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An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies

An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies

Second Edition

December 2012 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This revised, updated, and extended Second Edition of An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies provides a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. It explains both, the conceptual and the technical aspects of research, as well as all phases of the research process. The text continues to be inclusive: combining approaches in physical geography, human geography, and techniques (such as GIS, cartography, and remote sensing). As in the previous edition, the authors use a framework - of a natural and social scientific approach - common to all subjects in geography.

In this edition new material is included on "Computational Modeling", as well as more information about GPS and map projections, as well as an expanded chapter on Scientific Communication to present more guidance on writing a literature review. Each chapter has a short case study of actual research projects in order to demonstrate the breadth of approaches taken in scientific research in geography. Fully updated, including references and further readings, the text includes links to relevant web sites.

Introduction: A Scientific Approach to Geography and Environmental Studies
Fundamental Research Concepts
Scientific Communication
Data Collection in Geography and Environmental Studies: Overview
Physical Measurements
Behavioural Oservations and Archives
Explicit Reports: Surveys, Interviews and Tests
Experimental and Non-Experimental Research Designs
Statistical Data Analysis
Data Display: Tables, Graphs, Maps, Visualizations
Reliability and Validity
Information Technologies in Research
Ethics in Scientific Research

Montello and Sutton is one of the best texts I've used in seminars on research methodology. The text offers a clear balance of quantitative vs. qualitative and physical vs. human which I've found particularly valuable. The chapters on research ethics, scientific communication, information technologies and data visualization are excellent. Unlike many recent surveys and anthologies of geographic methodologies, Montello and Sutton provide a comprehensive and integrated overview which will continue to be of value across the entire discipline
Kenneth E. Foote
Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder

This second edition of An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies now ranks itself in the category of “books with experience”, that is, it can be situated among these few noted books that have probably been used in many classes through the years. While advanced undergraduates in geography and natural sciences would obviously benefit from this reading at the condition of being combined with other related titles, other students in the broader field of environmental studies might also learn from the authors’ interdisciplinary approach.

Yves Laberge
LSE Review of Books - Associate fellow at the Groupe de recherche EA 1796, ACE, at the Université de Rennes 2, France

Handbook for students doing geographical research

This book is a good handbook for geography students planning and carrying their own research projects. I would recommend this book as supplementary reading for methodology courses at university level geography teaching.

Unfortunately, differences and improvements from the first edition are not significant. Authors have only organized chapters to new order and they have corrected some minor errors. Authors have also added a new feature (Project examples). That might be useful for geography students so that they can get a clear picture of applicability of single research method.

This book and its topics are important for geography course dealing with research methodology and own research projects, but improvements for the first edition are not big enough. Therefore, we are continuing to use the first edition instead of the new second edition.

Dr Petteri Muukkonen
Department of Geography, University of Helsinki
October 30, 2015

An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography is an essential resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students, because the authors provide a comprehensive overview of different types of research methods used in geography. The book provides an excellent overview on research methods, such as data collection, experimental and non-experimental research design, statistical data analysis and data display. A really useful textbook.

Dr Thomas Thaler
Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources, Vienna
May 8, 2015

I found Montello and Sutton to be a good choice for introducing master's students to the issues in research design that all researchers face, regardless of whether they are biological, physical, and social scientists. The goal of my course is to make students aware of the questions they need to ask and the range of options available to them in designing their research, not to make them expert in any particular method or approach. This text works better than any others I found for achieving that goal with a multi-/interdisciplinary course.

Ms Piper Hodson
Natural Res Envir Science Dept, Univ Of Illinois-Urbana Champ
January 14, 2014

Very comprehensive approach to environmental research methods.

Dr John Munro
University of Maryland University College, University of Maryland
September 22, 2013

A comprehensive book for students with useful elements for environmental archaeology.

Miss Rebecca Wilcox
Arts, Law & Social Sciences, University Centre Peterborough
June 17, 2013

This is a student-friendly book, which provides a comprehensive overview of the methods and approaches in Geographical research.

Dr Lynda Yorke
Geography and Regional Studies, Bangor University
May 21, 2013

Useful for public service related research topics - Public service geographic and environmental projects

Mr Owen Lewis
Swansea Business School, Swansea Metropolitan University
May 2, 2013

Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies covers a broad range of subjects that undergraduates in the discipline should be familiar and comfortable with upon graduation. From chapters on the scientific method and fundamental research concepts, to experimental design, sampling and statistical analysis, the text offers an excellent introduction to the key concepts of geographical research. The content is applicable for students at the beginning of their studies right through to planning and conducting dissertations. The book has also been of particular support in designing my level 1 and 2 tutorials which cover similar ground to several of the chapters.

Mr Joseph Mallalieu
School of Geography, Leeds University
April 5, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1