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Fieldwork in the Geosciences

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

Articles

Scientists push against barriers to diversity in the field sciences. J. Pickrell. Science, 2020 https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2020/03/scientists-push-against-barriers-diversity-field-sciences

Racism and harassment are common in field research — scientists are speaking uphttps://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02328-y    G.Viglione 2020

The Challenges of Fieldwork for LGBTQ+ Geoscientists A.N. Olcott and M.R. Downen, EOS, 2020 https://eos.org/features/the-challenges-of-fieldwork-for-lgbtq-geoscientists

‘I can’t even enjoy this.’ #BlackBirdersWeek organizer shares her struggles as a black scientisthttps://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2020/06/i-cant-even-enjoy-blackbirdersweek-organizer-shares-her-struggles-black-scientist

Resource for addressing bathroom access and information for field trips: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15mLZgZWQvBXQRU_ok7OqnpUmxKObgwAm/view

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

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0219-0

Many women scientists sexually harassed during fieldwork A. Simmons, 2014 https://www.nature.com/news/many-women-scientists-sexually-harassed-during-fieldwork-1.15571

Girls into Geoscience S. Boulton and J. Fisher, 2017 https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Archive/May-2017/Girls-into-Geoscience

Blogs

Anya Lawrence Six Simple Steps to Make Fieldwork More Accessible and Inclusivehttps://geoscienceforthefuture.com/six-simple-steps-to-make-fieldwork-more-accessible-and-inclusive/

Sara Beroff  Women’s Bodies and Field Geoscience: Thoughts of a Zaftig Geologisthttps://geoscienceforthefuture.com/womens-bodies-and-field-geoscience-thoughts-of-a-zaftig-geologist/

Branwen Spector, LSE: Rethinking field trips https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/highereducation/2019/09/16/rethinking-field-trips/

One of the participants on the Access Anglesey Inclusive field class https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/geosciences/2019/01/access-anglesey-2018-encouraging-diversity-and-inclusion-within-geoscience/

Anita Marshall discusses her own experience of disability and fieldwork: Moving forward: Overcoming our ideas about disability in the Geosciences https://speakingofgeoscience.org/2018/10/08/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)https://medium.com/@ingridcarolinaramnparra/women-in-the-field-tips-tricks-and-thoughts-about-gender-and-field-research-f137e84be1ce

Websites

Diversity and Equal Opportunities in Geoscience/Fieldwork, The Geological Society of London https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geology-Career-Pathways/Careers/Diversity-and-Equal-Opportunities#Disability and https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geology-Career-Pathways/University/During-your-degree/Fieldwork

University of Leeds: Designing inclusive field trips (many other universities have similar resources) https://inclusiveteaching.leeds.ac.uk/resources/design-inclusively/inclusive-field-trips/

Access Anglesey field class https://accessanglesey.leeds.ac.uk/

Calvert Trust: Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure http://www.calvert-trust.org.uk/

Videos

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) https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Events/Past-Meeting-Resources/Confronting-Barriers-to-inclusion-opening-the-gate-to-accessible-fieldwork

The IAGD in Ireland: Exploring Approaches to Inclusive Field Geology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O_1GYx4DUY

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,  https://doi.org/10.1130/ges01264.1, (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, https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6300, (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, https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-53-183-2020, (2020)

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. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203500 (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, https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.12929, (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 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324169238_The_show_must_go_on_Fieldwork_mental_health_and_wellbeing_in_Geography_Earth_and_Environmental_Sciences