Resources to support the Society's principles for undergraduate fieldwork courses.
Fieldwork should be planned and conducted in such a way as to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, considering the wellbeing of students and staff, including their mental and physical health, and all other protected characteristics. Fieldwork options should be fair and appropriate and, to the extent possible, overcome possible costs and other barriers that might impact a student’s ability to participate (e.g. through caring responsibilities). An Equality Impact Assessment should be undertaken on all fieldwork – with attention to both students and staff - and the results published to students. Programmes should aim to iteratively develop their field offerings taking into account the outcomes of this audit.
The following list of online resources is dynamic. If you know of other relevant resources you think we should be sharing, we’d be happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Society does not accept responsibility for the content of the external sites. Inclusion on this list does not equate to an endorsement of any content or organisation. Please contact the external site for questions regarding individual resources.
Eric Jensen and Charles Laurie (UK)
Videos offering advice on recognizing and managing physical and mental threats during research.
University of Sheffield (UK)
A policy to ensure that all students and teaching staff are able, and feel safe, to participate fully in compulsory and optional field classes offered by the Department of Geography.
University of Birmingham (UK)
A document intended to educate staff and students about toilet stops and menstruation in the field.
Geological Magazine (UK)
A summary of methods to reduce barriers to inclusion and equal opportunity.
University of Florida (USA)
The development of an accessible geoscience field course.
Anya Lawrence (UK)
A student perspective on accessible fieldwork.
Richard J. Sima/EOS (USA)
A discussion of the impact of Covid-19 on field accessibility
Anita M. Marshall/EOS (USA)
Flexible fieldwork options and thoughtful recruitment.
Rebecca Dzombak/Sister STEM (USA)
An article on using the pandemic to make long-term changes to field inclusivity.
American Geosciences Institute (USA)
Recorded webinar on inclusive field practices.
Good practice guidelines for including disabled students in fieldwork training.
The Geological Society (UK)
Recorded event including discussion of accessible fieldwork, and the broader accessibility of geoscience education.
University of Washington (USA)
Report from the University of Washington’s Respect and Equality in Fieldwork (REIF) 2017 Committee.
Alison N. Olcott and Matthew R. Downen/EOS (USA)
Discussion of the results of a survey of LGBTQ+ scientists.
University of Leeds (UK)
A project promoting inclusive fieldwork spaces for LGBTQ+ workers in research, policy and practice.
See also an associated series of articles on Geography Directions.
Danny Haelewaters and Adriana Romero-Olivares/Massive Science (USA)
STEM-based discussion of threats and proposal of possible strategies.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK)
UK Government advice for overseas travel.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (Switzerland)
World map showing sexual orientation laws by country, available in several languages.
University of Plymouth (UK)
Guidance for understanding and supporting religious and cultural observances, including a section on fieldwork.
Cardiff University (UK)
Suggested approaches to considering hazards and appropriate mitigations that particularly affect protected characteristics, including the need to consider how laws and attitudes, such as those towards women, or LGBT+ people, may affect the safety of participants.
Giuliana Viglione/Nature (USA)
Researchers call on universities to offer inclusive policies that make fieldwork safer.
The Guardian (UK)
The stories of BAME women who are exploring the British contryside, despite longstanding barriers to participation.
Atchison, C. L., Marshall, A.M, & and Collins, T., (2019) A multiple case study of inclusive learning communities enabling active participation in geoscience field courses for students with physical disabilities. Journal of Geoscience Ed. DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2019.1600962.
Atchison, C.L., Parker, W.G., Riggs, N.R., Semken, S., and Whitmeyer, S.J., (2019) Accessibility and inclusion in the field: A field guide for central Arizona and Petrified Forest National Park, In Pearthree, P.A., ed., GSA 2019 Phoenix Field Guides: Geological Society of America Field Guide 55, 1–23, DOI: 10.1130/2019.0055(02).
Batty, L. (2020) Mental health and fieldwork. Available at: https://blog.geolsoc.org.uk/2020/05/19/mental-health-and-fieldwork/
Brogan, C. (2018) Imperial geologist tackles field trip mental health. Available at: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/188108/imperial-geologist-tackles-field-trip-mental/
Carabajal, I.G., Marshall, A.M., & Atchison, C.L. (2017). A synthesis of access and inclusion in geoscience education literature. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65, pp. 531-541. DOI: 10.5408/16-211.1.
