Fall 2022 - REM 801 G100

Principles of Research Methods (5)

Class Number: 4300

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3220, Burnaby



Students will develop skills and insight into the design, implementation and analysis of interdisciplinary research in natural resource and environmental management. This will help prepare students to carry out their own research projects. Students who entered REM during or prior to the Fall 1994 term and who have received credit for any one of MRM 601, 611 or 621 may not take REM 801 for credit. Equivalent Courses: MRM801


As an interdisciplinary master’s program, REM attracts students from a diversity of educational and professional backgrounds with a broad range of sustainability research and practice objectives. This is one of REM’s the greatest strengths and yet presents a challenge for a ‘Research Methods’ class. This is because each unique sustainability research and practice objective necessitates a unique set of research methods and you have a limited amount of time.

Fortunately, as with all challenges, comes opportunity! First, you all possess a rich and highly diverse set of skills coming into this program and share a deep motivation to transform current environmental governance and management of our biosphere. Consequently, the opportunity for high quality peer-to-peer teaching, learning and professional network building for the future is immense. Second, commonalities exist among interdisciplinary research objectives and methods. Consequently, some skills are universal. For example, whether your goal is to become a researcher, planner, or manager, at some stage in your career all of you will need to analyze and synthesize previous research, develop, write and evaluate proposals, and pitch your ideas to receive the funding to carry them out. All of you will need to understand how positionality influences what we ask and how we ask it. Everyone needs to understand
intellectual property, how to respect it, and what this concept looks like across cultures and worldviews. Lastly, sustainability science has made great strides and all of you should be aware of some of this field’s most novel and exciting contemporary approaches.

With these challenges and opportunities in mind, I have designed 801 to be relevant, useful, and engaging to YOU. You will have the opportunity to choose the skills you want to acquire and/or hone, share the practical skills and insights you have already gleaned, and refine the deliverables of the class assignments to meet your sustainability research and/or practice goals.


By the end of this course, you will have:

1. Established a mutually supportive professional peer-network that acknowledges, values, makes use of and builds on the unique knowledge, expertise and experiences of your peers,
2. A better and more empowered sense of the research process plus hands-on skills to support yourself through the lowlights and highlights, dead ends and novel pathways to discovery,
3. An improved understanding of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and practice in environmental management,
4. Expanded toolbox of contemporary data collection, data management and analysis methods, specifically those you may wish to use for your 697 thesis or 699 research project,
5. A better sense of your strengths and biases and ways in which they influence your positionality as a researcher, planner and / or manager,
6. Advanced your science communication skills for multiple audiences, including academic researchers, policy makers, and the general public,
7. Improved your organizational and time management skills.


  • Research Skills Development 10%
  • Literature Analysis and Synthesis 25%
  • Peer-to-Peer Professional Skills Workshop 25%
  • Grant Proposal 40%



Schimel, J. (2012). Writing Science—How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford University Press.
You can purchase an electronic version of this book for 30$ on-line.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html