FBE 601 Research Methods in Ecosystem Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ecological research project designs and statistical methods in ecological research.
  2. Present empirical ecological data statistically and graphically.
  3. Evaluate ecological research results.
  4. Write an ecological research proposal.

Course Contents

History, philosophy, and organization of scientific and ecological ideas. The role and character of ecological research. Logic of scientific inquiry and hypothesis testing in ecosystem research. Project design in applied ecological research. Types of ecological research, determination of priorities and identification of researchable problems in ecosystems management. Formulation of ecological research proposal. Characteristics of empirical ecological research, Data quality control and the analysis of ecological data. Presenting empirical ecological data graphically and statistically. Interpreting ecological research results. The organization and writing of a research report. Evaluation of ecological research performance.


Required Readings

  1. Feinsinger P. 2001: Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation, Island Press, Washington 221 pp
  1. Ford E. D. 2000. Scientific Method for Ecological Research, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 230 pp

Recommended Reading:

  1. Shiver, B. D. Borders B. E. 1996. Sampling Techniques for Forest Resource Inventory, John Wiley & Sons, New York. 200 pp
  1. Sutherland (ed.) W. J. 1996.Ecological Census Techniques; a Handbook, Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge 268 pp.