Updated 6/17/2024

ENVS 198/498: Conversations Toward a Sustainable Future
Fall, 2024: Monday, 12:10-1:00 pm in 211 SCSC and sometimes Merrick 301

Instructor: Dr. John Krygier
Office: Schimmel-Conrades Science Center 206
Office Hours: Make an appointment here or email for other times |

ENVS 198/498 meet together, Monday at noon in 210 SCSC. 198 is for new ENVS majors. 498 is for graduating majors. We attend, instead of class, the Sustainability Task Force meeting three times during the semester, same time as class, in 301 Merrick.

Course Description: A combined cornerstone (198) / capstone (498) course that allows new Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors and graduating seniors to engage with each other. Seniors will present work completed at OWU and reflect on the experiences gained in internships, field study, research, and other theory-to-practice opportunities. Seniors will interact with and mentor new majors to shape their plans for future work in their majors at OWU. Freshmen/sophomores will also engage with other E&S faculty, campus staff (B&G, AVI), City of Delaware employees, regional NGOs, and other environmental professionals. Occasional readings, videos, and/or recorded presentations on environmental issues will be assigned for discussion. ENVS 198/498 are required of all ENVS majors.

See Groups & Projects below schedule.

Course texts: None! But some readings may be added.

Sharing your work with Instructor: this is how you turn stuff in

    • Go to your OWU Drive account
    • Create a new folder with the course and your last name
      • +New button (upper left) >> then Folder
      • Mark Hollis’s folder would be: ENVS 198 Hollis
        • or ENVS 498 Hollis if you are in 498 class instead
      • Share that folder with Dr. Krygier (Editor)
      • When done with your work, put in shared folder and email instructor.

Schedule – More updates coming!

Week 1

Monday, Augu. 26: ENVS 198/498: Introduction: Introduction and overview of course & The Woltemade Big Problem Challenge (course project) & Matt Volrath’s presentation (here)

Assign: read The Woltemade Big Problem Challenge and Application Form (Due Feb. 16) and find a few sources starting with stuff you know and care about (also try using ChatGPT, and Google) with ideas about river and lake environmental problems and ideas for solutions.
Assign: Watch this series of six videos (about 15 minutes): Business Model Canvas & create a document (“Jan 24 Comments”) in shared folder with a comment or two for each part. Business Model Canvas worksheet is here. Try to fit your idea into this model. Again, add some notes to the shared document.
Get Into Groups (see below) and sort communication

Week 2

Monday, Septe. 2 : ENVS 198/498: WBP Challenge: Brainstorming I

Present/Discuss: The WBP Challenge and possible solutions (be ready to share thoughts, ideas, etc.)
Select: Two or three possible solutions per group.
Review: Updated PowerPoint from Matt V
Assign: Guesstimate on Cost Structure & Revenue (see ppt) & refine towards material for Application Form (Due Feb. 16)
Google doc (“Jan 24 Comments”) with sources & comments, questions, etc. (in shared folder)

Week 3

Wednesday, Septe. 9: ENVS 198/498: WBP Challenge: Brainstorming II

Present/Discuss: The WBP Challenge and refined solutions (be ready to share thoughts, ideas, etc.)
Prepare: Finalized environmental solution & 2-3 minute Elevator Pitch for Wed., Septe. 30 STF Meeting
Assign: Finish research (scholarly, web) for Application Form (Due Feb. 16)
Google doc (“Jan 31 Comments”) with pitch, etc. (in shared folder): Pitch Template Here

Week 4

Wednesday, Septe. 16:

Present: Present pitch of Proposed Project

Week 5

Wednesday, Septe. 23: Work time to prepare Application Form (Due Feb. 16)

Week 6

**Wednesday, Septe. 30: ENVS 198/498: STF Meeting (Merrick, 3rd Floor)

Week 7

Wednesday, Octo. 7: ENVS 198/498: After OWU: Ray Hardesty, OWU ’19, Mid-Ohio Food Collective + Maddie Coalmer, OWU ’17, Horticulturist for the City of Dublin, OH.

ENVS 198: Due: 198  document (share with Krygier & mentor)
ENVS 498: Due: 498 document (share with Krygier & mentees)
Do: Make sure to share your documents with students reviewing your document

Thursday, Feb. 29: OWU Connection Conference

Week 8

Wednesday, Octo. 14:: ENVS Faculty Showcase + Jimmy John’s Sammiches!

Week 9:

Wednesday, Octo. 21: ENVS 198/498: Salamander Swamp OR each group read and briefly present. See Groups for Spring 2024 for groups and student names. If the weather is good, we’ll do Salamander Swamp. If not, we’ll discuss the stuff below. Each group take the lead and present the article and discuss. Everyone glance at all the articles. Next week (Wed., March 27) we do whatever we did not do this week.

