The NSF-funded FIELD (Fieldwork Inspiring Expanded Leadership and Diversity) Project aims to make field activity in the geosciences more accessible, culturally sensitive, and inclusive by equipping field leaders with the perspectives, skills, and solidarity to address barriers in field settings. Field activity is integral to the geosciences, yet the dominant culture continues to set the norms for fieldwork expectations. Individuals who are underrepresented in STEM (e.g. people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals), also face barriers with field activity, including economic exclusion, anxiety about outdoor experiences, attitudes of ableism, and accessibility. These barriers are often ingrained in the culture of field training and research activities, a field culture that continues to emphasize physical ability, mental toughness, assertive behavior, and one-upmanship. The perpetuation of this culture is, in large part, a function of its leaders unquestioning socialization into it.
The project will be conducted in three phases in response to project goals.