This graduate program is designed to prepare students of environmental studies to develop and carry out original research. Students will learn about the basics of the theory and practice of qualitative research in the social sciences and apply this learning to produce scholarship in their field of inquiry. The class will begin with an introduction to theoretical perspectives crucial to understanding and conducting such research, including topics such as epistemology, power dynamics, research ethics, and rigor. Students will gain practice in qualitative content analysis, reading the landscape, interviewing, and focus groups. Students will subsequently develop and carry out a qualitative research project of appropriate scope utilizing appropriate research methods of their choice, building on a recently completed literature review. Work in this program will include preparing a research proposal with clearly articulated research question, literature review and proposed methodology, a Human Subjects Review application, data collection, transcribing, coding, writing, and oral presentations of research proposal and analysis. The process of publishing in peer-reviewed journals will also be discussed.
Hybrid Class Format: This course is offered with a mix of in-person and online components (hybrid format). Some components will be in-person only and some components will be online only. The format is by design, so in-person components cannot be converted into remote experiences or vice versa.
This course will be taught with in-person sessions at the start and end, weeks 1-3 and 8-10, with the weeks in between (weeks 4-7) dedicated to asynchronous independent work focused on data collection, with weekly individual check-ins with faculty via Zoom during scheduled class time.
CLASS SCHEDULE: Wednesday nights, 6pm-10pm