The challenges of conducting environmental research on privately owned land

Hargiss, Christina; DeKeyser, Edward
February 2014
Environmental Monitoring & Assessment;Feb2014, Vol. 186 Issue 2, p979
Academic Journal
Accessing research sites is an integral part of a research in the world today. Researching sites on privately owned lands creates unique challenges when compared to conducting research on government or publicly owned land. This study explores different methods for obtaining landowner information, permission to sample privately owned sites, and assesses the time it takes to obtain permission for randomly selected study sites. During the study, researchers contacted 390 landowners to obtain permission to sample wetlands on privately owned lands. A variety of methods were used to contact landowners and determine which methods were most effective for obtaining permission. Methods included face-to-face discussion, phone calls, and mailed response letters. It took approximately 9 months to obtain landowner information, contact landowners, and obtain permission to sample sites. The most effective method for obtaining permission to sample sites was through face-to-face discussions with landowners. Overall, it took a longer period of time to obtain permission for the survey than it did to sample sites. Information from this study can be used by anyone conducting research on private land to better estimate the time it will take to obtain permission to sample sites and to estimate the most effective way to obtain permission based on project finances and available personnel.


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