Changing the Culture of Fieldwork in the Geosciences

Field-based investigations are an integral part of university-based research programs in the geosciences and frequently take scientists to near and far corners of the globe, from populated urban environs to remote wilderness areas and all types of locations in between. As a result, scientists find themselves in situations that can be both empowering—allowing them to succeed in challenging environments through synergistic teamwork—and intimidating, such as when unfamiliar surroundings or conditions push comfort zones or when one’s colleagues in the field pose unexpected or unwelcome hazards.

Organized studies and anecdotal reports alike suggest an uncomfortable reality: that sexual and nonsexual harassment during field…

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