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Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions

As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are more vulnerable to conflict and violence when they are in the field. It is paramount that all fieldworkers be informed of the risks some colleagues may face, so that they can define best practice together: here we recommend strategies to minimize risk for all individuals conducting fieldwork.

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Fig. 1: Example situations experienced by at-risk individuals in the field.


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The universality of this document was accomplished with the help of numerous professionals of varying backgrounds and perspectives. We thank the faculty, students and professionals who have provided deeply considered feedback. Specifically, we thank the following individuals: S. Aguillon, L. Arcila Hernandez, K. Barker, S. Barve, A. Belasen, C. S. Buckler, D. Chang van Oordt, C. Chappell, M. Chatterjee, N. Chen, K. Covino, A. Darby, K. Eisen, D. Esparza, A. Flecker, M. Geber, S. Hejmadi, N. Hofmeister, K. Holmes, M. Howard, S. Kariuki, E. Lombardi, I. Lovette, A. K. Logan, H. Malik, C. McDonald, C. Miller, C. Mittan, C. Moreau, T. Ngyuen, K. Poveda, V. Ruiz, C. Specht, Y. H. Suh, S. Taylor, J. Uehling, J. Vanden Heuvel, E. Williams, M. Vitousek and S. Xayarath Hernandez. We also thank the following organizations: American Ornithological Society Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Black AF in STEM, Cornell Agricultural and Life Science Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Cornell University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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Both co-first authors contributed equally to writing the document, contributing relevant resources (both written and peer feedback) from its initial draft to final submission.

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Correspondence to Amelia-Juliette Claire Demery or Monique Avery Pipkin.

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Demery, AJ.C., Pipkin, M.A. Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 5–9 (2021).

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