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GEOS6001 - Research Philosophy, Design & Implementation

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Chamberlain Building 35 Room 519

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This course provides a transition between undergraduate training and the research required for a postgraduate thesis or dissertation as part of Honours research. The approach is to provide basic insights into the essentials of research design and management. A large part of the course deals with the practical aspects of thesis construction and academic writing, along with skills generic to research and general project design, implementation and management.

The content objective of the course is to develop an understanding of the nature of scientific and non-scientific research in geography, planning, and environmental management, and the necessity for project design and time management. The process objective is to develop skills to enable you to identify a significant research or applied problem, and then obtain relevant literature and design a research or project methodology to collect and analyse data for addressing the problem. The research design and implementation stage will involve selection and critical assessment of relevant literature, development of appropriate data collection and analysis strategies, formulation of research objectives and hypotheses, generation of task lists and project timelines, and identification of limitations and outputs from the research process.

The course is delivered as a series of interactive workshops in weeks 1-3 and 9-12.

Stuart Phinn’s research interests are in measuring and monitoring environmental changes using earth observation data and publishing/sharing ecosystem data. He is a professor of Geography at the University of Queensland where he teaches remote sensing and he has established and co-directs the Remote Sensing Research Centre, Joint Remote Sensing Research Program and Australian Earth Observation Coordination Group. Most recently he was the founding director of Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network and its Associate Science Director.

He received his PhD from the University of California – Santa Barbara/San Diego State University in 1997. The majority of his work uses images collected from satellite and aircraft, in combination with field measurements, to map and monitor the Earth’s environments and how they are changing over time. A large part of this is in coastal and marine environments with C.Roelfsema. This work is done in collaboration with other environmental scientists, government environmental management agencies, NGO’s and private companies. A growing part of this work now focuses on national coordination of Earth observation activities and the collection, publishing and sharing of ecosystem data. Professor Phinn publishes extensively with his collaborators, and currently has 153 papers in refereed international journals, 1 book, and 11 book chapters.

A large part of this work also involves training the next generation of scientists and managers who effectively use remote sensing, and he has graduated 36 PhD students. Stuart is a very engaging speaker who enjoys doing a range of things when teaching to keep his students learning active.

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Chamberlain Building 35 Room 519

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