Data Collection

 Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

My collaborator Jenny Palomino and I have visualized some of the data we have collected for our analyses.  The data represented here will both inform future quantitative and qualitative analyses, but also tell visually compelling stories about the parks and the wider geographic neighborhoods in which they are found.  

The data collection and processing for this project has been a labor of many hands.  UC Berkeley undergraduate Shane Fairchild has worked tirelessly on landownership, census, and county-level crime data collection and analysis.  Undergraduate researchers Jonathan Reader,  Ryan Avery, Alani Worden, and Drew Adamski were integral in the classification and verification of park trails data. Undergraduates Eleni Verveniotis and Abby Reed also helped collect county parcel information for this project.  Finally, we are greatly in the debt of National Park Service Geographer/Landscape Ecologist Sandy Margriter who has shared data and ideas with us, and has helped train and inspire our undergraduate researchers.  A list of our collaborators can be found here. 

NOTE:  The following is not a complete set of the data-sets that we have put together.  Some of the more sensitive, park specific data are not shared here.  These data will eventually be published in more generalized or obscured formats.  

Themed Maps

Data Collected: Sources & Descriptions 

 Wawona Meadow

Wawona Meadow

Data Sets: Park-Level Data 

  • Park Visitation Data 
    • Status: Publicly available
    • Data Collected:
      • Visitor Hours per park per year 2003-2013
      • Visitor Numbers per park per year 2003-2013
    • Source: NPS STATS website.
    • Explanation of data: http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/stats.cfm
  • Park Concessions Data 
    • Status: Not Publicly available
    • Data Collected:
      • Number of Concessionaire Operations in Park
      • Number of Employees at Peak Season
      • Number of Beds for Employees (proxy for residential employees)
      • Requirement of Employee Background Check in Contract
    • Source: National Park Service Pacific West Region Commercial Services (Special thanks to Trystan Stern and Kimbery Gagilolo in the PWR Office).
    • Explanation of data: While many of these data were recorded digitally, we had to actually go and dig out physical concessionaire contracts and examine them to gain some of the data we needed.  There's nothing like a giant room full of boxes and files to make you feel like you are doing research! 
  • Park Interview Data
    • Status: Not publicly available
    • Source:  In-person or phone interviews with Chief Rangers
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: None
    • Explanation of data: After using participatory observation, and preliminary surveys to understand what metrics might be important to understanding crime in US National Parks, and a survey with Chief Rangers that asked them to rank these metrics from 1-5 (unimportant --> important). we developed an interview guide that was used in interviews with Chief Rangers at all parks in the study.
    • See Interview Guide HERE.  
  • Park Trails Data
    • Status: Not publicly available
    • Source:  GIS shapefiles provided by NPS
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: Jonathan Reader, Alani Worden, Ryan Avery, and Drew Adamski (Analysis)
    • Explanation of data: Data were provided by each park as GIS Shapefiles.  These files were complied by Sandy Margriter at the National Park Service and shared with us.  We, along with trained undergraduate students, analyzed these trails and classified them based on surface type, allowed uses, and maintenance level. 
  • Parks Crime Data
    • Status: Not Publicly available
    • Data Collected at Park Level (Total Numbers):
      • Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter
      • Manslaughter--Negligent
      • Motor Theft 
      • Larceny 
      • Forcible Rape
      • Burglary 
      • Aggravated Assault 
      • Robbery
      • Arson
      • Kidnapping
      • Other Assaults (no weapons)
      • Forgery & Counterfeiting 
      • Fraud
      • Embezzlement
      • Stolen Property (buying, selling, possessing) 
      • Vandalism
      • Weapons (carrying, possessing, etc.)
      • Prostitution & Commercialized Vice
      • Sex Offenses
      • Drug Abuse Violations (Sell/Manufacture & Possession) 
      • Gambling
      • Offenses Against Family & Children
      • DWI
      • Liquor Laws
      • Drunkenness 
      • Disorderly Conduct
      • Curfew & Loitering
      • Boating, Aircraft, and Traffic Incidents (other than DWI)
      • Natural Resource Violations (other than ARPA)
      • Wildlife Poaching Incidents (no fishing violations)
    • Using FBI Definitions of "Property Crime" and "Violent Crime" we created these metrics using the available information for each park.  
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: None
    • Source: Data provided by Pacific West Region Visitor and Resource Protection Group (special thanks to Rene Buehl (PWR) and Kathy Clark (IMR)).
    • Explanation of data: Crime data in each park were historically centrally recorded once a year.  Now with a new reporting system (IMARS) the NPS crime statistics are constantly updated in a centralized system.  Crime reporting and recording are different at each park.  We have tried to account for these differences in detection using surveys we have performed with Rangers at each park.  
 View from Alcatraz Lighthouse

