Monday, November 21, 2011

Sustainability Polls and End of the Semester Iterations

It's the end of the semester and my dutiful students are crafting their final research papers analyzing behavior and environment. Supposedly all eyes are trained on how students' chosen environments might be made better, maybe even "sustainable" (for whatever that word means now and in the future). To that end I came across this article in the Oregonian and am wondering what thoughts may be.

I like it because of the slouching toward social science inquiry (our final course unit). There's a poll to assess the effectiveness of the Rose City's sustainability efforts...some of my students have used similar survey methodologies themselves and I'm interested in their comments.

48 comments:

Shane Crissey said...

I have been waiting to start my paper until this weekend because I was missing a vital part, the interview. My dad will be getting home tomorrow from being out at sea for 2 weeks. When I return home for thanksgiving break, I plan on interviewing him and some of the other fishermen that work with him. After completing the interview I will have all I need to write a paper about overfishing from an economic standpoint. Even with the interview part missing, I have still been doing some brainstorming about how I want to go about organizing this paper. Thanks to some class discussions we have had, I have it pretty much nailed down. So, like I said earlier, once I interview everyone, this paper should pretty much write itself.

k13mawhinney said...

All the final results are in for my survey! It looks like college students here at NC State do actually look for eco-friedly technology when they are out shopping, even though cost does play a factor. Now I just need to sit down and write the different sections of my paper. I have the introduction and the theoretical part down, and I plan write a lot of it this weekend.
Kaitlyn Mawhinney

Anonymous said...

I have finished my survey, so now I am brainstorming how I want to organize my paper and how I am going to integrate my survey results. My next step is to actually start the paper, I am hoping to get a large portion of the paper finished this weekend.

Savannah Morgan

Walker Shelton said...

My paper is on sustainable agriculture and it's productivity and profitability. I have interviewed an Ag Resource Economic professor here at school. I have started the paper, but now I have to find a way to add his interview. I have done some research and still need one more peer reviewed article from the library. I hope to get a large part of the paper written over the break.
Walker

Anonymous said...

I have finished my survey and the answers were not shocking. I am now working on how to and where to incorporate the answers. Also working on how my theory and other psychological information fits in with my topic. First rough draft is on the way to being done!

-Suath Penagos

Jamie DeRose said...

I have received some survey results, but I am still hoping for more. A lot of the answers are vague, and I wish they were more helpful. So, I am thinking about another form of a survey, or I might move to an interview. I'm working on trying to find other theories that might work better in my paper than my current one, classical conditioning. My rough draft is almost done, other than the results from the survey!

Michael Knowles said...

I'm waiting on a few more results on my survey before I write the empirical section of my paper...I do however already have a good number of results. I have already written the first few pages about my place/the issue plus the sociological theory that I'm using and how it relates to the issue.

The survey from the article actually had a few similarities to mine in that it's asking people to identify that certain things they do in society can affect the environment. Overall the answers I've received have been interesting, somewhat predictable, but interesting none the less. One method that I employed was simply asking the same general question, but wording it differently to see if that affected responses. I also used facts before a question to see how that manipulated the answers. How people have responded has by far been the most interesting part.

Aaron Smith said...

I have received quite a few replies for my survey, but I can't help but think some people aren't being genuine when answering some of the questions I've asked. The main one that's received an overwhelming 'no' is my question about discarding trash on the beach. People always want to make themselves look better, so they may not always tell the truth, which doesn't help me in my research. Nonetheless, I have almost got all the information I need, and I'll be ready to compile everything and start writing no later than Thanksgiving day.

David Morrison said...

Currently, twelve people have taken the survey I created on survey monkey. I am currently planning out the empirical section of my paper following Dr. Taylor’s instructions from class. I am also working on improving my topic sentences in each paragraph I have wrote for the place, issue and theory sections in order to make each paragraph’s purpose more clear. I have also thought of adding in a factor I had previously not considered concerning my question: “Why do coal corporations dispose of coal slurry via coal slurry injection?” Coal corporations have an obligation to stockholders who invest in their companies. This is something that I realized due to my survey and I am trying to determine how I want to add this into my paper. Hopefully, I will be able to complete the majority of my remaining work on the paper over Thanksgiving break.

