Discrimination Prevention in Field Research

Field research is often the reason why people decide to become scientists. It provides immersive opportunities to partner with study systems. Often the most valuable insights and innovations come from experiences in the field. Field research can be fun and exciting, and provides unique bonding opportunities for teams of researchers. Yet the same aspects that make field work wonderful can also lead to dangerous situations (isolation, remote wilderness settings, lack of control over conditions, increased power dynamics).


In spring 2021, OEOD/Title IX and leadership of the UCI Environmental Collaboratory partnered to create UCI’s first full-day training workshop for graduate students on preventing and responding to discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence in field settings. Modeled off of and supported by the leadership at UCSC who developed the innovative (Building a Better Fieldwork Future) UCI’s workshop aims to generate a safe and healthy climate for all researchers, regardless of their age, ancestry citizenship, color, disability (mental and physical), gender, gender expression, gender identity, gender transition status, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, pregnancy status, race, religion, service in the uniformed services, sex, sexual orientation, or position in the field team. 

The workshop covers general field safety, discrimination and micro-aggressions, sexual harassment and sexual violence, bystander intervention, and campus resources and reporting processes. Participants will work in small groups to discuss real-world scenarios related to each of these topics, and will then receive instruction regarding options for best responses to each situation. After completing this workshop, participants will feel comfortable asking questions about field trips, be able to describe what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for field settings, list options for how to respond to situations and how to report violations of university policies, be able to intervene as a bystander or otherwise support victims of discrimination or sexual assault, and know what resources are available to them if an incident occurs. Participants will also be able to recognize climate dynamics that may contribute to or facilitate discrimination or opportunities for power imbalance in field settings. 

To request the workshop,  Field Safety 201: Preventing and Managing Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence in the Field, please contact Title IX Officer Tierney Anderson at   tierneya@uci.edu  and Director of Center for Environmental Biology, Dr. Sarah Kimball at   skimball@uci.edu

File a Report of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

For questions or assistance with issues of discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence (stalking, relationship violence, sexual assault) please contact UCI’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD)/Title IX. OEOD is the office responsible for ensuring compliance with all nondiscrimination policies and responding to reports. OEOD can help resolve concerns and provide resources, such as safety and workplace accommodations. All employees are considered Responsible Employees and must report to OEOD if they become aware that a student may have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence, and supervisors must report to OEOD if they become aware of any employee who has these concerns. OEOD will then outreach to the impacted person to provide information on their rights, options, and resources.

Title IX-related Accommodations

Regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed, OEOD/Title IX will assist with supportive measures and accommodations, such as changes to housing and classes, academic assistance, withdraw and extensions, financial aid assistance, visa assistance, workplace accommodations, safety escorts, or information on no contact orders.



Report online or learn more about policies at:   oeod.uci.edu

Confidential Supportive Resources for Sexual Violence

  • Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE)  is a primary, confidential source for information, crisis intervention and follow-up support regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking on the UC Irvine campus. CARE, in collaboration with Waymakers, coordinates accompaniment services for student victims to the police, evidentiary exams and the court system. In addition, individual and group counseling is available to students who are survivors of sexual violence. CARE is available Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Address: G320 Student Center, Irvine, CA 92697 Phone: (949)-824-7273.
  • Counseling Center  offers free and confidential short-term and crisis counseling by licensed mental health providers to all UC Irvine students on an urgent basis, or by appointment. The Counseling Center also offers certain free and confidential psychiatric services. Referrals to off- campus psychotherapeutic and psychiatric providers are also available through the Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is available Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Address: 203 Student Services 1, Irvine, CA, 92697 Phone: (949) 824-6457. For afterhours counseling: For urgent matters, call the main telephone number at (949)824-6457 and select option 2.
  • Faculty/Staff Support Services  provides consultative services and support to resolve behavioral health issues, serves as a primary crisis intervention resource to facilitate and coordinate appropriate resources, provides time-limited case management for individual employees, and develops and implements instructional training and materials to assist in the promotion of mental well-being for all faculty and staff. Support is offered for a wide range of issues including :work related stress, relationship/couples issues, family problems, depression, anxiety, or other emotional problems, grief and loss, alcohol, drug and other addictions, consultations and training services for faculty and staff management. Meetings are by appointment only. Phone: (949) 824-5208. 
  • Complainant Support Services  provides support for all faculty and staff who have or may desire to bring froth complaints of alleged conduct that violates the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Complainant Support Services assists faculty and staff in navigating the personal and professional impacts of experiencing alleged misconduct, as well as help them understand their rights and the reporting process. Meetings are by appointment only. Phone: (949) 824-5208.
  • UCI Life Resources Program is a free, confidential benefit that can help address personal or work-related issues faced by UCI faculty, staff, retirees and dependents at both the UCI Campus and UC Irvine Health. This service, staffed by experienced clinicians, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A Guidance Resource Professional will help with problem identification, assessment and referral to treatment providers and community resources. Guidance Resources is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for both crisis and non-crisis circumstances. Guidance Resources can assist with: marital conflict, interpersonal difficulties, conflict at work, depression or anxiety, stress management, family relationships, financial legal or consumer concerns, referrals to community resources, alcohol or drug abuse, loss, and personal decision making. Phone: (844) 824-3273.

