What is Gained through Community Science? A Case Study from Sauvie Island, Oregon

Hillsboro, Oregon
DOI: 10.18258/6847
Raised of $500 Goal
Funded on 5/04/16
Successfully Funded
  • $510
  • 102%
  • Funded
    on 5/04/16



While my project also includes a community archaeology field portion, and a suite of semi-structured interviews, I will focus here on the baseline survey of adults - this is the portion of my project for which I am seeking funding.

The baseline survey will be administered face-to-face and will take place in two different types of locations. The first location type will be in front of local department/grocery stores (e.g. Winco, Fred Meyer, Walmart), and the second location type will be in front of local science or history related museums (e.g. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Washington County Museum, Oregon Historical Society). During survey, I will attempt to avoid any bias in selecting individuals to survey other than potential respondents being adults (ages 18 and up) and willing to talk. Each location type is expected to yield not only diverse, but also potentially different, cross sections of the Portland area population. Comparing the two resulting data sets may yield meaningful information, for example if respondents outside museums are more likely than other respondents to already have a high interest in science and/or history. All respondents will be handed a paper copy of an informed consent script. Below is a copy of the baseline survey's script:

Baseline Survey of Portland Area Adults

1. What do you think archaeologists do in their work?**

2. What do you think are the oldest things archaeologists study in Portland?

3. Have you ever done archaeology in a laboratory or in the field?

4. Who do you think pays for archaeology?

5. Would you participate in archaeological field or lab work if given the opportunity?

6. From one to ten (ten being very important), how important is archaeology in today’s society?**

7. From one to ten (ten being very important), how important is the past to you?

8. From one to ten (ten being very important), how important is science to society?

9. Which do you think is most important: CHOOSE ONE:

-To learn about the past in a systematic, scientific way (like an archaeologist going out and carefully digging, documenting, and publishing in a journal)

- To learn about the past in your own way (going out and finding stuff on your own, watching TV or reading popular books, talking to your elders, etc…)

- OR these are equally important

10. What do you think you might learn from doing archaeology?

11. Determine age/gender/education level (i.e. high school or less, technical-vocational post-secondary, or university*).

*taken from Pokotylo & Guppy 1999

**taken from Ramos & Duganne 2000

Pre Analysis Plan

Data will be collected in the form of survey responses (including closed and open-ended and Likert scale questions) and audio recordings and their transcriptions from the semi-structured interviews. While I will examine certain themes (e.g. sense of place, sense of fulfillment through community work) deductively, the majority of analysis will be inductive. In following with the inductive “grounded theory” (LeCompte and Schensul 2013:308) approach, I will examine the data for emergent themes throughout the analysis process and continuously reassess the data in terms of these themes (Bernard 2011).

Textual qualitative data from all three data collection methods will be coded (e.g. “sense of place” = SOP; “personal fulfillment” = PFT) and input into ATLAS.ti software. Analysis of quantitative data, both taken directly from particular interview/survey responses and converted from other, processed qualitative data, will search for meaningful patterns through the use of descriptive statistics (e.g. correlation, covariance, frequency) with the aid of SPSS software. Additionally, exemplary quotations will be pulled from the collected data and highlighted during analysis (LeCompte and Schensul 2013:278). Taken together and triangulated (LeCompte and Schensul 2013:80), these methods will allow for the examination of how often certain themes are appearing certain places within the data, and the relationships among variables important to answering my research questions (e.g. the relationship between age and willingness to participate in community archaeology).

Lastly, several questions from the survey will be taken directly from previously completed, major surveys of the public (Pokotylo and Guppy 1999; Ramos and Duganne 2000). These questions and their reported responses will serve as a type of longitudinal data (LeCompte and Schensul 2013:137) that can be compared and contrasted to the data collected from the same questions asked during my study. This process will extend the meaningfulness or applicability of certain aspects of my data through the comparison to other data from different times and places, as well as addressing the question of how spatially and temporally localized the results of my data are.

Bernard, H. Russel

2011 Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 5th Edition. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham.

LeCompte, Maragaret D. and Jean J. Schensul

2013 Analysis and Interpretation of Ethnographic Data: A Mixed Methods Approach. 2nd Edition. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham.

Pokotylo, David and Neil Guppy

1999 Public Opinion and Archaeological Heritage: Views from Outside the Profession. American Antiquity 64: 400-416.

Ramos, Maria and David Duganne

2000 Exploring Public Perceptions and Attitudes about Archaeology. Society for American Archaeology (http://www.saa.org/portals/0/SAA/pubedu/nrptdraft4.pdf).


This project has not yet shared any protocols.