Fieldwork is an important and often necessary component of many scientific disciplines, yet research suggests that it presents a high-risk setting for incidents of sexual harassment and assault. The Building a Better Fieldwork Future (BBFF) Program involves a 90-minute workshop developed by a team of field researchers at UC Santa Cruz. It identifies the unique risks posed by fieldwork and offers a suite of evidence-based tools for field researchers, instructors, and students to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault. Through a series of practical intervention scenarios, this workshop guides participants on how to be an active and engaged bystander, how to report incidents, and how to plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.
In 2018, with support from the Thoreau Foundation and CAMINO at UC Santa Cruz, we developed a workshop, Building a Better Fieldwork Future: Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Field, that prepares students, field researchers, instructors and staff to maintain their and each other’s well-being in the field by addressing difficult areas such as avoiding and navigating harassment in the field (for both men and women, as targets, witnesses who can intervene, and unwitting or witting perpetrators) and understanding appropriate boundaries around team member relationships. This workshop has been delivered to over 710 participants and garnered significant national attention and praise. According to preliminary survey results, participants report greater knowledge about and confidence in intervening, preventing, responding to, and reporting sexual harassment and assault in field settings after taking the workshop (Cronin et al., submitted).
We have trained more than 710 participants across 3 continents. See the map below for the locations and participant densities of previous BBFF trainings:
The BBFF Program is hosted by the University of California, Santa Cruz, which is a member institution of the NASEM Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.