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Research Method

Research Method
Assessment Weighting: 40%

Description of Assignment
The assignment requires you to critically review how Geographical Information Systems AND Global Positioning Systems are used in the research literature.

You should write a maximum of 2000 words for this assignment.
(Please submit electronically through turnitin)
How to access the paper to be reviewed
This paper in the text box below is accessible as a downloadable pdf through the
Library’s Nelson service or directly from www.sciencedirect.com, once you have logged in with the University’s (IDP) login procedures. When searching for the paper, use the first author surname, journal title and the year of the publication in addition to journal title to refine your article search.

The paper
It is recommended that you read the paper thoroughly and write your own notes around the main points of the paper before attempting the tasks below (you are not submitting these notes for this assignment).
Emmett, B.A., Cooper, D., Smart, S., Jackson, B., Thomas, A., Cosby, B., Evans, C., Glanville, H., McDonald, J. E., Malham, S. K., Marshall, M., Jarvis, S., Rajko-Nenow, P., Webb, G. P., Ward, S, Rowe, E., Jones, L., Vanbergen, A. J., Keith, A., Carter, H., Pereira, G. Hughes, S., Lebron, I., Wade, A. and Jones, D. L. (2016) Spatial patterns and environmental constraints on ecosystem services at a catchment scale. Science of the Total Environment, xxx-xxx.

Tasks for your report:
1. In the ‘Materials and methods’ section of the paper, the authors have identified summarized and discussed spatial and non-spatial data. For the first part of this assignment, using the most appropriate terminology, explain the origins, format, and sources data they used to create their GIS database and evaluate how the authors tried to reduce the risk of spatial error.
2. Secondly, using additional authoritative support from other literature, explain at least three different ways errors can be created and propagated when using GIS or GPS.
Lastly, find at least two more examples of research where Ecosystem Services have been evaluated using GIS/GPS in the academic literature highlighting the potential benefit and limitations of using GIS/GPS as research methods for this area of research.

PLEASE NOTE
• You need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding through using GIS/GPS terminology appropriately.

• You are positively encouraged to cite additional academic literature to support all your commentary, evaluations and discussions.

• You must write this report in your own words.

• You must avoid using poor quality secondary sources found on the internet.

• You will be expected to cite in text and list references using the Harvard system.

• Do not plagiarise: the penalties for plagiarism are severe and could result in you being terminated from your programme of study at the University.
Module Learning Outcomes and Key Skills
This assignment has been designed to enable you to demonstrate that you have attained, or are working towards attaining following Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding
c) Critically debate a range of research methodologies in geographical and environmental studies.
d) Demonstrate knowledge of Geographical Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems as a method for examining interactions between human and the natural environment.
f) Recognize the limitations of data capture techniques and Geographical Information Systems.

Subject Specific Skills
k) Evaluate the appropriate use of software and data capture techniques for statistical and geographical analysis.
j) Demonstrate the value of GIS as a means of understanding spatial patterns and processes.

Key Skills
o) Demonstrate a critical approach to data recognizing potential sources of error or bias.
q) Develop a critical approach to the use of GIS for analysis of geographical information.

Assessment and Grading Criteria
Beyond generic UMF assessment criteria, this assignment will be assessed against the following criteria:

Your tutor will be assessing the degree to which you have reached the learning outcomes above and will also be using the Grading criteria below. For this assignment clarity, flow and cohesion of your work will help to demonstrate your depth of understanding: particularly how you use the appropriate use of GIS terminology and in your explanations and discussion. The quality of literature used and how they are applied to this assignment will also help tutors to assess your developing knowledge base.

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