Identifier

etd-08272013-162913

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Utilizing a randomized phone survey of coastal Louisiana residents, this study will focus on identifying which influences from a resident’s exposure, socio-economic vulnerability and adaptive capacity are the best indicators of an individual’s resilience. Two binary logistic regression models were developed to test the associations of resident response to: 1) acute hazards via household emergency plan adoption and 2) chronic hazards represented by behavior modification in response to daily air quality reporting where adoption of these two risk-reducing behaviors are viewed as increased individual resilience. Bivariate correlation analysis found that a north – south grouping of coastal Louisiana was significantly correlated with 26 of the survey predictor variables. The two binary logistic regression model results include: as an individual’s current level of environmental hazard knowledge increases by 1-increment they are 53% more likely to engage in the risk-reducing behavior, adoption of an emergency plan and almost 5 in 10 residents of the southern region reported altering their behavior on poor air quality days. This self-reported mitigation effort is associated with an increase in their personal level of concern for overall environmental pollution. Overall the results indicate when residents are provided with relevant environmental hazard information and, more importantly, when residents understand and have confidence in the hazard information, they are more likely to take anticipatory and pre-emptive measures to reduce their risk. While this study found less optimal risk-reducing adoption rates, the finding suggests immediate opportunities for government agencies and public-interest organizations to increase public education efforts to target audiences who are willing and receptive to increased environmental hazard information. Future research improvements should include increased survey questions, new survey administering methods, broadening the geographical scope of the research project, and, thus, increasing the sampling population size.

Date

2013

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Reams, Margaret

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