Term Project on Climate Change Attitudes in the Olympia Area

For the last 5 weeks of the quarter, students worked on a qualitative research project about climate change attitudes.  Here is a Project Syllabus.  In addition to the reading assigned for the project, here are some additional bibliographic references.

Here is a preliminary report that summarizes results of the student work, along with some slides that show how study participants were distributed across the “Six Americas” continuum (see bibliographic references for more information about the Six Americas); and presentations by panels of students.  Panels were organized by the extent to which their study participants were concerned about climate change.

  1. Most alarmed
  2. Alarmed
  3. Concerned
  4. Less Concerned
  5. Concerned or Cautious
  6. Less concerned or cautious
  7. Disengaged, doubtful or dismissive

For questions about the term paper – look here.

For questions about the team-based synthesis analysis (Thursday Week 9) and Panel Presentations (Tuesday Week 10), see Step 4 of the Interview Analysis document, below.

Crucial information about how to conduct the interview analysis, prepare for the Week 10 panel presentation, and how to writeup your results (for Tuesday Week 9,  Tuesday Week 10, and Thursday Week 10,  is here.

If you want more information about social science methods than that short document gives, there are sources in the bibliography; particularly recommended are Robson’s Real World Research, and the Web Center for Social Research Methods (you might want to go directly to its Table of Contents).  Note that the method we are using is essentially inductive:  we are looking for patterns and building a theory.  Another way to do this work is to work from a theory;  this Web Center has a solid discussion contrasting inductive and deductive.   We will talk much more about this spring quarter.

Here you can see interview partners, as assigned for everyone.

Here are some Interview Tips.  These were given verbally in class, but these might help those who weren’t there, or who need some reminders.

Below are documents given to students for their interviews:  In addition to hard copies of these, students were also provided with two envelopes (one stamped), both addressed to Judy.

  1. Sample Intro Script.
  2. Interview Questions.
  3. Letter to Participants Outlining the Study (to be given to Interviewee).
  4. HSR Informed Consent Document (to be signed by Interviewee). Student should “fill in the blanks” appropriately prior to the Interview.
  5. 15 Question Survey (to be given to Interviewee at the end of the Interview, sealed in unstamped envelope, and returned to faculty;  student should not read this when it is filled out so not to bias interpretation).
  6. 23 Question Survey (to be given to Interviewee with the stamped envelope, after he/she completes the 15 Question Survey, with a request that it be completed within 10 days and mailed).

Human Subjects ReviewThis research project has been approved by Evergreen’s HSR, just as all research that involves human subjects must be.     To find out more about the process, see the Evergreen Human Subjects Review (HSR) site.  For your information, please find below documents that have been submitted to Evergreen’s HSR Board:

  1. Completed form (signed by Judy and Martha)
  2. Six Questions Answered (about the project)
  3. Information for Subjects (you will need to give a copy to your Interviewee)
  4. Informed Consent by Subjects (you will need to ask your subject to sign this)

Below is a short blurb you we used when recruiting subjects.  More info is above in Human Subjects Review Paragraph.

project on a topic of your choosing (but related to themes introduced in the program).  The project is an opportunity to deepen and integrate your understanding of program themes, expand your knowledge through research, improve your ability to work in teams, improve your writing and oral communication skills, and start to prepare for the candidacy paper winter quarter.  In choosing a topic for the project, keep in mind that you have few constraints. The project topic should: relate to the Pacific Northwest, but it  can be a comparison between some geographical area (or endemic PNW topic), contrasted to another area of the country, and concern issues of interest in the PNW, preferably those covered fall quarter:  cultural landscapes; regional dynamics, physical characteristics, and ecological relationships; regional environmental decision making, policy, and political ecology; Native American tribal interests; watersheds; global climate change implications; energy; nuclear waste remediation, long term data repositories. The two major deliverables for the project are: a research paper (~10 pp, written individually) and a panel presentation with 4 or 5 others. You will also be asked to write peer evaluations of others on your panel, of other panel presentations, and, in your self evaluation, reflect on what you did and learned from your project. Schedule:  We have staged work related to the project during the quarter, as below. Intermediate project deliverables will include project idea submissions and discussions, a project proposal, draft of your paper, and presentation outline or draft. Finding, submitting, and refining the topic (Weeks 4-7) Project topic area and talking circles (Week 4) Written project idea and discussion with affinity groups (Week 5) Using the library for research and Zotero http://www.zotero.org/ (Week 5) Submission of final topic proposal (Week 6) Forming Panel Teams (Week 6 or 7) Refinement of topic proposal (Week 7) First draft of paper (Week 8) Panel presentation Outline (Week 9) Final paper (Week 10) Panel presentation (Week 10) Feedback on other panel presentations and feedback to your panel participants (Week 10) See each week’s schedule, as it is posted, for specific due dates and modes of submission. Faculty evaluation of your project work will be based on:  Timely submission of project deliverables, active participation in the panel, and quality of the completed assignments.  Plagiarism (as always) is grounds for no-credit.  The evaluation will consist of a brief description and evaluation of the research paper, and a description and evaluation of the panel presentation (both as a whole and individual contribution).  The following will be taken into consideration for the project evaluation; percentages are estimates of the relative importance of each criterion: ~20% – on-time submission of project assignments, ~10% – how well the project relates to program components and themes, and reflects learning and integration of those, ~20% – panel presentation, including how well the panel worked together, ~50% – quality of final paper: content and style.

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