Our sinkhole coverage’s first post was on September 23 following an initial interview with a University of Missouri Geology Professor.
From there we asked via social media what questions people had about sinkholes and answered them in a follow-up article after talking with a sinkhole expert from Missouri State University. While one team member was covering the science behind sinkholes, one person was investigating how sinkholes directly affect Columbians while the other reported on what laws were in place regarding sinkholes and the historic relationship between sinkholes and the state.
Columbians Living with Sinkholes
Timeline of Sinkholes in Missouri Known Sinkholes in Boone Co.
How Caves and Sinkholes are Formed
Stories Published on KBIA
Our team of three began researching sinkholes in Boone County at the beginning of September. As previously mentioned, we each focused on a different topic. The above link is the consolidation of each of our findings and includes every story, podcast and video we created for KBIA. We began our research by looking at secondary sources to answer general questions. As we became more familiar with the different aspects of sinkhole in the area we were able to reach out to community leaders and residents to find out more in depth information. The page is intended to be used as an evergreen resource when sinkhole related news breaks in the future.
I tried to use ARCGIS first through KBIA’s account to map the sinkhole data I found on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website. That failed because our version of ARCGIS limits data entry to 1,000 items. My dat set contained much more than that, so I used Google Fusion Tables. Using Fusion Tables was a straightforward process that quickly delivered a satisfying, if simplistic, map.
After speaking with sinkhole expert Doug Gouzie, I cut audio clips of his responses and wrote up a “Q & A” style article that I then shared on the same social media threads where I originally asked the questions.
The reporting for this article was focused on the Boone County Storm Water Ordinance and how that effects residents and businesses in Boone County. One of my goals in particular was to set up an interview with someone who took part in the creation of the ordinance and could easily explain how it has changed things in the county and how it effects the people here.
I ended up doing an interview with Steve Shawver, the Director of Boone County Resource Management. He helped develop the ordinance and is in charge of the Boone County Storm Water Department, which is directly related to sinkholes. I used that interview along with the research I found on the Internet to come up with a short piece that would be simple enough for our audience to understand what the ordinance is, when it happened, why, and how it affects them.
Lastly, I wanted to implement a timeline that would assist the article and give people a simple rundown of major events related to sinkholes in Boone County. It took a lot of research. I got information from the Boone County Resource Management department, Columbia Public Works, The Department of Natural Resources Geological Survey department, and the Boone County Historical Society, Boone Museum & Galleries.
I used Timeline.Js to create the timeline. I had never used it before but it was very simple and worked out extremely well. I embed it straight to the KBIA article.
Check out the Timeline.Js portion of the “How to Guides” section of this portfolio to learn how to use Timeline.Js.
I spoke with a local geologist to get some background before posting questions to Facebook and Twitter. The questions I received on Facebook were all from family and a few questions came from a friend on Twitter.