Dear Eastern Colorado Agriculturalist:
We are seeking your participation in a current research project aimed at assessing the perceived risk from severe hail across the eastern plains of Colorado. Severe hail is a yearly hazard that can result in both structural damage and crop losses, thereby impacting the livelihoods and business ventures of agriculturalists across eastern Colorado. We hope to learn how the agricultural sector in particular thinks about the risks and vulnerabilities of severe hail storms, as well as how people access and respond to severe hail warning messages. The information gleaned will be useful to the meteorologist and social science communities toward a better understanding of how severe hail risk is perceived and identifying any communication gaps in warning messaging. We are particularly interested in a sample of agriculturalists who have lived in eastern Colorado for at least ten years.
With your consent, we would like to ask for your willingness to participate in an interview with one of the researchers during this upcoming summer (mid-June through early-September 2019). The interview will last approximately one hour and will consist of mostly open-ended questions about your general thoughts regarding severe hail storms, perceptions of risk and vulnerability, your interaction with hail warning messages, and any changes you have noted over the years. The interviews will be audio recorded and later transcribed by a third-party service. The location of the interview is flexible and will be decided in follow-up communication if you express willingness to participate, but the researcher will be happy to come to your place of residence and/or a local meeting place that you would feel comfortable in.
While there are no direct benefits to you for your participation in this study, the hope is that the information you provide will help advance the understanding of risk perception of severe hail and improve communication of severe hail warning messages to better mitigate the risk of damage and loss from this hazard for agriculturalists across eastern Colorado. There are no major sources of risk in this study, but we will be careful to minimize any release of personal information. Your responses to interview questions will remain anonymous, and you will be identified merely as Interviewer #X" in any published material that results from this study. In addition, the audio recording and transcriptions will be kept confidential at Colorado State University and only be viewed by the research team (PhD student and his committee). This information will then be deleted at the conclusion of the study analysis. The only information that could potentially link you to your responses would be mention of your geographical location in eastern Colorado (rural vs. more urban) or whether you are part of a large or small farm operation for potential comparison between different interviewers.
Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You may also choose to withdraw your consent at any time without penalty. During the interview, you may choose to skip any question or end the interview early, also without penalty. By filling out and submitting the short form with your name and contact information (accessed by clicking the link below), you acknowledge that we have provided you with appropriate information via this document and that you have decided to voluntarily participate, having read the information provided. The researchers will be in contact with you shortly to set up an interview date and time with the contact information you provide. Please fill out this form by mid-June if interested. Here's the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdr09vFRZhm46g4aH4VC56voP-dZnZzCVjBvTHEKk91oJb_Lg/viewform?usp=sf_link
If you have any questions or concerns before or after doing the interview, please contact Professor Russ Schumacher at firstname.lastname@example.org 970.491.8084. If you have any questions about your rights as a volunteer in this research, contact Janell Barker, Human Research Administrator, at 970-491-1655.