Surveying the Spill

What was the impact of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Escambia County? How did it impact residents and businesses? What were the losses, both tangible and emotional?

Kelcey Killingsworth, a graduate student at the University of Florida, wants to know. As part of her dissertation, the grad student is currently conducting a survey among Escambia County residents.

“I care about Escambia County,” Killingsworth said. “—born and raised here.”

Dubbed ‘The Gulf Oil Spill Project,’ the survey is being conducted on the Web until the end of March. The survey is anonymous and delves into stresses and subsequent resilience of the community in the wake of the oil spill.

Initially, Killingsworth was expecting a lot of participation She was hoping for “a nice fat number”—something between 500 and 1,000 participants seemed about right.

“Looking back, I was a little naive,” she said.

Since launching in February, the survey has had 106 respondents. Another 130 began the process, but then decided to abandon it.

Killingsworth, at one point, went of the offense and began calling people to enlist them in her survey. The response was mixed.

“It was like making cold-calls,” she said. “Some people were very nice and some people thought I was trying to sell them something.”

The survey consists of about 20 questions. Persons interested in participating can check it out at