UNC students conduct R.I. water expansion survey
It’s part of their semester-long “Capstone” research project, which helps them learn about local planning and management of public services.
The group is living in Manteo during the fall semester as participants in the UNC-Chapel Hill Outer Banks Field Site.
“With help from local citizens and experts, we have developed a survey for Roanoke Island residents to fill out and return to us,” said senior Evie Harris from Grandy.
“For example, do Roanoke Island residents look forward to the changes that the water expansion project might make on Roanoke Island? Also, are they happy to have the domestic water delivered to them from a centralized place rather than have it come from their own wells?” added junior Gabriele Barron-Brown of Fayetteville.
Harris and Barron-Brown expressed great appreciation for the friendliness and encouragement of Roanoke Island residents as the students move forward with their project on Roanoke Island’s water expansion project.
“We know that people are interested and supportive of our research,” said Harris. “We’re very grateful to the Roanoke Island community.”
Their research is part of a team-oriented investigation into a resource that is essential to the overall health, safety, economy, and livability of Roanoke Island citizens.
“The field site students and faculty have developed a survey that will generate a lot of the information the students need to understand their subject matter,” said Robert Perry, the field site’s co-director.
“They will hand-deliver and then receive back by mail completed surveys from local citizens,” Perry said.
“We ask Roanoke Island residents living in unincorporated areas to look for those surveys on their premises and then mail the completed forms back to the field site in the attached envelopes by Friday, Oct. 26,” said Perry.
“Once the students have those, they will analyze them for correlations and trends, and then pull their findings together into a research paper,” Perry said. “We hope the completed work will be of interest to local citizens, policy-makers, planners and residents of other coastal towns.”
“Over the long-term, changes in the availability of water across Roanoke Island might have an impact on its population density,” Perry said. That, in turn, might influence the need for additional public services and infrastructure such as schools, law enforcement and roads.”
The students’ survey will be hand-delivered to a limited number of Roanoke Island residents selected randomly.
The students ask that the forms be filled out and mailed back at the recipients’ earliest convenience so that as many responses as possible can be included in the study.
“It should only take a short time to complete,” said Harris. “We really appreciate the help of everyone who lives in those areas of Roanoke Island served by the recent water expansion project. We hope to discover some fresh and useful information.”
The results of the study will be presented by the students at a public presentation Thursday, Dec. 13, in the Roanoke Festival Island Park’s Art Gallery.
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