Fieldwork Commencing Around the World

The global coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has touched the lives of nearly everyone on the planet.  The measures in place to help restrict the spread of this highly infectious and pernicious disease have had a profound effect.  As some restrictions are lifted, one area of science is trying to get back to near normal working practices.  Fieldwork for a number of institutions and universities is beginning to commence once again, although with strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place.

Research Projects Commencing Around the World

Abri Faravel fieldwork.
Fieldwork has commenced as scientists in the Northern Hemisphere hope to make the best of the summer weather.  However, great care will have to be taken with regards to personal hygiene and social distancing.  Close proximity working as seen here, is going to have to be re-visited and many dig sites and workstations will need to be reorganised.

Picture credit: Loïc Damelet, CNRS/Centre Camille Jullian

Not Normal Working Practices for Fieldwork

Scientists, like many in the rest of the population have got used to remote conference calls, webinars, Facebook discussion groups and Zoom calls.  Fieldwork will still have to be carried out and in many cases, fossils exposed on the surface, if they are not collected quite quickly, can soon be eroded away once exposed to the elements.

Field teams exploring fossil sites in the Northern Hemisphere hope to make the best of the warm summer weather.  Great care will have to be taken with regards to social distancing and personal hygiene.  Occupying adjacent workstations at a dig site, will have to be carefully considered, as will the need to share tools, water bottles, tents and such like.  Organising fieldwork involves a great deal of planning.  Under the current difficulties, these plans are going to have to be even more comprehensive.

Organising Fieldwork is Going to be Even More Challenging

Flint tools found in Ceredigion.
University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) – Lampeter campus working at the Neolithic dig site.  Fieldwork is going to have to be carefully managed under COVID-19 restrictions.

Picture credit: University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Having carefully reviewed the current guidelines, we have reluctantly cancelled all our planned fieldwork operations for the rest of this year.  This has been a tough decision to make, but in the interests of all the staff and the wider community, we felt it was the right thing to do.”

We wish all those academics, commercial fossil hunters, students and volunteers about to embark on fieldwork, every success with their endeavours. Stay safe, keep well.

The Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.