Teaching Materials/Presentations

PowerPoint Presentations:

Listed below are the titles and descriptions of several presentations used in our environmental and community ethics research training courses.  They are available for your viewing and conditional use, by request. If you are interested in downloading an electronic copy of one the presentations below, please complete and submit our Materials Request Form.


 Bioethical Principles for Research Ethics: The Protection of Individual Human Subjects.  These slides provide an overview of the concepts of the common morality, the nature of rights, and moral virtues. In depth, the four principles related to protecting human subjects in research are described and examples are provided: beneficence, nonmaleficence, respect for autonomy, and justice. The history of human subjects protections is also mentioned, including the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, the need for informed consent and the creation of Institutional Review Boards, and the Belmont Report (44 slides).


 Community-Based Research and Environmental Justice Interventions: CBPR Best Practices and Intercultural Designs (Presentation of the Northeast Ethics Education Partnership- NEEP). Part one of this presentation covers: what is community-based research? Why is it valuable? What are the ethical benefits? The CBPR process and related benefits of partnerships and collaboration are examined, as well as the importance of community review boards (Slides 1-33).The second part provides best CBPR practices with case studies in environmental justice communities (Slides 34-77).


 Cultural Competence and Community Studies: Concepts and Practices for Cultural Competence.  These slides provide a review of cultural competence theory; of defining cultural competence, skills that relate to being a cultural competent researcher, considerations to take when working with diverse communities, issues with intercultural language and communication, and the concepts of humility and critical consciousness (29 slides).


Discourse: Forms and Uses. These slides introduce the topic of discourse: a word used to describe communication including the use of spoken, written, signed language, visual and oral media.  Discourse is usually linked to issues of defining power and political conditions in nation-states; particularly postmodern or postcolonial claims of oppressed groups.  The idea of overcoming power imbalances in discourse practices is explored, as well as alternative discourse needs and forms (13 slides).


Environmental Ethics: A Review of Key Concepts and Diverse Perspectives. These slides provide overviews of the theory and concepts of various forms of environmentalism. Beginning with classic environmental philosophy like Leopold’s “Land Ethic,” the presentation reviews evolving understandings of environmental ethics and humans’ relationships with natural systems (58 slides). 

Informed Consent Theory. This presentation covers the analytical components of informed consent, termed “the elements of consent”, including: autonomy, disclosure, voluntariness, competence, and intentionality.  Next, the idea of undue influences on research participants is explored, such as persuasion, coercion, and manipulation, especially related to vulnerable populations (exploitation) (34 slides).  (The dissemination of this presentation must be approved by Oxford University as well as NEEP).


Informed Consent with Cultural Groups: Examining the Traditional Informed Consent Process with Cultural Considerations. This presentation covers the analytical components of informed consent, termed “the elements of consent”, with a special focus on using within cultural contexts. The components covered include: autonomy, disclosure, voluntariness, competence, and intentionality. Next, the idea of undue influences on research participants is explored, such as persuasion, coercion, and manipulation, especially related to vulnerable populations (exploitation) (44 slides).


 Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Human Subjects Protections. These slides summarize key aspects of Institutional Review Board requirements for students/researchers. The Belmont Report is the guiding document on ethical research and human subjects protections, including the concepts of beneficence, respect for persons, justice, and informed consent. Next, we discuss the definition of “research” according to the IRB, the process of IRB review, and considerations related to student research (29 slides).


Introduction to Environmental Justice. In this presentation, we offer concepts and history of environmental justice. Topics cover include the emergence of the environmental justice during the Civil Rights era, key authors and publications on environmental justice,  and case studies illustrating the relationship between low-income and minority populations with environmental injustice (22 slides).

IRB Challenges in Community-Based Participatory Research on Humans Exposure to Environmental Toxicants.   Adequately protecting human subjects in research goes deeper and broader than the formal IRB processes for protection. These slides discuss the variety of ethical issues related to human subjects research, including informed consent, community right-to-know and report-back of study results to research participants, and the use of community advisory boards. Several case studies are examined, specifically focusing on biomonitoring and household exposure studies and environmental justice issues.  The role of IRBs, including related challenges, is also discussed (Slides 51).


Participatory Research. With this presentation, we provide an introduction to the practice of “participatory research,” a research paradigm that includes human research subjects in the process and outcomes of research. Participatory research practices emerged from the work of researchers in Latin American and Africa and then later influenced community-based research approaches in the United States. The slides show how and why the practice developed and how it is understood and utilized in research today (28 slides). 

Power and Privilege Issues with Culturally-Diverse Communities in Research: New Challenges of Partnership and Collaborative Research. This presentation explores the importance of developing truly participatory research designs and having a high level of cultural knowledge and sensitivity.  This is in contrast to bringing in preconceived notions, one-sided planning, or ascribing to outside expert solutions that do not fit or benefit the community (9 slides).


 Privacy and Confidentiality: Issues in Research. This slide show is a presentation which emphasizes the importance of maintaining confidentiality in research and protecting research participants’ privacy and information. Privacy issues, both in the public health field and in qualitative research, are explored, as well as the various ways that confidentiality may be breached. Suggestions for preventing disclosure, like ‘data cleaning’ are drawn from current literature. A review of the risks to third parties’ privacy is also included (35 slides).

