Professor UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California, United States
Session Description: Fieldwork is an essential component of training and research in many scientific disciplines. However, the unique mentorship structure of academia coupled with the remote and informal nature of field sites heightens the risks of sexual harassment and assault during fieldwork, especially for women and other at-risk identity groups. What little research exists on the topic suggests that incidents are widespread and insufficiently addressed by protocols developed for traditional office and classroom settings. In order to address this problem, a team of field researchers at UC Santa Cruz developed a 90-minute scenario-based bystander training, tailored for audiences of undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, researchers, and faculty. Our workshop, the Building a Better Fieldwork Future (BBFF) Program, identifies critical preparation and intervention practices and policies that can be easily implemented to reduce the risk of sexual harassment and assault and to set inclusive norms for field settings. Through a series of practical intervention scenarios and evidence-based tools, this workshop guides participants in how to be an active and engaged bystander, how to report incidents, and how to plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.