April 4, 2004

A Longitudinal Examination of High Performance Wireless Network Usage in an Ecological Reserve

Kimberly Bruch, former HPWREN staff member, recently presented a paper at the Southern States Communication Association's Annual Meeting. The paper, which was entitled "A Longitudinal Examination of High Performance Wireless Network Usage in an Ecological Reserve", examined perceptions, communication, and usage of HPWREN among field scientists at the SDSU Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.

Based on communication scholar Everett Rogers' diffusion of innovations theoretical framework, field researchers' perceptions of network connectivity, communication channels, and use of the network were assessed before HPWREN connectivity, one year after connectivity was established, and two years thereafter.


Paired sample t-tests were conducted to compare perceptions regarding the network's relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, and the participants' adoption decisions - as well as communication channels used to diffuse network information. Though statistical analysis showed positive perceptions regarding HPWREN during all three surveys, no significant change of network usage was found between the pre-connectivity and post-connectivity samples.

To read the paper's methodology and results, please refer to http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/kmb/ssca.pdf.

The study began with Bruch's thesis, which can be found at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/kmb/thesis. Bruch will continue the longitudinal diffusion study this summer, re-surveying the field scientists to better determine their current networking needs and HPWREN usage.

-- by Kimberly Bruch

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