In this course, students will be provided with the knowledge to critically investigate practical, theoretical, mathematical, philosophical, sociological, and legal aspects of measurement and pseudo-measurement in environmental science and related disciplines. Students will explore the theoretical and mathematical bases for quantification and trace the relationship between these bases and the expanding role of quantification and pseudo-quantification in environmental research, policy, and decision making. Three theories of measurement (traditional, representational, and operational) will be presented from historical, technical, and philosophical perspectives. Claims to quantification arising in a number of environmental contexts (such as river systems and hydrology) will be closely examined in light of these divergent measurement paradigms.
Course instructor(s) :