Forestry extension & low power radio : an evaluation of the Santiam broadcast site

by Lamb, Melany Isabel

Abstract (Summary)
Keywords: Low Power Radio (LPR), evaluation, forestry education

Parameters: Trip purpose, sign visibility, listenership, message quality, demographics

Research Area/Region: Transmitter location atop Hoodoo Butte, at Hoodoo Ski Resort.

The Hoodoo Butte is located within the Deschutes National Forest.

Site Location: The transmitter located atop Hoodoo Butte is permanent. The broadcasts

are played in a continuous cycling ioop The legal description of the area where the

transmitter is located is:

NE 1/4, Sec. 17, T 12 (S), R 10 (E) Willamette Principle meridian & baseline.

The Oregon State University Forestry Extension Program, in conjunction with the

Deschutes and Willamette National Forests, designed and implemented an educational

program using the Low Power Radio (LPR) technology. LPR is a communication

technique used to send information, via AM radio broadcasts, to an audience, typically

through an automobile radio. This technique is used for dispensing such information as

weather and road reports, car travel tours and interpretive information. The goal of this

study was to evaluate the effectiveness of that program.

This study has a dual purpose, that is, it is both formative and summative. In these

terms, this evaluation provides information about the use of the LPR program located on

Santiam Pass and information that could contribute to the successful implementation and

effectiveness of future LPR programs.

Through the use of survey tools, information regarding listener involvement and

perceptions of the LPR program was drawn from two sources. A random sample drawn

from the population of actual drivers across the broadcast area yielded 278 responses.

Results of this descriptive study found that the dominant profile of the Santiam Pass driver

is a 43 yr old, urban man with a high school education. The major reason for travelling

over the pass is for recreational purposes (76%). The data reflected a 30% potential

audience. That is, only 30% of the respondents were aware of the program's existence.

Of the total number of respondents 8% tuned into the broadcast.

The second source, comprised of fifty individuals, was a purposeful sample of

people interested in public natural resource education. Assessment of the data retrieved

here showed that the demographics roughly matched the random sample in all

characteristics but educational level. The dominant profile of the internal group is a 46 yr

old, urban man with a college education. The major reason for travelling across the pass

was for recreational purposes (56%). The majority of the respondents felt that they had

learned something from the messages (84%) and that the program was useful (88%).

Seventy-eight percent said they had enjoyed the program and fifty-six percent said that

they would tune in again.

The demographics of the population audiences were noted and compared against

other variables in an attempt to create a portrait of significant characteristics relating to

use and enjoyment of the LPR program. The data were statistically analyzed to examine

the hypotheses relating to: 1) Community influencing tuning in to the broadcasts, 2) Sex

influencing tuning in to the broadcasts, 3) Age influencing tuning in to the broadcasts, and

4) Educational background influencing tuning in to the broadcasts. Statistical tests used

to examine these hypotheses in null form did not allow for rejection in the random sample.

Information regarding demographics and frequencies in that sample have proven useful to

the summative scope of this evaluation. The purposeful sampling group did suggest

significant relationships for questions I & 2 from above. Those are that urbanites

considered the program useful more often than rural dwellers and that men felt that they

had learned something more consistently than did women.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Reed, A. Scott

School:Oregon State University

School Location:USA - Oregon

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:low power radio lpr evaluation forestry education oregon state university extension program santiam pass in adult


Date of Publication:08/02/1994

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