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Information Literacy: Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Majors Research Skills

What skills do your majors need in order to conduct research in your discipline?

Environmental Studies majors should be able to :

  • Frame questions
  • Identify knowledge gaps
  • Design a study
  • Both follow established protocols and design appropriate methodological approaches
  • Recognizing the applications and uses of monitoring versus question-driven projects
  • Developing needed skills to be self-driven to acquire needed background information
  • Collaborate with others
  • Communicate scientific results to a diverse audience
  • Organize data
  • Find research articles using standard databases.
  • Recognize the differences between research articles and popular-science articles.
  • Graphically present information in a clear and accurate manner (including basic statistical analysis).
  • Write an article in proper scientific format with all necessary sections.
  • Understand graphically presented information in a variety of forms both quantitative and qualitative.
  • Give an oral presentation or a poster on a scientific topic using a clear outline, good speaking skills, and good use of visual aids as appropriate
  • Appropriately cite sources.
  • Identify (and avoid using) plagiarism

In which classes will these skills be taught?

ENVI 320 Methods of Environmental Research

All ENVI majors are required to take ENVI 320. In the course, students are required to complete an extensive research proposal that reviews the literature for their research question and described an appropriate methodological approach to collecting data to address their question. Students give oral presentations describing their proposed research at the end of the semester. Furthermore, students carry out multiple lab activities involving exposure to relevant background research, data collection, data organization, basic statistics, and presentation of results in formal lab write-ups.

ENVI 150H Honors Introduction to Environmental Systems and ENVI 152H Environmental Resources: Science and Management

All ENVI majors are required to take ENVI 150H. In the course, students are required to complete a group environmental research project that involves finding relevant scholarly articles, developing a research questions, designing a methodological approach, collecting data, organizing data, and presenting results in a formal write-up as well as an oral presentation. Both courses provide opportunities for students to organize and present environmental data.

How will you know that the students have mastered these skills?

Students in ENVI 320 submit research proposals which demonstrate their ability to frame questions, identify knowledge gaps, design a study, find scholarly articles, organize and discuss knowledge and gaps in knowledge in a subject area, appropriately cite sources, and give an oral presentation. Students in ENVI 150H and 152H submit assignments requiring them to organize and present data, follow established protocols and design appropriate methodological approaches, collaborate with others, and make oral presentations.