Political Science | Empirical Theory & Methodology
Y773 | 28157 | Fischer/Ostrom

Topic:  Revisiting Intentional Communities

This section meets at 513 N. Park, in the Seminar Room

Many IU graduate students have participated in the IFRI training
course offered by Amy Poteete, Krister Andersson, Catherine Tucker,
Clark Gibson, and Elinor Ostrom along with the incredibly able
contributions of Julie England and Robin Humphrey.  The IFRI course
will be offered at the University of Michigan during the fall of
2006.  Burnell Fischer and Elinor Ostrom will be offering an
advanced research seminar in the fall semester of 2006 for students
who have already been in a previous IFRI course.  The advanced
seminar will meet intensively for the first eight weeks of the
semester like the IFRI course does and then not meet as often in the
second part of the semester.  Participants in this advanced research
seminar will be expected to use research methods they have learned
in other classes at IU as well as in the previous IFRI class.  We
will revisit one site which we have visited twice in the past.

In some respects, this will be a theory seminar.  In other respects,
it will be a methods seminar.  The challenge we face is how to do
time-series analysis of a limited set of cases.  There are few
examples in the policy literature today where a structured data set
has been collected every five years for a period of time for both
biological and social dimensions.  Time series data analysis
techniques for both of these dimensions will be explored in the
literature as well as with the Indiana IFRI data.  We are
approaching the end of our third round.  We will have one more site
to do in the fall of 2007 and then we will start Round 4!  The
seminar will meet on Mondays at 4:30 p.m.  Field work will occupy
several weekends during September and October.

One section of readings will concentrate on the Central Hardwood
Forest and the historical ways it has changed since settlement by
Europeans.  A thorough review of this history of land clearing,
abandonment and reforestation since the early 1900’s will put
today’s forest conditions into context.  Current forest management
strategies are an outgrowth of this history as much as they are a
reflection on the forest science that has developed.  A second
section of the course will look at various forest land conservation
strategies that are in place in the Central Hardwoods.  Are they
effective?  Which are being used on the Indiana IFRI sites?  Are
there other strategies from other places that need to be tried?  Are
the Indiana IFRI communities interested in exploring other
strategies?  This second section will be based on some literature,
but probably also rely on interaction with “experts” who either meet
with the class or provide information via websites, personal papers,
etc.  A final section of the course will explore strategies to
display/report/publish the unique findings from IFRI data sets from
across the world with the Indiana IFRI data being the pilot.