Research Design and Qualitative Methods

Summer 2014 quarter (Session II)

Taught by

geography, political ecology

Research Design and Qualitative Methods is a graduate course primarily focused on research in social sciences and environmental studies. The class will explore major theoretical and philosophical constructs of knowledge and ask students to develop a theoretical perspective for graduate research projects. From theory, the class will move towards identifying specific research questions based on student interest. Students developing MES thesis projects or MPA capstone projects are encouraged to initiate research questions. Once questions have been developed, the class will examine a series of possible qualitative research methods including interview, archival, text examination, ethnography, and case studies. Each method will be practiced including data gathering and data analysis. Students will be asked to write a research design proposal including theoretical perspective, research identification, method development, and data analysis selection. Ethical issues of qualitative research and preparation of Human Subjects Review documents will be covered. Class work will include lecture, seminar, field testing, on-line data analysis selection, and participant observation.

Faculty Biography:

Martha L. Henderson , Ph.D. is a geographer interested in social aspects of environmental conditions  and transformation of Earth by humans over time.  She is currently the Director of the Graduate Program on the Environment.  Her primary research and teaching interests are in ethnic identities as revealed in cultural landscapes.  Her teaching areas and research interests include Greek landscapes of wild land fire, Native American reservation landscapes, and Western American public lands and landscapes.


Program Details

Fields of Study

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: 5-9p Tue/Thu (July 29 - August 28)


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Undergraduate Credit Option

Requires Faculty Approval

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Summer)

Class standing: Junior–Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 15


Course Reference Number

Second Session (4 GR credits): 40119

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