Longitudinal Study of Visitors to “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” at the Louisiana State Museum, Presbytere Building in New Orleans

July 15th, 2013 | EVALUATION

The research presented in this report was the tenth and final study in a multi-phase evaluation plan for “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond,” an exhibition created by the Louisiana State Museum and installed at the Presbytere building. The exhibition opened in October 2010; a remedial evaluation was conducted in November 2010; the summative evaluation was conducted in the spring and summer of 2011; preparations for this longitudinal study began in the fall of 2011, the telephone interviews were conducted in the spring of 2013. Results from this analysis indicate that “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” is a memorable and effective exhibition. With an average visit of an hour or so, reflecting on the exhibition a year or two later, people recalled the experience as emotionally powerful and as beneficial for them in their own lives. Also, these residents of greater New Orleans (and some other Gulf Coast states) who saw this exhibition were more likely to better understand two out of three STEM topics they were asked about (wetlands and levee engineering). More than half of the people interviewed also reported an increased interest in the science behind hurricanes as a result of seeing this exhibition. These outcomes, directly attributable to the exhibition, are impressive considering the context of the extensive amount of information about hurricanes in general, and Katrina specifically, that permeated the news and people’s everyday conversations in New Orleans for the past eight years.



Team Members

Louisiana State Museum, Contributor
Jeff Hayward, Evaluator, People, Places & Design Research
Jolene Hart, Evaluator, People, Places & Design Research


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Engineering | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | History | policy | law | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits