Russell Weaver, Ph.D., is a geographer, quantitative social scientist, and Director of Research at the Cornell ILR School Buffalo Co-Lab. He was previously an associate professor in the Texas State University Department of Geography, where he taught courses in community geography, community development, urban planning, geographic thought, and quantitative data analysis. Dr. Weaver’s research programs are aimed at understanding and contributing to pathways for context-sensitive, sustainable, and equitable community change. He is the lead author of the book “Shrinking Cities: Understanding Urban Decline in the United States.” Find him on Twitter @RustBeltGeo.
Raw data requires further processing for it to become useful, valuable information. Although raw data has the potential to become "information," it requires selective extraction, organization, and sometimes analysis and formatting for presentation. This course introduces you to the processes by which data is analyzed and converted from raw resources into valuable information and knowledge. Data is crucial for equity, as it can be created, collected, used, and disseminated by organizations and social movements to advance equitable community change.
In this course, you will have an opportunity to ask and write questions about a community's social, economic, and environmental conditions and how those conditions change over time. You will develop data-gathering techniques and determine where to find reliable data to answer research questions. You will identify data analysis techniques and ways that data are used in racial equity analyses, environmental impact statements, and other critical examinations of community conditions. Finally, you will use basic data analysis techniques to answer specific community research questions, directly equipping you with the necessary awareness and knowledge to build better communities through equitable change.
Key Course Takeaways
- Ask and write questions about a community's social, economic, and environmental conditions and how those conditions change over time
- Gather data and determine where to find reliable data to answer research questions
- Identify basic data analysis techniques and the types of research questions they can answer
- Test a hypothesis using a basic data analysis technique
How It Works
Who Should Enroll
- Activists and community development organizers and practitioners
- Policy makers and political staff
- Public interest lawyers and advocates
- Leaders and members of organized labor organizations
- Urban planners and strategic planning agencies
- Social workers
- Grant writers
- People interested in engaging in community change