major initiative as part of the course. These projects have led to a sustainability action plan for the College, a map illustrating environmental justice in Delaware County, Pa., and a conference about watershed restoration.

2018: Advancing Environmental Studies

Gustavo Oliveira, Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor

Student presentation 

Final Report

2017:  Environmental Communication: Hope and Action

Giovanna Di Chiro, Professor of Environmental Studies

2014:  Environmental Communication

Giovanna Di Chiro (Visiting Lang Professor)


What is Sustainability?  A Collection of Stories on Community and Environment

1)  “Growing Power: Stories of Food from Farm to Table,” Environmental Studies Capstone Journal, Vol. 1 (2014)

2)  Sustainable Cities Prezi

3)  Edible Plants on Swarthmore Campus, Interactive GIS Map

2010: Environmental Justice: Freshwater Resources

Carol Nackenoff (Political Science)

Final Project: Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale

2009: Global Warming

Brownfields Remediation in Delaware County, PAPeter Collings (Physics & Astronomy)

Final Project Report: Brownfields Remediation in Delaware County, PA [pdf]

Interactive Map of Brownfields in Delaware County, PA

2008: New Directions: Campus Sustainability

Mark Wallace (Religion)

Swarthmore students work with Chester's Community Grocery Co-op (from the Daily Gazette)

2007: The Green Campus: Swarthmore and Sustainability

capstone report coverMark Wallace (Religion)

Final Project Report: The Greening of Swarthmore: Sustainability Action Plan [pdf]

2006: GIS and Environmental Justice

report coverCarol Nackenoff (Political Science)

Syllabus [pdf]

Final Project Report: Mapping Environmental Justice in Delaware County [pdf]

2005: Water and Oceans

Larry Westphall (Economics)

2004: Sustainability and the Swarthmore ES Program

Carr Everbach (Engineering)

2003: Land and Water: Restoration and Protection for Environmental Quality

Arthur McGarity (Engineering), Carr Everbach (Engineering) and Jeff Jabco (Director of Grounds, Coordinator of Horticulture)

2002: Problems in Environmental Studies

Michael Spiers (Sociology & Anthropology)

2001: Climate Change and Sustainability

Walter Cressler

2000: Water and Watershed Studies

Arthur McGarity (Engineering)

1999: Environmental Ethics and Sustainability

Hans Oberdiek (Philosophy)

1998: Conflicts in Environmental Studies

Wes Shumar (Education)

Course Syllabus

1997: Forest Ecology

Michael Speirs (Sociology and Anthropology)

1996: Environmental Visions and Environmentalism

Donald Swearer (Religion)

Course Syllabus

1995: Living Lightly on Earth

stawbale houseCarr Everbach (Engineering)

The Strawbale House Project [pdf]

1994: Sustainable Agriculture

Jacob Weiner (Biology)

1993: Energy

Arthur McGarity (Engineering)