Sustainability 750 was the culminating experience of the SDM capstone. It allowed me to use all of my skills learned in previous courses in the major, and apply it to a real world topic. For my capstone, we worked with Dr. Cameron Wake to create the report called Building a Flood Resilient Kittery. In this project, we used historical data and arcGIS software to assess the flooding and storm surge risk for coastal property and infrastructure under three different sea level rise scenarios. Our team was comprised of five members, all with very different majors and bacgrounds. It allowed us all to see the challenges of this project in different ways, and ultimately allowed us to come up with more holistic recommendations for the town of Kittery, Maine. Not only did I experience working with a truly interdisciplinary team, I learned what it is like to complete a large project with a municipality. It was a lot of work, but ultimately paid off!
Sustainability at UNH has taught me many things, but one thing that stands out is interdisciplinarity. In my field, it is easy to be narrow-minded, or present research in a way that limits the audience to those who truly understand it. But to truly be interdisciplnary, you need to know how to reach many different, and how to work effectively with others who you don't generally work with. I think this concept has opened my eyes to others' perspectives, and will allow me to go about my career working more effectively with others. As far as my next steps, I see myself continuing with my Biology degree and water quality and ecotoxin analysis, but I have also expressed interest in social sustainability companies and solar companies, as I like their mission statements and their commitment to sustianability.