Missing a field season can be devastating if your research subject is melting away.
Three scientists describe the fieldwork they've had to delay in 2020 because of the pandemic. These are setbacks not just for their careers, but for the body of scientific knowledge.
The political border cuts in two a region rich in biological and cultural diversity.
John Moore/Getty Images News via Getty Images
Government policies and dangerous conditions affect the ability of researchers working on both sides of the US-Mexico border to conduct scientific fieldwork.
Thanks to its sensors, the smartphone can be a measuring instrument.
A. Kolli, _La Physique Autrement_
Practical work is essential for science education. But health measures compromise their traditional organization. Here are some game-changing solutions.
Matthew Hedges with his wife Daniela Tejada.
As I found, academics engaging in fieldwork research are in a particularly vulnerable position.
The research vessel must dodge dangerous icebergs as it drills for sediment core samples.
A paleooceanographer describes her ninth sea expedition, this time retrieving cylindrical 'cores' of the sediment and rock that's as much as two miles down at the ocean floor.
The submersible Alvin about 8,500 feet down, studying seafloor volcanoes and eruptions.
(c) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with thanks to Daniel Fornari – WHOI-MISO Facility (www.whoi.edu/miso) and National Science Foundation
When you study volcanoes at mid-ocean ridges, doing fieldwork means becoming an aquanaut – diving thousands of feet to the ocean floor in the submersible Alvin, trading tight quarters for amazing views.
Each wolf calls with its own ‘voice.’
Tracking wild animals can provide lots of valuable data. New research suggests audio recordings of wild wolves can replace the typical radio collars, which can be expensive and intrusive.
The universal sign for ‘Look over there!’ isn’t so common in some cultures.
It was long thought that humans everywhere favor pointing with the index finger. But some fieldwork out of Papua New Guinea identified a group of people who prefer to scrunch their noses.
Author Tom Iliffe leads scientists on a cave dive.
Scientific fieldwork that happens underground and underwater in spectacular but dangerous caves opens a window on a largely unknown world.
Public park in Manhattan, home to a rat population with over 100 visible burrows.
Dr. Michael H. Parsons
Rats foul our food, spread disease and damage property, but we know very little about them. A biologist explains how he tracks wild rats in New York City, and what he's learned about them so far.
Archaeologists on the front lines.
Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University
Cultural resource management archaeologists don't choose where they dig. Instead they identify, evaluate and preserve cultural heritage sites in locations slated for development.
Giulio Regeni, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, was carrying out research on the formation of independent trade unions in post-Mubarak Egypt.
Tiny termites build mega mounds.
They're the soil-builders that allow Africa's arid savannas to be lush grasslands. What do they do inside their huge mounds – and how does a collective mind allow them to do it?
Launching a space balloon in Sweden.
Geomagnetic storms can interact with particles near Earth, causing issues for satellites and other tech. Researchers send balloons 20 miles into the sky to figure out just what's going on up there.
Observing the foreflipper clap.
The way sea lions swim is unique among fish and marine mammals. Their technique provides a biomechanical model to design agile underwater vehicles... but first we have to figure out how they do it.