B&W Safety

In an emergency, call 911 from a safe location.

Biology and Wildlife is committed to laboratory and field safety for all our employees and students.  Learning to work safely and responsibly is part of learning to work in the sciences.  As a department, we strive to provide faculty, teaching assistants, course assistants, and students access to the resources and training necessary to work effectively and safely.

Biology and Wildlife Lab Supervisor, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Safety Coordinator: Patrick Knavel, pdknavel@alaska.edu, (907) 474-5622

Biology and Wildlife Lab Technician: Rosa Villarreal, rvvillarreal@alaska.edu, (907) 474-7205

Biology and Wildlife's Chemical Hygiene Plan is based on the general UAF Chemical Hygiene Plan prepared by EHSRM. 

The B&W CHP contains the essential information needed to safely work and supervise students in Biology and Wildlife laboratories, and must be read before labs begin.  Students are not expected to read the plan, but must be trained in their responsibilities by the TA and/or instructor for their course.

SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) documents provide instructions, safety precautions and waste management guidelines for hazardous laboratory tasks that are carried out in Biology and Wildlife lab courses.  If you are carrying out a procedure that has an SOP, you must request training in that SOP from the B&W Laboratory Supervisor before carrying out the procedure. 

If you are a TA or instructor for a course and are carrying out a hazardous task that is not covered by the available SOPs, it is your responsibility to notify the B&W Lab Supervisor in advance so that an SOP can be developed and approved.  You do NOT need to prepare your own SOP, but will need to provide information needed for the SOP as requested.  SOPs must be approved by the Laboratory Supervisor and EHSRM before the lab activity takes place.

Click on the links below to access the B&W CHP and SOPs. 

Last updated 8/22/2023

Field work includes both local and remote site work.  The hazards of field work vary depending on the type of work, location of work, and season.  When field work is conducted as part of a course, it is the instructor's responsibility to ensure student safety for the duration of the fieldwork by making sure that that any and all necessary plans, procedures, and training are in place.

Under no circumstances shall a student work alone in the field.

Course-Related Student Field Projects

Some courses have students work on individual or small group projects that take them into the field.  Even when working on an independent or individual project, a student should never work alone.  Instructors are responsible for documenting field work and emergency plans prior to the initiation of field work to ensure student safety. B&W requires written documentation of field work plans that must be signed by the student(s) and instructor responsible for them. 

Instructors are asked to complete an a Field Safety Plan (developed by department faculty and approved by EHSRM) with your students who are planning independent field work.  Not all parts will apply to all projects, but it will help you make sure students have considered everything necessary to complete their field work safely. For assistance with digital signatures, contact the B&W Safety Coordinator.




UAF's EHSRM has additional resources that are useful for planning field work and remote travel:

Students and employees may find many of these resources useful for planning personal outings as well as university-related ones, and instructors and TAs are encouraged to make students aware of them.

Field Trips

For short, local class field trips, it is relatively simple to make arrangements:

Vehicle Rental

  • course instructor or TA can contact the B&W Office Manager to arrange vehicle rental for the date(s) needed.  Students are expected to ride with the group rather than drive themselves.  The course instructor must address requests for exceptions to the Department Chair at least 2 weeks prior to the trip for consideration. Guests and visitors who are not enrolled in the course may NOT participate in class field trips.
  • the employees who will drive the university vehicle(s) need to meet with the B&W Office Manager to complete required paperwork and driving record check(s).  This must be done at least one week prior to the field trip.  If out-of-state driving records must be obtained, more time should be allowed.   Drivers must read and abide by the UA Transportation Safety Guide and UAF Vehicle Rental Agreement. The only drivers permitted are employees who are driving as part of their paid employment.

Student Accident Insurance 

  • students participating in field trips are automatically provided student accident insurance. The instructor or TA must provide all students in the course who will participate in the field trip with information about their student accident insurance
Field Courses or Extended Field Trips

Instructors planning field courses or extended field trips should review the planning materials available through EHSRM's website and contact EHSRM for assistance in the development and approval of a field safety plan.  Vehicle rentals and student accident insurance can be handled as described above for class field trips. 

Last updated 8/22/2023

The required training provides employees with information needed to work safely and comply with State and Federal regulations.  Contact the B&W Lab Supervisor (907-474-5622) or Lab Technician (907-474-7205) if you have questions about required training, or if you need to be enrolled in the Canvas required training course. For all training, save your certificate or email documenting successful completion and upload this confirmation to the appropriate Canvas course assignment.  

Below is a list of training, current as of 1/6/2021.  

Training requiring annual renewal is marked with an asterisk (*).

