Welcome!

My name is Noelle Stratton, and I am a PhD candidate from the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. I wish to invite you to participate in my research on risk perceptions in the implementation of early detection and rapid response in aquatic invasive species management in the Great Lakes. I am particularly interested in how decision-makers, stakeholders and scientists understand the risks associated with aquatic invasive species and invasive species policy implementation. If you decide to participate, you will be directed to an anonymous survey on the SurveyMonkey platform. It should take approximately 40 minutes to complete the survey.

This research will be conducted in the form of an online survey. The survey will ask you questions about your background, knowledge and experience with some fish species in the Great Lakes. The survey will also ask you some questions about your understanding of invasive species, and the process of stakeholder engagement. Participation in this study will provide no compensation or monetary benefits. However, this research is intended to gather data on the topic of invasive species, their management, and how stakeholders engage with each other in relation to them. Given that you have been identified either by myself or by a previous participant in the survey as someone with some involvement in this topic, you may find the results of this research to be of personal interest or benefit to you. Participants are invited to visit https://noellestratton.ca/current-research/ periodically for updates on the status of the research project, other ways they may be able to get involved, and results will also be shared there once published.

Participation in this study is completely voluntary and you will not be identified. You have the right to choose a response to any question, or to instead skip any or all questions that you choose not to answer within the survey. Prior to the final submission of the survey itself, you are able to withdraw from the survey at any time, should you decide you no longer wish to participate.

The data collected in this survey will be analyzed and published in a scientific article and a pre-print will be made available on my study’s website. I would be happy to send you a copy of the article when it is published.

Should you have any questions or wish any additional information regarding this research, please contact me at noelle.stratton@mail.utoronto.ca, or visit https://noellestratton.ca/.

This research has been reviewed and approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board [Protocol # 40500] and conforms to the standards of the Canadian Tri-Council Research Ethics guidelines. If you have any questions about this process, or about your rights as a participant in the study, please contact Research Ethics Manager, Dr. Dean Sharpe, Research Services, 27 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto, 416-948-5585 or dean.sharpe@utoronto.ca.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Noelle Stratton          

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