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Podcast: The Realities of Conducting Field Research Trips Abroad

Podcast: The Realities of Conducting Field Research Trips Abroad


Podcast with Dr. Bjorn Mercer, Program Director, Communication, Philosophy, Religion, World Languages and the Arts, and Dr. Jennifer Cramer, Faculty Member, School of Arts and Humanities, American Public University

A field research trip to an overseas location is a good opportunity for personal and professional development. However, this type of trip is not as simple as climbing aboard an airplane and being conveyed to a site. There are numerous factors requiring consideration, such as acclimation to another culture, logistics, planning and government permits. In addition, local conditions may demand on-the-fly decision making and problem solving.

In this podcast, Dr. Bjorn Mercer and anthropology professor Dr. Jennifer Cramer discuss the realities of setting up and going on a field research trip. Dr. Cramer recounts her experiences of studying primates in Costa Rica and Africa, and also provides insights into how to respect cultural norms, develop relationships, show transparency, and work with local translators and interviewees during field research.

About the Speakers

Dr. Bjorn Mercer is a Program Director at American Public University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Missouri State University, a master’s and doctorate in music from the University of Arizona, and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. He writes about leadership, management and why the humanities and liberal arts are critical to career success. Dr. Mercer also writes children’s music.

Dr. Jennifer Cramer is a professor of anthropology at American Public University. She is a biological anthropologist and has worked on research projects in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, The Gambia, and Ethiopia. Dr. Cramer enjoys teaching anthropology in a way that highlights how anthropology fits into daily life. She is passionate about not only anthropology but exploring the world and she greatly enjoys helping students, especially first-generation and first-year students, learn about finding a program and career they are passionate about pursuing.