This workshop will bring together veteran and less experienced graduate students to share practical considerations and strategies for field research that is safe, robust, and more responsive to local realities – antidotes to Helicopter Science.
Research conducted by graduate students generates a considerable portion of new knowledge that fuels tropical biology and conservation. These key early-career actors are well positioned to pave new ways to conduct science that balances the needs of rigorous data collection with the wishes and (sometimes) demands of local partners.
This two-hour workshop seeks to bring together veteran and less experienced graduate students to share practical considerations and strategies for field research that is safe, robust, and seeks to be responsive to local realities. This discussion-based workshop will address the following objectives:
Discuss ways to acknowledge and integrate research status as an outsider;
Explore strategies to facilitate personal safety; Illuminate ways to exchange knowledge, show appreciation, and potentially generate local benefits, while recognizing significant limitations;
Provide additional information/literature to deepen understanding of this topic.
The workshop focuses on the roles and interests of graduate students in addressing the highly critical concept of Helicopter or Parachute Science. The premise is that graduate students are keenly interested in doing science that is equitable and fair yet also are very concerned with generating solid research that advances their career goals. Building on previous work, we seek to create a space where these dual challenges of rigorous science and local relevance and benefits can be openly discussed. We hope to uncover lessons learned by veteran graduate students, discuss practical alternative approaches to Helicopter Science, and generate a sense of common purpose with possible paths forward.
Preliminarily, the workshop will be carried out in four stages: 1) A brief opener and welcome, where the concept of helicopter or parachute science will be briefly introduced; 2) Small group work: Students will be divided into veteran (those who carried out fieldwork and are reflecting on their experience) and less experienced (those planning to do fieldwork) groups to allow more intimate discussion of concerns and questions related to the first three objectives; 3) Plenary: Sharing of small group perceptions with veteran students responding to less experienced student concerns; 4) Wrap up and closure.
Can graduate students ground the helicopters? Practical considerations for safe, robust, and locally responsive research
2nd July 2023. 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM (4)