933334 Local knowledge and ethnobiology in organic farming - methods seminar

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Schwarzl, Christina , Schunko, Christoph
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


Organic farming was mainly developed by experiments and innovations of farmers and still today major developments in organic farming are advanced by organic farmers themselves. Such advances frequently stem from locally based knowledge, practice, beliefs, which is altogether called local knowledge.
This seminar focuses on the tools and methods needed for studying local knowledge. The seminar is designed along the steps of the research process - including framing the research questions, sampling strategies, data collection tools and data analysis – and focuses on getting practical research experiences.
The methods discussed in this course may include Cultural Domain Analysis (Freelisting, Rating, Ranking), Focus Groups, Participant observation, Social Network Analysis, Q-methodology, Quantitative ethnobiological methods, Social experiments and others.
We will use selected topics of organic farming and ethnobiology as examples for methods implementation.

Previous knowledge expected

Prior attendance of the course “Local Knowledge and Ethnobiology in Organic Farming - Introduction” (Course number 933.333) is required. Students who can demonstrate prior experience with the concept of local knowledge may participate. In this case, students are required to get in contact with the lecturer before the start of the course. English language skills on Master level are required.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
•explain central characteristics of research methodologies;
•design research methodologies for investigating local knowledge;
•analyse and critically reflect upon methods selection and implementation.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.