Outdoor people sought for study

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People who spend time outdoors in New Zealand's conservation areas are being sought to help with doctorate study.

Ashburton’s Lydia Michela-Maireriki is seeking volunteers who have been tramping, biking, skiing, or spending time in conservation areas to help with her doctorate studies.

She needs people with varying ranges of ability and experience levels to answer survey questions on their outdoor preparedness and safety.

The survey closes on January 1.

‘‘My PhD thesis is looking at visitor preparedness and safety in New Zealand’s conservation areas. I care deeply about people’s safety and well-being,’’ she said.

‘‘The goal of this research is to better understand how people prepare for their recreation visits to conservation areas, and their experiences in those areas,’’ she said.

Question topics include pre-visit preparation, resources and encounters with natural phenomena like severe weather events.

‘‘The information gathered in this research will be used to inform conservation area visitor safety,’’ she said.

The results of the project may be published, but anonymity of those answering the survey was assured.

Lydia has a background in emergency management.

She completed her master’s degree in Disaster Risk and Resilience at University of Canterbury in 2018.

She interned with the Canterbury Civil Defence team as part of her master’s.

‘‘I’d like people to complete a 15-20 minute survey telling me how they prepare for their outdoor recreation visits and then answer a few questions about their attitudes towards safety in the outdoors.

“Anyone who has been out in a conversation area recreating for four hours or more in the last 12 months can take the survey.

‘‘They could be doing almost anything, including, but not limited to, tramping, mountain biking, skiing, climbing, picnicking etc,’’ she said.

‘‘I especially need responses from people who might not consider themselves as ‘outdoor enthusiasts’ or who may only go out a few times a year. I need the perspectives of beginners or casual recreators.’’

The survey link can be found tinyurl.com/OutdoorSafetyNZ