Two recent publications (Clancy et al. 2014, Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees report harassment and assault; Nelson et al. 2017, Signaling safety: Characterizing fieldwork experiences and their implications for career trajectories) documented the pervasive presence of sexual harassment and assault in fieldwork settings (e.g., research and field courses) and illustrated some of the cascading effects of this behavior.
Based on recommendations from those papers, a committee of Penn State Department of Anthropology graduate students, including Richard Bankoff, Raining Wang, and Stephen Johnson from our lab (and also Julie White and Nadia Johnson), and advised by Dr. Perry, developed two documents that clearly describe expectations for behavior in the field and provide resources and multiple different reporting structures to address any issues that do occur. These documents (see below) can be used in each field experience led by the Department of Anthropology. We also hope that by disseminating these documents to our colleagues at other universities and departments, others will benefit from having them as templates. It is only with broad support that we can truly work towards decreasing the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault and providing a safe and supportive environment for all the members of our community. We would also like to thank the authors of the two studies referenced above: Kathryn Clancy, Robin Nelson, Julienne Rutherford, and Katie Hinde for their encouragement and advice, and Michelle Bezanson who shared a similarly-motivated document that she uses in her field courses and field research settings.
For our lab, we tailor these documents for each of our field sites and hold a meeting to discuss these issues and how important they are to us, and our expectations for behavior, at the outset of each of our lab's trips, with everyone associated with our team present. See here for more details on the construction of this process. These principles and expectations for professional behavior apply universally to all settings for our lab.
Here are links to the current versions of the two documents, as hosted on the Penn State Department of Anthropology website: