on May 23, 2011
If anyone in landscape architecture, environmental design, and related fields is anticipating a plan "A" thesis or pursuing a PhD, this book is the best place to start and is a "must read" for all academic landscape architects around the globe, especially for academics attempting to compete in the research world with a masters degree and illustrates through example and presenting the vast arena of knowledge building, how the Ph.D. is becoming the necessary standard to conduct rigorous knowledge building with in the profession. This book has been needed by scholarly investigators in these subject areas for over 30 years. Before the publication of this book, one of the best discussions on the subject was a "Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture" annual meeting proceedings from 1980 by the University of Wisconsin addressing landscape research or general books such as Paul D. Leedy's "Practical Research." For landscape architectural researchers, it has been difficult to find publications addressing research methods that span the profession, because the profession addresses the built environment as architects and engineers do, the natural environment found in natural science investigations, human behavior in the social sciences, and additional studies related to cultural geography, history, and fine arts. In 256 pages, this book covers numerous topics and contains a lot of thoughtful advice. Each page is filled with nuances, approaches, and ideas that should not be taken lightly and each page often embraces ideas found in a whole college lecture expanding upon theory, methods, and research seminar dialogues. The book starts with the basics about building and creating knowledge, then describes the various strategies and approaches to build knowledge, and finishes by relating knowledge to professional practice. The book also provides many case studies to illustrate key ideas and for the reader to explore further. The book is also international in perspective, drawing from case studies by investigators around the world, including a case study by myself and my colleagues found on page 144. I do know both of the authors of the book and admire their professionalism, dedication, and productivity. So I probably have a personal bias in favor of this publication. After carefully examining the publication, I hope that you will also have a favorable opinion and find the book as useful as I have found it. I personally own over 5,000 textbooks and this specific book has quickly risen to one of my favorites and most meaningful. I am sure that it will become featured in-depth required reading by the planning, design, and construction graduate students at my university in the research methods, design theory, and research seminar courses. The book provides a great foundation so that when students enroll in the regression modeling, multivariate analysis, non-parametric statistics, or spatial autocorrelation classes, they have a perspective concerning where and how the statistics course fit into landscape architectural knowledge building.