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Social Ecology 195 - Field Studies (Torres Section) - Fall 2019: Hints for Assignments

Major Assignments

You have the following assignments for this section of SE 195 and hints for each are noted below:

  • Field Study Paper - submitted first as an outline and then as a final paper (12 pp)
  • Class Presentation (5 min)


There are many things that you can do that will reduce the stress in conducting this assignment and writing a major paper.  Follow these hints and you will save time, be better organized and able to meet deadlines.

  1. Read assignments carefully as explained in the course syllabus
  2. Use the Subject Guides for Social Ecology for specific resources (specific guide corresponds to each department and also some general ones for related disciplines and product lines such as Government Information, Orange County, California documents - my colleague Brian Williams is prepared to help the CLS students
  3. Review the paper outline structure and think seriously about the "Social Ecological Aspects" for each of the assignments by reflecting on SE 10 and SE 194 cultural contexts
  4. Consider using a bibliographic management software package such as EndNote Basic so that you can easily format your references according to APA Style. 
  5. Write from an outline
  6. Consider context of what is Social Ecology - this is a capstone like experience - relate to social ecology constructs
  7. Define your research question or hypothesis
  8. Conduct literature review in appropriate databases - use the Subject Guides for Social Ecology and the tab on this Course Page marked "Conducting Research" - if you need 10 or 20 references, consider finding double that number in the literature review and then focusing on the most relevant ones
  9. In your section covering the conclusion and recommendations, emphasize the relevance to your field study placement and how it can benefit from your findings and learning
  10. Proofread your paper carefully
  11. You will likely want to use this final paper as part of your portfolio if and when you apply for future internships, professional positions, graduate or professional school since it will bring together your ability to demonstrate that you can handle abstract issues, conduct bibliographic research, synthesize information, treat empirical data and make meaningful conclusions and recommendations or refute with confidence the hypothesis
  12. Consider what part of your content will contribute to the presentation and whether you need some images

Hints for Specific Assignments

Several themes emerge -

  • you can focus on the population you are serving - young toddlers, adolescents, etc - use special features of the databases to create higher relevance to a certain population;
  • geography or spatial location - designate common elements
  • seek out competitive intelligence - what else in the community is like this setting in which you currently work
  • compare public sector with private sector services
  • if you are making a presentation, you may want to rehearse the delivery in the Presentation Studio


APA Citation Format

There are many resources and tutorials to assist you in correctly formatting your references using APA Style.  You can have references formatted in several databases such as Academic Search Complete.  Additional information about formatting is available for you to compare, you may want to use the following resources:

  1. APA - includes the latest revisions for including online citations 
  2. Several tutorials are noted on the UCI Libraries Quick Reference site under Writing Resources - Style Formats
  3. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed., 2010 at Langson Library Reference Desk at BF 76.7 P83 2010

Preparing for an Interview

When preparing to interview your supervisor at your field placement, you should consider doing some homework to familiarize yourself with the following issues and come with questions such as any of the following:

  1. what kind of organization is this?
  2. what is the primary role? 
  3. who does it serve?  has that changed over time?
  4. the history - how long has it been operational?  What else is it related to?  Are there competing organizations?
  5. how is it funded?
  6. what is the leadership and structure?
  7. does it report to a Board of oversight?
  8. number of employees?
  9. is there a strategic plan or mission statement?
  10. does organization have a web presence?
  11. immediate supervisor - has been there how long and in what capacity?  background for the position?

You may want to find a way to either record the interview after asking about whether that can be done so it is able to easily be transcribed?

Find some books in Library Search-Library Collection about interviewing skills and processes if this is a new activity for you.


Hints for Individual Projects & Field Study Paper

Each student has a different field placement and also a different topic for his or her paper.  For each paper, you will want to identify the problem that you are addressing in the field placement and describe the backgound of the assignment, its relationship to the problem you are studying.  For each of the of the following topics, there are some leads about where to search for information.  The needs of populations described as "low socio-economic status (SES)" are very well documented in Economic Working Paper Series from the Bureau of National Affairs and PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service).  If the database listed is not on the list of databases on the tab, Conducting Research look it up via Library Search.

