The new module was piloted in spring 2018 by a number of departments including Biological Sciences, Geography and Social Anthropology.The project group has concluded that the CIM module is a good tool for managing fieldwork and research cruises, with four key advantages:
The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with a high international profile and several centres of excellence. Renowned for its academic diversity and high quality, UiB is the most cited university in Norway.The university was founded in 1946 and is situated in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. The UiB consists of seven faculties and a total of 16,900 students – Of which 1,880 are international. They employ 3,600 staff.
The Department of Biological Sciences identified a need for a digital and consistent registry of all students and staff on field trips and research cruises, and was one of three departments participating in the pilot test.
Most of the students at the department conduct one or more field trips or spend time on research cruises during their studies. There may be a couple of hundred students at different locations around the world at various times of the year. Up until now, all student data, contact information and next of kin information has been archived manually, in paper-based files.
Olaug Eiksund, Senior Adviser at Division of Human Resources, says:
”It is difficult to have an overview of ongoingfieldwork and research cruises, and how to contact the participants or their next of kin, in the event of an incident. The students fill in the information and hand in the field cards to the administration prior to all fieldwork and research cruises, resulting in a massive archive of field cards with limited access and no indexing.”
The university had already implemented CIM as their main tool for crisis and incident management. They therefore asked for an additional module for a log system to keep track of which students were on what assignment, where, and for how long – and should anything happen, such as an accident or illness, what was their contact information and who were their next of kin.
The result was a new, specially designed module for Electronic Field Cards, with all the data previously stored in binders now accessible in CIM. Eiksund says:
”The administrator, who is the person responsible for the fieldwork and research cruises at the department, now enters the basic data and prepares the participant list in CIM. The CIM Electronic Field Cards then retrieve the data from the central student registry, with basic information about who they are and their study details. Students and staff participating on the fieldwork and research cruises, are then emailed a message telling them to log on to the system and update their information, phone number and next of kin.”
Prior to the trip, those registered receive a text message to which they must reply stating whether they are participating or not, due to any reason, such as an illness. The department then gets an update, not only informing them of who was scheduled to go, but who is actually participating on the fieldwork and research cruises.After returning from the trip, all participating students and staff get a new text message, where they must respond to verify they are safely back home.
The new module was piloted by the Departments of Biological Sciences, Geography and Social Anthropology during spring 2018.
Jonathan Soulé, Senior Engineer at the Department of Biological Sciences, who participated as an administrator, says the pilot test was successful;
”This new tool has a lot of advantages over the manual system. Handwritten field cards are not always easy to read, and definitely not searchable. Information is there – but stored in binders in an office. Not easy to access or use in an emergency.”
Soulé says he finds the new module to be both comforting and an admin relief for a number of staff on the fieldwork and research cruises:
”It lets you sleep at night, knowing you have control of the information, should anything happen.”
The University of Bergen experienced impressive improvements with CIM. If you’d like to discover just how comprehensive and universal true incident and emergency management software can be, why not get in touch with One Voice and see what we can do for you.