Field stations and marine laboratories (FSMLs) are sentinels of Earth’s climate, providing scientists with the infrastructure to collect data in otherwise inaccessible areas of the globe. Many FSMLs were built around and continue to perpetuate male-dominated institutional ideologies, making it difficult for women, BIPOC, and those with intersecting identities to progress, succeed, and thrive. In a collaborative effort across field ecologists and communication scholars working with women navigating these spaces, this book’s priorities are to: 1) document the gender history of FSMLs; 2) provide a context for the current organizational culture and understand the current communication climate dynamics; 3) explore current barriers to leadership, success, and factors that contribute to positive communication climates in FSMLs, and 4) explore strategies, programs, and interventions for supporting women’s leadership roles, as well as, to develop best practices for policy, resource allocation, and field station design to better support and increase women’s leadership roles in FSMLs.
Victoria McDermott is current Ph.D. student and instructor of communication at the University of Maryland and adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Jennifer M. Gee is director of the James San Jacinto Mountains and Oasis de los Osos Reserves, field research stations that are a part of the University of California Natural Reserve System and the University of California, Riverside.
Amy R. May is assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Introduction to Field Stations and Marine Laboratories by Victoria McDermott, Jennifer Gee, and Amy R. May
Part I: Setting the Stage of FSMLs
Chapter 1: Defining the Role and Value of FSMLs by Victoria McDermott, Jennifer Gee, and Amy R. May
Chapter 2: The Isthmus by Sylvia Torti
Part II: Experiences in the Field
Chapter 3: “Brush your hair, apply for every grant you can, get laid as often as possible”: Women’s Muted Experiences Conducting Scientific Research in the Tropics by Victoria McDermott
Chapter 4: Make the Approach and Get the Data: Challenges, Teamwork, and Cultures of Support for Women Who Are Scientists and Parents at Field Stations and Marine Labs by Diane Debinski
Chapter 5: Experiences of a Female Leader at Field Stations and Marine Labs by Sarah D. Oktay
Chapter 6: From the Standpoint of Women FSML Directors: Communication, Leadership, and the Impact of Gender Norms by Victoria McDermott and Amy R. May
Chapter 7: Identifying Factors that Contribute to Positive and Negative Student Experiences at Field-Based Institutions by Danielle M. Becker, Jessica E. Griffin, and Cassandra M. L. Miller
Chapter 8: The Gift Relationship: How Mentoring Results in Success for Women in Field Station Leadership Roles by Sarah D. Oktay and Brian D. Kloeppel
Chapter 9: Are Field Stations and Nature Centers Gendered Work Spaces? by Lara D. Roketenetz and Gary M. Holliday
Chapter 10: Women’s Perspective on Building International Community-Field Station Partnerships by Rhonda Struminger, Gabriela Maria Vázquez Adame, and Yamila Hussein-Shannan
Chapter 11: A Long (Community) Engagement: From Journalism to Field Stations by Lisa Busch
Part III: Recommendations for FSMLs
Chapter 12: Recommendations for Developing More Diverse, Equitable, Accessible, and Inclusive FSMLs by Amy R. May, Victoria McDermott, and Jennifer Gee
“Women of the Wild is an empowering, engaging, and intellectually stimulating set of chapters that depict, with delightful and sometime heart-wrenching detail, how women who work in field stations and marine laboratories (FSMLs) persevere, improvise, manage, and relate to others and their environmental challenges. From interview and case studies to autoethnographies, the varied approaches build new knowledge about and practical strategies for handling these women’s everyday experiences. Their inspirational chapters speak to the passion and resilience in human endeavors.”
“We tend to romanticize wildlife research in remote places, but that belies some serious challenges women in particular have to face in doing fieldwork. While the dangers of the wild make for thrilling and sometimes tragic tales, what we don’t often hear about are the particular risks women face from predatory men. Women of the Wild is a refreshing and powerful edited volume that brings together a variety of experiences of women doing research in remote field stations and marine laboratories around the world. This collection includes research-based articles, first person accounts, and fictionalized retellings of harrowing experiences and creative responses from women who nevertheless persisted. A must read for anyone who does fieldwork, has field researchers in their life, or simply enjoys reading about adventures in the wild.”