Utah Water Voices
The Utah Water Voices was a project led by Courtney Flint, associate professor of sociology, social work and anthropology at Utah State University, part of the iFellows undergraduate research fellowship program in 2015. Undergraduate researchers Zack Oldroyd, from USU, and André Valle, from Weber State University, used social science research techniques to start discussion about water with the public. The team selected six public spaces or parks along the Logan River to conduct public intercept interviews at different times of day throughout the summer. Interview questions asked people about the values or benefits of water, as well as perceived threats or problems related to water in and beyond neighborhoods and communities. Flint’s students brought their interests in technology, setting up an interactive form on iPad tablets to guide paperless interviews and allow for quick collection of demographic data. This helped the survey team assess how well the interviewees reflected the larger community. Interviews were audio recorded and lasted anywhere from 2 to 25 minutes (with an average of 7 minutes). USU students Elizabeth Wynn, Charles Mascher, and Alex Brown contributed greatly to this research project by transcribing interviews, managing data, and helping to produce the multi-media videos to share water stories.
Over the course of the summer, the team completed 101 interviews in Logan. An additional 33 interviews were conducted during a 3-day effort in Salt Lake City. The result of these efforts can be seen in the digital story videos, below, created by combining narration and photos with audio and transcript quotes from interviews.
Water Voices Videos