Halmos Researcher Chimes In On Field Research and Social Distancing

Summer is the field research season. This year, CONVID 19 has stopped the season in its tracks. For more senior academic researchers, this cancellation is disappointing, summer is the main time they get to do it. For graduate students who may only get one or two field seasons to collect all the data they need for their thesis research, the loss of a summer field season can be a disaster, adding even more trouble to an incredibly stressful time.

This month, the American Scientist published an article discussing the subject. Entitled “Data Collection During Social Distancing”, Halmos College faculty member David Kerstetter, Ph.D. was interviewed. If graduate students aren’t able to collect or analyze data, one of the main goals of graduate school isn’t achieved.

“Especially in fisheries biology, there’s a strong component of professional training that goes beyond the required graduate-level coursework, including field techniques and data analysis,” said Kerstetter. “Not having data means fewer publications, the currency of academia, which also affects future placement into doctoral programs. Not having field data collection experience would be a caution flag for any potential employee or prospective doctoral student in a position that would involve extensive fieldwork, even if that lack was due to something beyond everyone’s control.”

The article continues with giving potential solutions.