Important part is to contextualize within the Social Ecology context - psychological/behavioral, environmental, legal/crim framework  - select two concepts and methods

  • consider populations served - or focus on specific environmental aspects
  • consider holistic definition of social ecology
  • reflect on SE 10 - for values of measurement, SE 194 for values of observation
  • anticipate impact on public-at-large & public policy
  • consider how issues play out in the news & media and are shared via social media

Please use the Social Ecology Subject Guides for additional sources; consult Library Search by title to obtain links for all sources noted below:  Also please contact me for additional assistance.

Incorporate information gained in the interview with supervisor

This term's field studies placements and sources to consult:

  1. working with blind infants - play therapy/learning independence - Education Fulltext; ERIC, Handbook of Special Education; Psychology of Touch & Blindness; PubMed; Family Studies Abstracts
  2. Irvine Police Dept - styles & strategies of contemporary policing - LegalTrac; Criminal Justice Abstracts Fulltext; Web of Science - see CLS Research Guide under Policing
  3. Blood Donor Center - advocacy/promotion strategies - Google Scholar, PubMed; Academic Search Complete; Newsbank;
  4. Autism ages 5-22 - PubMed; Education Fulltext; Sociological Abstracts; PsycINFO
  5. containment model for rehabilitating sex offenders - PsycINFO; Academic Search Complete; Criminal Justice Fulltext
  6. Community Resource Development - publicity & promotions - Urban Studies Abstracts; Sociological Abstracts
  7. Women's Empowerment - student staff enrichment - Education Fulltext; Gender & Sexuality Studies Research Guide; Business Source Complete; Library Search; Google
  8. Occupational therapy - emotional therapy - PubMed; PsycINFO
  9. UCI Extended Day/Child Care - programming - Sociological Abstracts; Education Fulltext, ERIC, Academic Search Complete
  10. UCI Care Office - mental health of college students - PsycINFO; Academic Search Complete;
  11. OC Coast Keeper - Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Database; PAIS, SSRN
  12. Re-entry from prisons -
  13. ADHD, Autism - therapies - PubMed; PsycINFO; Academic Search Complete
  14. Down's Syndrome - Special Ed high school - Education Fulltext;
  15. Mediation judgments - 3rd party - ethics - see Research Guide for Criminology, Law & Society
  16. Food waste in campus food halls - Sustainability Science Abstracts; Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Database
  17. Playing with infants - learning skills - Family Studies Abstracts; PsycINFO; ERIC; Education Fulltext
  18. Karate & occupational therapy & other martial arts for kids - PubMed; Academic Search Complete; Education Fulltext
  19. behavioral issues with Latino kids in charter school - Education Fulltext; PsycINFO; ERIC; Academic Search Complete
  20. Outdoor education - sustainability - Sustainability Science Abstracts; Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Database; Web of Science; Biological Abstracts; Education Fulltext; ERIC
  21. Suicide prevention - PubMed; Academic Search Complete; PsycINFO; Library Search for books
  22. working with homeless kids - Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, Google & Google Search; Social Services Abstracts




Class Presentation

Preparing for the class presentation can be achieved by following an outline:

  1. Introduction to Placement
  2. Relating to Social Ecology context - consider SE 10, SE 194 and specific coursework already taken on the topic of your work
  3. Relationship to literature
  4. Conclusions - lessons learned, impact you have had, future directions
  5. Consider using the Presentation Studio at the ASL MRC to rehearse presentation - use resources on Presentation tab

Liaison Librarian

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971


Questions that focus on specific research issues

(From course syllabus)

What are the types of problems that your organization has addressed?
• What was the approach to problem-solving?
• What are some of the other ways to address the same problem?
• Are there other organizations that address similar problems? How do they do it?
• Who is affected by the activities of your organization?
• Who should be affected by the activities of your organization?
• What are the most important problems/issues that your organization has faced in addressing the problems of the community?
• What are 2-3 important research questions that you would like me to examine? I would like to do a literature review focusing on one of these questions.