Including Everyone in Field Trips

Field work is an important part of ecological research and providing opportunities for field work is an important goal of the lab which is synergistic with the need for students, especially undergraduates, to step up when the opportunity arises.  Therefore, please follow this field inclusivity directive:

For those leading a research trip in the field:

(a) check to see if you have open seats in the vehicle.  Whether or not you NEED a larger group is *irrelevant* – stop thinking that way and start asking the question: do I have open seats?

(b) if open seats, then make an announcement to the lab that you are going in the field with an open invitation to join.

(c) do not use some subset list you created. I disdain subset lists in general and I have absolute proof that they can lead to exclusivity. They perpetuate a problem we are trying to solve. Let’s all assume that the #McE-Lab list is the One True List, help me make sure everyone is on that one, then and just stop making your own list unless they have a very, specific purpose. In practice, what this means is that you send a “reply all” email to a recent email that I have sent the lab and then just change the subject and delete the text.   Then you have the list you want.

For everyone who is a lab member:

(a) being part of the lab includes a commitment to help others in the field. It is part of La decima in the document that I have you read before you join the lab. You must work up the initiative to take the opportunities that you see appearing before you this semester.  People going in the field cannot work around the whole group’s schedule so you just have to jump when the chance appears.  Stop making excuses at to why you cannot attend and start prioritizing this aspect of your professional development.

For undergrad project leaders or graduate students:

(a) if you are an undergraduate and have a project- MAKE the time to pay-it-forward to the next generation and others in the lab by talking to them about what you are doing.  Step outside your comfort zone and start meaningfully and intentionally sharing what you know and what you are working on.


Clearly there are times when pressing or urgent matters make leaving to go in the field a sudden thing, or when timeline is so essential that you really cannot “afford” to take folks in the field who would be extra.  **It certainly can make things less efficient.**  There may be other extenuating circumstances!  Etc. So I understand there are times when this will not work, but, we are going to make that the exception, not the rule.

Check yourself:

If you are driving into the field and you look over and there are empty seats then you made a mistake unless:

(a) you announced and no one joined.
(b) you are in a confounded hurry like no other