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Field Safety in the News

Serious field accidents are infrequent, but they do happen and the consequences can be life-altering.  We have compiled a list of recent incidents involving field researchers to highlight the importance of assessing and managing field hazards. We want to learn from these tragedies and strive to prevent, or mitigate the impact of, similar incidents in the future. 

Field Activities

  2016: University of Maine Professor Killed in Research Trip to Antarctica

  2014: Scientist Rescued From Cave After 12 Days

  2014: Scientist Dies From Fall

  2014: After Falling into Crevasse, Researcher Rescues Self

  2012: Graduate Student Dies in Fall

  2011: Volcanic Eruption Kills UK Professor

  2003: Van Rollover Kills Postdoc and Professor in Transit to Field Camp

  2000: Five Scientists Die in Research Boating Accident


Wild Animal Attacks

  2015: Postdoc Killed by Elephant

  2014: Researcher Killed by Bear in Wyoming

  2010: Geologist Survives Bear Attack

  2005: Graduate Student Killed by Wolves

  2003: Marine Biologist Killed by Leopard Seal

  2001: Venomous Snake Bite Kills Researcher


Illnesses

  2015: Scientist Dies of Heart Attack in Ethiopia

  2011: Student Dies of Heat Stroke

  2010: Researcher Dies From Malaria

  2008: Biologist Dies From Plague

  2004: Graduate Student Dies of Hantavirus


Personal Safety

  2014: Study Finds Sexual Harassment and Assault Common In Field Work

  2013: American Academic Raped in Papua New Guinea

  2009: Researcher Shot, Mistaken for Thief

  2007: Geology Student Murdered in Colorado


Legal Issues

  2014: University of Toronto Researcher Arrested for Treason in Tajikistan

  2009: Graduate Students Arrested In Brazil for Visa and Permit Violations