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Portland State University Capstone Lands at The Climate Trust

Published: April 26, 2017 by Editorial Team

Karena Gruber, The Climate Trust
April 26, 2017

The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in financing climate solutions, will soon be the host for a Portland State University (PSU) Capstone project with three Financial Analysis Master of Science (MSFA) students.

The students, along with their faculty advisor, Dave Hofer, will be creating a Carbon/Environmental Credits Index exclusively for The Trust. The students will spend the next three months analyzing historical returns from various environmental credit investments relative to inflation, and the major asset classes, and ascertaining whether there is a significant correlation.

The correlations between environmental investments, carbon investments and inflation, as well as domestic equities, bonds, etc. remain unstudied, making this an exciting opportunity for these students to dive into a burgeoning asset class.

Kristen Kleiman will serve as The Climate Trust’s internal liaison for the Capstone team. The students working on the project include: Jeb Boulton, Karen Chen and Samuel Grigorian.

“We fully expect the students to approach this project professionally and to apply their risk return analysis, covariance analysis, and applied statistics skills to produce a product with real impact,” said Kristen Kleiman, director of investments for The Climate Trust.

“We are pleased to have secured this team of highly capable Masters-level students for this important work,” said Karena Gruber, director of operations. “I am excited to be partnering with PSU through their Capstone program, and I look forward to having this detailed research at our fingertips.”

PSU’s MSFA program is aimed at individuals who seek graduate-level specialization in financial analysis, but who do not wish to pursue an MBA. The curriculum is designed to develop forward-thinking professionals with sharp analytic minds, effective communication skills, and the necessary vision to apply financial analysis skills in a wide variety of business situations.

Portland State University has worked to forge strong ties with the surrounding community and tailor its courses to prepare students for the multitude of exciting challenges that await them in college and beyond. Each community-based learning course is designed by a faculty member to provide students with the opportunity to apply, in a team context, what they have learned in their major and in their other University Studies courses to a real challenge emanating from the metropolitan community. Interdisciplinary teams of students address these real challenges and produce a summation product under the instruction of a PSU faculty member.

Each Capstone’s purpose is to further enhance student learning while cultivating crucial life abilities that are important both academically and professionally: establishing connections within the larger community, developing strategies for analyzing and addressing problems, and working with others trained in fields different from one’s own.

Image credit: Flickr/Rosa Say