Friday, 27 November 2015

The Literature

Well, I’d got as far as choosing my topic: Further regulation of farming and farming waste management is needed to protect our waterways.

Floundering around for somewhere to start I took the advice any teenager would give: Google it. Soon I was entrenched in the public stoush in 2012 between a Massey Lecturer - Mike Joy - and Federated farmers who were playing down the impact of farming on the environment. Mike Joy defended his position with a host of peer reviewed and scholarly resources. GOLD! Save to favourites 

It looks like a no brainer at this stage – Position that is reached through scholarly research vs Defencive and emotive arguments from self- interested groups. After some meditation (or was that medication) I decided not to make life difficult by taking the contrary view. I was in unfamiliar territory with this environmental stuff.

It was really interesting reading and the hours passed very pleasantly trolling the net. Without realizing it (probably because I hadn’t listened to that part of the lectures) I was doing background reading. Soon I felt I had the bones of the assignment - now for some serious hours in the gym (library) putting some muscle on it and then hours of grooming and reflection before the great reveal on 7th December.
When I started to look for more references I started to feel overwhelmed. So much new information about where and how to search.  Already so many random PDF downloaded and webpages saved to favourites.  I decided a good strategy would be to break it down and make some lists that could be modified if needed:

1. Follow up on Mike Joys references

2. Start searching the Massey library

3. Use Google scholar and Google

I made another list of what I needed to look for:

1. Scholarly articles to support the case for not regulating farming / Information about the contribution of farming to the economy

2. More information about the impact of other types of farming, besides dairy.

3. More up to date information

 UH Oh. Most of the books I found as references were in the Manawatu library. There was so much valid information on the internet so, after getting the OK from Pete, I decided to just use on-line sources.
Saturday team meet up at Ironique: Good coffee. Pretty straight forward, no detectable irony. Perhaps that in itself is ironic. Good to get away from the lists and be with other students facing the same demands of 119.115.

A good reminder of the power of teams: The endorsement of Endnote by Cherie was very timely.
“Download endnote” had been on another to do list. It’s a great tool for keeping it all together and keeping track of the references as they are used. It was almost an AHA moment.
I still had a lot of work to do but I could see the way forward very clearly.



Christina Victoria said...

Excellent to hear that your research process is going smoothly! I like the way you took a systematic approach to your research by breaking it down into steps, I didn't do that which resulted in a slightly more haphazard approach. I may have found myself less frustrated early on, had I done so.

Peter Cresswell said...

"Further regulation of farming and farming waste management is needed to protect our waterways. "

Or ... maybe better protection of actual property rights?

Gabrielle Joseph said...

HMMMM ... there is always that!.
There is the problem of who owns the river - damn thing keeps moving but staying in the same place.

Peter Cresswell said...

Not a problem. Even water has rights associated with it under common law (where common law is still recognised) -- not necessarily to the molecules in the river, but to rights in the flow , in fishing and recreation, in all the riparian rights associated with land-owning beside a water body etc. These rights give standing under common law to take specific action against specific polluters.

Unfortunately, in NZ, we're trying to do that through the RMA, which essentially just grants a license to pollute.

Cherie Grey said...

Great to hear that your research is going well, if a little overwhelming. I Like the way you have broken it down into manageable sections. Hope endnote is working well for you.

Jindina Locke said...

Great breakdown list Gabrielle, sounds like a good way to tackle the overwhelming amount of literature out there. The Mike Joy stuff sounds very interesting. And yes, Endnote is great (once i figured out how to use it!)