Research Methods for Environmental Studies : A Social Science Approach book cover
2nd Edition

Research Methods for Environmental Studies
A Social Science Approach

  • Available for pre-order on June 19, 2023. Item will ship after July 10, 2023
ISBN 9781032198408
July 10, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
464 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $46.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The methodological needs of environmental studies are unique in the breadth of research questions that can be posed, calling for a textbook that covers a broad swath of approaches to conducting research with potentially many different kinds of evidence.

Fully updated to address new developments such as the effects of the internet, recent trends in the use of computers, remote sensing, and large data sets, this new edition of Research Methods for Environmental Studies is written specifically for social science-based research into the environment. This revised edition contains new chapters on coding, focus groups, and an extended treatment of hypothesis testing. The textbook covers the best-practice research methods most used to study the environment and its connections to societal and economic activities and objectives. Over five key parts, Kanazawa introduces quantitative and qualitative approaches, mixed methods, and the special requirements of interdisciplinary research, emphasizing that methodological practice should be tailored to the specific needs of the project. Within these parts, detailed coverage is provided on key topics including the identification of a research project; hypothesis testing; spatial analysis; the case study method; ethnography approaches; discourse analysis, mixed methods; survey and interview techniques; focus groups; and ethical issues in environmental research.

Drawing on a variety of extended and updated examples to encourage problem-based learning and fully addressing the challenges associated with interdisciplinary investigation, this book will be an essential resource for students embarking on courses exploring research methods in environmental studies.

Table of Contents

I: Introduction to research and research methods

Chapter One: Introduction to research methods in environmental studies

Chapter Two: A brief history of knowledge and argumentation

Chapter Three: General research design principles

Chapter Four: Ethical issues in environmental research

II: Quantitative research

Chapter Five: General principles of quantitative research

Chapter Six: Quantitative data and sampling

Chapter Seven: Basic quantitative methods and analysis

Chapter Eight: More on hypothesis testing

Chapter Nine: More advanced methods of quantitative analysis

Chapter Ten: Spatial analysis and GIS

III: Qualitative research

Chapter Eleven: General principles of qualitative research

Chapter Twelve: Coding for qualitative research

Chapter Thirteen: The case study method

Chapter Fourteen: The ethnographic approach

Chapter Fifteen: Actor-network theory

Chapter Sixteen: Environmental discourse analysis

Chapter Seventeen: Participatory action research

Chapter Eighteen: Mixed methods

IV: Data collection

Chapter Nineteen: Data collection I: Principles of surveying

Chapter Twenty: Data collection II: Interviewing

Chapter Twenty-one: Data collection III: Focus groups

V: Proposal writing

Chapter Twenty-two: Writing a research proposal



View More



Mark Kanazawa is the Wadsworth A. Williams Professor of Economics at Carleton College, where he has served as both Chair of the Economics Department and Director of Environmental Studies. He regularly teaches courses in environmental economics, econometrics, and research methods for environmental studies. He has also authored two other books: Natural Resources and the Environment, published in 2021, and Golden Rules, published in 2015.


“Using the first edition in Methods class for my bachelor students at Arctic Adventure Tourism, I have been curious about where to go next with this book. Professor Kanazawa let undergraduate students realise that there are many different questions to be answered in relation to the environmental studies. The more interdisciplinarity we can include in our research projects, the more we learn from doing research together. To be able to understand each other, coming from different disciplines, we need to have a broad understanding of the variety of methods available to study the environmental issues related to social science. The Research Methods for Environmental Studies: A Social Science Approach provides us with the perfect first steps in many different careers in the field. This 2nd edition has been extended to describe even more methods, and to an even better extent, describe more clearly some of the basic issues of a very complex field of research.”

Ellen-Johanne Kvalsvik, PhD Fellow, Nature-Based Tourism

“This book fills a critical need: It introduces students of environmental studies to the broad array of social science methods used in this diverse, interdisciplinary field while showcasing classic and cutting-edge environmental research.  Written in a clear, engaging style, it brings coherence to its subject by explaining how each method generates reliable knowledge and when to use which method. The new edition expands its discussion of qualitative research, including a new chapter on focus groups; addresses advances in computer processing, remote sensing, and machine learning; and foregrounds the treatment of research ethics.  This is a valuable resource for anyone guiding students through the research process.”

Kimberly Smith, Curriculum Coordinator/Lecturer, The University of Michigan, Program in the Environment

 “This book illustrates convincingly the value of taking an interdisciplinary approach when studying environmental issues through a social science lens. It is thoroughly researched, couched in accessible language and examines key environmental issues insightfully. The emphasis in the book on the need to undertake research on the environment in an ethical way is timely, as well as important. Empirical evidence is presented engagingly and the book provides a useful practical toolkit to assist researchers in undertaking effective environmental research.”

Dr Mark McQuinn, SOAS, University of London, UK