Summer 2022


Capstone Project

Degree Name

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Melissa Erickson

Content Expert

John Quinn


In an era of complex and overlapping issues, it is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative interdisciplinary methodology within the fields of justice and environmental conservation. One such method is encapsulated in an ecojustice education framework. This capstone project sought to analyze the effectiveness of an ecojustice education framework to address conservation in the Upstate of South Carolina. In the process of this study’s literature review, it is evident that isolating social justice from environmental conservation is ineffective and unresponsive to the needs that historically underserved communities today face in terms of the mitigation of environmental burdens and enhancement of ecosystem services. An ecojustice education framework poses a new and more in depth way of understanding these challenges, ways to unite disciplines typically separated, and to look beyond to solutions that are holistic and intentionally consider both the needs of the environment and the needs of underserved communities. The findings of this research were presented to a diverse group of stakeholders representative of various communities and academic/professional entities in the form of an ecojustice and conservation workshop. These workshops facilitated an environment where concepts were discussed and perceptions were shared between various stakeholders regarding the potential benefits of an ecojustice framework within conservation in the Upstate. These workshops reinforced and further contributed to the overwhelming need and enthusiasm to identify holistic solutions. This capstone project demonstrates the need to reevaluate environmental justice ideology and highlights the ways an ecojustice education framework can enhance the values of holistic conservation within Upstate South Carolina communities.

Project Type

Workshop Series


Adult Education, Community Building, Environmental Studies, Interdisciplinary Teaching








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