Reading List for Field Workers

Data sheets and Instructions for Interviewers


Instructions for Field Workers

(August, 1994)

Greetings! Thank you for contributing to the data collection efforts following the Boulder Creek Flood. You, and three other student field workers, will be gathering data for the "Effects" section of a post-flood disaster pamphlet which will be published and distributed to policy-makers, academics, and government officials involved in natural hazard mitigation efforts. As stated in Gilbert White's opening statement, the purpose of the pamphlet is to outline the principal effects of the flood and record the major public choices that affected Boulder's vulnerability to such a major natural event.

Each of you will be responsible for one of the following topics: Lives, Property,Social Disruption, and Floodplain Habitat. One additional topic, Warning Systems, should be completed by any or all of you that have extra time after the first four topics are covered. We ask that you rapidly survey and record the data which is specified in your individual packet. Write a brief summary report of your findings, including a section on the limitations of the data results, given the time constraints (two weeks). It is considered important to produce a report promptly; this will mean that the work outlined here will not be exhaustive. It should, however, be accurate so far as practicable within the given time constraints.

    Each of you will receive the following materials:

  • Contact list for various city, county, state, and private agencies.
  • Copy of Gilbert White's opening statement and other previously completed sections of the pamphlet.
  • Suggested reading list.
  • Outline of pamphlet contents.
  • Sample data sheets for your specific topic.
  • Sample press release describing the goal and methods of the research underway. You should carry this with you in case people want to know more about what you are doing.
  • Copies of the outlines for the other three topics (read these so that you understand the context of your own data collection).

You will have the task of summing up the findings for the set of effects with which you are concerned. Be sure to stay in close contact with your fellow field workers, in order to compare observations, avoid duplication of efforts, and share contacts and other information. Ask the pamphlet coordinator if you have any questions as you gather information. While you are in the field, please keep in mind at all times that you may be speaking with people that have just suffered devastating losses. Use sensitivity and discretion in all cases to avoid adding unnecessarily to their pain and suffering. When completing your section of the text, please list the difficulties and deficiencies you have encountered. Review these with your colleagues with a view of including concise statements of deficiencies and of steps that might be taken to remedy them.

The impact of immediate post-evaluations such as this one may have an effect on floodplain policy and management in Boulder and in other areas where people live and work in floodplain zones. Given that major floods on Boulder Creek can not be predicted it is possible that you may have other obligations to professors or other studies you are currently working on. This project should be looked upon as an emergency in which your full attention and dedication can have a major beneficial impact on the City of Boulder. In postponing your other obligations for the required two weeks of data collection, be sure to explain to your professors the importance of your work and its potential impact on the community. Your contribution to this effort is very important, and much appreciated. Thank you!