Research Ethics for Community-Based and Culturally-Appropriate Research in Natural Resource Management. This presentation discusses CPBR and culturally-based research in the context natural resource management. Part one reviews ethics concepts like beneficence, utility, and nonmaleficence. Part two then uses case studies like agriculture and fisheries studies to illustrate how these concepts can be applied when conducting research in environmental studies (39 slides).  


 Research Ethics Protections for Place-Based Communities and Cultural Groups. These  slides provide information on both international guidelines and applied ethics articles for enhancing group protections in research, for place-based communities and cultural groups. A review of case studies from community-based participatory research (CBPR) with innovative research designs/methods and dissemination practices to enhance intercultural engagement and cultural sensitivity are also provided (75 slides). 


Research Integrity: Problems of Scientific Misconduct.  These slides explore the concepts of scientific misconduct which can jeopardize the integrity of research, including conflict of interest, plagarism, results suppression, falsification/fabrication, avoiding controversial research, unethical behavior, research harassment, and questionable research practices. Environmental case studies and examples of each are presented. The ideas of co-authorship, research misconduct among graduate students, and consequences of misconduct are also explored (51 slides).


Working with the Community as Unit of Identity.  These slides review the definition and characteristics of what makes a community and who community representatives may be in various contexts. It also discusses the idea of community capacity, and how to both build and evaluate it (15 slides). 


Ethical Theories as Guidance to Research/Intervention Approaches in Environmental Studies.

(These slide presentations were developed from two Brown University grant projects: Ethical Awareness in International Collaborations and the Northeast Ethics Education Partnership)

Communitarian Ethics. In these slides, we introduce communitarian ethics, forms of community-based moral decision-making. We review the tensions between (liberal) individualism and communitarianism;  including the criticisms of liberalism, a discussion of communitarian ethics and claims,  and the critiques of communitarianism.  Communitarianism recognizes the need to agree on group values and consensus decision-making as part of the effort to maintain social order while ensuring that these group forces do not suppress all autonomous expressions (17 slides).

Deontology and Distributive Justice. Deontology is concerned with choices that are morally required, forbidden, or permitted. In these slides, we review the various concepts that fall under deotonological ethical theory, such as obedience to duty, opposing utilitarianism, and the good vs. the right. Kantian ethics are also explored, as well as J. Rawl’s Theory of Justice (32 slides).

The Ethics of Care. In this presentation, the ethics of care is reviewed, reflecting on the work of Carol Gilligan’s “A Different Voice” from feminist ethics. The relationship between ethics of care and normative ethics is explored: the morality based on universal and common principals of morality vs. relational ethics; such as understanding, empathy, emotion, co-feeling, and moral autonomy (24 slides).

Liberal Individualism: Ethical Philosophies of John Locke, JS Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Civil Rights.This theory-based presentation covers concepts such as classical liberalism; John Locke’s ideology on personal property rights; JS Mill’s individual liberty; and Kant’s notions of autonomy, free will, good will, moral reason, moral duty, and the categorical vs. hypothetical imperative. In the last section, the achievement of the African-Americans equal rights amendment is included  (48 slides).

Postmodern Ethics: Approaches to New Moral Forms and Practices. These slides introduce postmodern ethics and their relevance to current research with theories that discuss emergent ethics, working with cultural difference and allowing for a multiplicity of voices and forms in a research practice. Levinas’s “Ethics of the Other” offers a new moral approach to research with diverse groups (14 slides).

Utilitarianism and Consequentialism. This theory-based presentation covers the basics of classical utilitarianism, as well as related concepts and variations such as Bentham and Mill’s utilitarianism. Utility as pleasure and pain, justice, rationalism, public utility, and utility as a social end are discussed. The second half of the presentation explores consequentialism and the various types of consequential approaches, including welfare, indirect, direct, global, motive, and scalar consequentialism (51 slides).

Virtue Ethics: Aristotle, Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, MacIntyre. This slide show provides an overview of “virtue ethics” from the lens of Aristotle and other philosophers listed in the title of this presentation. The ideas of excellence, right reason, intellectual and moral virtues, virtues as allegory, discernment, compassion, and self-awareness are discussed (27 slides).


Human Rights Histories for Diverse Groups.

African Americans and their Struggles for Equal Rights. This presentation provides a brief history of the pursuit of civil rights and liberties for African Americans since the end of the U.S. Civil War up until 1980. It first provides definitions and concepts of liberty, equality, and social rights and then gives overviews of historical occurrences that happened previous to the passing of equal rights legislation, including institutionalized segregation and inequality, and the Civil Rights Movement (39 slides). 

Hispanics and the Struggle for Justice in the United States. This presentation provides a broad-level history of Hispanic-American populations’ experiences with inequality and civil rights. It explores topics of colonialism; immigration; racism; health, education, and environmental disparities between Hispanic and white communities; and the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement (60 slides).

Native Americans & Human Rights History. These slides discuss the historical challenges and experiences surrounding the pursuit of equal rights for Native American populations of North America. The presentation traces the denial of full sovereignty for Native Americans since the late 1700s before discussing more recent human rights struggles regarding (24 slides).