Alcohol and Intoxicants-Field Policy

UAF Policy 02.09.030

Original Adoption:  February 5, 2019

Revised: March 4, 2019

Responsible Chancellor's Cabinet Members: Provost; Vice Chancellor for Research; Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community, and Native Education; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services.

Responsible Department/Offices: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research; Office of the Provost; Office of the Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community, and Native Education; Center of Student Rights and Responsibilities; Nanook Recreation; Human Resources.

Download signed policy (PDF)


Except as provided herein, no alcohol, marijuana or other intoxicants may be present or consumed during or at the site of UAF-related field activities, including both course or research activities that occur beyond UAF campuses.

The Alcohol and Intoxicants - Field Policy (Policy) statement sets the minimum UAF requirements for restrictions on the possession and use of alcohol in the field. Principal Investigators (Pls), supervisors, deans, directors, vice provosts, and vice chancellors may set more restrictive policies for specific activities.


UAF faculty, staff, and students participating in field activities represent the university both during and after working hours and should act responsibly. UAF is committed to the health, safety and well-being of all students, university employees, volunteers and community partners. Alcohol consumption can lead to impaired coordination and judgment and can reduce individuals' ability to avoid and defend against a variety of hazards at field locations. In field settings, emergency response to health and safety issues may not be immediately available and field activity participants must be able to respond as needed to address emergent situations.

Participants are expected to behave responsibly, maintaining the ability to respond appropriately to emergent situations irrespective of whether a field course or research activity is under UAF administrative control. This expectation further applies irrespective of whether the field activity has Chancellor (or designee) approval for limited alcohol possession and consumption as an exception to this Policy. Impairment as a result of the ingestion of drugs or alcohol is not permitted during any university-related activities.


Administrative control of UAF - Field sites are under the administrative control of UAF if the site is owned by UAF, the site is operated by UAF under contract (e.g., Toolik Field Station); the site is operated under a partnership agreement between UAF and another party (e.g., with NOAA in the case of Kasitsna Bay Laboratory); or the field site where leadership at a field site includes UAF employees or students.

Alcohol - Any potable liquid, edible gel, or edible solid that contains one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume.

Engaged in a UAF-led activity - Refers to participants who are not UAF faculty, staff, students, or volunteers, but who are working under the direction of UAF personnel. For example, graduate students or post-docs from other institutions might join a field research activity for experience, to learn specific skills, etc. 

Damp Community - A community that allows limited amounts of alcoholic beverages. 

Impairment - For purposes of this Policy, impairment is defined as the inability to act with the caution or skill that one would normally display if not affected by an intoxicant. A person exhibiting signs of impairment will be presumed to be impaired. Signs of impairment may include: sluggish performance, slurred speech, lack of fine or gross motor coordination, poor judgment, mental confusion, inappropriate affect or conduct, or any other observable condition that indicates inability to act with the caution of a prudent person as a result of ingestion of drugs or alcohol.

Intoxicant - Substance that produces a condition of diminished mental and physical ability, hyper excitability, or stupefaction when present in a human body in sufficient concentration.

Motor Vehicle - Any means of transportation that is propelled by a motor, including automobiles, trucks, aircraft, motorcycles, motor boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and snow machines. University Regulation 05.02.060 - Travel and Relocation, requires that non-conventional modes of transportation need to be approved by the UAF Risk Manager prior to use. Non-conventional modes of transportation are defined as a boat, snow machine, ATV, private aircraft, and other modes not listed (i.e. dog mushing, ice road travel).

Participant [in field activity] - all individuals engaged in an activity administered by UAF at the field site. This includes all UAF faculty, staff, and students; UAF volunteers; and faculty, staff, and students from other institutions who are engaged in a UAF-led activity. Participants also include anyone who is using a UAF-owned or administered facility, such as Toolik Field Station, HAARP, or Poker Flat Research Range. Participants do not include individuals who are not engaged in a UAF-led activity and who are not using a UAF-owned or UAF-administered facility, including researchers from other institutions who may be part of a larger grant-funded activity, such as a Long Term Ecological Research (LT) project, but whose funding is not administered by UAF. For activities carried out on private land, participants do not include land owners, their tenants, or their authorized guests, if they are not engaged in the UAF activity.

PL - Principal Investigator of a research grant or contract.

Substantially developed community - A community with amenities including daily scheduled air service and a medical clinic or hospital. 

Wet Community - A community that allows the sale and possession of alcoholic beverages.


The following are Alaska Statutes and references that were used in the development of this Policy.

  • Alaska Statute Title 04. Alcoholic Beverages
  • AS 11.61.210 Misconduct involving Weapons in The Fourth Degree.
  • AS 28.35.030. Operating A Vehicle, Aircraft Or Watercraft While Under The Influence Of An Alcoholic Beverage, Inhalant, Or Controlled Substance
  • UAF Research Field Safety: 

The following are legal requirements and other university policies that are relevant to this Policy. This list is not all-inclusive.

