Field Research

Field travel to conduct  research can be challenging in many ways. Adverse situations in the field may be difficult to overcome for lack of planning. Provisions such as completing required training and hazard assessments, knowing the location of nearby rescue or medical facilities, determining appropriate supplies and safety equipment, understanding emergency contact procedures, etc., should not be overlooked prior to departure. The importance of pre-planning cannot be stressed enough. We have provided the following information to assist you in planning for both a safe and successful field trip. As a minimum, any remote trip to the field should include developing a Field Emergency Plan, performing Hazard Assessments of the research tasks performed, and completing any requisite safety training prior to departure.

Field Emergency Plans

The UAF Field Emergency Plan (FEP) is intended to provide UAF traveler’s with a sound action plan to cope with emergencies encountered during official travel at field locations within the United States and abroad. A completed plan should be forwarded for review to Environmental, Health, Safety, and Risk Management (EHSRM) by the trip leader or other authorized employee, no later than 10 days prior to the start of travel. Your Department/Institute Director must also review and acknowledge (approve) your plan prior to travel. This is your plan, and you are ultimately responsible to ensure the safety of your travelers. A guideline for completing a Field Emergency Plan is shown below.

Hazard Assessments

Before departing for the field, you should also complete hazard assessments of the tasks you will likely perform during your research trip. These assessments, or Job Hazard Analysis, will help you determine important provisions such as required safety equipment, training, or other items needed to ensure the safety of you and your fellow researchers. Information, training, and instructions for completing a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) can be found here.

 

Training Opportunities

In addition to the basic safety training required by all UAF employees, you may require additional training based on the location or nature of your research. For example, if you are working remote from any nearby medical assistance, at least one person in your party must be trained to provide First Aid/CPR. Below we’ve listed some training opportunities that may be relevant to your work. Please note that EHSRM does not provide or sponsor (pay) for these training courses. Any additional training costs are the responsibility of the department traveling. Please note that availability may be limited. We highly recommended you determine your additional needs and schedule training well in advance of your anticipated travel.

Course Contact information Cost
Water Safety (Alaska Water Wise) http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/waterws1.htm Yes
Alaska Boating Safety http://www.boatus.org/alaska/ Free
Alaska Boater Education Course http://www.boaterexam.com/usa/alaska/ Yes
Bear/Firearms Safety Contact Mr. Joe Nava at (907) 479-2340 Yes
Wilderness First Aid http://www.vitalvoyage.net/ Yes
Ski Mountaineering http://www.uaf.edu/draw/outdoor-adventures/classes/ Yes
Learn to Return (LTR)* http://www.survivaltraining.com/index.html Yes
ATV Rider Course (Hands-on) https://online.svia.org/training/Enroll/EnrollIntro.aspx Yes
ATV Safety Institute E-Course http://www.atvsafety.org/ Free**
Snowmobile Safety Awareness Training http://www.saferiderssafetyawareness.org/ Free
Snowmachine User/Avalanche Training http://www.alaskaavalancheschool.com/ Yes

* LTR offers several specialized survival courses (aviation, bear, and water safety; Remote First Aid/CPR, etc.)

**Small fee if you want to receive a state certificate (which is not required in Alaska)

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