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What you can use to collect environmental data

7. Collecting community environmental knowledge

A very useful technique for understanding environmental change, particularly when comparing to the past, is collecting information from people living in an area. People often have knowledge of environmental changes such as how flooding patterns have changed, how wildlife numbers have changed and how land management practices have changed. Interviewing people to understand, for example, how deep flood waters can get, when floods normally occur, which areas actually flood can provide very valuable information. Collecting this information, in addition to undertaking your own observations and surveys, helps build a picture of what is happening in terms of environmental changes.

Photo of wetland landscape with person working in it collecting plants

Steps to follow:

  1. Prepare a questionnaire
  2. Interview people
  3. Enter the information into a computer
  4. View the results and produce a table of data, a description or a map

Illustration of someone talking to people to collect community knowledge

Now, after having finished this book, make sure to go back to the main page and complete activity 2.