“The show must go on!” Fieldwork, mental health and wellbeing in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Published on Mar 1, 2019in Area 2.19
· DOI :10.1111/area.12437
Faith Tucker9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Northampton),
John Horton18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Northampton)
Abstract
Fieldwork is central to the identity, culture and history of academic Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES). However, in this paper we recognise that, for many academic staff, fieldtrips can be a profoundly challenging ‘ordeal’, ill-conducive to wellness or effective pedagogic practice. Drawing upon research with 39 UK university-based GEES academics who self-identify as having a mental health condition, we explore how mental health intersects with spaces and expectations of fieldwork in Higher Education. We particularly focus upon their accounts of undertaking undergraduate residential fieldtrips and give voice to these largely undisclosed experiences. Their narratives run starkly counter to normative, romanticised celebrations of fieldwork within GEES disciplines. We particularly highlight recurrent experiences of avoiding fieldwork, fieldwork-as-‘ordeal’, and ‘coping’ with fieldwork, and suggest that commonplace anxieties within the neoliberal academy – about performance, productivity, fitness-to-work, self-presentation, scrutiny, and fear-of-falling-behind – are felt particularly intensely during fieldwork. In spite of considerable work to make fieldwork more accessible to students, we find that field-based teaching is experienced as a focal site of distress, anxiety and ordeal for many GEES academics with common mental health conditions. We conclude with prompts for reflection about how fieldwork could be otherwise.
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References23
Roberta Hawkins9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Guelph),
Maya Manzi1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Diana Ojeda8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Pontifical Xavierian University)
There has been significant attention paid to the corporatization and neoliberalization of the University as an institution in North America. In this article we examine the everyday and corporeal experiences of these processes on the lives of several graduate students in Geography PhD programs across North America. From a feminist perspective, we explore how these students become academic geographers through particular articulations of work/life embedded in complex power dynamics within the neoli...
11 Citations
Published on Mar 1, 2003in Gender Place and Culture 1.59
Karen Nairn16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Otago)
As geographers we are used to researching and teaching about those other than ourselves and it is timely to turn our gaze on the social and spatial practices of our own teaching spaces. One particular teaching space is the overnight geography field trip, a context in which geography fieldwork is ostensibly the main focus for two or more consecutive days. Teaching spaces such as classrooms and field trips, like all social spaces, are imbued with spoken and unspoken assumptions about sexuality, ge...
18 Citations Source Cite
Sarah von Schrader5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Cornell University),
Valerie Malzer2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Cornell University),
Susanne M. Bruyère14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Cornell University)
Disclosing a disability to a potential or current employer is a very personal decision, with potentially far-reaching consequences for both the employer and employee. Disability disclosure can assure that employees receive appropriate workplace accommodations, and can help employers respond more effectively to diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at increasing the hiring and retention of individuals with disabilities. However, disclosure may also result in negative employment consequences f...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 1998in Area 2.19
Sarah Maguire1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Liverpool Hope University)
Summary Although there has been some research examining the implications of changes in funding in higher education for undergraduate fieldwork, there has been little work looking at the effects that a more diverse student body has upon activities of this nature. This study aims to begin to redress this by researching the attitudes of students to fieldwork, and specifically by highlighting their gender differences.
35 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2003in International Journal of Stress Management 1.95
Anthony H. Winefield39
Estimated H-index: 39
,
Nichole Gillespie2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 3 AuthorsCarolyn M. Boyd9
Estimated H-index: 9
This article presents results from a study of occupational stress in Australian university staff. The authors report data on psychological strain and job satisfaction from nearly 9,000 respondents at 17 universities. Academic staff were generally worse off than general staff, and staff in newer universities were worse off than those in older universities. At the aggregate level, selfreport measures of psychological well-being were highly correlated with objective measures of university well-bein...
195 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2001in Educational Psychology 1.34
Gail Kinman20
Estimated H-index: 20
This paper reviews research on occupational stressors and strains amongst academics working in UK universities. A brief history of research conducted in this field in the USA, Australia and the UK is provided. Four major themes are considered: (a) the prevalence of self-reported occupational stress and strain; (b) the features of academic work that are potentially stressful; (c) the impact of these stressors; and (d) observed differences between gender, age and grade. Studies reviewed here sugge...
113 Citations Source Cite
John Horton18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Northampton),
Faith Tucker9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Northampton)
This paper considers the experiences of 75 university-based human and physical geographers who define themselves as disabled. We explore how diverse disabilities intersect with academic careers, lifestyles and workplaces, focusing on some common disciplinary and institutional spaces of human and physical geography. We identify two self-selecting groups of geographers who participated in our research. First, we discuss the experiences of those geographers who are active and politicised in relatio...
22 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2006in Quality in Higher Education
Gail Kinman20
Estimated H-index: 20
,
Fiona Jones27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Leeds),
Russell Kinman6
Estimated H-index: 6
(De Montfort University)
Abstract This paper compares the findings of two studies, conducted in 1998 and 2004, of academic staff in British universities. It examines the stability over time of working hours, specific work stressors and levels of psychological distress. Comparisons are also made between the levels of psychological distress currently reported by academic staff and those reported by other professional groups and the general population in the UK. Finally, the paper assesses the extent to which UK universiti...
57 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2009in Progress in Human Geography 6.88
Nadine Schuurman29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Simon Fraser University)
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2004in Journal of Geography in Higher Education 1.21
Tim Hall10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Gloucestershire),
Mick Healey18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Gloucestershire),
Margaret Harrison7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Gloucestershire)
Disabled students from a significant but under represented minority in higher education in the UK. Participation appears to be particularly low in disciplines that contain a fieldwork component. Fieldwork has been recognized as a barrier to the participation of disabled students. This paper emphasizes a critical perspective on fieldwork, highlighting the way in which fieldcourses as currently conceived, enacted and experienced, can exclude disabled students. It discusses a survey of the experien...
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Cited By2
Published on Sep 1, 2018in Nature Geoscience 14.39
Cédric M. John18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Imperial College London),
Saira Bano Khan (City University London)
Field work is an important and valued part of geoscience research, but can also serve as a source of stress. Careful planning can help support the mental health and wellness of participants at all career stages.
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Corey McAuliffe (University of Toronto), Ross Upshur45
Estimated H-index: 45
(University of Toronto)
+ 1 AuthorsErica Di Ruggiero8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Toronto)
The ways in which global health students experience trauma/distress while conducting global health fieldwork is understudied. No identifiable literature addresses the risks to students’ mental well-being, although physical wellness checks exist. Importantly, global health practitioners are at greater risk than the general population for moral distress, secondary-traumatic stress disorder, vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, burnout, stress, and anxiety. Students face increased risks (e...
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