End of Semester ENVS 220 Reflection

         As I end my semester in Environmental Analysis, I am left to gather and reflect upon everything that I learned. This course has been the first one that I have taken that was entirely methods based. Up until now, I have been learning about the main global issues surrounding the field of Environmental Studies, but not how research is really conducted. Because of this, I found this class to challenging in a way I have not been challenged before. It was new territory to be learning how to do something, rather than learning about a subject. This was also apparent in our lab periods. Instead of conducting experiments like I have done in past labs, we utilized new research skills and technologies, mainly in order to become comfortable with the interfaces. This being said, I feel as though I am walking away with a wealth of new practical skills within the field of Environmental Studies. For our final project, my partner and I were able to find our own data sets online and we had the tools to analyze them and create the applicable figures that we needed to convey our research. We were also able to do this with our GIS mapping. We were able to find and create the layers that we needed to create a GIS map, which is a very powerful tool for conveying data and spatial relationships. Although we only explored a few techniques and skills throughout this class, I think I now have a better understanding of what “doing” Environmental Studies is. A theme that kept weaving throughout our class is our ability to translate our research and what we are learning to others. We did this mainly through our digital scholarship (this website!). The Environmental Studies department here has lots of lingo and words that correlate to specific class exercise that have become commonplace, so we had to be aware of this in posts that would become public. Using language that is straightforward and understandable without compromising the meaning of your words was something that I found I had to learn throughout this semester.


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