What do people know about where they are?

I am taking this class for honors credit, and in order to earn honors credit for this class I had to do an extra project. The project that I decided to do was a survey of tourists to the island to see how much they know about the place that they were visiting.

The survey was an in person survey that I conducted on the caldera rim in the city of Fira. The results may have been different if I was on a different part of the island.  A lot of the tourists did not know much about the island, so I had them consider the dangers to the city that I interviewed them in.  I used the following script:

“Hello, I am conducting a short survey for my study abroad class and was wondering if you would like to participate.

“I am going to list geological hazards and I want you to tell me how dangerous you think they are for Fira on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most dangerous and 1 being not dangerous. I want you to think about how common the hazard may be and how much damage it could cause.

“How dangerous would you consider landslides?

“How dangerous would you consider earthquakes?

“How dangerous would you consider rock fall?

“How dangerous would you consider tsunamis?

“How dangerous would you consider lava flows?

“How dangerous would you consider volcanic explosions?

“You are currently on a volcano, do you think it is active or dormant (not active)?

“Would you like to know more about the hazards of the island? (Hand business card or answer questions)”

View from the caldera rim at sunset in Fira

A total of ten people agreed to take the survey. They gave scores for six of the hazards that have affected the island on a scale of 1 to 5. They also said if they think the volcano is active or dormant.

They gave an average of 3.3 for the danger level of landslides with a margin of error of 0.81.

The average danger level for earthquakes was 4.1 with a margin of error of 0.674.

The average danger level for rock fall was 4 with a margin of error of 0.766.

The average danger level for tsunamis was 2.5 with a margin of error of 1.116.

The average danger level for lava flows was 3.2 with a margin of error of 0.87.

The average danger level for volcanic explosions was 3.3 with a margin of error of 0.304.

40% of people said that the volcano is dormant with a margin of error of 0.304.

Looking down at the caldera and Nea Kameni from Fira


Most of these results make sense with all of the knowledge that I have gained during this class. People gave tsunamis a lower score because the city that I was asking in and that I told them to think about is at the top of the caldera rim, so there is a long drop down to sea level. Most people knew that they were on an active volcano, although many people did not realize that there was volcanic activity at Nea Kameni in the form of Fumaroles and hot springs.

The main result that did not make sense was the danger level given for lava flows. The most recent volcanic activity has been at Nea Kameni, which is far enough away from Fira that any lava flows at Nea Kameni would not be able to reach Fira, or at least those lava flows would not be able to reach Fira in a short amount of time.

3 thoughts on “What do people know about where they are?

  1. Sarah,

    I think this was an interesting blog post and project to understand what tourists know and understand. I thinkit eouldhsve been beneficial to explain to people how you calculated margin of error, as well as how you might have ranked each hazard after taking this class.

  2. Interesting idea and findings. I think further explanation of why and what this means would strengthen your post; so bringing your findings together and drawing conclusions. I like the idea above, as to how you would rank each hazard. Doing this would be a great component to your blog.

  3. Hi Sarah – For the honors credit for this course, I would like you to think about and send me an addendum to this blog that explains your results. From all that you learned and know about living on the island, and all that you know about its hazards, I think you can provide a much better summary of your results from this survey.

    Why did you ask the questions you did? Why do you think people answered the way they did? What were your conversations like? There are 1000s of people in Fira every day, why only 10 people? This blog needs LOTS of explanation in order for the results to be meaningful. I think, from a reader’s perspective, a lot is left unanswered.

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