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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
27 January 2011

2011 USACE Visitor Assistance Program Management Survey
(Follow-on activity to supplement the 2010 Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey)
Survey open through COB, Friday, 4 March 2011

    Q1. What is the primary purpose of this survey?
    A1. This 2011 Corps Visitor Assistance Program Management Survey’s purpose is to gather feedback about the Corps Visitor Assistance (VA) program from the experience and perspective of those who manage others who perform VA and/or otherwise have a role in administering the VA program. These roles include MSC-level NRM POCs; district-level Chiefs of Operations; Chiefs of Natural Resources Management, and their District Visitor Assistance Program POCs; Operations Project Managers (if they have NRM responsibilities), and lake/lock-level NRM Managers.

    The information from this management survey is being gathered through the NRM Gateway. The NRM Gateway will only serve as a portal to gather information. The aggregate results will be provided to Dr. Charles Nelson for analysis to supplement information from the 2010 Corps Park Ranger and Visitor Safety Survey administered by Michigan State University (MSU) in cooperation with the Corps. The goal is to get a more complete picture of the state of the Corps Visitor Assistance program.

    Q2. Who authorized this survey?
    A2. Michael G. Ensch, Chief of Operations in Headquarters, authorized the survey. The Headquarters announcements that authorized the management component of the survey and encourages participation may be viewed on the NRM Gateway.

    Q3. Who sponsored the survey?
    A3. The Park Ranger Community of Practice (CoP) Advisory Board, whose plan for FY10 included conducting a comprehensive on-line Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey with all park rangers and managers having Visitor Assistance responsibilities.

    Q4. Who developed and administered the survey?
    A4. The management survey was developed in a collaborative effort between the Park Ranger CoP Advisory Board Chair, ERDC, and Dr. Charles Nelson of Michigan State University (MSU). The information from this management survey is being gathered through the NRM Gateway. The aggregate results will be provided to Dr. Nelson for analysis to supplement information from the 2010 Corps Park Ranger and Visitor Safety Survey administered by Michigan State University (MSU) in cooperation with the Corps.

    We collaborated with Dr. Nelson because of his experience and success administering surveys to other natural resources agencies and we also wanted an independent view during the development of our surveys and analysis of the results. Dr. Nelson has been involved in survey research for the past 30 years including visitor assistance and security. He directed the MSU Park Law Enforcement and Ranger Institute field employee training program for 17 years and has recently evaluated visitor and resource security programs for the Wisconsin and Montana state parks agencies.

    Q5. What are the dates of the management survey?
    A5. The NRM Gateway page link below leads to survey background information and access to the survey. The survey site will be open through COB, Friday, 4 March 2011: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/employees/visitassist/survey.cfm

    Q6. Who will be surveyed?
    A6. This survey is for those who manage others who perform VA and/or otherwise have a role in administering the VA program. These roles include MSC-level NRM POCs, district-level Chiefs of Operations, Chiefs of Natural Resources Management, and Visitor Assistance Program POCs; Operations Project Managers (if they have NRM responsibilities), and lake/lock-level NRM Managers.

    Q7. How will survey subjects be notified?
    An email from Michael Ensch is being sent to the following four email lists: CDL-MSC-Operations Chiefs; CDL-District Operations Chief; CDL-NRM Districts; CDL-Operations-Project-Managers. Mr. Ensch’s email asks that the Chiefs of Natural Resources Management take the survey, and also forward this survey invitation to the person in their district who best fits the role of Visitor Assistance Program POC, that is, the Outdoor Recreation Planner/Natural Resources Specialist (or other job title) responsible for district-wide Visitor Assistance Program coordination, such as issuance of citation authority documents, VA training, coordination with U.S. Attorney and Office of Counsel on CFR Title 36 cases, etc. It also asks that district-level Chiefs of Natural Resources Management and/or all Operations Project Managers (as appropriate in your district) forward this invitation to all their respective lake/lock-level NRM Managers.

    Q8. Why didn’t management simply take the 2010 Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey?
    A8. The 2010 Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey was specifically designed for those actively involved in VA out on the project. For those who manage others who perform VA and/or are otherwise involved in administering the VA program, the USACE Visitor Assistance Program Management Survey is the additional feedback mechanism developed to hear about the VA program from their experience and perspective.

    Q9. If an OPM or lake/lock-level NRM manager already took the 2010 Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey, do they take the USACE Visitor Assistance Program Management Survey, too?
    A9. Yes. Some of the OPMs and lake/lock-level NRM Managers who perform visitor assistance patrols in their current position may have taken the 2010 Corps Park Ranger and Visitor Safety Survey, answering that survey from the perspective of an individual Visitor Assistance Park Ranger. Those individuals still take the February 2011 USACE Visitor Assistance Program Management Survey, answering all questions from their management perspective and considering the needs of their entire Project or Lake/Lock. They will also see that the Management Survey has some different questions than the Park Ranger/Visitor Safety Survey.

    Q10. I am not eligible to take the survey but would like to see the questions that are asked. When will that be available?
    A10. An informational copy of the survey will be posted after the survey is complete.

    Q11. When and where will we see results of the survey?
    A11. The results are anticipated in the mid- 2011. They will be posted on the NRM Gateway as soon as possible.

    Q12. Who are the POCs for this effort?
    A12. Regarding the content of the survey: The ERDC POC is Dr. Bonnie F. Bryson (via Outlook to Bonnie.F.Bryson@usace.army.mil). The Michigan State University POC is Dr. Charles Nelson, Associate Professor, by phone (517) 432-0272 or by email at nelsonc@msu.edu.

    Technical issues with the NRM Gateway survey site should be reported to Ginny Dickerson (via Outlook to Virginia.L.Dickerson@usace.army.mil)

 
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