Best practices for LGBTQ+ inclusion during ecological fieldwork: considering safety, cis/heteronormativity and structural barriers.

Published online
19 Sep 2023
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Coon, J. J. & Alexander, N. B. & Smith, E. M. & Spellman, M. & Klimasmith, I. M. & Allen-Custodio, L. T. & Clarkberg, T. E. & Lynch, L. & Knutson, D. & Fountain, K. & Rivera, M. & Scherz, M. & Morrow, L. K.
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LGBTQ+ individuals face unique barriers to participation in ecology. Such barriers are particularly relevant during fieldwork, including physical and discriminatory risks, increased isolation and noninclusive infrastructure. To make science and fieldwork more accessible to LGBTQ+ people, we must consider safety and survival needs along with personal LGBTQ+ affirmation. In this paper, we discuss alleviating barriers to participation in field ecology, identify best practices for institutions and provide advice for LGBTQ+ field researchers and heterosexual advocates. Synthesis and applications. We recommend that mentors and institutions take action on the safety, financial, medical and administrative support needed by field researchers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or other marginalized gender and sexual identities (LGBTQ+) field researchers. We also suggest that LGBTQ+ field ecologists prioritize their wellbeing and safety, and recommend maintaining connection to LGBTQ+ communities and identities during isolating fieldwork.

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