Social science research training

KBS LTER social scientists Matt Houser and Riva Denny are hosting a discussion/training on conducting social science research in agro-ecological systems. This training is tailored specifically for non-social scientists working as part of our LTER.

The event will be at the Kellogg Biological Station; Zoom will be available for those who cannot attend in person. Please RSVP to Julie Doll at

Event: Social science research in agro-ecological systems: A practical methods guide

Date: Friday, April 27

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: Kellogg Biological Station, Carriage House Classroom

Hosted by: Matt Houser and Riva Denny

Interdisciplinary research is needed to address the coupled social and ecological causes of environmental issues. In this seminar, we provide an overview of social science research methods for those working at KBS who are interested in including a social science component in their research. Our intention is for participants to leave with the preliminary knowledge needed to incorporate social data into their research on managed ecosystems. We focus on gathering both qualitative and quantitative data and cover topics such as sample and questionnaire design, interview and focus group techniques, and preliminary analytical tools. Our discussion centers on the agricultural context, with particular relevance for contacting Midwestern farmers; though many insights we share are applicable to social science research methods generally. We draw from our team’s collective experience of interviewing over 160 Midwestern farmers and survey data gathered from more than 6,000 farmers in five Midwestern states over the last five years.