Toronto Metropolitan University
Rudolph, Christopher - MRP.pdf (1.01 MB)

Public Engagement in the Great Lakes Basin: a Regression & Spatial Analysis of Predictors of Public Engagement using Great Lakes Regional Survey Data

Download (1.01 MB)
posted on 2024-02-07, 20:21 authored by Christopher Rudolph

This research project is an analysis of public opinion in the Great Lakes region (i.e., socio-demographic characteristics, values and beliefs) and an assessment of how these characteristics are related to watershed governance actions using LASSO regression and spatial analysis. The Great Lakes Regional Poll (GLRP) is a public opinion survey of 4550 residents (n = 4550) from across the GL basin performed on behalf of the International Joint Commission, and has been the focus of previous social science scholarship and analysis. The biennial survey includes over 60 questions related to perceived status and conditions of the Great Lakes, willingness to engage in water protection actions and questions about individual beliefs and policy/regulation support as well as respondent socio-demographics. The 2018 edition of the survey was analyzed previously using LASSO regression to determine which variables are significant related to public engagement. This study builds on previous research by analyzing the 2021 survey and consistency of results are discussed within the context of the Pro-Environmental Behaviour (PEB) literature. Geo-spatial mapping of residuals is also introduced as a diagnostic tool for model performance. The model includes 61 predictors from 2021 GLRP. Four consistent predictors were identified, including: Political Ideology, Indigenous Identity, Belief of Role of the Individual in GL protection; and Age. Two of these (Political Ideology and Indigenous Identity) are found to be consistent with previous work. The findings from this research related to these predictors gives insight for policy makers as well as researchers to develop theory and strategies related to future public engagement in the Great Lakes region.





  • Spatial Analysis


  • Spatial Analysis

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Melles & Dr. Carolyn Johns



Usage metrics

    Spatial Analysis (Theses)


    Ref. manager