Residents in Greeley and Fort Collins will begin to see surveys appear in their mail this week related to an important study about oil and gas production in northern Colorado. The study, being conducted by public health researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and sociologists at Colorado State University, will help local officials better understand how citizens’ daily lives are (or are not) affected by oil and gas production. The survey will be sent to 1,400 households—700 in Greeley and 700 in Ft. Collins.
Households to receive the survey were randomly selected from neighborhoods in Larimer and Weld Counties that have oil and gas development nearby, or may have it nearby in the future. Participants will be asked to complete the survey twice – once now and once in the spring – so potential changes related to oil and gas development near neighborhoods can be captured.
Researchers stress that participation in the survey is voluntary, but to ensure findings accurately reflect the views and experiences of the whole community, they ask that all randomly selected households respond. For those who receive a survey and do not mail it back, researchers will send another one and may even stop by to ask to if they can collect it.
“There isn’t a lot of research on what happens within communities when oil and gas development occurs,” said John Adgate, PhD, MSPH, principal investigator for the study, and professor and chair of Environmental & Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. “We’d like to see if people note changes related to quality of life—and those changes could be positive, negative, or even static. The important thing is that the results will help government agencies, local officials, nonprofit and public health agencies to better address the concerns of area residents when making decisions about future oil and gas production.”
The researchers indicate the surveys will take approximately 25 minutes to complete, and participants will receive a small incentive for completing and returning two questionnaires in 2015.
The survey is nonpartisan, unbiased and funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences with a $275,000 grant over two years.
If anyone has questions related to the overall study, they can contact John Adgate at the Colorado School of Public Health at 303.724.4692 or John.Adgate@ucdenver.edu, or Stephanie Malin at Colorado State University at 847.302.5024 or Stephanie.Malin@colostate.edu. Spanish versions of the questionnaire are also available by request.
About the Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only accredited school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed in 2008 by the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, ColoradoSPH provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues including chronic disease, access to healthcare, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries.