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Social Ecology 195W - Field Study - Winter 2021 (Garde Section): Home

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Course Information

The SE 195W course can be treated as a cumulative experience, building on the introduction to research methodologies acquired in SE 10 and the Field Observation techniques learned in SE 194 and the Field Placement professional exercise conducted in tandem with the course.  This is also an advanced Writing course introducing you to writing in the professional literature related to disciplines covered in Social Ecology.  You have a research paper assigned in this course and this guide will compliment resources that support the research and writing components. 

For your class requirements, you have several components of a large cumulative experience resulting in a research paper for which several assignments will revolve around component parts of the final paper.

  • Assignment 1 - Introduction - integration of your field study experience with broader academic interests - this is not an abstract but a short essay that demonstrates how you develop ideas - include these 4 parts in 2pp
    • context & background
    • major question being posed or hypothesis
    • what is the academic interest or curiosity in the themes you raise about the environment you are discussing
    • what kinds of literature or sources of information will you use
  • Assignment 2 - Annotated Bibliography with a 4pp maximum - a review of 6+ academic resources, (books, book chapters, journal articles) - meaning from scholarly sources that have gone through peer review - there are  numerous styles for an annotated bibliography but you will offer the citation and then provide a summary of each, addressing these key issues:
    • what is the subject of the work
    • what is the central argument
    • what methods are used to support the argument - (think back to SE 10 where you learned to dissect an article)
    • how does this source contribute to general academic literature in the field
    • how does this work provide insights, information or theories that are directly pertinent to your research focus/topic
  • Assignment 3 - Literature Review - expansion of annotated bibliography - will include a general summary of how other scholars have addressed the issue at hand and identify which theories and hypotheses from this literature guides your analysis of subject - 4pp
  • Assignment 4 - Methods - how research is to be performed in 4pp by:
    • data conducted via observations, interviews, documents, newspaper articles, etc
    • how you collect such data
    • explaining why these sources of data are well-suited to addressing your topic
  • Assignment 5 - Observation Notes - in the role of an ethnographer, you may want to share your field observations by identifying them as evidence -
    • interviews - conducted with >2 people providing interview transcripts - so think of questions ahead of time
    • archival research - provide detailed noted and citations for such sources
  • Assignment 6 - First Draft  - 12 pp - cumulative combination of content from previous 4 components in 4 parts:
    • introduction
    • literature review
    • methods
    • findings
  • Assignment 7 - Final Draft - 15 pp including Bibliography delivered in APA format - editorial refinements created after feedback from readers with overview of links between your field placement and broader academic applications - this will provide the context and personal essence of the assignment wrapping together the SE 195W process and content



  1. Field Study Paper
  2. Presentation of Field Study paper

The 2-3 research questions you will choose from as the basis of your paper originate with your field studies supervisor.  They reflect the uniqueness of the work environment, the sectors and the opportunity for service and research.  You should make sure that you have confidence that you fully understand the question you are addressing and that it will sustain your through this quarter and that it has enough substance that it can be researched and documented in the literature and that it is related to the general themes in your study in social ecology.  Basically, you need to consider the private vs public sectors, the service potential and to what populations, the funding structure, the subject disciplines that it spans, the longevity or lifespan of this organization and what its mission and strategic directions are and how they translate into action plans.




Course Information

You will be intersecting the following components in all the work that you do:

  • curiosity about different work environments using your Social Ecology background
  • developing advanced communication skills to share ideas, broaden scope of understanding, and to interact appropriately with supervisors and colleagues and potential subjects in your work
  • consider when it is appropriate to use social media and other technologies for different forms of communication
  • when to use different resources

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Julia Gelfand
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