MEDS Capstone Projects
Master of Environmental Data Science Capstone Projects are a unique and important component of the Bren School's approach to environmental data science. Capstone Projects bring together teams of 3-4 students to build real world experience and skills to solve environmental problems using data science. These skills include excellent academic training as well as the ability to successfully work and communicate as a member of a team and manage a professional data science related project.
The Capstone Project provides students an opportunity to work together to design, conduct, and present a professional environmental data science product.
In their Capstone Project, students collaborate with real-world clients, which may be internal clients (Bren School faculty, other UCSB researchers) or outside clients from industry, government, or non-government organizations. In their project proposal, clients must present a problem that can be addressed and solved by the Capstone Project. All Capstone Projects begin in Winter Quarter and end in Spring Quarter.
Projects leverage data science and analysis coupled with understanding of environmental science and project management skills. Students gain professional experience through managing group dynamics, designing and implementing strategies, managing stakeholders, writing technical documentation, communicating product demonstrations, and developing data science products that are retrievable, reproducible, and robust.
Current MEDS Capstone Projects
From siting wind and solar projects, to snow cover data visualizations, MEDS students and their project partners are tackling global environmental problems with data-driven solutions. A handful of capstone projects are featured here. Explore all the MEDS 2022 capstone projects in the project directory.
Understanding US Wind and Solar Energy Siting
Identifying the historic drivers of wind and solar power plant siting, and generating a predictive model for future siting using machine learning.
Assessing Environmental Justice Implications of US Food Production
Harmonizing the NCEAS global footprint of food systems data with human welfare data to analyze patterns of environmental inequities in livestock, crop, aquaculture, and fishery production in the US.
Visualizing Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Coral Reef Stressors Surrounding Moorea, French Polynesia
Determining how coral reef communities have changed due to anthropogenic and environmental stressors.
Improving Usability of Snow Data Through Web Based Visualizations and Tutorials
Expanding the Snow Today website's spatial domain coverage from the Western United States to all of North America, Greenland, and High Mountain Asia.
Bren School releases a MEDS Request for Proposals. Proposals for MEDS Capstone Projects may be submitted by faculty, students, and prospective clients.
Submission period for new proposals ends. A committee of students, faculty, and staff selects appropriate projects. Students vote on and join project teams at the end of Fall Quarter.
Students meet clients, refine project objectives, develop a design and implementation plan, host a meeting with the client and advisors, and begin preliminary product development.
Students complete data science products, write technical documentation, host a meeting with the client and advisors, and present their work in a final product demonstration or visualization.