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Human Dimensions Research Lab

Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
Institute of Agriculture
The University of Tennessee

Dr. Mark Fly, Director, 974-7979,
Susan Schexnayder, Associate Director, 974-5495,

            The Human Dimensions Research Lab was founded in 1993 and has been in operation for 16 years.  The mission of the lab is to use social science research methods to address issues and opportunities in agriculture, natural resources, and the environment.  We are a fully operational research center providing complete services for telephone, mail, web, panel and on-site intercept surveys as well as facilitation of focus groups and public meetings.  Dr. Fly, Director of the Lab, received his survey training from the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, and has conducted surveys for over thirty years.
Participatory democracy is the philosophical basis for our survey work. We serve the mission of the land grant university by giving the people across Tennessee and around the nation an opportunity to provide their input into agriculture and natural resource management decisions and the policy development process while providing valuable research data for ourselves and other scientists within and outside the university.  Each telephone interviewer is monitored and evaluated daily and overall performance is evaluated weekly.  We provide data security and four levels of quality control: observation, listening, real time viewing of data entry, and data cleaning.  The HDLab is a fully computerized lab with 16 workstations utilizing a Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. 
We conduct research under contract with outside agencies, e.g. the USFS, also NOAA, Center for Disease Control, EPA, NPS, and ERS through the USFS, NPS, TVA, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Department of Environment of Conservation, and NGOs, such as the Tennessee Forestry Association, the National Parks and Conservation Association, and the American Rivers Council, etc. The Lab has received over $9 million in research funding.
Our Lab also provides consulting services on survey design and development, and facilitates data collection for graduate students, professors and research centers within UTIA and across the University.  We have provided services to administrators and/or faculty and staff in all three units of the Institute of Agriculture (Experiment Station, Extension, and College).  Within the University System, we have conducted surveys and/or provided consultation on survey design, methodology and sampling for the Center for Profitable Agriculture, Agri-Industry Modeling and Analysis Group, Public Horticulture, Entomology and Plant Pathology, the Forest Products Center, Center for Wildlife Health, the Natural Resource Policy Center, the Social Science Research Institute, Center for Water Resources (now ISSE), and Environmental Sociology.

Staff:  April Griffin, Call Center Manager 974-6864,
Three Call Center Supervisors
32 Interviewers
Experienced Field Staff as Needed

274 Ellington Plant Sciences
Knoxville, TN  37996-4563