The Fieldwork Wellness Framework: A new approach to field research in Ecology

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Anna Elizabeth Nordseth, Jacqueline R Gerson, Lucrecia K Aguilar, Amy E Dunham, Anecia Gentles, Zoey Neale, Erynn Rebol


Fieldwork is often an important aspect of research in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EECB), but individuals with marginalized identities are likely to experience compromised wellness. The responsibility for structurally changing fieldwork to improve experiences and outcomes falls on the entire EECB community. We propose a Fieldwork Wellness Framework to replace traditional fieldwork approaches, which are dangerous and ill-suited to today’s increasingly diverse EECB community and its goals. This Framework aims to prevent and manage risk while also promoting holistic wellbeing and belonging for all field research participants. We outline nine facets of the Framework: acknowledge and address identity, create a code of conduct, promote and practice self-care, form local connections, use support structures in decision-making, host and attend trainings, address financial concerns, enact emergency plans, and debrief. By centering wellness in planning and performing fieldwork, EECB can make space for a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, healthy, and productive community.



Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology



Published: 2022-11-07 11:05

Last Updated: 2022-11-07 20:56

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CC-BY Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

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