Madison Broadway said...

I have obtained enough results from my survey. I asked basic questions about sweatshops and then I tried to put the people in a new perspective. At the end I left a comment box and received some very interesting comments on sweatshops that even made me think about everything I have learned so far. I am using a lot of sources from my past papers so that I focus on the same areas with sweatshops and the feelings of the workers are semi- controlled. I will continue working on the paper over the break.

I thought the article was interesting and I liked the survey, it opened up a few ideas I have not really thought of. I think the four key audiences are spot on and I can think of quite a few in my hometown that need an intervention.

Jaclyn said...

Some of the results I got from my survey were surprising to me. I think it would be helpful to understand if people actually do know what sustainable meat production means, so I may be conducting another survey or interview to supplement my current results. I have a theory that I believe ties into my research well, but I still need to find some more sources concerning the theory.

I would be interested to learn what other questions, if any, were asked in the Portland survey. Also, I liked that the campaign aims to inspire both individuals and businesses to participate in green activities. The business plan seems especially helpful to me, because it not only provides a list of sustainable actions, but tells why these actions are important to take.

Andrew Bowden said...

The article in the Oregonian was interesting as it showed that surveys and polls are taken at higher levels to view opinions on current issues. I liked the comment by pdxcarhate at the bottom of the article as he described his personal view on living in Portland which can be summed up by saying “I really wish I could afford to be more sustainable.”
For my paper I have finished the place, issue and the interview. The interview with a past resident of the Northside neighborhood was pretty predictable, but a couple responses were unexpected as that did not follow the flowing pattern of the interview. I am going to try to write a bit more of the essay over break; most likely I will be too busy spending time with family. I think I am set with information for this essay, it is just the matter of actually sitting down and writing it.

Garrett Zafuto said...

I wonder what would happen if the poll they're taking returns different results than expected. Would it change their action plan? I'm worried about my survey as well. What if the results that I get from the survey completely contradicts what I expect? I may have to completely rearrange my theory in order to cope with it.
People designing surveys need to take special care in designing their questions in order to eliminate bias and to ensure that their results accurately depict the sentiments of the people surveyed.

Anonymous said...

Alex Eldridge
English 101
Tuesday/Thursday 5:35 class
I am continuously working on getting more people to take part in my survey and am now also considering an interview or two to help create diverse points and view points within my paper. I have come to see that a lot of the answers i am receiving seem to match with what i thought they would be.
I thought the questions that were being asked in the portland survey were very interesting. They are random, yet all connect when it comes to the environment. And i don't even think about doing some of the things they ask, they are all so small. But i guess it goes to show how the small things really can make a difference if we actually put in the effort.

Jenna miller said...

All the results for my survey have come in and the numbers all seem to favor one way or the other when it comes to students being aware of how much water they use. I think that my results have made it easier to write my paper because they gave me a starting point and I am able to loop it back to my results so everything in my paper flows together. I have been writing different pieces and I am excited to start putting them all together to see how my paper turns out!!

Jessica Williams said...

I have obtained results from my survey, but not as many people took my survey as I had hoped. However, the results I have so far are interesting. I will start to do more work on the paper itself over Thanksgiving Break since I now have time to work on it.

Sam Dearstyne said...

I was really excited to have the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dr. Wormsley, an anthropology teacher at NCSU. Our conversation lasted about 25 minutes and really touched on the concept of how a culture's identity changes when it collides with a radically different culture. One of the points that Dr. Wormsley discussed was that indigenous cultures have been exploited by western culture, and the fact that they are still alive today proves that cultures must be able to adapt to survive.

I feel like I have a lot of great content to write about and am excited to see how this final paper shapes out.

Anonymous said...

