Political Science | Empirical Theory & Methods
Y773 | 3816 | Ostrom/Poteete

This course meets the First Eight Weeks only
This section meets at 513 N. Park

	Y773 is co-taught by  Elinor Ostrom, Amy Poteete and Krister

Both popular and scientific concern over deforestation is at a
historically high level. Yet standard macro level explanations for
deforestation such as the population, income level, conversion of
forest to agriculture, and the penetration of global markets do not
account for much of the variation found in forest condition and
forest use at the micro (or local) level.  The International Forestry
Resources and Institutions Research Program (IFRI) is an
interdisciplinary, cross-national effort to explore the factors
affecting forest conditions at the local level, especially those that
influence a community’s relationship to their forest. The methods
used are drawn from the social, natural, and physical sciences in
order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of local-level
processes. Colleagues are currently using the IFRI approach in dozens
of forests and communities in more than twelve countries.
This course is designed for graduate students who seek to learn the
methods and approaches of an active, ongoing research program that
explores the human dimensions of environmental change. The training
program provides an introduction to the theoretical concerns that
motivate IFRI, IFRI data collection protocols, and IFRI data
collection methods. The methods include participatory techniques,
individual and group interviews, and forest mensuration. Participants
get practical experience with IFRI methods by conducting field
research in a forest community in Southern Indiana. The case study
conducted by the class will become part of the IFRI database.
Students should be aware that Y773 is an intensive course scheduled
for the first eight weeks of the semester. It requires several
evenings and weekends of fieldwork during the first half of the
course. Grades are based in part upon completion of a case study
report, which is likely to require additional time beyond the
course's eight weeks.