Research Design & Dissemination in Earth & Environmental Sciences
Review of approaches to the formulation of research questions, and to the gathering and interpretation of evidence, using a variety of environmental and earth sciences-based topics. The course includes the formulation of a research proposal, and develops skills in the communication of research results.
|Two lectures, one lab (two hours); one term
|Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level III or above of an Honours B.Sc. program in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences
|Antirequisite(s): GEOG 3MR3
Time/Term Offered: Term One Fall 2012-13
Instructor: Dr. Sang-Tae Kim
Room: General Science Building Rm. 229
Tel:(905) 525.9149 x26494
Office hours: by appointment
Ms. Jillian Wyman, Office: GSB-322, email@example.com
Scientific knowledge has been continuously advanced through the formulation of research questions, the designing of actual studies, the interpretation of gathered information, and the dissemination of scientific results. This course will discuss the basic approaches of research design and the effective methods of research dissemination in the field of earth and environmental sciences. The course is designed to prepare students who wish to write a senior thesis or a review paper for their respective 4th year undergraduate program in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences. It will include a variety of laboratory activities that will help students to create their own research projects and to develop skills in communicating their research results.
Course Objectives: By the end of this course students should be able to:
• Be familiar with various citation metrics and on-line research tools.
• Demonstrate basic skills that are fundamental to the formulation of scientific research.
• Utilize appropriate skills to disseminate their research findings effectively.
• Propose their own research topic for their senior thesis or review paper.
The main objective of this course is to introduce effective methods of research design and dissemination in the field of earth and environmental sciences.
Two 1-hour lectures per week will be given on Tuesday (8:30am -9:20am) and Friday (8:30am - 9:20am) in BSB-106. All students are expected to attend all lectures.
A laboratory (Discussion) session will be held on Thursday (4:30pm - 6:30pm) in BSB-115. Attending the laboratory sessions is mandatory. A series of assignments will be handed out and collected during the laboratory sessions (see the laboratory schedule for details).
Required Text Books/Course materials:
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. 7th edition by Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel, ABC-CLIO
• Participation 5%
• Critical Review 7%
• Group Report on SGES Research 7%
• Group Presentation on SGES Research 7%
• Research Statement & Annotated Bibliography 7%
• Literature Review 7%
• Draft Proposal 5%
• Comments on Your Colleague’s Draft Proposal 5%
• In-Class Final Exam (Nov. 13, 2012) 20%
• Research Proposal – Oral Presentation 10%
• Written Research Proposal 20%
(Late penalty for the course evaluation component: 20% of final mark (/100%) per day)
If you are unable to submit one of these evaluation components for a legitimate reason: 1) you must get proper documentation and submit it to the Associate Dean’s office of your faculty OR you can submit the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF), once per term, to request academic accommodation due to minor medical situations that last up to 5 days (visit https://www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/ for details). Do not bring your documentation (e.g. doctor’s note) to your instructor or T.A. 2) You must then contact the Instructor immediately by email in order to find out what, if any, accommodations will be made for the missed evaluation components.
Typically, your grade for the missed evaluation will be applied to the Written Research Proposal (i.e. if you miss the critical review, the 7% will be applied to the Written Research Proposal, making it worth 27% of your final course mark). If you do not complete these two steps within 7 calendar days of the missed component, you will receive a grade of zero for it.
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The University reserves the right to change any aspect
of this course outline.
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.