Changing the plan: focusing on just one city

My thesis chapter outline and thus my data collection plans have changed quite a bit after giving a lengthy presentation to my lab group about my research plan for my comparative UA and P cycling thesis chapter, a presentation to my thesis committee, and many discussions with my advisor and other colleagues in the field.

I knew from the start that my initial plan to compare six cities with new data on UA was an ambitious one and that I might need to adapt as we went along. After careful consideration it became clear that trying to plan for more than one field season in more than one locations what not optimal. I had been working on protocols, collaborations, and survey designs that were in deferent languages and that all had to be adapted to the particular realities on the ground. For example the type of UA practices that are applicable in a multiple choice question in Montreal are simply not the same as in Ghana.

In order to focus my (and everyone I work with) energy, I am going to start by characterizing UA and P cycling in one city by doing the field work this summer, and then consider comparisons and collaborations once that is done.  In the end I think this is probably the best approach as it’s a clear goal that will result in thesis chapter. I have not given up the idea of cross-city comparisons. I am working on the literature portion of such a comparison with a wonderful groups of academics at the moment, and if my field work goes well in Montreal I will try and apply it to other cities for comparison.

View of the Montreal Botanical Garden Greenhouse from the top of the Olympic Stadium.

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