A faculty member and three student researchers in a boat smile while gathering water samples and collecting data at Cross Reservoir at the KU Field Station.

Safe + inclusive fieldwork

The University of Kansas is committed to fostering safe and inclusive environments on all campuses, field sites and anywhere KU research and education are conducted.

This commitment aligns with priorities and requirements of the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and other funding agencies and professional organizations.

The Safe + Inclusive Fieldwork web portal includes resources to help KU researchers envision, plan and maintain safe and inclusive research environments, particularly for off-campus or off-site work. Among the resources are a:

  • Comprehensive checklist for safe and inclusive fieldwork
  • KU SAIF card template to customize and print for field team members
  • Template to meet NSF requirements for safe and inclusive working environments
  • List of key KU policies
  • Training and education opportunities
  • Reporting mechanisms and resolution procedures for various forms of misconduct
  • Care and support resources

This brief orientation video introduces resources in the web portal and aims to build your confidence in using them effectively. Please consult the Safe + Inclusive Fieldwork FAQs for KU's definition of fieldwork and other clarifying information. 

Guidance, requirements + tools

Four KU students performing field research in Tanzania gather in front of road signs pointing to different global destinations.

Safe + inclusive fieldwork checklist

PIs are strong encouraged to complete this checklist when planning off-campus/off-site research. It combines standard field safety with identity-based considerations to facilitate creation of a more inclusive plan to guide your team's field experience.
National Science Foundation logo on top of abstract blue background

NSF requirements

It is National Science Foundation policy to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted. Learn about new NSF proposal requirements and access KU's NSF Safe & Inclusive Plan for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research template.

Training, Reporting + Support

Kansas Geological Survey scientists use ground-penetrating radar equipment in the field.

Training + education

Setting the stage for safe and inclusive fieldwork includes providing appropriate training for your site, operations and team dynamics. Provide or organize relevant training/education for team members to complete well in advance of the trip. Browse training opportunities provided by KU and external organizations.
Four KU researchers stand behind unmanned aerial systems holding KU flags on a mountain in Greenland.

Reporting + support

Any individual who believes they have been the subject of discrimination or retaliation, or anyone who witnesses or believes that sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination or retaliation may have occurred, should contact the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX to report the incident.
Student researchers holding notebooks listen to an instructor describe plant life in a parcel of native prairie.

Print KU SAIF cards

Before departing for a field trip, consider customizing and printing KU safe + inclusive fieldwork cards for your research team.

Download SAIF card templates

Safe + Inclusive Fieldwork Task Force

Faculty and staff on the Safe + Inclusive Fieldwork Task Force developed and curated the resources provided on this web portal. Members (below) include KU researchers with extensive experience conducting fieldwork with diverse teams at a wide range of domestic and international sites. Several members have also published peer-reviewed papers on equitable fieldwork and broader issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in their disciplines.

  • Emily Arnold
    Associate Professor | Aerospace Engineering
  • Brian Atkinson
    Assistant Professor | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    Curator-in-charge, Paleobotany | Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum
  • Sara Baer
    Director | Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research
    Professor | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Reza Barati
    Professor | Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
  • Brad Bernet
    Associate Director, Pre-Award Services | Office of Research
  • Rafe Brown
    Professor | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    Curator-in-charge, Herpetology | Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum
  • Bryan Foster
    Professor | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    Director, KU Field Station
    Senior Scientist | Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research
  • Scott Ishman
    Associate Director & Senior Scientist | Kansas Geological Survey
  • Jennifer Laverentz
    Administrative Manager | Center for Remote Sensing & Integrated Systems
  • Alison Olcott
    Professor | Geology
  • Mindie Paget
    Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
    Director of External Affairs | Office of Research
  • Blair Schneider
    Associate Researcher | Kansas Geological Survey
  • Marina Suarez
    Associate Professor | Geology
  • Candan Tamerler
    Associate Vice Chancellor for Research | Office of Research
    Charles E. & Mary Jane Spahr Professor | Mechanical Engineering

SAIF Web Portal Overview

In this brief video, we show you where to find the Safe + Inclusive Fieldwork web portal and take a closer look at how to access and use each of the resources on the site.