An EDI issue we have had around fieldwork is financial.
The department can provide things like field equipment and PPE, but it is very difficult for us to provide every student with a pair of boots, for example. This presents an issue in terms of health and safety as well as accessibility of the course. We haven’t solved this issue yet, but it is something we are aware of. Another area where finances become a limitation is around computer and technical facilities. We like to use computing facilities outside in the field, for example, on a small boat or in a field laboratory setting. This is hugely beneficial to the students as they can see the process happening and can see the data coming in live. But we are a little limited in how much we can utilise this due to varying access to computing facilities and whether students are willing to bring them into the field.
Something we are trying to establish at our university is where students can donate their equipment if they want to at the end of the course. We do have a supply of kit but it is tricky as the students have been told before they start what the additional costs are going to be. So the university argues that as the students are aware of those costs before they start their course that they should be in a position to pay for their own kit.