Fieldwork takes many forms and looks different to every individual and team. Whether it is a local day trip or a weeks-long international expedition, proper planning and preparation can help avoid dangerous scenarios and undesired situations. When in the field, students and other team members rely on trip leaders for various types of support, including communication, food, medical aid, interpersonal relations, and more. Therefore, it is crucial for trip leaders to be prepared to deal with these situations as they come up. Further, acknowledging and addressing power dynamics between trip leaders and other members can help avoid negative situations, such as those resulting in students deciding to leave field biology or situations that cause conflict with communities where research is conducted.
The Field Safety Plan template below includes topics to consider prior to travel and a set of actions that may increase the safety and comfort of scientists and communities involved in field expeditions. It also provides a list of questions to discuss during a post-trip debrief. This template is not meant to be prescriptive, but
rather covers a broad list of ideas to facilitate conversations and planning within field teams.