Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Field Research/ Research in Remote Locations

  • Field research often takes place in locations where native flora/ fauna/ parasitic and microbial agents can present novel health hazards, especially to non-native people. Medical care can be difficult to obtain, and/ or made more complicated to obtain due to language barriers, remote field locations, etc.
  • Consult with the EHS Occupational Health Program on appropriate prevention and treatment strategies, vaccinations and so forth AT LEAST SEVERAL MONTHS before you begin your field work. The Occupational Health physician can recommend specific first aid provisions, and supply medication such as anti-malarials. Consultation with your primary care physician is also recommended.
  • Safety training that can be customized for your needs is available through EHS for groups or individuals who will travel to remote areas for field research. Contact EHS at 231-3600.
  • Contact individuals in your field or department who have traveled/ worked in your destination area in order to gain critical knowledge regarding:
    • local flora/fauna hazard awareness
    • routine and emergency communications, transportation, medical/emergency treatment available locally
    • language and culture of local populations
  • Review the important information provided at Office of Export and Secure Research Compliance. This site includes links to the U. S. State Department.
  • Review the U.S. State Department's travel information about your destination area, and know the location of the nearest U.S. Embassy. Register your travels online using the Smart Traveler Enrollment program on the State Department's website. This registration will provide you with information updates on your destination.
  • Learn about current health risks that could be encountered at your destination by going to the "Destinations" page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • For students participating in study-abroad programs, register with Virginia Tech's Global Education Office. See their website for valuable travel advice and information, and review Virginia Tech's Global Travel Policy.