Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation

ISBN-10: 1559638788
ISBN-13: 9781559638784
Edition: 2nd 2001
Authors: Peter Feinsinger
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Description: Anyone working in biodiversity conservation or field ecology should understand and utilize the common-sense process of scientific inquiry: observing surroundings, framing questions, answering those questions through well-designed studies, and, in  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 7/1/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 236
Size: 8.25" wide x 10.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Anyone working in biodiversity conservation or field ecology should understand and utilize the common-sense process of scientific inquiry: observing surroundings, framing questions, answering those questions through well-designed studies, and, in many cases, applying results to decision making. Yet the interdisciplinary nature of conservation means that many workers are not well versed in the methods of science and may misunderstand or mistrust this indispensable tool.Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservationaddresses that problem by offering a comprehensible, practical guide to using scientific inquiry in conservation work. In an engaging and accessible style, award-winning tropical ecologist and teacher Peter Feinsinger melds concepts, methods, and intellectual tools into a unique approach to answering environmental questions through field studies. Focusing on the fundamentals of common sense, independent thinking, and natural history, he considers: framing the question and designing the study interpreting and applying results through judicious use of statistical inference taking into account the natural history of plants, animals, and landscapes monitoring and assessing progress through approaches such as "bioindicator species" or "species diversity measures" helping other interested parties (park guards, local communities, school teachers) use scientific inquiry in addressing their own concernsDetailed appendixes explain technical issues, while numerous sidebars and illustrations provide important background and thought-provoking exercises. Throughout, the author challenges the reader to integrate conceptual thinking with on-the-ground practice in order to make conservation truly effective. Feinsinger concentrates on examples from Latin America but stresses that the approach applies to local conservation concerns or field biology questions in any landscape.Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservationis an essential handbook for staff and researchers working with conservation institutions or projects worldwide, as well as for students and professionals in field ecology, wildlife biology, and related areas.

List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: What's Science Got to Do with It?
The Inquiry Process
So, What's the Question?
Design: Matching Data Collection to the Scope of the Question
Small Samples and Big Questions: The Role of Statistical Inference
Points of View: Taking Natural History into Account
Contents and Context: Taking the Whole Landscape into Account
Indicators versus Targets: Shortcuts to the Landscape's "Health"?
Species Diversity: Easy to Quantify, but What Does It Mean?
Extending the Reach of Inquiry
Calculating Confidence Limits for the Population Mean
Deciding on Sample Size
Resources Especially for Latin American Readers
Design and Statistics without the Jargon: A Play in Two Acts
Literature Cited
Notes
Index
About the Author

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