2nd Edition

Research Methods for Environmental Studies A Social Science Approach

By Mark Kanazawa Copyright 2023
    498 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    498 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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, ethnographic 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.

    PART I Introduction to research and research methods 1 Introduction to research methods in environmental studies; 2 A brief history of knowledge and argumentation; 3 General research design principles; 4 Ethical issues in environmental research; PART II Quantitative research 5 General principles of quantitative research; 6 Quantitative data and sampling; 7 Basic quantitative methods and analysis; 8 More on hypothesis testing; 9 More advanced methods of quantitative analysis; 10 Spatial analysis and GIS; PART III Qualitative research 11 General principles of qualitative research; 12 Coding for qualitative analysis; 13 The case study method; 14 The ethnographic approach; 15 Actor-network theory; 16 Environmental discourse analysis; 17 Participatory action research; 18 Mixed methods; PART IV Data collection 19 Data collection I: Principles of surveying; 20 Data collection II: Interviewing; 21 Data collection III: Focus groups; PART V Proposal writing 22 Writing a research proposal


    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 (2021) and Golden Rules (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. Research Methods for Environmental Studies: A Social Science Approach provides us with the perfect first steps in many different careers in the field. This second 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