  1. A person under the age of 21 years may not knowingly consume, possess, or control alcoholic beverages (Alaska Statute 04.16.050).
  2. A person may not furnish or deliver an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years (Alaska Statute 04.16.051). 
  3. A person may not drive a motor vehicle on a highway or vehicular way or area, when there is an open bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the passenger compartment of the vehicle (Alaska Statute 28.35.029).
  4. A person commits the crime of driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, inhalant, or controlled substance if the person operates or drives a motor vehicle or operates an aircraft or a watercraft while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, intoxicating liquor, inhalant, or any controlled substance, singly or in combination (Alaska Statute 28.35.030).
  5. A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree if the person possesses on the person, or in the interior of a vehicle in which the person is present, a firearm when the person's physical or mental condition is impaired as a result of the introduction of an intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance into the person's body in circumstances other than described in Alaska Statute 11.61.200(a)(7).
  6. "... alcoholic beverage" means a spirituous, vinous, malt, or other fermented or distilled liquid, whatever the origin, that is intended for human consumption as a beverage and that contains one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume, whether produced commercially or privately...” (Alaska Statute 04.21.080(b)).
  7. Marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law, and Regents' Policy and University Regulation prohibit possession and use on university property, in university workplaces, and at university sponsored or authorized activities and events.



Roles: Establishes and communicates the Policy and is advised of any Policy violation.

Responsibilities: Is ultimately responsible for incidents on campus.


Roles: Enforce the Policy.


  • Review and approve department requests for exception to the Policy prior to submittal of the exception request to the Chancellor or designee.
  • Manage and address, if necessary, reported violations of the Policy.
Field activity participant supervisor

Roles: The field activity participant supervisor has supervisory authority over one or more individuals participating in the field activity, but is not necessarily the field activity supervisor. For example, the field activity participant supervisor is usually a dean or director in the case of faculty.

Responsibilities: The Field Activity Participant Supervisor is responsible for:

  • Complying with the Policy.
  • Disseminating the Policy to all individuals that they supervise who engage in field activities.
  • Taking supervisory or disciplinary action, as appropriate, in response to violations of the Policy.
Field activity supervisor

Roles: The field activity supervisor is the project leader, who is responsible for planning, implementation, and reporting (if applicable) for the field activity. For funded projects, this is normally the Pl or lead Pl for the activity (if there are several Pl’s).

Responsibilities: The field activity supervisor is responsible for:

  • Complying with the Policy.
  • Providing field site leadership or designating another individual to provide field site leadership.
  • Communicating the Policy to all participants in the field activity.
  • Taking administrative, supervisory, or disciplinary action, as appropriate, in response to violations of the Policy.
  • Reporting violations of the Policy to the supervisor of that participant (employees) or the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (students).
Field site leadership

Roles: Field site leadership leads implementation of the field activity, under the direction of the field activity supervisor (if not the field activity supervisor).

Responsibilities: The field site leadership is responsible for:

  • Informing field site participants of their position.
  • Complying with the Policy and any field site, unit, or project specific alcohol policies.
  • Identifying themselves as Field Site Leadership to all participants.
  • Ensuring that all participants have read and affirmed their understanding of the Policy prior to embarking on the planned field activity.
  • Exercising due diligence to avoid transporting alcohol and intoxicants to field sites, unless an exception to the Policy has been approved by the Chancellor or designee, including exceptions specified in this Policy.
  • Suspending field activities when alcohol, marijuana or other intoxicants are present in violation of the Policy and taking the following steps:
    • Confiscate and dispose of alcohol, marijuana or other intoxicants. If illegal substance(s) are known to be present or are suspected, notify law enforcement and ask for instructions concerning the substance(s).
    • If particular violators are identified, arrange for their removal from the field site to a location where they can obtain commercial transportation.
    • Depending on the severity of the violation and other appropriate considerations, the field activity supervisor or field activity participant supervisor may direct one or more of the following actions, or any other actions that they deem necessary, to ensure participant safety:
      • Allow the field activity to proceed.
      • Allow time-critical field activities conducted by non-impaired participants to continue.
      • Terminate the field activity for the current activity period.
      • Return the violator(s) to Fairbanks or their home base at their expense.
      • Require non-violating field activity participants to return to Fairbanks or their home base at University expense.
  • Report non-compliance to the cognizant dean or director, field activity supervisor, and field site participant supervisors. Failure to do so is grounds for discipline.
  • Reporting to other authorities as appropriate. For example, if a violation of the law such as DUI has occurred, Alaska State Troopers or local police must be notified.

If a field site is located on private property, field site leadership is not responsible for the conduct of the property owners or their authorized non-UAF tenants or guests.


Roles: Participants carry out the project work at the field site.


