LETTER OF INVITATION
November 30, 2012
I would like to invite you to be part of a research project that I am conducting, the objective of which is to investigate the connections between geocachers, informal learning and nature. This project is part of the requirement for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education and Communication, at Royal Roads University. My name is Patrick John Burns and my credentials with Royal Roads University can be established by contacting Dr. Liza Ireland at Liza.Ireland @ RoyalRoads.ca
In addition to submitting my final report to Royal Roads University in partial fulfillment for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education and Communication, I may also be sharing my research findings, as documented in my thesis, with my colleagues in the form of workshops, presentations, papers or articles.
You are invited to share, through interviews, your experiences of geocaching, awareness of the natural environment, and learning related to your participation in the sport of geocaching. Interview data will be collected via digital audio recording and hand-written field notes. Your time commitment for this project is estimated to include a 45 – 60 minute interview plus review of the data generated from the interview (estimate for review 30 minutes). Total time investment is estimated to be 1.25 – 1.5 hours.
Offered to the 10 participants who are selected for the study and who complete the data collection interviews, a chance to win a Global Positioning System receiver (GPSr) suitable for geocaching. The approximate value of the GPSr is $150.00 CDN. The probability of winning is 1 in 10. Participants interested in a chance to win must correctly complete a skill testing question (as required under federal law) to be eligible. Participants will be assigned a number (1-10) upon entering the study. The winning number will be determined by random number generation via the use of a random integer generator available on the website random.org. The winner will be notified by email and arrangements will be made for delivery of the prize.
You are a prospective participant because you appear to be an active adult geocacher and meet the criteria described below. The criteria which I will use to select participants will include geocachers who are 18 years of age and older and have:
• 50 or more cache finds
• hidden at least a single cache
• participated in online geocache discussion forums
• participated in at least one geocache event or group geocache hunt
• had a significant experience with nature while geocaching (significant as determined by the participant)
• directed your own learning project related to geocaching (in other words, learned a skill or gained knowledge while participating in geocaching activities)
You are not compelled to participate in this research project. If you do choose to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without prejudice. Similarly, if you choose not to participate in this research project, this information will also be maintained in confidence.
If you would like to participate in my research project or have any questions regarding the project and its outcomes please contact me at:
Name: Patrick John Burns
Email: Patrick.burns @ kwantlen.ca