Park Studies Unit

875 Perimeter Drive
MS 1139
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1139

Fax: 208-885-4261

Common Questions

  • How do I find out whether the Park Studies Unit (PSU) can conduct a focus group or in-depth survey for us?

    Contact the PSU Director to discuss the parameters of your proposed project.

  • How much does a focus group or survey cost?

    The cost depends on the types of tasks that need to be accomplished, whether the survey will be conducted by mail, in person or online, the number of personnel and any equipment needed to accomplish survey tasks, the time period in which the survey will be conducted, the amount of travel required, cost of doing survey follow-ups, etc.

  • Can the PSU help us figure out the best way to count users of our site?

    Yes, options for counting users can be determined after discussion and at least one on-site visit to determine the ways, times of day, times of year, etc. that the site is used.

  • Can the PSU do an economic study?

    Yes, the PSU staff economist can estimate the economic impact and benefits to local communities of your sites’ users if appropriate survey questions are asked.

  • What are ecosystem services studies?

    Sometimes called social values mapping, these studies ask users to explain the values they place on particular sites that they use. They address how ecosystem services of the site such as food, water, energy, recreation, and culture contribute to human well-being.

  • When does a focus group or survey require Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval?

    When either federal money or federal employee time is involved and the survey involves users of a federal site.

  • How long does it take for a survey project to obtain OMB approval?

    OMB review time depends on the scope of the project and by which route the project is submitted. Some projects require publishing in the Federal Register for 60 days, followed by another 30-day request for comments, in addition to review time by the government agency and department. OMB review time can take several months or up to a year. 

  • What is required in an OMB package?

    There are different requirements depending on how the survey project will be submitted. For more standardized projects, specific requirements include completing a form and providing a copy of the survey instrument and planned methodology. Please contact the Park Studies Unit for further detail.

  • How long does the whole project take?

    The whole project length varies depending on the project scope, including the survey period(s), amount of data to be gathered and type of report that will be written.

  • How does the PSU design a questionnaire?

    We hold a workshop, conference call, or videoconference with key members of your staff to listen to your particular informational needs. We then draft a questionnaire and send it to you for multiple reviews.

  • How long is it before focus group or survey results are available?

    The results for much of the in-depth survey work at the PSU are available approximately 8 months after the fieldwork is completed. Other survey results vary depending on the project scope and methodology.

  • When can data be shared with organization partners or the public?

    Once the organization has reviewed the draft report and approved it, then the final report is posted on the PSU website and the data becomes public information.

  • How is funding transferred to the University?

    A contract is prepared including the scope of work and other parameters of the project, detailing the cost and method of billing, per the agency and as required by the University of Idaho Office of Sponsored Programs.

  • What types of social science studies are done at the PSU?

    The PSU continues to expand the types of surveys conducted as society and technology change. Currently, the PSU conducts a broad range of studies, including visitor profiles, customer satisfaction surveys, economic impact studies, user counts and attendance tracking, social values mapping, and more.

  • Other Questions?

    Please contact the PSU Interim Director Lena Le by phone at (208) 885-2585 or send her an email with any additional questions.