My paper details the current overpopulation problem. I have gathered results from my survey and I am hoping to get more responses. My goal with this paper is to be more detailed and make sure it really sounds like a social science article. I feel like the attached article did a good job of doing just that by analyzing the issue in explaining why this initiative must be taken and what the results of the survey will mean. I will make sure to take this article into consideration when drafting my paper and make sure that I’m very detailed in saying what the data I’ve collected means

Courtney Alston

Ellen Williams said...

I've recently altered the social science perspective of my paper some. After receiving results from my facebook survey, I want to incorporate the social-learning theory from the discipline. I'm planning to relate this theory to how the use of resources in particular water is just passed down through culture and social learning instead of actually thinking about our impact. Social learning can turn out good or bad and eventually determine if the culture is "sustainable" within the environment. I definitely have one good scholarly source, and I'm planning on using another from one of my previous papers. Hopefully, I'll be able to work on my paper a lot while traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Ellen Williams said...

I've recently altered the social science perspective of my paper some. After receiving results from my facebook survey, I want to incorporate the social-learning theory from the psychology discipline. I'm planning to relate this theory to how the use of resources in particular water is just passed down through culture and social learning instead of actually thinking about our impact. Social learning can turn out good or bad and eventually determine if the culture is "sustainable" within the environment. I definitely have one good scholarly source, and I'm planning on using another from one of my previous papers. Hopefully, I'll be able to work on my paper a lot while traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Brady Crawford said...

My survey is currently circulating among my target group (students attending colleges in urban areas, mainly North Carolina State University and Virginia Commonwealth University), and I have received some results. As of right now I am compiling what data I have in order to incorporate it into my rough draft. I hope to refine it over the break, making a working copy of the paper.

Anonymous said...

I have finished the introduction and survey section of my paper. The results were not completely in sync with the theory, but there were some questions that were answered as predicted based on the theory's ideas. The survey was posted on my Facebook. I think that because the majority of the people that took the survey were from generally the same area, the results were somewhat off from the theory. Perhaps a larger and more diverse sample would display different results.
Mary Eskandari

Anna Waynick said...

I have started my paper and believe that the theory portion is pretty good so far. I have not started writing my analysis of my survey because I do not have all my results. I have surveyed some college students, but I will survey some of my family members as well to see the difference between the demographics. My survey has not been very successfull among college students. I feel like I have a good idea of what I need to write after our class discussions and my conference.

Brittany Moore said...

I created an online survey expecting maybe 20 people to take it, however I have gotten overwhelming respsonses and most, if not all, of the information will be useful for this paper. I am still struggling a little with the theory part of the paper, but I have been doing research and I think I have almost narrowed it down.

Anonymous said...

Jacob Brotzman

I have revised my survey and it is now complete. I plan on getting most, if not all, of them complete over break so that I can work all next week on the actual construction of my paper. Over the break I plan on outlining the first part of my paper (since the second part requires all of the methodology to be complete) and formatting my section headings throughout my paper. I hope to only have the second part of the paper to do once I return from break.

Nicole said...

With the information I found, I now know that during last home football game season ncsu tailgaters threw away 164 tons of recycled materials. However, when surveyed NCSU students say that they will recycle as often as possible.
What are the factors that lead students not to recycle?

dmcmillan said...

I am currently working on my field research part of my paper. I am interviewing my cousin who goes to school in Queens, New York, and he is relaying the same questions to his classmates. My topic is centered the question of why underperforming schools in America, are underperforming. Theoretically, public schools should have relatively the same amount of funding and resources across the board. Why is that inner city schools are lacking?

Anonymous said...

In regards to the Oregonian article, I was surprised at how few questions they asked. While brevity certainly helps keep the surveyee (?) entertained, I'm not sure it helps with the total analysis they were looking for
So far work on the paper is going good.I created my survey and am still awaiting the final results, by the results I have now look promising. I had to revise it a little, but the feedback that I'm getting so far looks great.
Wiley McLeod

Manny Goti said...

