Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to present the types of physical and biological hazards that one may encounter during fieldwork expeditions. The chapter is general in that it intends to call attention to those issues that need to be addressed for any journey. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to describe the specific cultural traditions and safety issues apparent in multiple countries around the world. Nor is it within the scope of this chapter to provide the reader with a detailed description of the signs and symptoms of the many biological hazards one may encounter while in these countries. Rather, this chapter will describe variables that must be considered before mounting a field expedition. The authors will draw from field experiences where appropriate. The chapter also offers practical considerations and preparation recommendations for travel and research in remote regions, and describes several cultural challenges sometimes faced by paleoimaging expeditions.

A helpful motto to adopt in any fieldwork setting is "Be prepared and expect the unexpected."

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