e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Participates in Research Ethics Training

Project offers research ethics, cultural competence training to graduate students and faculty

ESF is participating in a partnership that has been awarded a three-year grant to develop a Northeast Ethics Education Partnership with Brown University's Center for Environmental Studies.

A $397,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's program for "Ethics Education in Science and Engineering" supports the program. Dr. David Sonnenfeld of the ESF Department of Environmental Studies will oversee ESF's participation; Dr. Dianne Quigley, a visiting professor at Brown University, will conduct many of the activities at both ESF and Brown. The project also includes Syracuse University's Department of Religion, with participation by Drs. Philip P. Arnold and Ernest Wallwork.

ESF graduate students in environmental studies, various sciences and engineering will be eligible to participate in advanced training in research ethics and cultural competence for field research. The program includes mentoring graduate students and their faculty supervisors, conducting workshops and courses, and developing online resources. Additionally, the project leaders will conduct "train-the-trainer" workshops at national professional meetings for faculty who teach graduate students in relevant fields.

The grant addresses increasing requirements for environmental scientists and engineers whose research involves obtaining information from individual subjects, focus groups or community meetings. To understand and meet these requirements, graduate students must train in research ethics, including beneficence, respect for autonomy and justice for both individual subjects and diverse communities. Although many environmental and engineering field studies take place in settings with culturally diverse groups, there are few cultural competence models adapted to the environmental sciences.

The project commences Oct. 1. Those wishing to obtain further information should contact Sonnenfeld at dsonn@esf.edu.