From the Field

After having a week of site visits, navigation and general preparation after training, this week our team officially began our surveys. The six of us are split up into three groups: A, B, and C. Each pair is responsible for six locations (two parks at three different lakes). After two weeks we will rotate so that everyone has a chance to work with each other at least once.

This week, my partner and I worked at Carter’s Lake and Lake Sidney Lanier. Both are gorgeous areas, but also completely different from each other. Carter’s is pretty remote and a lot farther north than our other two lakes, which are closer to the Atlanta metropolitan area. On our first day we had the early shift at Carter’s. We didn’t get anyone for the first session, and less than ten people for the second. It was a good way to ease into the surveys since it was our first official day on the job. Our second day at Sidney Lanier wasn’t extremely busy, but we had a steady traffic flow at both locations.

Even though it’s only been two days on the job, I was surprised at how many people were willing to take the survey. There were a select few who were reluctant to stop and said that they were in a hurry, but the vast majority agreed to it and even provided their email addresses to participate in a more in depth survey at home.

Another thing I noticed from the first couple of days was that the local people absolutely love these lakes. Most people stated that they visit regularly, even several times in one week. They definitely have a strong feeling of connectedness with the area, which is probably why a lot of them are so open to taking the survey. I found that even people who originally said they were not interested in participating ended up having a lot to say after the first question.

It’s going to be an exciting summer, and I’m sure there’s going to be no shortage of interesting stories from the large volumes of people we will be communicating with. During the late shift at Lake Lanier this week, my teammate and I were watching the sun set over the lake as we waited for someone to drive up. As we were taking in our surroundings we both had the same thought: Is this really a job? Awesome.

Written by Mia.