Are you thinking of becoming a chemist? An ecologist? A sociologist? An anthropologist? If you’re thinking of careers in science or social science, you’ll probably have to do fieldwork as part of your job.
Fieldwork is exactly what it sounds like: leaving your lab or office, and going out into the “field” to do research. But fieldwork doesn’t just happen in fields. It can be conducted at a busy city intersection, or in the most remote places in the world. It can include interviewing people, watching animals, or taking water samples. Research done in the field can help plan cities, ensure safe drinking water for residents, track endangered species, and fight climate change.
Fieldwork can be exciting and fun. However, it also comes with risks. Researchers working in the field can experience severe weather conditions, encounter dangerous animals, or contract viruses. For example, field ecologists working in tropical environments often encounter lots of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika virus.
What are some of the different methods to prevent mosquito bites? Why do these methods work? How do chemicals like DEET prevent mosquito bites?
Unfortunately for some biologists, such as those conducting fieldwork in small tropical streams, commercial insect repellent can harm animals living in the stream.
What are some alternative ways to repel mosquitoes without affecting nearby insects, fish and amphibians? Why is it important to not handle fish or amphibians after applying insect repellent?
About careers involving fieldwork:
About insect repellent: