You will conduct in-person surveys of the general public across our region to assess current opinions about and general behaviors relating to various aspects of our coastal zone and our management of coastal resources.
We conduct this activity at the very start of our class as our findings will improve our discussions of a wide variety of topics we will cover throughout the semester.
Goal1: Quantify opinions about and attitudes towards coastal zone resources.
Goal2: Quantify various behaviors going on within the coastal zone.
Surveying the General Public
Since 2005, your ESRM 462 predecessors have conducted our annual CSUCI Survey of Public Opinion of Coastal Resources across Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties. This survey helps us better understand public sentiment surrounding coastal and marine resources and our stewardship of those resources. For this project, you will keep our tradition going by individually administering questionnaires to members of the general public. This activity has been approved by our Institutional Review Board (the entity on campus which governs all research on human subjects…yes, even asking someone a question requires approval).
Over the course of the month of September, you will administer two different public opinion survey instruments:
- our Refugio Oil Spill Poll (Spill Poll v6.1) to at least 40 people on beaches
- and our standard Coastal Opinion Poll (v9.10) to at least 40 people in public spaces
Our class typically administers only a single survey instrument over the course of this activity, but the 2015 Refugio Spill has offered you up a unique opportunity to explore changing public attitudes over an unfolding coastal management crisis. As part of our work documenting Refugio Spill impacts, we administered several hundred short surveys (instruments with only 22 questions) to beach-goers across our region (Spill Poll v6.1) from the last week of May through the end of June 2015, corresponding to the peak and just post-peak tarring of our local beaches. You will be administering that exact survey again in September. This will allow you to test whether public opinion and behaviors of beach-goers changed over the intervening three months.
After we have administered these Refugio Oil Spill Surveys, we will shift gears slightly and turn our attention to administering our longer, routine Coastal Opinion Polls. These polls are administered anywhere in a public space (not necessarily restricted to the beach as with our Refugio Spill polling).
Once we esults from each year’s survey are incorporated into the course and provide various points of departure for discussions revolving around coastal management. this survey was originally not intended for use outside CSUCI classrooms. however, after repeated requests from various coastal managers for summaries of the polling data, annual sampling (from 144 surveys in 2005 to 1,486 in 2010) and scope of questioning were greatly expanded after the 2007 survey (table 1).
Administering Your Polls
Survey respondents will all be volunteers (meaning we will not compensate them for their time) whom you haphazardly encounter either on the beach (Refugio Spill polling) or at other public places (malls, parks, etc.; Coastal Opinion polling) during daylight hours. We will do our best to spread out our surveying across all three counties, but understand that we tend to oversample Ventura County given the location of our CSUCI campus. Within any given survey location, individuals selected to survey should be selected haphazardly. Will will not exceed a maximum number of people surveyed per site (no more than 15 people per beach for our Refugio Spill Surveys and no more than 20 people per survey location for our Coastal Opinion Polls). Pollsters refer to this type of sampling as non-probability quota sampling (e.g. Connaway and Powell 2010; you can see relevant definitions from the 3rd edition of this book online here). By limiting the number of surveys from any single site we minimize potential bias/sampling error from such non-probability sampling (Fink 2003). Specific beach sampling locations will mirror sites we monitoring earlier this summer (see ). Sampling locations for our Coastal Opinion Polls will be selected randomly from among publicly accessible areas (malls, parks, etc.) across the tri-county region.
When first encountering someone you would like to survey, please announce that your are a student and this is part of an undergraduate class you are taking here at CSU Channel Islands. The header on our survey instrument will also help explain what you are doing (see those below).
Refugio Spill Poll
This survey is one part of our efforts at CSU Channel Islands to document the effects of the May 19 Refugio Oil Spill. Thank you for consenting to participate by completing this brief, anonymous questionnaire. It takes approximately 3 minutes to finish and will help us gauge public attitudes and behaviors following the spill. If you have any questions or are interested in our results, please contact our professor Dr. Sean Anderson (Sean.Anderson@csuci.edu). Thank you again!
Public Opinion Poll
We are conducting a public opinion poll as part of our class at California State University Channel Islands. Thank you for consenting to participate by completing this brief questionnaire. The survey takes approximately 9 minutes to finish. It will be used to gauge public opinion about topics we are discussing in our class. If you have any questions or are interested in our results, please contact our professor Dr. Sean Anderson (Sean.Anderson@csuci.edu). Thank you again!
While this assignment is designed to get you out and speaking to the general public, you should not be engaging in any topic-based discussions prior to someone’s completing a survey. Reserve such discussions for after they have finished filling out the poll. At that point, this is a great opportunity for you to work on your professional communication skills and take the pulse of the attitudes held by your fellow citizens (if they have the time). .
- Wear a CSUCI t-shirt, sweatshirt, hat, etc. while surveying
- Bring several clipboards and pens so as to be able to conduct several surveys simultaneously
- Consider selecting locations that represent the diversity of our region (e.g. if you sample a coffee house first, try a library or car wash next)
- Conduct your surveys ASAP. Don’t wait until your deadline is approaching.
- Download the Google Sheet data file, enter your data offline, and then select only the relevant rows you just entered and paste that data back into the Google Sheet.
Poll Data Submission Deadlines
1st: 10 Refugio Spill surveys due 11:59PM, September 9th
2nd: 15 more Refugio Spill surveys (= total of 25 entered) due 11:59 PM, September 16th
3rd: All 40 Refugio Spill surveys due 11:59 PM, Sept. 28th
4th: 40 Coastal Opinion (v 7.1 or 7.2) surveys due 11:59 PM, Oct. 10th
Entering Your Poll Data
Once all our class data has been entered, pooled, and QA/QC’d you will be ready to start exploring the results. You will summarize the current public perceptions of our coastal resource and their management in a two-page write-up. In addition to your text, you will produce two professional, scientific graphs to support your assertions. We will be using Plotly for our graphing.
Beach Survey Targets (click here to go to the Google Sheet itself to edit):
Coastal Opinion Poll Assignments: Fall 2015
|last updated 9-9-15|
|County||2015 Beach#||Beach||Max Tarring Score June 2015||Any Tar in June 2015?||June 2015 Surveys||Sept 2015 Surveys||Assigned|
|SB||12||Coal Oil Point||6||1||7||Christine|
|SB||18||Santa Barbara W East||0||0||9|
|SB||19||Santa Barbara East (Mission)||2||0||11||8||Christine|
|Vent||25||Ventura (San Pedro)||4||1||2||11||Amber|
|Vent||27||Santa Clara River Mouth||4||1||3||Amber|
|Vent||32||Ormond (Halaco)||2||1||1||Vanessa / Aspen|
|Vent||35||Sycamore||2||1||4||22||Tyler & Mandy|
|LA||39||Leo Carrillo||1||1||12||Sean C.|
|LA||40||El Pescador||1||1||15||Vanessa / Aspen|
|LA||41||El Matador||4||1||14||15||Vanessa / Aspen|
|LA||42||Broad Beach||2||0||Vanessa / Aspen|
|LA||46||Gladstone's||1||1||Vanessa / Aspen|
|LA||48||Playa Del Rey||1||1||1|
|Orange||Ocean Institute (Dana Point)||6|
Summary of Previous Data: Anderson 2012