From reading the article it showed me the survey will not be nearly as accurate as theirs, considering they will be surveying a large portion of their population. My survey will most likely not have any more than 20 or 30 people making up the results. In addition the people taking the survey will not be of different ages and demographics which could affect the results. Regardless of the survey results, I still believe that the main point that I am trying to get across through this essay will be shown. Over the break I plan to continue thinking about this essay as well as continuing to write.

Joseph Ahmad said...

I have been researching a lot about the Golden Urn. The Golden Urn was clearly meant for permanent use to resolve any
dispute for the 4 most important Lamas.
Much more importantly, it was instituted under Dynastic China, when the government was sympathetic to the concept of reincarnation and it was suggested in a collaborative spirit as a
sincere attempt at resolving a dispute. It was there primarily to settle dispute. If the Communists hadn't militarily occupied Tibet, that would never have become an issue that they'd have to hire people to spin.

If the whites imperialists had returned to Europe we would have 100s
of millions of Native Americans today.

Kayla Whitley said...

I finished my survey, and the results were to be expected. Though I do feel that there may have been some skewing of results, due to participants bending the truth a bit.
All that's left is to put all of the pieces together for the final draft.

amreid11 said...

I have completed my survey, and now I just have to wait from detailed interviews over the internet and then I should be ready to write my paper. My paper is a political essay,so I hope to get a wide variety of answers.

Alex reid

David Morrison said...

I am impressed with how the city of Portland is approaching the issue of reducing city waste. It appears that Portland’s “Be Resourceful” campaign and business services program could actually succeed. A key factor that could lead to the success of the “Be Resourceful” campaign is that it is not something that is being forced onto the residents of Portland. Based on personal experience, people are more willing to fight and protest change if it is forced on them. Instead, the “Be Resourceful” campaign appears to be well funded and is reaching a wide audience, which are two extremely crucial factors that are needed to initiate change. I feel the business services program could potentially face the challenge of businesses simply placing profits above everything else. However, I also believe that small local business would be more likely to comply with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s “Action Plan.”
When comparing my survey to the Portland survey, it is evident that the Portland survey was able to reach a large audience and therefore will be more accurate in reflecting the public’s opinion on the issue of waste reduction. Considering demographics, my survey targeted college students at one university while the Portland survey was able to obtain data from an entire city of individuals with a broad age range and different backgrounds. However, I am conducting a short-term study while the Portland survey designed to be a long-term study, conducted by an entire organization with the goal of changing the attitudes of thousands of people waste reduction.
Currently, twelve people have taken the survey I created on survey monkey. I am currently planning out the empirical section of my paper following Dr. Taylor’s instructions from class. I am also working on improving my topic sentences in each paragraph I have wrote for the place, issue and theory sections in order to make each paragraph’s purpose more clear. I have also thought of adding in a factor I had previously not considered concerning my question: “Why do coal corporations dispose of coal slurry via coal slurry injection?” Coal corporations have an obligation to stockholders who invest in their companies. This is something that I realized due to my survey and I am trying to determine how I want to add this into my paper. Hopefully, I will be able to complete the majority of my remaining work on the paper over Thanksgiving break.

Anonymous said...

So far my paper is going as planned, i have received 30 responses to my survey and have gotten key comments regarding what type of people answer the survey and their knowledge of environment around them and how it can in fact impact how they live. i feel before my results i need a few more responses to keep my information more diverse and interesting. Crafting my theory wasn't difficult its just backing it up with the information given is the tough part.
In regard to the Oregonian article, i liked it and thought it was rather interesting and helped spark some new ideas regarding surveys and research.

Kevin Permenter

Anonymous said...

Laurin Brown

I finished my survey and the results contradicted my initial theory so I might end up changing it. Also, I have started looking at going green fads to incorporate into my paper. All that is left is to bring it all together.

Casey Burns said...

I have conducted a few interviews but I am still hoping for a few more. So far the results are backing up my theory very well.

Anonymous said...

