The paper "The Effects of Suburban Neighborhoods on Stream Ecology" is an excellent example of a research proposal on environmental studies. A team of ecologists is studying the effects of suburban neighborhoods on stream ecology and due to limited time and finances, has decided to collect data from two sample points on a single stream. Measurables are temperature, dissolved oxygen, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. The design will not give the researchers defensible scientific results because of the reliability and validity issues that arise from sampling strategy. The quantitative scope of the study requires reliability and validity that the design lacks.
A representative sample is one of the qualities of a quantitative study this lacks in the research. Using a single stream ignores data from other streams in the neighborhood and should difference exist in the streams’ composition, the results will not reflect on the data. The use of two sample points is another issue that undermines the scientific quality of the study. Even a single stream may have different features along its flow and multiple data points are necessary for capturing information at different points.
The arbitrary selection of two data collection points also identifies a threat to bias, possibly because of convenience. Internal and external threats to reliability therefore exist, extend to the validity of the study’ s results, and undermine its scientific quality (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). The use of many streams for the study and many data points from each stream would improve the design, assuming that resource and time constraints are resolved. Reliance on secondary data can be an alternative if the constraints still exist. Probability sampling of data points, such as the use of stratified random sampling with demographic factors and existing literature on features of streams as bases for defining strata, would also improve the design (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013).