Park/Outdoor Recreation Intercepts

    collage of natural resource and outdoor recreation photos
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Overview
Intercept surveys are conducted in person to randomly selected respondents at a site specific location. Intercept surveys are often employed when respondents would not be easily reached at a later time because contact information is unavailable (e.g., lack of registration required at a particular park). Intercept surveys are conducted at the place where a client's constituents have received a service, thereby allowing respondents with a personal connection to the experience to participate in the survey.
Park and outdoor recreation intercept surveys allow for data acquisition at the place of constituent interaction and can allow for a more qualitative assessment of respondents' answers. Intercept surveys often serve as mini "personal interviews" in which the interviewer can gauge respondent's reactions through facial response and body language. Also, proximity in geography and time allows for experiences, opinions, attitudes, and behaviors to be captured immediately before the effects of time may have lessened respondent reactions.
Recent Responsive Management studies involving intercepts include a study of boaters on Lake Tahoe and recreationists on the Ohio River. In an effort to obtain characteristics and opinions of those who boat on Lake Tahoe, Responsive Management conducted intercepts at boat launch facilities for Lake Tahoe. Because boaters on Lake Tahoe originate from many different areas and states in the U.S. and are not necessarily residents of the Lake Tahoe area, the intercepts collected important data about Lake Tahoe boaters and for weighting the sample appropriately to accurately represent local and non-local boaters. Responsive Management's study of contact recreation use of the Ohio River also entails a population of river users that reside in many different areas in the U.S., and the intercepts assist in identifying and more accurately represeting the population of river users in this study.
Questionnaire Design & Pretesting
As with any type of survey, survey design is critical to obtaining reliable and accurate data. Intercept surveys need to be targeted to the goals of the project and be written to conform to the spontaneous nature of the interview administration. Responsive Management designs the survey instrument collaboratively based on close consultation, discussions, and reviews with the client. Responsive Management conducts all phases of survey development based on client input and our past experience with similar studies.
After the design of the survey questionnaire, the survey instrument is pretested to check for proper wording, proper answer sets, and logistical clarity. Revisions are made after the pretest to the survey instrument before the actual implementation of the survey. Many research firms cut costs by failing to rigorously pretest their survey instruments, which results in poor data collection. Responsive Management always conducts full evaluative pretests of questionnaire survey instruments.
The proper implementation of intercept surveys is crucial to obtaining accurate and reliable data. To ensure the data collected is of the highest quality, Responsive Management's interviewers are trained according to the standards established by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations. The project supervisor conducts in-depth project briefings with the interviewing staff prior to their work on the intercept survey. Interviewers are instructed on survey goals and objectives, type of study, handling of survey questions, interview length, termination points and qualifiers for participation, reading of interviewer instructions, reading of the survey questionnaire, reviewing of skip patterns, and probing and clarifying techniques necessary for specific questions on the survey questionnaire. Methods of instruction include lecture, role-playing, and video training.
Questionnaire Programming Language (4.1)
Quality control for all surveys is ensured at Responsive Management. All intercept interviewers return to Responsive Management's central data collection site. Responsive Management's centralized data input of the surveys allows for rigorous quality control over data management and analysis of the intercept surveys. In most cases the actual interviewer who conducted the in-person intercept survey also performs the data entry of that particular survey. Questionnaire Programming Language 4.1 (QPL) is used for the data entry and storage of intercept survey results. QPL is a comprehensive system for computer-assisted surveys that provides complete capabilities for designing, administering, and managing data entry. Intercept survey data are entered into the computer as the interviewing staff read each completed intercept survey. Quality control measures are used to ensure accuracy and completeness of the entire data entry process.
Data Analysis
All intercept survey data are processed and analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 11.5 for Windows software, which is specifically designed for data analysis. SPSS software is used to perform straight tabulations, cross tabulations, statistical significance tests, and nonparametric analyses of how survey responses relate to demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal characteristics. Data processing and analyses includes coding, cleaning of data, preparation of straight tabulations, computer processing with cross tabulations, and preparation of study printouts.
Responsive Management provides a wide variety of statistical methods that are tailored to the purposes of the study. Descriptive analyses are used to examine the characteristics of the sample, while inferential statistics are used to project these analyses to make statements about the population as a whole. Non-parametric analyses are generally performed on data that are entirely categorical (e.g., gender) or entirely ordinal (e.g., increasing levels of support of a statement). Parametric analyses are generally performed on interval data (e.g., age). Univariate procedures are used to examine relationships and differences among individuals on a single characteristic. Multivariate procedures examine these same relationships and differences among individuals using multiple characteristics.
Responsive Management Experience
Responsive Management has extensive experience in the use of quantitative research on natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. Responsive Management has conducted almost 1,000 quantitative and qualitative projects over the past 18 years. Clients include the federal natural resource and land management agencies, most state fish and wildlife agencies, state departments of natural resources, environmental protection agencies, state park agencies, tourism boards, as well as most of the major conservation and sportsmen's organizations. Many of the nation's top universities use Responsive Management for data collection because they recognize the quality of Responsive Management's data services. Because Responsive Management specializes in researching only natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, our senior research staff, research associates, and interviewers conduct surveys only on these topics and understand the nuances involved in conducting such research.

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RM Conducts:
Telephone Surveys
Mail Surveys
Focus Groups
Personal Interviews
Park/Outdoor Recreation Intercepts
Web-Based Surveys
Needs Assessments
Programmatic Evaluations
Literature Reviews
Data Collection for Universities and Researchers
RM Develops:
Marketing Plans
Communications Plans
Business Plans
Policy Analysis
Public Relations Plans

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