Anthropology | Empirical Thry & Mthdlogy: IFRI
E622 | 27512 | Tucker

Meets 1st 9 weeks only

Both popular and scientific concern over deforestation is at a
historically high level. Yet standard macro-level explanations for
deforestation such as population growth, poverty, 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 (local) level.  This nine week course explores theoretical
and methodological approaches for exploring human-environment
interactions, especially deforestation. It provides training in data
collection methods, including participatory techniques, individual and
group interviews, and forest measurement. Students apply their
training in field research in a forest community in Southern Indiana.
The course specifically exposes students to the International
Forestry Resources and Institutions Research Program (IFRI). The
program 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 its forest. The
methods used are drawn from the social, natural, and physical sciences
in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of local-level
processes. Researchers are currently using the IFRI approach in over
100 forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia.  This course is designed
for graduate students who seek to learn theories and methods relevant
for social-environmental research, and particularly the approaches of
an active, ongoing research program applicable to the human dimensions
of environmental change. Students should be aware that this is an
intensive course scheduled for the first nine 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 will require additional time beyond the
course's nine weeks.