The Virtual Field

Field experiences in undergraduate research boost motivation, critical thinking and academic success for students of all backgrounds and disciplines. Yet due to logistical and financial barriers, these experiences are limited to only a small proportion of students. Virtual field experiences are one way to remove these barriers. 

The Center is leading and collaborating on The Virtual Field, an international coalition of 50 field stations and marine laboratories that creates virtual field experiences. Learning experiences for virtual visitors of all ages and backgrounds include:  

  1. Ecosystem Exploration Video Series: Students learn observation, communication, questioning and critical thinking skills with a series of self-guided scaffolded exercises. 

  2. Live from the Field: Students learn about the process of research and interact with researchers at their field sites. 

  3. 360 Degree Video Series: Students explore ecosystems across latitudes and through seasonal changes in this collection of 360 videos.

The Virtual Field emerged from a grassroots effort by the Organization of Biological Field Stations during the Covid-19 pandemic. The foundational National Science Foundation grant was led by Claudia Luke at CEI along with Hilary Swain at Archbold Biological Station and Kari O’Connell of the STEM Research Center at Oregon State University. Please see website for more details about how to use materials or contribute content.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you are interested in working on The Virtual Field - as a volunteer, faculty, student, or donor. 

Dr. Claudia Luke
Director Center for Environmental Inquiry
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
707-536-8915 (mobile)