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Studying the Earth in its natural environment in the field is a core aspect of the Geosciences.  Traditional fieldwork with its myriad aspects whilst an attraction for many can also act as a barrier to entry into the Geosciences. The following articles, blogs and papers discuss the benefits and drawbacks of teaching and working in the field. Some are directly related to Geoscience fieldwork, some include fieldwork within the wider framework of diversity in the Geosciences and some are from related fieldwork disciplines.

Fieldwork Resources

ArticlesBlogsWebsitesVideosPeer-reviewed papers


Note that access to some of these resources may require a subscription.

Scientists push against barriers to diversity in the field sciences. J. Pickrell. Science, 2020

Racism and harassment are common in field research — scientists are speaking up G.Viglione 2020

The Challenges of Fieldwork for LGBTQ+ Geoscientists A.N. Olcott and M.R. Downen, EOS, 2020

‘I can’t even enjoy this.’ #BlackBirdersWeek organizer shares her struggles as a black scientist

Resource for addressing bathroom access and information for field trips:

Mental health in the field, C. M. John, and S. B. Khan,: Nat. Geosci., 2018.

Many women scientists sexually harassed during fieldwork A. Simmons, 2014

Girls into Geoscience S. Boulton and J. Fisher, 2017

Marshall, A. M.,Thatcher, S. (2019), Creating spaces for geoscientists with disabilities to thrive, EOS, 100,

Ulrich, R.N., 2021. Queer geoscientists need more than visibility. Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, 2(7), pp.456-457.,of%20academia%2C%20argues%20Rob%20Ulrich.

Olcott, A.N. and Downen, M.R. (2020). The Challenges of Fieldwork for LGBTQ+ Geoscientists. EOS 101,


Anya Lawrence Six Simple Steps to Make Fieldwork More Accessible and Inclusive

Sara Beroff  Women’s Bodies and Field Geoscience: Thoughts of a Zaftig Geologist

Branwen Spector, LSE: Rethinking field trips

One of the participants on the Access Anglesey Inclusive field class

Anita Marshall discusses her own experience of disability and fieldwork: Moving forward: Overcoming our ideas about disability in the Geosciences

Ingrid Carolina Ramón Parra Women in the Field: Tips, Tricks, and Thoughts about Gender and Field Research (includes lots of useful reading material at the end)


Diversity and Equal Opportunities in Geoscience/Fieldwork, The Geological Society of London and

University of Leeds: Designing inclusive field trips (many other universities have similar resources)

Access Anglesey field class

Calvert Trust: Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure


Field trips for all: accessibility and inclusivity for students with disabilities.  AGU/AGI Heads and Chairs webinar (1 hour)

Confronting Barriers to inclusion – Opening the gate to accessible fieldwork (Geological Society of London meeting)

The IAGD in Ireland: Exploring Approaches to Inclusive Field Geology

Peer-reviewed Papers

The following papers are a selection of those available.  We have only included those published in the last few years to keep the list manageable.  Most include extensive references which can be explored for further information.  

Atchison, C. L. and Libarkin, J. C.: Professionally held perceptions about the accessibility of the geosciencesGeosphere, 12, 1154–1165,, (2016)

Atchison, C.L. Marshall, A.M. and Collins, T.D. A multiple case study of inclusive learning communities enabling active participation in geoscience field courses for students with physical disabilitiesJournal of Geoscience Education, 67:4, 472-486, DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2019.1600962 (2019)

Beltran, R. S., Marnocha, E., Race, A., Croll, D. A., Dayton, G. H., and Zavaleta, E. S. Field courses narrow demographic achievement gaps in ecology and evolutionary biologyEcol. Evol., 10, 5184–5196,, (2020).

Demery, A.; Pipkin, M. Safe Fieldwork Strategies for At-Risk Individuals. Preprints 2020, 2020080021 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0021.v1).

Feig, A.D., Atchison, C.L., Stokes, A. and Gilley, B. Achieving Inclusive Field-based Education: Results and Recommendations from an Accessible Geoscience Field Trip   Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19, 2, 66-87. doi: 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.23455, (2019)

Giles, S., Jackson, C. & Stephen, N. Barriers to fieldwork in undergraduate geoscience 371 degrees. Nat. Rev. Earth Environ. 1, 77–78 (2020).

Gilley, B., Atchison, C., Feig, A., and Stokes, A. Impact of inclusive field tripsNature Geoscience8(8), 579–580 (2015).

Houghton, J.J., Morgan, D.J., Gordon, C.E., Stokes, A. Atchison, C.L. Collins, T.D., Craven, B. and Willis, K. Access Anglesey 2018: Lessons from an inclusive field course Adv. Geosci., 53, 183–194,, (2020)

Houghton, J., Gordon, C. 2019 “Access Anglesey”: An inclusive and accessible field class, Teaching Earth Sciences, vol. 44(2), pp. 7-11

Gordon C, Houghton J. 2019. Inclusive teaching in fieldwork. Earth Heritage. (51), pp. 51-54

Handbooks referred to in the Anglesey Fieldwork papers (Houghton et al., 2018; Houghton and Gordon, 2019; Gordon and Houghton, 2019):

Lynn, C. D., Howells, M. E., and Stein, M. J. Family and the field: Expectations of a field‐based research career affect researcher family planning decisionsPLoS ONE13(9), e0203500. (2018)

Marín-Spiotta, E. et al. Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciencesAdv.Geosci. 53, 117–127 (2020).

Mol, L. and Atchison, C.L. Image is everything: educator awareness of perceived barriers for students with physical disabilities in geoscience degree programsJournal of Geography in Higher Education, 43:4, 544-567, DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2019.1660862 (2019)

Nelson, R. G., Rutherford, J. N., Hinde, K., and Clancy, K. B. H.: Signaling safety: Characterizing fieldwork experiences and their implications for career trajectoriesAm. Anthropol., 119, 710–722,, (2017). 

Stokes, A., Feig, A.D., Atchison, C.L., and Gilley, B., Making geoscience fieldwork inclusive and accessible for students with disabilitiesGeosphere, 15, 6, 1809–1825, https://doi .org /10.1130 /GES02006.1, (2019) 

Tucker, F and Horton, J. “The show must go on!” Fieldwork, mental health and wellbeing in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Area, DOI: 10.1111/area.12437