View from Alcatraz Lighthouse

Visualized Data Sets: County & Buffer Level

  • County Demographic Information
    • Status: Publicly Available
    • Data Collected at County Level:
      • Total Population Numbers & Population Density
      • Age ratios
      • Number of Vacant Housing Units
      • Owner-occupied Units / Renter-Occupied Units
      • Household Income (Mean & Median Income)
      • Level of Education
    • Source: US Census: American FactFinder
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: Shane Fairchild (Analysis) and Jonathan Reader (Data Collection)
    • Explanation of data: Explanations of each dataset are available on the US Census website. Census metrics collected for 2000 and 2010 were collected for all counties that intersected a park's 10mile buffer.  These census metrics were collected at the block-group level.  They were then clipped to the park buffer areas and each metric was averaged for the buffer area.  
  • County Landowner Information
    • Status: Some Publicly available
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: Shane Fairchild (Data Analysis); Eleni Verveniotis and Abby Reed (Data Collection)
    • Source: A combination of:
    • Explanation of data: Parcel and ownership data were collected through download and/or purchase from all counties intersecting each park's 10mile buffer. These data were clipped to the 10mile buffer of each park and then sorted into "public" or "private" ownership categories based on landowner name.  The "public" lands were then sorted into "protected" or "unprotected" categories based on a modified version of the US Protected Area Database file.  
  • Park Roads Data & Distance to Urban Areas
    • Status: Publicly available
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: None
    • Source: Census Tigerlines Data and Census Urban Areas Data-set
    • Explanation of Roads data : Downloaded US Census Tigerlines Roads data.  Clipped data to the park buffer and then to the park itself.  Calculated overall length of road for each area.  
    • Explanation of Distance to Urban Centers data : Downloaded US Census Urban Areas Dataset, used ArcGIS "near" function to calculate distance from each park to nearest urban center.
  • County Crime Data
    • Status: Publicly available
    • Data Collected at County Level:
      • Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000)
      • Property Crime Rate (per 100,000)
      • Robbery Rate (per 100,000)
      • Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter rate (per 100,000)
      • Motor Theft rate (per 100,000)
      • Larceny rate (per 100,000)
      • Forcible Rape rate (per 100,000)
      • Burglary rate (per 100,000)
      • Aggravated Assault rate (per 100,000)
    • Undergraduate Collaborators: Shane Fairchild (Analysis), Jonathan Reader (Data Collection)
    • Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)
    • Explanation of data: Data were collected for 2011 because this year had the most complete data from each county.  Unavailable on the FBI UCR website, Hawaii counties' crimes were extracted from the “Crime in Hawaii: Review of 2011 Uniform Crime Reports” Document (p. v) published by the State of Hawaii’s Crime Prevention & Justice Assistance Division Research & Statistics Branch.  In Nevada, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lincoln, Lyon, Storey, Washoe, White Pine, and Carson City counties had  data for 2011, but Esmeralda, Lander, Mineral, Nye, and Pershing counties lacked numbers for 2011.  Thus, rates recorded for these counties in 2010 and 2012 were averaged to complete these data for 2011.  For Clark County, Nevada we used FBI crime data by metropolitan area (Table 6) for 2011.  A detailed explanation of FBI UCR data can be found on the FBI website.

 

 Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park