UC Field Research Safety

Hello, 2018. I find this time of year conducive to more in-depth reading and taking a fresh look at resources, strategies, and collaboration. So to kick off the year I'm sharing some opportunities for professional education and learning. Hopefully there's something valuable here for everyone; many of the books are available through our UC libraries.

As always, feel free to reach out directly with specific field safety questions or concerns. Planning efforts for field season are certainly underway!  Best, Sara

EH&S Professional Education

Two new online modules have been added as "Electives:" Field Safety (Outdoors & Abroad) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones), approx.12 minutes each. Click here for more info about the training program or to enroll. The next in-person workshop is quickly approaching, February 5 in Berkeley!
References & Reports

Published annually since 1948 by the American Alpine Club, Accidents in North American Climbing documents the year’s most significant and teachable climbing accidents. Each incident is analyzed to show what went wrong, in order to help climbers avoid similar problems in the future.

This technical reference, Health & Safety for Museum Professionals, has an impressive array of contributors and addresses work practices related to fieldwork, conservation of specimens, and museum management. There is a case study on Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) contracted by multiple workers at an archeological site in Utah; plus a broad list of field hazards and references.

Field Safety in Uncontrolled Environments: A Process-Based Guidebook, published by AAPG, is an excellent, comprehensive resource and was the model for the UC Berkeley Field Safety Plan template. 

CDC Health Information for International Travel (commonly called the Yellow Book) is published every two years as a reference for health professionals providing care to international travelers and is a useful resource for anyone interested in staying healthy abroad.

"Supporting a Culture of Safety in Arctic Science" is a unique workshop report produced by CH2MHILL Polar Services. Related resources and services are valuable for NSF-funded researchers; but the recommendations in this report are applicable more broadly. 

Disasters in Field Research is a quirky compilation of stories collected and published by researchers at Ohio University and the University of Colorado, Boulder. "From ravenous ants and temperamental gear to debilitating illness and unpredictable politics" provides a guide on how to avoid or minimize the impact of unexpected events.
The Lost City of the Monkey God is an adventurous - and somewhat controversial - new release by Douglas Preston describing the use of the remote sensing technique Lidar for aerial mapping and the subsequent expedition to uncover a cache of vessels, thrones, and figures in the remote Mosquitia region of Honduras. There's also vivid accounts of encounters with Fer-de-lance venomous snakes and ongoing health effects from contracting Leishmaniasis (transmitted by sand flies) during the expedition. 

The NOLS Leadership Educator Notebook is a valuable resource for field course instructors that includes lesson plans and guidance on effective communication, decision-making and group behavior. Collaborating with Christopher Lay at UCSC's Ken Norris Center for Natural History, this resource has served as a model for the UC Field Ops Manual (in development!).

This is a bit of an outlier, but the nerdy toxicology student in me is fascinated by the show Hamilton's Pharmacopia. With episodes like "A Fungal Fairy Tale," and "The Story of the South African Quaalude," it's described as an incredible journey through the history, chemistry and societal impacts of the world’s most extraordinary drugs. Imagine doing a hazard assessment and safety plan for this film crew?!? 

Last, on a lighter note, Fieldwork Fail, The Messy Side of Science. Described as "a fun and human side of science". Illustrator Jim Jourdane illustrated stories shared by scientists with the #fieldworkfail hashtag. 

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UC Field Research Safety · 317 University Hall · Berkeley, Ca 94720 · USA

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