Who is doing this study?
is conducted by the Park Planning and Policy Lab of the University
of Illinois in cooperation with Grand Canyon National Park.
2. What do people at University of Illinois know about Grand Canyon?
investigator on the study, Bill Stewart, has been doing social
science research at Grand Canyon for the past 20 years, starting
with his dissertation research from graduate school days at the
University of Arizona. Bill has hiked on all the major trails
in the park's backcountry, and has spent numerous overnight trips
with friends and family in Grand Canyon.
3. What is the purpose of this study?
the park in its backcountry planning process by providing information
about visitor expectations and satisfaction with backcountry overnight
4. You mentioned this study has four
questionnaires in your invitations letter. Why does this study
have four questionnaires?
is meant to track the development of visitor experience - from
start of trip planning to the return trip home. Most studies examine
just the experiences revealed at the end of one's trip. We would
like to understand the process of expectations leading to on-site
experience and eventually followed by satisfaction after the trip
is over. In order to do this, we need to assess your experiences
at four different points in time. The park is concerned about
the kind of expectations visitors bring to the backcountry, and
ways in which these expectations influence one's trip.
5. How was I selected to participate
in the study?
National Park provides us a list of permittees who have made a
reservation at least 2 months in advance. We sample from this
6. How long will you be sampling overnight
We will be
sampling overnight backcountry permittees for trips from February
to July 2006.
7. How many people are being asked
to participate in the study?
400 permittees will be invited to participate.
8. Will my name be used in connection
with my responses?
NOT! Our records are confidential. Your name will not be associated
with your responses. After your final questionnaire is returned,
your name will be removed from our mailing list. Although we will
remove your contact information from our files, we will retain
the itinerary of your permit. Within our analyses we will be able
to examine relationships between where people hiked/camped and
their experiences, preferences, and satisfactions.
9. How long will it take to complete
For most people,
it will take about 15 minutes for the pre-trip and the post-trip
questionnaire respectively. About 10 minutes for each on-site
10. Has the questionnaire and methods
been reviewed by the Park?
Yes. The development
of the questionnaire was based upon several sources of information:
(1) A comprehensive overnight visitor backcountry study was done
in 1984-85 and more recently in 2004-05, and the questionnaires
of these studies were examined for useful items that could provide
longitudinal information relevant backcountry management. (2)
The final questionnaires of this study have undergone numerous
revisions. Previous versions were reviewed by a diverse set of
NPS staff located at Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Washington,
D.C. The questionnaires have undergone review and approval by
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and also have undergone
a human subject's review at the University of Illinois.
Can any friends complete a questionnaire too?
To keep the
integrity of the random sampling, we are inviting only those permittees
who we sampled. Unfortunately we want to hear back from just those
people we sampled. Unless your friends received an invitation
from us, they will not be part of this study.
12. Can I receive the results of this
Yes, on your
post-trip questionnaire, write a sentence on the back of it indicating
that you'd like to receive the results of this study, or send
us an email at email@example.com. We hope to have the study complete,
and received by the NPS, by Spring 2007.
13. Why do you have both web-based
questionnaires and hard-copy versions?
to make convenient access to our questionnaires at your choice.
As mentioned in our invitation letter, part of this study (either
pre-trip and/or post-trip) can be completed from the web-based
questionnaire. The on-site questionnaire is only available in
a hard copy and it will be mailed to you.
If you have any question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call at (217) 244-7747.