We read and discuss Hilborn and Mangel’s classic book, The Ecological Detective. This book covers philosophy of science and hypothesis testing and various frameworks for confronting models with data. The book makes use of real scientific and resource management problems to communicate concepts. While it focuses on ecology, the concepts are broadly applicable to all areas of environmental studies that use data and test hypotheses. It is also useful for students interested in using scientific results for policy and decision making. Students take turns leading discussion and write a short research proposal using concepts from the book.