Saturday, July 14, 2012

Visitor Survey Volunteers needed!

Next month, the University of Idaho's Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU), in cooperation with Mount Rainier National Park, will be conducting parkwide visitor surveys to track demographics and a number of other issues. Volunteers are needed to help hand out questionnaires and conduct interviews with park visitors over a week-long period in early August. Can you help?

Surveys will be conducted daily from Saturday, August 4 through Friday, August 10. One volunteer per day is needed to help at the Nisqually Entrance, and an additional volunteer is needed on Sunday, August 5 at Stevens Canyon Entrance. If weather is bad the first weekend, volunteers will also be needed to finish up the project on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12. The entire week's work can be done by two volunteers, or it can be divided up among a larger number of individuals.

The last time this survey was conducted was in 2000. The survey is led by the University of Idaho, but volunteers will help us cover more areas.

Volunteers will help by distributing questionnaires to park visitors. Each interviewer will conduct 2-minute interviews with selected visitors at to determine if the visitor will take a mail-back questionnaire. The interviewer will also gather some information from the visitors. During the interview, each interviewer will be required to ask people for some personal information including age.

We are looking for people who are over 18 years of age, friendly and outgoing, like working with people, are good at basic recordkeeping, are reliable, and can follow directions. Also, since we will be stopping cars at entrance stations, volunteers need to be physically fit to work outdoors and stay on their feet for most of the day.

Prior experience is not required as an hour and a half of training will be provided at the park before the surveys begin. The CESU team will arrive at the park on August 2nd, and can provide the training on the 3rd and throughout the week as needed. Each person must be able to commit 8 hours minimum to work on the survey and must be available for training before they started working.

Free camping will be provided to volunteers at the Longmire Volunteer Campground or Ohanapecosh Campground.

If you're interested in helping, please contact Mount Rainier National Park's volunteer coordinator, Kevin Bacher, as soon as possible by e-mail at, and send a copy to the Survey Supervisor, Lena Le, at Please indicate which dates you're available for helping. If you have questions, give Kevin a call at 360-569-6567, or call Lena at 208-596-1671.

Thank you for helping to understand and better serve our visitors at Mount Rainier National Park!

Here is the complete list of dates and locations where volunteers are needed:

Nisqually Entrance
Saturday, August 4, 9am - 6pm
Sunday, August 5, 8am - 5pm
Monday, August 6, 9am - 6pm
Tuesday, August 7, 10am - 7pm
Wednesday, August 8, 8am - 5pm
Thursday, August 9, 9am - 6pm
Friday, August 10, 10am - 7pm
Saturday, August 11 or Sunday, August 12 - if needed due to bad weather the first weekend

Stevens Canyon Entrance
Sunday, August 5, 9am - 6pm

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