Overview: When taking their capstone class, ENVS 490, students will
compile an electronic portfolio (through Blackboard) of their best academic
The portfolio highlights
accomplishments and experiences in the Environmental Studies/Science major. As
a reflection tool, it prepares students for environmental careers and advanced
study. As an assessment device, it enables data-driven improvements in
advising, curriculum design, and instruction.
The portfolio should represent your
best work. Writing should be clear and concise, with well-constructed sentences
and good writing mechanics. Select for quality, not quantity. YOU MUST
COMPLETE A SATISFACTORY PORTFOLIO BEFORE YOU RECEIVE A GRADE IN ENVS 490.
(The portfolio is graded S/U).
Collect materials demonstrating your BEST work in each of the following areas.
Ideally, use no piece of work twice. Consider documents from class projects,
homework assignments, lab reports, independent research projects, volunteer
work, internships, etc. For coursework materials, select only from courses
fulfilling ENST/ ENSC requirements (i.e., not general education or courses from
other major/minor courses). Submit clean copies with no markings or grades. You
may wish to clean up what you submitted to your professor. Consult Dr. Bollinger if you have questions.Key Sections: Please provide documents demonstrating your
ability/achievements in the following areas:
Number of examples
Critical thinking: In relation to an environmental issue, demonstrate
critical thinking by engaging in skeptical inquiry, evaluating arguments
synthesizing information, drawing well-reasoned conclusions, and/or proposing
At least 1
Diverse viewpoints: In making decisions and proposing actions to address an
environmental issue, demonstrate two skills: (a) Considering a diversity of
viewpoints (e.g., different stakeholders, academic disciplines, regulatory
domains, policy objectives, etc.). Explicitly recognize and describe
divergent viewpoints, comparing/contrasting underlying assumption, interests,
and objectives. Draw well-reasoned conclusions about the validity/value of
these different viewpoints and how they should in the end be balanced,
reconciled, or resolved. (b) Practice ethical reasoning by considering the
impact on a variety of stakeholders and systems (e.g., whether those with
power listen to those without, whether negative effects are disproportionally
borne by minority communities, whether actors take responsibility for
unintended consequences, whether actions come at the expense of future
At least 1 for (a) and at least 1
At least 1 of these from an upper
level ENVS course (350, 495, 490, 510)
Interdisciplinary thinking: Demonstrate understanding of the interconnected,
interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies. Given a specific issue,
specify the different dimensions, apply appropriate disciplinary
knowledge/methods to those dimensions, and integrate across disciplines as
needed to fully address the complexity of the issue.
At least 1
Addressing Problems: Identify and explain major sources of environmental
problems and their solutions.
At least 1
Scientific thinking (ENSC only): Understand and apply the scientific process.
Your BIOL 300 final paper and at
least one other paper from an upper level science course or project.
Experiential learning: Submit evidence
of meaningful, sustained, experiential environmental learning activities, if
you have it. These might include reflective statements, summaries, or
journals prepared during or at the end of an internship; evidence of and
reflection upon appropriate volunteer activities; evidence of or reflections
upon appropriate jobs, appropriate study abroad experiences, etc; or posters
or papers prepared from undergraduate research experience
If you don’t have this or will
have something at a later date, please indicate in a brief statement on a
Note: Ensure each document is clearly
labeled with a title and origin (course, volunteer experience, etc.)
sheet – with name, major, minor, and
expected graduation date
resume including experiential learning, if
Reflection statements for each key section
described above. In no more than 1-1.5 pages, explain the origins of each piece you include in that section
and why it fits well in that section.
Example of portfolio contents