Responsible Adventuring and Science During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As an organization committed to advancing human health as well as environmental health, we consider it a moral imperative to ensure our staff, volunteers, and the communities in which we work are as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, while continuing to bring in the critical data scientists need.
After initially pausing field work, we consulted with medical experts, set in place new procedures, and evaluated geographic plans with public land managers. We’re happy to report that all of our current projects once again have volunteers in the field.
While our Montana Wildlife Connectivity project has concluded for the 2020 season, road cyclists can apply now for 2021 and beyond. Cyclists can volunteer to ride anywhere, anytime for our Global Wildlife Connectivity project. We also invite volunteers to apply for our Wild and Scenic Rivers and Timber Tracking projects, which have resumed in limited areas.
We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases daily in the regions in which we work. We use data, trends, and forecasts to inform where volunteers are permitted to collect scientific samples. We continually adjust our data collection efforts in response to these metrics and in accordance with federal, state, and local guidance. We also sanitize all sampling equipment used for data collection and offer “no contact” shipping and pick ups to further reduce risk.
We require volunteers to avoid long-distance travel specifically to collect data, to respect restrictions in the areas in which they are working, and to be mindful of how their actions during their travels may contribute both to their own risk and to the spread of the disease.
Critical scientific research has been unavoidably set back by the pandemic. Travel restrictions and work freezes have upended not just summer field season plans but the ability of scientists to plan their research beyond this year. Our network of volunteers can fill data gaps. They live across the globe, enabling them to deploy locally or regionally in areas where more extensive travel is discouraged. We are also actively helping partners design and build new projects. Learn more or contact us.
In our Bozeman, MT, headquarters, we have implemented new cleaning, travel, and physical distancing practices. We also have a flexible schedule policy and an expanded remote work policy to support the health and well-being of employees and their families. Office visits are currently restricted, but we welcome you to connect with us virtually or in the great outdoors.