Guidance on Research Field Work for Fall 2020

Research at field sites may resume in the Fall 2020 semester as long as it is consistent with current travel restrictions, stay-at-home directives, and density and social distancing requirements. Field work has significant variation, ranging from single PI projects focused in the Atlanta metropolitan area to multi-institution projects operating at remote field sites. Field work uses a variety of research methods, with examples including deployment of sophisticated instrumentation, collection of data from human subjects at offsite product testing events, and maintaining networks of sensors. 

This guidance is effective Aug 17, 2020 until revised by subsequent guidance.

  • We recommend that resumption of field work be prioritized for:
    • research with grant and contract deadlines;
    • students facing PhD defenses;
    • research facing the loss of important data such as continuous time series where critical sampling events may be missed;
    • field work requiring significant preparation (including quarantine or isolation, pre-visit testing); and
    • logistically complex programs organized by external organizations.
  • We recommend that field deployments that can be delayed with minimal impact should not resume at this time.


- Posted August 19, 2020