An Inclusive Future for Scientific Fieldwork

A Workshop Hosted by Yale University and the Yale Peabody Museum

Monday, May 13 @ 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, May 14 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

  Yale Peabody Museum
  O.C. Marsh Lecture Hall
  Kroon Hall


  • Workshop
  • Registration required

Who does scientific research matters. It influences the questions that are asked, the insights that are made, and who leads the next generation. However, different kinds of research are not equally welcoming and accessible to all.

Fieldwork is an integral part of the earth, life, and social sciences, but has unique logistical constraints, opportunities, and impacts. These considerations affect who becomes a part of field-based science.

There are growing efforts to make scientific fieldwork more inclusive, but these are often siloed or institution-specific, limiting their potential to solve problems that cross-cut disciplines.

 “Improving the participation of under-represented groups is not just fairer — it could produce better research.”
Nature 558, 5 (2018)

Register here to join us virtually or in-person on May 13 and 14, 2024, as the Yale Peabody Museum hosts a workshop aimed at bringing together field-based researchers from across disciplines to imagine a more inclusive future for scientific fieldwork.
 
Participation and meals are free of charge and included with registration. Funded accommodation is available on a limited basis for students or other delegates who do not have institutional support for attendance.   
 
We anticipate broad in-person attendance by university students, faculty, and administrators from across the northeast region. All voices and perspectives are welcome.


Event Details

The goal of the workshop is to generate practical, deliverable solutions that can be widely accessed and implemented.
 
The Yale Peabody Museum will reopen its doors in March 2024 after a four-year renovation and gallery redesign. Throughout the project, a specific aim has been to create more welcoming and inclusive spaces. This event will be one of the first in these new spaces, representing an important dimension to the future of museum-supported fieldwork.

Day 1 consists of an afternoon hybrid in-person and recorded webinar panel discussion on Monday, May 13. Panelists are drawn from across disciplines to represent a diverse set of perspectives and inclusivity efforts. After moderated discussions, including a period for questions from the audience, Dr. Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, will serve as discussant.

Lunch and dinner provided.

Please find a list of confirmed panelists below.

Day 2 consists of in-person private break-out group discussions on the morning of Tuesday, May 14. Representatives will provide summaries of their efforts in the afternoon.

Breakfast and lunch provided.

Elena Schroeter

Elena Schroeter

Assistant Research Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University
https://erschroeter.wordpress.ncsu.edu/

Elena R. Schroeter is an alumna of the Chicago Public School system, and a first-generation college student. She first performed fieldwork in high school, as part of STEM outreach programing provided by the Chicago based non-profit, Project Exploration (PE). After earning her B.S. in Geophysics from the University of Chicago in 2006, she worked at PE for two years, delivering inclusive class and field programs in paleontology to underserved and underrepresented students. In 2013, she earned her Ph.D. in Biology from Drexel University, having continued to serve as the “STEMFellow” for PE summer field expeditions during her graduate program. Currently, Schroeter is an assistant research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University, where her research focuses on the molecular characterization of fossil tissues from a range of ages and taxa. Recently, Schroeter co-authored an article with two women of color in paleontology that discusses their personal experiences as students, field scientists, and faculty in geosciences, and their insights on how these academic environments can be improved to better support individuals from diverse backgrounds.


Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor

Associate Professor and Director of Mountain Research Station, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder
https://www.colorado.edu/ebio/scott-taylor

I am, at heart, a naturalist. The field is where I recharge and where my questions come from, it is what inspires me to be a biologist. Field experiences, field research, and field stations provide that inspiration for countless students and researchers and field-based education and outreach have been my passion for as long as I can remember. As a child growing up along the shoreline of Lake Huron I was fascinated by natural history and I have been engaged in inspiring others to see the intricacies of the natural world since 1998, either through public outreach, formal field courses, or most recently as the Director of the CU Boulder Mountain Research Station. I have experienced first-hand the incredible and unique capacity of field experiences to inspire diverse audiences to appreciate and protect the natural world. Despite the importance of access to, and safety in, the field, fieldwork and field experiences are not accessible or safe for everyone. My efforts in the area of more inclusive field work span activities at annual meetings (e.g., co-organizing the Tri-Society DEI Symposium on Field Safety and Ethics in 2022) to newly implemented strategies at the CU Boulder Mountain Research Station focused on community building and support.