Biology and Wildlife employees who work with students, including all TAs, must complete the following:

*Title IX Training is required annually between July 1st and September 30th. Information on training availability can be found on the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability training page 

Trainings required through MyUA

  1. Workplace Harassment Prevention
  2. Behavior Based Safety (BBS)
  3. *FERPA
  4. Any other training in the "Tier I" training list must be completed as well

General employee trainings required through UAF EHSRM

  1. Employee Safety Orientation
  2. Hazard Communication GHS
  3. Office Safety (general)
  4. Slips, Trips and Falls
  5. Protection of Minors ("Shine a Light", unless you work directly with minors; instructions for accessing the training are on EHSRM's website)

Laboratory personnel trainings required through UAF EHSRM

  1. UAF Laboratory Safety
  2. UAF Hazardous Waste Management, initial, followed by annual renewal of;  
    • *UAF Hazardous Waste Management, annual refresher
  3. UAF Chemical Hygiene

DEAP training through IAB's website

  1. *Departmental Emergency Action Plan (DEAP) (click on the Dept EAPs tab, open the DEAPs for each building you work in, read them and submit a quiz for each building)

B&W TAs must complete:

  1. Driver's Safety Training
  2. *B&W TA orientation (in-person)
  3. *B&W Chemical Hygiene Plan Training (in-person)

Instructors are also expected to read and follow the B&W Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Other trainings (e.g. Bloodborne Pathogen, Laboratory Sharps, Compressed Gases, Formaldehyde, training on B&W specific SOPs, etc.) may be required depending on the work that you do. It is your responsibility to contact the B&W Laboratory Supervisor, 907-474-5622, to arrange additional training.  You must complete all training requirements before you begin work.

Last updated 8/22/2023


In an emergency, call 911 from a safe location.  A phone is available in the south (front) entry of the Murie Building, between the outer and inner entry doors.  For all emergencies, follow the emergency procedures specified in the Departmental Emergency Action Plan (DEAP) Document and report the incident after the emergency has been handled by the appropriate emergency personnel.

Injuries and damage to property must be reported to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor (907-474-5622), B&W Laboratory Technician (907-474-7205) and to EHSRM using the Origami on-line reporting system.  You must log in using your UA credentials to submit a report.  Any injury requiring medical attention must be reported immediately after the emergency has been dealt with.  For an injury to a TA, instructor, or other person paid to assist with teaching the course or lab, select the appropriate employee reporting option. Employee injuries must be reported immediately, within 8 hours of the incident. For an injury to a student, select the non-employee option (students taking a course are students, not employees, in the context of the course). 

If there is a problem in the building that creates a hazard and could harm someone or cause major damage (e.g. an electrical short, a major plumbing leak, etc.), notify Facilities Services at 907-474-7000 immediately.  Also notify the B&W Lab Technician, 907-474-7205, and B&W Lab Supervisor, 907-474-5622.


The following must be reported to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor (907-474-5622) and B&W Laboratory Technician (907-474-7205) as soon as the incident has been handled and it is safe and non-disruptive to do so:

  • minor incidents and near-misses in lab.  Even if an incident is minor, it must be reported so that we can detect patterns of minor injuries and put appropriate preventive measures in place. 
  • safety concerns or questions associated with B&W labs.
  • non-emergency problems with B&W lab spaces (e.g. minor drip from a faucet, a light is out, a window shade won't raise or lower, etc.). 


Last updated 8/22/2023

Departmental Resources:

B&W Laboratory Supervisor, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and Safety Coordinator:

Patrick Knavel, pdknavel@alaska.edu, 907-474-5622

B&W Laboratory Technician:

Rosa Villarreal, rvvillarreal@alaska.edu, 907-474-7205

Equipment manuals and guides for various non-hazardous procedures used in the teaching labs are available on a shared Google Drive site. If you are a TA or instructor for a Biology and Wildlife course, you should have access to these through your UAF account. If you cannot access them, e-mail the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.

Hazardous procedures that require an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) are covered by the B&W Chemical Hygiene Plan.  For assistance in determining whether a procedure is hazardous and requires an SOP or to have an SOP prepared, contact the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.


UAF Resources:

UAF's EHSRM provides many more resources, which can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

  • documents - sources of additional information about safety and university policy
  • forms you can use to improve the safety of your lab, plan events, etc.
  • additional information about training requirements and resources

UAF IACUC  (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee) - oversees all work with vertebrate animals, including course-related work.  Protocols must be approved well in advance.

UAF IBC  (Institutional Biosafety Committee) - oversees all work involving recombinant DNA, artificial gene transfers, infectious agents and biologically derived toxins. 

UAF IRB  (Institutional Review Board) - oversees all work involving human subjects.


Other Resources:

The American Chemical Society has a good, brief guide for chemical spill response planning .

The National Academies Press has several books that are available as free downloads to anyone who registers as a user (which is also free):

NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules  (April 2016) - the page includes links to download the publication and also links to FAQs documents.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450 

Please send suggestions for other useful resources to the B&W Laboratory Supervisor.

Last updated 8/22/2023