Interviews: Collecting Qualitative Data

Hello again!

RTCA Texas staff visiting San Antonio Missions



A large part of doing community-based outreach this summer has been talking to and interviewing people. Since I am building a Latino outreach strategy plan for the RTCA Texas office, I have been tasked with reaching out to find leaders and members of Latino and Hispanic communities in Texas and Oklahoma to give me insight on how they recreate and what their thoughts on conservation are. The purpose of interviewing people is so that Latinos themselves are a part of the conversation and can give their input on issues that affect their communities.

Conducting interviews is a long process that entails countless emails, phone calls, and these days, virtual appointments. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all of my interviews have been conducted either virtually or through telephone calls. I find that although it is quite different that sitting in the same room with someone, it allows for more flexibility and people who may not have been able to meet can be a part of the conversation.

All interviewees were asked to participate through an initial email or phone call where they could schedule a time that worked best for them. During the interview they were asked questions about recreation and conservation as well as questions about their identity and their community.

After conducting interviews, I then take the information that they shared with me and transcribe it into a document that I can use to easily refer back to. Using the transcription, I then go through the interviews to see if there are any “themes” or reocurring topics that come up. After compiling all of the themes together, I will see if there are any themes that are common among all interviewees.

At the end of my internship, I will have put together a strategic plan on what I believe are ways that outreach should be done in order to build relationships with Latino communities. This will be a culmination of doing research, conducting interviews, and making surveys. This will then be used by the RTCA Texas office in order to do continue outreach in those communities and hopefully fulfill community recreation and conservation needs.

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