Murry Burgess

Murry Burgess

Assistant Professor, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University
https://www.mlburgess.org/

Murry Burgess grew up with an interest in the wildlife around her. She followed this interest into a degree in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University, earning her B.S. in 2019. She also earned her Associate Wildlife Biologist® certification from The Wildlife Society. Murry went on to graduate school at North Carolina State University and earned her Ph.D. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology in 2023. She is now an Assistant Professor at MS State studying urban ecology and ornithology, with a focus on the effects of anthropogenic stressors on songbird health and development. Growing up in the Deep South, Murry has witnessed and experienced racial and gender injustice. She uses her experiences to inform her pursuit of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in academia and the natural sciences. In 2022, Murry co-founded Field Inclusive, a nonprofit dedicated to amplifying and supporting marginalized field researchers in the natural sciences through providing financial aid, trainings, and field safety resources.


Laura Heath-Stout

Laura Heath-Stout

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford University
https://www.lauraheathstout.com/

Laura Heath-Stout (she/her) is an intersectional feminist scholar who studies equity and inclusion issues among archaeologists. She has studied the demographics of academic publishing in archaeology, harassment and violence among archaeologists, the dynamics of disclosure and accommodations for disabled archaeologists, and how individual identities and experiences shape the research questions archaeologists choose. Her widely-cited work with Elizabeth Hannigan on the cost of archaeology field-schools showed that the combination of tuition costs, travel costs, and lost wages makes field school accessible to only the most privileged aspiring archaeologists, restricting the diversity of the next generation of researchers. Her work has been published in American Antiquity, Advances in Archaeological Practice, the American Journal of Archaeology, and the Journal of Field Archaeology, among others, and her book, Identity, Oppression, and Diversity in Archaeology: Career Arcs is forthcoming from Routledge. She served as founding co-chair of the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Meeting Safety, which works to prevent and address harassment among archaeologists (2019–2022), and is a cofounder and leader of the Disabled Archaeologists Network. Laura is a settler on Ramaytush Ohlone land and a postdoc at the Stanford University Archaeology Center. She enjoys reading feminist science fiction, playing board games, cooking, and spending time with her partner and two-year-old son.


Nala Williams

Nala Williams

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Yale University
https://anthropology.yale.edu/people/nala-williams

Nala Williams is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. Her research examines how Black women archaeologists negotiate their relationships to each other and the field of archaeology amidst race-based sexism and gender-based racism, as encapsulated through the intellectual and sociopolitical world of anthropology. She argues that through ties to other Black women in the field and a sense of obligation to both ancestors and future Black archaeologists, they work to craft a more liberatory archaeology. Nala has presented her work to broad audiences including the American Anthropological Association, Society for American Archaeology, and Society for Historical Archaeology.


Jennifer Kasbohm

Jennifer Kasbohm

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale University
https://www.jenniferkasbohm.com/

Dr. Jennifer Kasbohm is postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS) at Yale University and will be joining the Carnegie Institution for Science as a Staff Scientist in the Earth & Planets Laboratory in April 2024. As a geochronologist, she generates timelines for geologic events that help us better understand the connections between the solid Earth, surface environments, oceans, and atmosphere in deep time. In pursuit of her B.S. in Geology & Geophysics and Humanities from Yale University and her PhD in Geosciences from Princeton University, Dr. Kasbohm spent 44 weeks performing geological field work, with extended projects in Western Australia, the northwest USA, Namibia, and Italy. Upon her return to Yale EPS for an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, she has served as a department leader in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, with a special focus on developing a framework of accountability for promoting inclusivity in the field, drafting and promoting anti-racist policy deliverables, and improving the experiences of women and gender minorities in the geosciences. Dr. Kasbohm’s advocacy led to the adoption of fieldwork codes of conduct in Princeton Geosciences and Yale EPS, and her work on these and other efforts was recognized with inaugural department DEI prizes from both institutions.


All voices welcome. Student accommodation available.

This workshop is generously supported by: Yale Departments of AnthropologyEarth and Planetary Sciences, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Tropical Resources InstituteInstitute for Biospheric StudiesCenter for Natural Carbon Capture, and the Council on Archaeological Studies.


Event Location

Yale Peabody Museum


O.C. Marsh Lecture Hall


Kroon Hall