The Pennsylvania and New Jersey Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research(PANJAAPOR), a professional affiliation of survey and public opinion researchers from the academic, public interest, and private sectors, held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, April 10 at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Leaders in the field of survey research gathered to discuss the challenges of conducting surveys and related data collection efforts following natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.
The event was highlighted by a panel discussion of veteran researchers who shared practical lessons learned and advice for future events based on their extensive work on high-profile projects amidst difficult circumstances. Professor Michael Delli Carpini, Dean of the Annenberg School, moderated the panel, which included Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute; Melissa Herrmann, President of SSRS/ICR; and Joe Lenski, Executive Vice President of Edison Research. Lenski discussed how his firm managed to complete the 2012 National Presidential Election Exit Polls from his tree-damaged, communications-compromised Somerville, NJ office, while Murray and Herrman discussed the complexities of collecting data from populations physically and emotionally affected by hurricanes.
During his welcoming remarks, chapter President Marc Weiner of Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy note
d the event was well attended with representation from all over the region, as well as across the research sectors. He also extended gratitude to Susan Sherr and Robyn Rapoport of SSRS/IRC and Naila Rahman of Princeton University for their extensive work in planning and executing the event.