Skip to content

Research and Organizational Analysis

A blurry jogger running on a trail in a park with tall trees

Survey Research

Knowing the opinions of citizens on wide-ranging issues related to park use, funding, and service barriers are critically important data for agencies. The Eppley Institute designs and administers custom surveys for agencies, engages entire communities to obtain results, and provides exceptional analysis—allowing parks, recreation, and public land agencies to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Data & Trends Analysis

Sometimes you need a clear, clean analysis to understand what the data says is the best option for your agency. Using existing data from multiple sources, the Eppley Institute identifies key issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges for parks, recreation, and public lands agencies. By comparing these data points with national or regional standards and data gathered from similar service providers, the Institute can then create unique feedback on agency mission, goals, services, and quality of service.

A rocky shore with a lighthouse on a cliff in the distance
A wooden footpath through a desert setting

Organizational Assessment & Program Evaluation

Evaluation is essential. Agencies need an outside expert to help them assess their status, creating a road map that builds on strengths and improves on limitations. This applied research process relies on foundational data to successfully chart a future path to improving the organization. Likewise, Eppley Institute’s program evaluation enables agencies to identify and prioritize needed improvements to better achieve their mission and manage resources. We use a comprehensive and systematic evaluation framework, including logic modeling and public engagement. We provide technical assistance and training services at all stages of program evaluation—from planning, data collection, and analysis to reporting and feedback. 

Benchmarking Research

Agencies can benefit from knowing how they compare to their neighbors, national leaders, or other specific agencies. But comparing agencies is difficult and can be tricky. The Eppley Institute’s 20-plus years of experience in benchmarking ensures that comparable data are used, that findings are carefully managed, and that the review and citizen engagement process is unique to each community and agency’s needs.

Flowers and tall grass with tall trees and mountains in the background
Unearthed cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park

Research Portfolio

From creating philanthropy and trail competency frameworks and researching funding mechanisms and off-road vehicle use, to benchmarking operational budgets and employee competencies, Eppley’s applied research has provided vital information to park managers for sound evidence-based decision making.

© 2022 | The Trustees of Indiana University