Social Research Methods for Environment and Sustainability
In a "post-truth" era, people's beliefs about environmental challenges may be as important as facts. EAS 641 covers the methods, employed in social sciences, that help us understand people's perceptions, beliefs, motivations, and actions around environmental issues. Students working on Master's projects, practica, theses, or doctoral dissertations with a human component may find the course helpful to:
- Establish criteria for consuming and carrying out good research,
- Apply those criteria in developing methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation) appropriate for the research question, and
- Put theory to practice by employing a "small experiment" approach to developing a research question, designing an appropriate method, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting findings. The small experiment framework is highly appropriate for practitioners who may not remain in an academic environment but will nonetheless be conducting small studies for their future organizations.