ESS 220 Course Objectives, Fall Semester (1 Credit)
- Learn professional skills including time management, communication and other to connect with a mentor, and to increase productivity and success in research. Discuss executive function skills that are important to success in ecological research.
- Understand different types of research and their goals and approaches (e.g., basic vs. applied, quantitative vs. qualitative, deductive vs. inductive, etc.).
- Use library resources to conduct a focused literature search.
- Read and evaluate the literature.
- Learn to save and document sources using citation management software (e.g., Mendeley, Zotero, Endnote), and to properly cite references in APA format.
- Create a useful annotated bibliography on a research area of interest related to a future mentored project.
- Form high quality research questions with a testable hypothesis.
- Write a clear and concise problem statement to generate interest in a research project.
- Learn different tools and approaches to test ecological and social-ecological hypotheses (experiments, observations, synthesis, meta-analysis, social science applications and methods, modeling/theory).
- Understand the components of good experimental design and methods (including controls; sample size; replication; and consideration variability and bias) for testing hypotheses.
- Understand how to properly collect, record, and manage data and documents for a research project.
- Learn about Participatory Research, recognize the value and place for using citizen science in research, and become familiar with and use the citizen science research platform for CitSci.org.
- Be able to enter and manipulate data, and to create figures for data visualization in Microsoft Excel. Understand how to create a figure that relates to the hypothesis.
- Improve peer review skills through practice.
- Understand the value and aims of collaboration for developing scientific ideas and conducting research.
ESS 221 Course Objectives, Spring Semester (1 Credit)
- Apply time management, long-term project planning, communication and other professional skills to increase productivity and success in spring research projects.
- Keep research and field notes to document research activities and time spent, as well as progress, questions, things learned, observations, insights, meeting notes and other important information.
- Apply data management skills to spring research projects.
- Form a good research question(s) with a testable hypothesis related to spring research projects.
- Understand the importance of ethics in scientific work and how to do research (collect and manage data and communicate results) in an ethical fashion.
- Practice good experimental design (including controls, replication, variability, bias, and sample size as required) for testing a hypothesis, with guidance from a research mentor.
- Communicate research results to an academic audience in a well-organized and well-designed research poster, including well-crafted introduction, methods, results, conclusions and discussion sections.
- Communicate research to a general audience via 1) a personal elevator pitch, 2) a formal press release and 3) a blog.
- Present research at a professional student-centered symposium.
- Improve performance and confidence in professional situations.
- Create a well-crafted resume that includes new SUPER research experience and professional skills.
- Discuss and understand the demands, benefits, and decisions related to graduate school (panel).
- Understand and discuss the skills, experiences and professional qualities that employers are looking for in their hires (panel).
- Become adept at both giving and receiving feedback from peers, mentors and others.
- Understand different types of research, demonstrated by fellow students and lab groups, and their varying goals and approaches.
- Reflect on research experiences in synthetic written format.
ESS 298 Objectives, Spring Semester
Work with a research mentor to:
- Create a work plan for a research project that ensures timely completion of deliverables.
- Craft research questions and hypotheses for a mentored research project.
- Apply readings to research program goals and design.
- Participate in research team meetings.
- Participate in all areas of research activities as appropriate for the individual project (meetings, field data collection, data entry, data analysis, data manipulation, methods development, data analysis and interpretation, etc.)
- Establish appropriate methods to achieve project goals and answer research questions.
- Analyze results to answer research questions.
- Discuss insights gained from the research.
- Craft a poster to communicate research results to an academic audience.