Improved Survey Reponse in Light?

The front page of The Trinity Journal, Trinity County’s local newspaper, headlined, “Ruth fire claims four residences” ( The blaze, which began on September 23rd, engulfed a little over 1,500 acres until containment. Luckily the wildfire didn’t claim any lives.

Receiving news like this only reinforces why we do this research. It feels unnerving to be doing research in an area that just experienced a wildfire incident, when our study is essentially trying to proactively prevent what they just experienced. Being a part of this research team definitely fills me with a sense of purpose and meaning, and I must say it is very empowering.

Trinity Journal Front Page on September 28th, 2011, taken from

To update, I just had a research meeting last Thursday with Dr. Wade Martin & Dr. Ingrid Martin, who have been doing environmental economic research for years and leading the project, and Dr. David Horne, professor of Marketing, all discussed the next phase in our research. We have begun to receive a lot of feedback and retrieval of data on our study area. Excitedly, our data construction has now begun and I’ve been given responsibility in compiling and completing our data set. Definitely will be a lengthy process. I am estimating that our set will be about a 250×250 size matrix; along with a 250×20 open comment matrix, and Code Book. Surely, those financial and/or healthcare analysts out there are scoffing at how little the data set probably is compared to what they are used to manipulating, but creating one from scratch for me is definitely new.

In concluding, in The Trinity Journal, there is also a trail article after this main “Ruth fire” headline explaining the Economics Department research study, which is great exposure, telling residence that we are working beside them. With the documents we have sent to Trinity County, I definitely expect to see more thorough results and contribution in our data retrieval in light of this recent wildfire occurrence.


~ by Roger Sutton on October 9, 2011.

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