T'ana Tomlinson
My paper will consist of interviews from people who have lived or have some type of connection to the Bronx, New York region and any type of knowledge of the gang affliations. I interviewed family and friends that I know who still live in the Bronx or have lived there or close by. The ages vary from 18 to 65. I have also been researching alot on the connections between gang violence and the newer generation born in the 90s and 2000s. These kids have a whole new outlook on life and have a lot of stuff they deal with. When my parents grew up they need the boundaries to push and they always had the family support but due to the fact this new generation does not have the same resources the ones before us did, I believe that is why the violence in urban regions is vastly growing.

Macon "Bacon" said...

I have now completed all of my empirical data (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.) Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I will have a completed rough draft of my entire paper.

simpsonka11 said...

I finished getting all the survey data for my paper and have interviewed a couple of people this week about their water usage. I have started writing the remaining parts of my paper and I hope to be done by midweek

Anonymous said...

James Goethe-
This is an awesome idea! I think most importantly universities should take the first steps for sustainability. If students learn during college, they will be more bound to continue sustainable practices later down the road. Using statistics is an awesome way to lure people in to doing the right thing. However, I was reading the comments and apparently taxes are higher and their roads aren't getting fixed. The city needs to not focus only on sustainability, but they need to try to make the residents happy as well. A happy resident is a resident who will want to do good for the city as a whole.

Eva Alice Robbins said...

I am still waiting for a few more people to take the survey but so far I have collected some great data. It turns out that my initial idea matches my survey results so far which is what I was hoping for. I know hope to have my paper finished by the end of this week, the rough draft at least, so that I will have the rest of the the weekend and beginning of next week to perfect it.

Maggie Robertson said...

I have been working on my paper and have asked my friends to fill out a survey. I am a little unsure of how to tie in the results of the survey with the end of the paper. I am struggling on finding a point to my thesis.

tmmarti3 said...

I have received an abundance of information through my surveys. I have learned that many people have various opinions when it comes to certain questions, but then will group with similar answers on other questions. For example, some questions will have 90-100% the same answers, where others will have 40-60% the same answers. I am still awaiting some broader answers to include in my paper.

Lesley Winchester said...

Lesley Winchester:

I have gotten the results to my survey. Overall, most students from the demographic of ages 18-22 at North Carolina State University are very environmentally friendly regarding recycling and the awareness of their impact. My results show that individuals that are more environmentally conscious are more talkative and have higher levels of energy than those individuals that report to be less environmentally conscious. The conclusive results are very fascinating, and I intend to get more people to respond about their individual motivation and reasoning behind being environmentally friendly. I have started on the theoretical part of the paper and plan to begin the empirical section once the free response sections have been collected.

Kenan Ballard said...

Yeah this article was pretty similar to our study for our final paper. I think they could have done a better job displaying their results because i understood why they were doing the survey, but wanted to know what some of the results were. I believe sustainability is becoming a front running issue in all political fronts and could be the link to get more jobs and better energy in america. Although, population control is still always an option. :)

Brandon Rowell said...

I think the article relates to our current paper in many ways. With all the buzz about sustainability, recycling, and limiting consumption of resources and manufactured goods; it has to do some good for the world and communities surrounding. It does relate to the last paper and survey we had to administer in ways that the area could be improved, as well as more ways in which the area could be more sustainable. The Portland survey could have had some better questions, but it did focus on some key issues of sustainability and being resourceful. I recently administered my survey, and I feel that it wasn't perfect either. Although, it addresses key issues that relate to my paper. I am still not exactly sure how I am going to tie in the results in the last part of the paper, but it will come to me. The introduction of theory and place part of the paper was not exactly clear to me at first, but I think I did what I needed to. Back to the paper...

Avery O'Brien said...

i have done all of my research for my topic...i did a survey and got awesome results and have done further research to verify my results. I have made a lot of awesome progress

Anonymous said...

Katherine Barrows

I have completed my research and have got back the results from my surveys. Some of the responses I received to my survey were surprising to me but I'm really excited to put it all together in my paper.