I will start with a brief overview of my project. I started out Spring Semester 2016 with filing my paperwork and submitting an IRB based off of the MANOS IRB but specific to my project. Upon approval, I began talking with my advisor as well as Professor Maliniak, whose Spatial Analysis class alongside MANOS inspired my project. I began the process of designing my project by doing a basic investigation into the subject as the basis for my final paper for Professor Maliniak’s class. By the end of the semester I had some ideas of possible factors to investigate and wished to try the MANOS CBPR method to find new factors after discussion with members of the community.
Then Summer 2016 I traveled to the community of Chagüite, Nicaragua with MANOS to conduct our summer work and my Monroe research project. Days were long and the travel team was smaller than usual, combined with a lot of work to do led to a difficult data collection process. However, by trip’s end I had complete information for the GPS points we had in addition to several leads on new points that should be followed up on during future trips. We had also been told by the local Office of Public Development they had some relevant information and they would send it when they had the time.
Next came data cleaning and analysis. Data collection and cleaning is always an arduous process, and I had to get creative to conduct the analysis I wanted to do with the data and tools I had available. This process was further complicated by a car accident and the resulting injuries which put me out of commission for awhile, but I made a full recovery and got back to work. I was able to conduct some geographically-weighted regressions based on my data, based on cost distance to working water resources weighted by population density.
After this I went off to study abroad in the W&M Program in Sevilla for Fall 2016, and now am back on campus for Spring 2017. I am planning to continue working on this project, adding in more data based off of SNA from MANOS and other factors as they can be operationalized. Over the course of this project I learned a ton about data collection, processing, and analysis, my way around ArcGIS, and created a map of water needs that will hopefully be a useful tool for the community as they plan water projects in the future.
I am very thankful for the support of Lisa Grimes and the Monroe Program, the Charles Center and its donors, my advisor Professor Aday as well as Professor Maliniak; without them I would not have had the opportunity to carry out this project.