Bren Communication

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
2400 Bren Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106-5131


build your professional portfolio through applied client work.

The best way to learn communication skills is to apply them in a real-world context.

The communication capstone project (ESM 449) represents a culmination of the applied skills that Communication focus students learn. This experience helps students build skills and a communication portfolio while working for an external client over ten weeks in spring quarter. Students may also develop their own communication products or expand upon their Master's Group Projects.

Past communication capstones have taken on a diversity of topics and tactics, such as branding and messaging strategy, short films, audience research, educational curricula, outreach strategies, infographics, and museum interactives. 

Capstone Project Requirements

Students and potential clients are encouraged to propose communication capstone projects. Successful projects should focus on a clear goal, such as raising awareness, promoting engagement, creating educational opportunities, or compelling individuals to engage in pro-environmental behavior. They must also incorporate at least two of the following:

  • Strategy

  • Narrative / Story development

  • Audience research

  • Development of a communication skill or tool

Spring 2020 capstone projects will run 10 weeks from March 30 - June 5, 2020.

If you have any questions about a potential capstone project, please contact communication program director, Lisa Leombruni.

2019 Capstones

Rage Sustainably

Community-Based Campaign

A messaging campaign, in collaboration with IV Adopt-A-Block, to reduce litter in Isla Vista by targeting party culture to change wasteful behavior. 


Danny Elkin

Giovanna Davila

Eric Tarantino

Kynan Witters-Hicks


Interactive Energy Game

An interactive puzzle game for the California Academy of Sciences that  helps players understand where their electricity comes from and empowers them to support a greener grid. 


Hanna Buechi

Danny Ettelson

Valeria Tamayo


Communication & Branding Strategy

A communication strategy to help the California Grizzly Research Network craft a consistent message about their research on grizzly bear reintroduction in California.


Cheyenne Coxon

Caitlin Swalec

Lauren Krohmer

Why Should I Care ABout...?

YouTube Series

A YouTube series that teaches middle schoolers to be mindful consumers by exploring the environmental impacts of daily items. 


Taylor Heisley-Cook

Bri Winkler

Parks over Pollution

Advocacy Campaign

Press kit materials for the National Parks Conservation Association to raise awareness on the impacts of fracking on California National Parks and to encourage community engagement. 


Meghan Cook

Casey Moorhead

Living Rivers

Short Film

A short film for The Nature Conservancy exploring the impact of climate change on Eastern Sierra rivers, featuring local residents and managers. 



Marina Lindsay

Eric Holmes

2018 Capstones

The salty generations

Short Film

A short film looking at the unique challenges of shellfish farmers and their motivation to provide sustainable food for their communities despite these challenges.


Shaun Wolfe

Shelby Oliver

After the fire | After the rain 

Short Film

A short film examining the vulnerable populations, often minority or low income communities, whose lives are significantly impacted by the secondary effects of natural disasters.


Sarah Salem

Alex McCutcheon

Gokce Sencan, Alex Jamis

teaching sustainability with Museum interactives

Educational Game

Interactive activities for the California Academy of Sciences to encourage visitors to learn more about sustainability. 


Cheryl Bube

Christin Palmstrom

Past Capstones

Shelling out solutions

Short Film

A short film in collaboration with the Honda Marine Science Foundation, exploring ways to restore habitat and bring native California Olympia oyster back to our waterways.


Desmond Ho

Erin O'Reilly

Emily Read, Erik Martinez

high school Environmental Science Curriculum

High School Curricula

Environmental education curriculum for AP high school students in Santa Barbara, highlighting problem solving and critical thinking related to real world environmental problems. 


Bella Marill

Cora Kammeyer

strategic communication for carbon neutrality

Campaign Strategy

Campaign concepts pilot-tested with UC students to improve how the University of California Office of the President connects with the student body regarding its Carbon Neutrality Initiative. TomKat Foundation.


Ilan MacAdam-Somer

Brian Jones

Heather Martin

Current students can access the full

archive of capstone projects here

See the full Comm

Capstone video archive