  • Reading and affirming their understanding of this Policy and any field site, UAF unit, or project specific policies prior to embarking on the planned field activity.
  • Complying with the Policy and any field site-specific alcohol policy.
  • Reporting non-compliance with this Policy to field site leadership and/or to the cognizant dean or director.


Failure to comply with this Policy is grounds for immediate removal from field events at the participant's expense, and for disciplinary action by the university. Any disciplinary action taken against employees by the university will follow the employment rules governing the individual's employment category. Participants who are not UAF employees or students are not subject to discipline, but may be excluded from UAF facilities or field sites. As applicable, further action may include, but is not limited to, notification to regulatory or law enforcement agencies. Non-compliance with law may lead to arrest and fines by law enforcement agencies.

All participants of the field activity who suspect or recognize a direct violation of this Policy have the right and responsibility to report non-compliance with the Policy to:

  • The field activity participant supervisor;
  • The field activity supervisor; or
  • The field site leadership.

If personnel reporting a non-compliance concern do not feel comfortable reporting to the above parties, they have the right to report to their direct supervisor, dean or director, UAF Human Resources, or their Vice Chancellor or Associate Vice Chancellor.



  1. No exception will be granted if Minors are at the field site.
  2. No exception will be granted if the field activity is a for-credit undergraduate course, an undergraduate student activity (such as Nanook Adventures), a for-credit cross-listed graduate-undergraduate class or a non-credit workforce training program.
  3. Alcohol may be present and consumed after working hours in compliance with applicable law and the policy of the entity with administrative control of the venue:
    1. At field activities or other events that occur at another institution's facilities or field sites not under the administrative control of UAF, if permitted by the organization that has administrative control of the facility or field site.
    2. At UAF-related off campus sporting events, meetings, conferences, or sponsored dinners.
    3. In private homes or rented accommodations, including hotels, motels, and Bed & Breakfast establishments, in substantially developed, wet or damp communities (see definitions).
    4. At licensed alcohol-serving establishments, provided that no alcohol may be consumed by any individual who will operate a motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft providing transportation away from the establishment.
  4. Prescribed medication taken as directed by a licensed medical professional is exempted.
  5. Toolik Field Station is exempted from the alcohol portions of this Policy, contingent on compliance by researchers and support staff with its existing alcohol policy. Toolik Field Station personnel must comply with the Policy regarding marijuana and other intoxicants.
  6. Sikuliaq personnel, including the science party, must comply with UNOLS policies concerning alcohol (, which ban the consumption of alcoholic beverages on board with very limited exceptions when the vessel is in port. Sikuliaq is exempted from the specific provisions of the UAF Policy, since the UNOLS policy is largely congruent with the UAF Policy.
  7. The Summer Sessions Educational Travel Program is exempted from the alcohol presence and consumption portions of the Policy, but must comply with the impairment provisions and with provisions regarding marijuana and other intoxicants.
  8. Approval for any other exception to the Policy must be approved in advance by the Chancellor or designee. Applications must address the following criteria for exceptions, and will be approved at the sole discretion of the Chancellor or designee:
    1. The field site has a formal alcohol policy, applying to all including non-UAF personnel, that includes zero tolerance with the consequence of immediate exclusion for alcohol impairment. The policy must also include the presence of a designated non-drinker of alcohol at all times during the field activity.
    2. The field site is in a substantially developed community (see definition).
    3. The field site participants shall comply with any restrictions of an entity having administrative authority over the field site or its access points. For example, alcohol shall not be transported through a dry community.
    4. Each participant will have access to a communication device. The communication device will be centrally located and accessible to any member of the field activity. Communication-text, voice, video, or photos transmitted on this device are the property of the University and not confidential. All field personnel will be trained in its use and operation. Cell phones are an acceptable alternative only if it will be verified that all participants have a phone that has service at the field site.


  1. Field site supervisors may apply for exceptions to the Policy. Exceptions must be approved by the PI (if applicable and different from the field site supervisor); the dean or director supervising the Pl and field site supervisor (both, if different) and the Chancellor or designee. Exceptions are valid for one year and may be renewed at the discretion of the Chancellor or designee. If the exception is not approved, even if there is a pending application, all aspects of the Policy apply.
  2. The Chancellor or designee may revoke exceptions at any time for any reason. Exceptions will be revoked if there is evidence that other provisions of the Policy, such as the rule against impairment, are being violated by personnel at the field site.
  3. All participants and the field site leadership must read and affirm their understanding of the Policy and any applicable field site, unit, or project policies. The affirmation of understanding of the Policy must be renewed every three years for UAF faculty, staff, and graduate students, and annually for UAF undergraduate students and for non-UAF participants. The Policy requirements must be included in the safety brief provided to all participants before leaving for the field.



Daniel M. White, Chancellor
University of Alaska Fairbanks