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URSĀ 5220. Research and Writing for Practitioners. 3 Units.

This course is designed to provide a broad investigation of social science and urban ecosystem science research methods and design, including various quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students will be given practical tools in this course, concentrating on field methods that will equip them to collect, analyze, and interpret data. The emphasis will be on students becoming strong consumers of research, having the ability to read and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research in both social science, and environmental and related field sciences. This course will rely on real-world examples through collaborations with individuals working on issues that are important to achieve urban sustainability. No prior knowledge of methodology or statistics is expected or assumed. Basic statistical methods will be covered in this class that will enable students to read, critique, and contribute to the existing literature. The course will use literature from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to form a critical basis for engaging with qualitative and quantitative data. During the semester, we will explore three interrelated dimension of research, one focused on the theoretical foundations of science and research, another focused on the various methods available to researchers for data collection and analysis, and finally we will complete exercises in the practical application of various research methods. Course Learning Objectives Students in this course will be able to: ? Critique competing approaches to research design and methods, and their philosophical differences. ? Make informed choices regarding research and design methodologies for the questions they seek to answer, and to judge and evaluate the quality of projects and their chosen methodologies.