CEO Faculty Fellow Jordan Smith will be offering a 3-credit special topics course this fall focused on social network analysis for natural resource management and governance. Below is a brief course description:
Social networks play a vital yet often under appreciated role in the governance of ecological systems. Their structure and composition affect the flow and distribution of information, knowledge and capital among the various actors capable of shaping ecological health through their actions. This course provides an overview of research on how social networks affect individual, agency and organizational behavior within the context of natural resource management. Case studies and findings offered by previous research are augmented with detailed and collaborative lab-based assignments that give students a clear understanding of how to collect and analyze both ego-centric and whole-network data. Specifically, this involves: i) describing and calculating node-level and network level metrics; ii) identifying clusters, factions and cores; iii) analyzing two-mode relational data; iv) estimating peer influence; and v) utilizing QAP regression to formally test hypotheses. All analysis is done in R but does not require previous experience with the software. Heavy emphasis is placed throughout the course on quantifying and measuring the temporal and geospatial implications of individual, agency and organizational behavior in natural resource management systems.