Do I have to have my State and/or Federal Permits before I submit my IACUC Protocol?
NO. The IACUC does not require you to have your permits in hand to submit a protocol for review. Actually some permitting agencies will not issue your permits until you provide documentation of IACUC approval for the work. To prevent researchers from being caught in a "catch-22", the UAF IACUC can issue approval regardless of whether or not you have received your permits; however, IACUC approval is contingent upon the PI obtaining all required permits prior to initiating any activities involving animals. Conducting animal activities without the required permits is considered a violation of your IACUC Protocol.
I'm just doing behavioral observations on previously banded free-ranging birds, do I need a permit?
MAYBE. Decisions regarding permit applicability are solely under the purview of the State and Federal Management Agencies. Be sure to contact them during the planning phase to determine what permits are necessary for your project. Remember you will also need to obtain the permission of the land-owner or manager prior to accessing your field site. For lands controlled by an Alaska Native Corporation, State or Federal Agency this typically requires that you obtain a land use permit and comply with all permit requirements.
I want to follow a pod of orcas throughout the summer to determine the extent of their home range. I will be using sonar, so won't ever have to come into contact with the animals. Do I need a permit?
YES. Orcas are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and any activity involving them is closely monitored and regulated. You will likely have to apply for and receive multiple permits for any study involving marine mammals. Some of these permits must be obtained sequentially so contact the appropriate State and Federal Agencies as early in the planning phase as possible to find out what permits will be required and leave plenty of time for the agency to process your request. MMPA permits for work with cetaceans are issued by the Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. If you are using an active sonar (one that emits a signal) your activities may be subject to the expanded assessment process required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), you may need to allow a year or more to complete the permitting process.