Please review the following Letter of Information/Informed Consent and indicate your willingness to proceed.

“Quantifying Ecosystem Services to Enhance the use of Natural Heritage Systems in Responding to Climate Change”
This research is being conducted by Ph.D Candidate Carolyn DeLoyde in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Warren Mabee, Professor and Head of the Geography and Planning Department at Queen's University.

What is this study about? This survey will measure the knowledge Halton Region Natural Heritage System planning stakeholders have about the Region of Halton’s Natural Heritage System, the ecosystem services it provides and how Natural Heritage System planning policies can be used to respond to climate change. It is not to assess you as a planner/stakeholder. We have done our best to design the survey questions to fit the different kinds of knowledge/experiences with Natural Heritage System planning, ecosystem services and municipal planning policy approaches to respond to climate change you might have. The study will require that you participate in an on-line survey. 

What will participants in the survey be asked to do? All participants will be asked to complete a twenty minute on-line survey about their knowledge and opinions on ecosystem services, natural heritage planning systems and various policy approaches to the identification and protection of ecosystem services and natural heritage planning.  We will also be asking participants in the survey if they were part of the 2009 Official Plan Review that resulted in Halton’s first Natural Heritage System (NHS).

Is my participation voluntary? Yes. Participation in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to participate or decline to answer any particular question on the survey without penalty. If you do not wish to participate, simply click ‘no’ at the bottom of this page.

What will happen to my responses? Only the research group headed up the supervisor of this research Dr. Warren Mabee will have access to the participants’ data during collection, analysis, publication/dissemination and archiving. Data will be securely stored for five years after which they will be destroyed. Your participation in the survey will be known only to the researchers.  The researchers will never publish your name, or information about you that could identify you. In the course of the survey you will be asked to provide your name and email address. This information will be used exclusively to link your answers from the survey to a larger stakeholder group, and perhaps lead to your participation in semi-structured interviews a facilitated workshop if you chose to participate in all aspects of this study.  All personal information that we collect from you will be stored separately from the general research findings in a secure location with restricted access. Only the general research findings will be shared with the scientific community, published in journals, theses, professional publications, newsletters, policy papers, public media, and professional development materials made available to other students, faculty, and staff. You will be able to access these materials on a Queen’s University website (http://www.queensu.ca/geographyandplanning/research/geography-ma-msc-and-phd-theses/theses-2015-2019) after the completion of the research thesis. All data can be withdrawn up September 1, 2019 by contacting the researcher at carolyn.deloyde@queensu.ca
What are the risks to participating in this research and how will they be mitigated?  Participation in this study contains a minimal social risk associated with the fear of discussing personal issues and opinions around natural areas within the Halton Region that may run contrary to public opinion around the preservation or destruction of natural areas. We will mitigate these risks be eliminating any geospatial or personal reference prior to publishing any our findings.  No data will be published which attaches responses or participation to individual participants.  All data will be reported as that from residents of Halton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and/or Halton Hills.  It will be impossible to determine “who said what” from the publication of our findings.

Is there any benefit to my participation? Yes, the survey may pique your interest in responding to climate change through the use of Natural Heritage System planning; a topic of considerable importance in Canada and the across the globe.  Your increased knowledge may also contribute to increasing the general awareness of Ontarians about responding to climate change through the use of Natural Heritage System planning policies and the provision of ecosystem services from Natural Heritage Systems.  If you are already working with climate change issues, you may find that participating in this survey provides valuable networking opportunities with the research team.

Will I be asked to participate in further research?  You may be asked to participate in further phases of this research with regard to participating in an interview that may take place by phone, skype or in person which would take about an hour to complete.  You may also be asked to attend a half day or evening workshop within the Region of Halton with regard to this research.  

How long will the survey take?  It should take you between 10 and 15 minutes to complete this survey.

What if I have any questions or concerns?  Any questions about study participation may be directed to the Principal Investigator (Carolyn DeLoyde) at carolyn.deloyde@queensu.ca or Research Supervisor (Dr. Warren Mabee) at warren.mabee@queensu.ca.  If you have any ethical concerns or complaints, you may contact the Chair of the Queen’s University General Research Ethics Board at 1-844-535-2988 or chair.GREB@queensu.ca.  

Again, thank you. We appreciate your consideration of our request to participate in this research study.

Question Title

* 1. Do you consent to proceed with this survey?

9% of survey complete.