In this course, we critically investigate practical, theoretical, philosophical, sociological, and legal aspects of measurement in environmental science and related disciplines. Quantification, or claims thereto, underpin analysis, research, policy, and decision making in the environmental arena. We explore the theoretical bases for quantification and trace the relationship between these bases and the role played by quantification in environmental research and policy. We present three theories of measurement—traditional, representational, and operational—from historical, technical, and philosophical perspectives, and critically analyze application of these measurement paradigms in a number of environmental contexts including those associated with river systems and hydrology.

Course instructor: 
Grant, Wolman