Everyone read up on Ohio Fire Lizards for Salamander Swamp visit.
Team Name Read
Bananaquits Green Cement
Bustards Undepressed Crawdads
Horned Screamers Walking & Thinking
Satanic Goatsuckers Beaver Bombing
Tiny Tyrant-Manakins Floating Solar


Week 10

**Wednesday, Octo. 28: STF Meeting (Merrick, 3rd Floor)

Week 11

Wednesday, Nove. 4: ENVS 198/498: Charcuterie & Fall ’24 Courses Jumbo Event

ENVS 198: Due: Read and commented on drafts of 498 documents
ENVS 498: Due: Read and commented on drafts of  198 documents

Week 12

Wednesday, Nove. 11: ENVS 198/498: Presentations: Senior Achievement & Assessment

Week 13

**Wednesday, Nove. 18: STF Meeting (Merrick, 3rd Floor)

ENVS 198: Seniors present 10 minute overview of their greatest hits at OWU (with slides!)

Week 14: Thanksgiving Break

Wednesday, Nove. 25: Presentations: ENVS 198 Plans

ENVS 198: Freshmen/sophomores present 5-minute plans their future at OWU

Week 15

Wednesday, Dece. 2: 198/498: Presentations: ENVS 198 Plans

ENVS 198: Due: revised, final Freshman/Sophomore E&S Plans for the Future Document
ENVS 498: Due: revised, final Senior E&S Achievement & Assessment Document


Course Projects

Groups for Spring 2024
Team Name ENVS 498: Seniors ENVS 198: Feshmen/Sophomores
Bananaquits Brandon Edwards Ashley Bahrey
Caroline Kane
Bustards Matthew Kelly
Charlie Hornacek
Ava Kovach
Andrea Pichardo
Owen Dooley
Horned Screamers Abbie Kline Lauren Hollinger
Ella Neuenschwander
Braden Saeler
Satanic Goatsuckers Ryan  McKee Alex Bzdafka
Luke Miller
Tiny Tyrant-Manakins Chris Nagle
Neah White
Jordan Glover
Hayden Kelner
Maria Thibodeaux


I. Group Projects: The Woltemade Big Problem Challenge

For the Spring of 2024, ENVS 198/498 will take a stab at The Woltemade Big Problem Challenge (see the Application Form). This will be a group project (see groups below: will be assigned Week 1). You have probably not done something like this before, and feel suitably unprepared. That’s fine! We’ll give it the old college try!

II. Individual Assessments & Plans

Seniors (498) will produce a reflective and critical assessment of their experiences at OWU as an E&S major. You’ll present a 10-minute overview of this document in the last few weeks of the semester (see schedule). Please make slides for the presentation and put them in the shared folder.

Freshmen/sophomores (198) will produce a plan for their future at OWU, based on experiences in the course (including networking and interaction with seniors). You’ll present a 5-minute overview of this document in the last few weeks of the semester (see schedule). Slides are not required, but if you have them save the slides in the shared folder.

Non-majors in the class: Feel free to modify this format to fit your circumstances (talk to Krygier)

Senior E&S Achievement & Assessment Document: 3-4 pages includes

  • 1 paragraph: Personal introduction, statement of (to the best of your memory!) your general academic goals when you started at OWU, and where you find yourself now, in your final year at OWU. You can look back at the stuff you wrote for ENVS 198 as most of you took that course!
  • 1 page: Achievement: Review of key E&S-related coursework, research, internships, OWU Connection experiences, travel abroad, extracurricular activities, and outcomes. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Or which were most impactful?
  • 1-2 pages: Documentation of two experiences that had the most positive impact on your OWU E&S education; two things you, in hindsight, found lacking in your E&S education or things you regret not doing (or doing sooner). The latter can include suggestions for modifications or developments of the E&S program at OWU
  • 1 paragraph: Imagine you are in a job interview for your dream job, and you need to explain to your potential employer, in a few eloquent sentences, what relevant employment skills your environmental coursework and projects have allowed you to develop. Look at the list of transferable skills provided for ideas and write a short paragraph describing your skills and strengths in clear, concise, accessible language. Think of this as your “elevator pitch” for your future!
  • 1 paragraph: Advice for freshmen and sophomore majors
  • 1 paragraph: Your future plans, and how your efforts at OWU shaped them.

Freshman/Sophomore E&S Plans for the Future Document: 3 pages include

  • 1 paragraph: Personal introduction, statement of your general academic goals at OWU, and where you hope to find yourself when you graduate from OWU.
  • 1 page: Articulate specific parts of your OWU education you have and plan to participate in: this includes E&S-related coursework, research, internships, OWU Connection experiences, OWU Career Connection experiences, travel abroad, and extracurricular activities. Not quite knowing is OK, but speculate on what opportunities seem to be of more interest to you.
  • 1 page: Comment on your experience in ENVS 198 this semester. This includes readings and discussions, visitors, STF meetings, etc.
  • 1 paragraph: What is the most important goal you have at this point at OWU, and what do you need to do to make it happen? For example, you want to write a TPG grant to travel to the Amazon, get academic and internship experience with urban planning, combine research on water quality with a travel learning course or semester abroad, etc. What are the biggest impediments to this goal?