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Articles on Fieldwork

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Missing a field season can be devastating if your research subject is melting away. Karen Lloyd

From permafrost microbes to survivor songbirds – research projects are also victims of COVID-19 pandemic

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 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 ( and National Science Foundation

Scientist at work: I’m a geologist who’s dived dozens of times to explore submarine volcanoes

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.
The universal sign for ‘Look over there!’ isn’t so common in some cultures. Helena Ohman/

The way humans point isn’t as universal as you might think

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.
Public park in Manhattan, home to a rat population with over 100 visible burrows. Dr. Michael H. Parsons

Scientist at work: Revealing the secret lives of urban rats

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.

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