Clark, G. (2007) “Going Beyond our Limits: Issues for Able and Disabled Students”, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(1), pp. 211-218, https://doi.org/10.1080/03098260601033134
Clark, H. and Jones, J. (2011) The use of a fieldwork audit to anticipate barriers to fieldwork for disabled students, Planet, 24:1, pp. 42-49, DOI: 10.11120/plan.2011.00240042
Feig, A., Atchison, C.L., Stokes, A., & Gilley, B. (2019). Achieving inclusive field-based education: Results and recommendations from an accessible geoscience field trip. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19(2), pp. 66-87. DOI: 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.23455.
Giles, S., Jackson, C. & Stephen, N. (2020) “Barriers to fieldwork in undergraduate geoscience degrees”, Nat Rev Earth Environ, 1, pp. 77–78. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0022-5
Gilley, B.H., Atchison, C.L., Feig, A. & Stokes, A. (2015). Impact of inclusive field trips. Nature Geoscience, 8, 579-580. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2500
Hall, T., Healey, M. and Harrison, M. (2004) “Fieldwork and disabled students: discourses of exclusion and inclusion”, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 28(2), pp. 255-280, https://doi.org/10.1080/0309826042000242495
Hendricks, J.E., Atchison, C.L., & Feig, A.D. (2017). Effective use of personal assistants for students with disabilities: Lessons learned from the 2014 accessible geoscience field trip. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65(1), 72-80. DOI: 10.5408/16-185.1.
John, C.M., Khan, S.B. (2018) “Mental health in the field”, Nature Geosci, 11, pp. 618–620. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0219-0
Mol, L. and Atchison, C. (2019) “Image is everything: educator awareness of perceived barriers for students with physical disabilities in geoscience degree programs”, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 43(4), pp. 544-567. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2019.1660862
Stokes, A., Feig, A.D., Atchison, C.L., Gilley, B. (2019) “Making geoscience fieldwork inclusive and accessible for students with disabilities”, Geosphere, 15(6), pp. 1809–1825. https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02006.1
Tucker, F. and Horton, J. (2019) '‘The show must go on!’ Fieldwork, mental health and wellbeing in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences", Area, 51(1), pp. 84-93. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12437
Demery, A.J.C., Pipkin, M.A. (2021) Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 5–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-01328-5
Fry, L.J. (2013) Gender and dangers inherent in fieldwork, Gender and Behaviour, 11(2), pp. 5474-5485(12).
Greene, S.E. et al. (2021) Safety and Belonging in the Field: A Checklist for Educators, EarthArXiv, https://doi.org/10.31223/X53P6H.
Kloß ST. (2017) Sexual(ized) harassment and ethnographic fieldwork: A silenced aspect of social research, Ethnography, 18(3):396-414. doi:10.1177/1466138116641958
Nelson, R.G., Rutherford, J.N., Hinde, K. and Clancy, K.B.H. (2017) Signaling Safety: Characterizing Fieldwork Experiences and Their Implications for Career Trajectories, American Anthropologist, 119, pp. 710-722. https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.12929
Porter, B.A. and Schanzel, H.A. (2018) Femininities in the Field: Tourism and Transdisciplinary Research. Bristol: Channel View Publications.
Rinkus, M.A., Kelly, J.R., Wright, W., Medina, L. and Dobson, T. (2018) Gendered Considerations for Safety in Conservation Fieldwork, Society & Natural Resources, 31:12, pp. 1419-1426, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1471177
Townsend-Bell, E. (2009) Being True and Being You: Race, Gender, Class, and the Fieldwork Experience. PS: Political Science and Politics, 42(2), pp. 311-314.
Featured image: Steven Lewis/Unsplash
Dr Lynda Yorke (Bangor University) and Dr Simon Tate (Newcastle University)
The Council of Heads of Geography in UK Higher Education Institutions' (CHGHEI) principles for planning and delivering undergraduate fieldwork, guided by evidence and good practice.
Resources to support safe, responsible and ethical research in the field
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