Additional Field Safety Resources

  • UC Field Operations Safety Manual  This manual provides guidelines and resources to lead safe, successful field courses and research trips. The content focuses on risk management issues that are relevant for California-based field courses and research, international trips, research expeditions, and other outdoor excursions. The manual is organized into key sections on planning, training, incident response, best practices for trip leaders, and appendices on common field hazards and local campus resources.
  • How to Go to the Bathroom in the Field  This document provides tips and strategies to safely use the bathroom in the field.
  • What to Wear and What to Bring in the Field  This video reviews what to bring and how to dress safely for when conducting field work.

  • Periods and Fieldwork  This video reviews tips and tricks to help you plan for menstruating when conducting field work.

Other UCI resources (not confidential)

  • Campus Social Workers  The Office of the Campus Social Worker supports UCI students and staff during situations and crises that may be impacting their personal, academic, and work well- being, through short-term resource referral and long-term case management. Services are available to the entire UCI community at no cost. Phone Number: (949) 824-0101
  • Student Health Center  can provide on campus medical attention to students. It is important to note that any health center or physician treating the victim of a violent crime is obligated by law to report the crime to the police. The Student Health Center is available Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Address: 501 Student Health Irvine, California 92697 Phone: (949) 824-5301.
  • The Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct  is responsible for UCI’s campus-wide student conduct process and manages the adjudication and formal hearing process for sexual violence cases. The Office of Student Conduct also provides assistance, information, and referrals for students involved in cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct is available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Address: G308 Student Center, Irvine, CA 92697 Phone: (949) 824-5590.
  • UC Irvine Police  provides a timely response for staff, students, faculty, and members of the community experiencing a sex offense on campus. (For sex offenses off campus, local police should be contacted and UCIPD can help arrange this.) In addition, the police can arrange for medical evidentiary examinations in order to provide admissible evidence when the person reporting the sex offense desires prosecution through the criminal justice system. The UC Irvine Police Department encourages the University community, including students, to immediately contact them by dialing 911 or (949) 824-5223 to report a sex offense. The preservation of evidence is essential to the successful prosecution of a sex offense. UC Irvine Police Department personnel have been specially trained in the proper handling, identification, collection and preservation of such evidence. The UC Irvine Police Department is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week Address: 410 E. Peltason Dr. Irvine, CA 92697 Phone: (949) 824-5223 or 911.

Disability-related Accommodations

UCI will provide reasonable accommodations in all programs and activities of the University, including remote field work for students and employees.

For academic or workplace disability-accommodations   for students, UCI Disability Services Center can provide assistance with the interactive process and reasonable accommodations.   http://disability.uci.edu/ 

Phone: (949) 824-7494

For workplace disability-related accommodations   for employees,  Disability Management Services, can assist with the interactive process and reasonable accommodations.


Phone: (949) 824-9756

Religious Accommodations

If a member of the University community has a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance that conflicts with their obligation to the University (e.g., attending a class session, working on a particular day, participating in field research), the University will engage with that person in a good faith attempt to accommodate the identified need. The person requesting a religious accommodation and the person receiving such a request shall work together in an interactive process to identify appropriate accommodations. Field research students, trip leaders, and program administrators can refer to the following link for more information on engaging in the interactive process for religious accommodations: https://www.oeod.uci.edu/resources/religious-accommodations.php. OEOD is also available at oeod@uci.edu to help the UCI community (both the campus and UCI Health including the medical center) with questions, concerns, and complaints related to the protected basis of religion, including religious accommodations.