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In 2021, I AM WATER and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) partnered to start an evaluation of our flagship Ocean Guardians Workshop programme (OGW). 

During the early stages of development, Dr. Troy Frensley and Ms. Hannah Bell worked with key members of the I AM WATER leadership team to gain a deeper understanding of what the programme was about, and the logistics of the operation, and developed outcomes that the leadership team wanted to measure.

The next step was the development of the initial two surveys by referencing literature, preexisting evaluation research, the EE 21 Survey instrument, and discussing survey questions with the I AM WATER staff to meet their needs. The pre-survey and post-survey were finalised and delivered to the OGW participants in early 2022. I AM WATER staff worked extensively to collect and enter data to be analysed by the UNCW evaluation team. The UNCW evaluation team used the collected data to analyze the results, comparing the results against the outcomes being measured.


The evaluation report showed the overwhelmingly positive results of the OGW on youth who participated and were surveyed. Participants reported a significant increase in behaviors, attitudes, and ocean knowledge. The final evaluation report showcased the amazing and positive work that I AM WATER staff were doing and provided learning opportunities for the team. The UNCW evaluation team suggested improvements for any outcome not met through the program. This completed the first cycle of evaluation for I AM WATER.

The second cycle of evaluation  began by changing survey items that did not measure the outcomes desired. Participants who attended OGW and were surveyed in late 2022, reported positive impacts of OGW on their behaviours, attitudes, and beliefs about the ocean. This echoed the results from cycle one, showing that the OGW has the power to change youth’s perception of the ocean, their influence on the ocean, and their intentions to perform positive behaviours towards the ocean! 

In early 2023, the I AM WATER team continued to survey participants who completed the two-day OGW with the goal of conducting a four-month follow-up survey. This follow-up survey would allow I AM WATER to measure if the participants were remembering what they learned and carried out intentions for positive behaviour towards the ocean four months after attending the OGW. I AM WATER staff collected data, and UNCW program evaluators are analyzing the results! This current project will be producing results that could show how participants from OGW maintain knowledge and perform positive intentions for the ocean environment. 


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