A) Survey Progress:
Last Sunday we went down to San Jose to gather more survey data at the Tet Festival. Our goal was to target the Vietnamese demographics of San Jose. With the help of our coordinators, we secured a booth representing the Environmental Services Department of the City of San Jose. We arrived at the Fairgrounds at 4:30pm just as dark clouds started to roll over and wind began to pick up. We saw a lot of people streaming out the exit of the Fairgrounds. Luckily once we picked up our surveys at the entrance and went inside the convention center where the main activities were located, we found there were still hundreds of people inside listening to a concert.
At the beginning, we both tried approaching people separately to engage them about HHW and encourage them to take our survey, but a trend quickly arose. As soon as Adam began speaking, most of the festival visitors immediately became standoffish. Out of all the people Adam approached, only one man—who was clearly completely comfortable speaking English and was in fact manning another booth—ended up filling out the survey. The obvious racial disconnect, further heightened by the culturally specific nature of the event, proved to pose a huge barrier to people’s willingness to engage. On the other hand, when Aitran approached people, speaking Vietnamese, people were more willing to talk and open to taking our survey. Some people who were particularly interested spent as long as 30 minutes talking with her about HHW, recycling, and activism in the younger generations in general. This pattern soon became clear to both of us, so we divided up tasks: Aitran continued talking to visitors and encouraging them to take our survey, while Adam handed out fliers to passers by. If he just smiled and offered a flier, most people were completely willing to take it, and would even read it as they kept walking, looking sincerely interested in the information that it contained. Therefore, our efforts were maximized as we diversified our roles with Aitran obtaining survey data for later analysis and Adam distributing materials to educate the public and help address the problem of HHW that is currently sitting around in people’s homes. Overall, the trip was certainly a success. We spent roughly two hours surveying and completed 25 surveys.
Our last community event is on Saturday Feb. 28th at the San Jose Earthquakes soccer game. The game starts at 2pm, so we will arrive at 11:30am and help operate a city booth from 12-2pm. We plan to survey as well as present fans a static map of the retail drop-off locations and ask for their feedback. Afterwards, we will head over to the flea market and try to get some more surveys before we return to campus.
B) GIS Map:
On Wednesday, we visited the GIS library and met with Yari. She showed us how to import our Excel database to ARC Map. We experienced some technical glitches connecting to the network as well as making our data compatible with ARC Map language. Fortunately after multiple tries, all but 15 of our retail drop-off sites showed up as points on the map. Yari told us that 498/513 is a very good turnout. We can manually input the rest of the remaining sites. She also showed us how to customize our map by creating filters and color-coding our points. By the GIS session on Monday, we will have made the necessary Excel revisions and be ready to develop a more advanced map. Our coordinators Lauren and Alana are working with the Country of Santa Clara to see if this final products can be embedded in the Household Hazardous Waste website.