Visitor Access

Visitor Access & Public Relations

The UAF Animal Facilities are restricted access facilities for two primary reasons: 1) to protect the animals from injury and disease; and 2) to prevent disruption of ongoing research activities. Although protection of the animals and research is of primary concern, the Office of Research Integrity and the facility managers recognize that it is important to allow some visitors into the facilities (i.e. prospective students or employees, federal agency inspectors, and funding agency representatives). The following guidelines must be followed for all animal facility visits, with the exception of the public areas of the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station (LARS) and the Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Stations (AFES) in Fairbanks and Palmer.

All funding and government oversight agency inspectors should be directed to the Office of Research Integrity prior to being permitted to enter the animal facility. This is to ensure that they have valid credentials and so that an escort can be arranged to take them through the facility(ies) of interest. Such inspectors will be provided access in keeping with all applicable regulatory and/or award conditions.

All other visits must be approved by the animal facility manager or attending veterinarian. In the case of individual visitors this may be arranged with very little lead time by calling or emailing the facility manager (contact information) or the attending veterinarian (contact information). Group visits (i.e. for classes) must be arranged well in advance, to avoid disrupting research and animal care activities.

  • Visits to a specific animal colony and/or research room must be approved by the facility manager as well as the Principal Investigator.
  • Visitors must agree to abide by all animal facility procedures and specific conditions of the visit.
  • Visitors must be escorted by an authorized user at all times while in the facility.
  • It is the responsibility of the authorized user escorting the visitor(s) to convey all relevant health and safety information and ensure that visitors comply with all animal facility policies and any specific conditions of the visit.
  • During the visit every effort must be made to avoid disturbing research animals and settings.
  • Visitors are not permitted to handle animals
  • Use of cameras or other recording devices is not permitted in the animal facility unless approved by the Animal Resources Center Director and ORI. Note: This does not apply to recordings made by a principal investigator of their own animals, equipment or procedures for use in scientific presentations or publications. It also does not apply to recordings authorized in an approved IACUC protocol.
  • Visitors are not permitted in quarantine rooms without permission of the Attending Veterinarian and must be escorted by a member of the Veterinary Services staff.

All inquiries regarding animal facilities or animal care/welfare from the general public, members of the media, or UAF personnel should be directed to the Office of Research Integrity.

Facility Entrance & Exit Procedures

The UAF owned animal facilities, with the exception of the public areas of LARS and the Agriculture and AFES, are restricted access facilities. This is to ensure the health and safety of the animals and the integrity of the research being conducted within the facilities. Access to restricted areas may only be granted by the facility manager once all training and occupational health and safety requirements have been met. Continuing access is a privilege and is contingent upon adherence to all applicable policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Personnel should not wear their street shoes and should either change clothes (scrubs, coveralls or a clean set of clothes kept for use in the facility) or wear protective clothing (lab coat) over their street clothes while in any animal facility. These are best practice recommendations for all facilities except in the Biological Research and Diagnostics (BiRD) building, where they are required. A washing machine and drier is available in the Irving and BiRD animal facilities for laundering protective clothing. Such measures help to minimize the potential for disease transmission into or out of the animal facilities and reduces the chance of exposing people outside the animal facilities to animal allergens.

Minors in Animal Facilities

The animal housing and research areas are restricted access facilities. Minors are not allowed in a restricted access facility without authorization from Risk Management in addition to the normal authorizations required for new animal facility or research personnel (Principal Investigator, IACUC, facility manager, and ORI). Minors must be under the direct supervision of an authorized user at all times while in a UAF animal facility. Contact UAF Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management (x5413 or UAF-EHSRM@alaska.edu) for information related to minors on campus.

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