A statewide survey administered by the Environmental Resilience Institute, part of Indiana University’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative, aims to capture Hoosiers’ values and attitudes toward the environment and extreme weather occurring in their communities.
The results could inform strategies to help Hoosiers adapt as scientists continue to monitor the climate and gather information about how the environment is changing in Indiana and throughout the world.
“We know anecdotally and from an earlier, small survey that extreme weather and climate issues are on people’s minds,” said Eric Sandweiss, an ERI-affiliated researcher and professor of History. “We are learning more and more about how Indiana’s environment is changing, but we also need to know more about what people throughout the state think about these issues.” Sandweiss says that learning more about Hoosiers’ values and priorities through this expanded survey will help scientists to craft policies and communication strategies that are effective for Indiana.
In early August, around 10,000 randomly selected Hoosier households will receive a letter asking them to participate in the survey by filling out an online questionnaire. Survey collection will proceed through October, with multiple follow-ups and incentives for households to respond. The mailings will be distributed to every part of the state to allow for regional comparisons in addition to statewide findings. IU’s Center for Survey Research is managing the data collection in partnership with ERI researchers.
Many national surveys of environmental attitudes have been conducted in the past, Sandweiss noted, but this is the first survey of this magnitude to focus exclusively on and to be scientifically designed to represent, Indiana.
“Now we will finally have the opportunity to see specifically how Hoosiers resemble or differ from the nation in their response to issues like climate change and extreme weather,” Sandweiss said.
The Environmental Resilience Institute is supported by IU's Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge, which brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental change brings to our economy, health and livelihood.