SFS 3911: Fundamentals of Environmental Inquiry

3 Credits

Research takes many forms. Though the SFS model emphasizes field-based methodologies, there is much to be learned in those aspects of research that lie beyond the fieldwork: building a robust question, vetting sources of information to produce a high-quality literature review, placing novel inquiry within a theoretical and empirical context and analyzing existing data to create a strong discussion of the research question. The aim of this course is to provide students the opportunity to explore existing Center resources and develop methods of inquiry to analyze environmental issues relevant to the communities in which we operate. We will investigate the ways that various methods and theories distinguish (or not) fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. Through their research projects, students will contribute to a growing body of scientific research that informs local conservation and resource management decisions near SFS Centers around the world. Each student will be led by a faculty advisor that will produce research questions and methods, analyze data, and communicate results in one or across several of the following disciplines: ecology, conservation, earth sciences, natural resource management, anthropology, human geography, and environmental policy. All FEI projects are collaborative in process, but individual in outputs. Depending on the project, students may work together on the development and analysis of questions, but individual students must submit final assignments independently. The course is designed to build on the information students have learned in their disciplinary courses at each Center. In addition, faculty will provide lectures and workshops specifically designed to assist students in understanding the scientific process and presenting results in both written, spoken, and visual formats.

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A- Average (3.801)Most Common: A (47%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

70 students

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