Published: Oct. 19, 2022

Graduate fieldwork requires leading and managing a team, often in unique circumstances (including long hours, remote regions, etc.), and therefore can be challenging even for those with previous leadership or field experience. Recent research from Graduate Integrative Biology Students Katherine Hayes, Trevor Carter, Erin Twaddell (under the supervision of Associate Research Professor, Brian Buma) published in Ecosphere, found field leadership is a critical skill to develop during graduate education, and contributes to the success, retention, and advancement of researchers in the natural sciences. The piece "Supporting graduate field leadership through community-sourced advice, action, and policy," emphasizes that graduate field leaders can improve via clear communication, risk assessment and procedural planning implemented before, during, and after the field season. Labs, principal investigators, departments, and professional societies can support graduate field leaders by formalizing institutional resources, financial support, and incentivizing skill development.