Shipping & Transportation
Freight and packages are sent between Fairbanks and Toolik year-round. All mail, supplies, freight or packages should be sent to the Fairbanks logistics office, and we will then coordinate shipments to Toolik. We can handle packages of all shapes and sizes, and special handling like Keep Frozen, Do Not Freeze, or various HazMat designations. If you have a particularly time-sensitive or other special needs package, please contact the Toolik Logistics office in advance, email@example.com or (907)474-5159.
Shipping address for Toolik Field Station
(Your name and lab assignment at Toolik)
2120 Koyukuk Drive, Room 138
IAB Toolik 757005
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7005
Items received at the address above will usually be forwarded to the Toolik Field Station on the next available truck (unless specified otherwise) or sent up via additional means (Lynden, LNW, etc) . Items that must be refrigerated, frozen, or kept from freezing should be clearly labeled so they can be handled with proper care. If your items should be held in Fairbanks until you arrive or for any other reason, please include “Hold South” after your name on the shipping label.
Packages with existing tracking numbers (such as FedEx, UPS, etc) will be scanned and entered into the online freight tracking system, which you can access from your myToolik account. It will show the barcode number, when it arrived in the Fairbanks office, when it was shipped North to Toolik, and when it was received at Toolik.
Tracking information provided by the shipping vendor usually shows delivery to the UAF campus, and packages will be delivered to the Toolik Logistics office the following business day. before the items actually arrive at the Toolik Fairbanks office. In most cases, items are received by the University and forward to specific departments the next day.
Freight being shipped from the Toolik Field Station should include a pre-paid label (FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc) and should be packaged in a ready to ship state. You should coordinate with the camp manager and place your items in the backhaul location in the shipping and receiving tent. Items requiring special handling must be appropriately labeled (do not freeze, keep refrigerated, etc) and coordinated with camp staff and Fairbanks logistics at least a week in advance. Freight is generally shipped out from Fairbanks the next business day after arriving in town. Temperature sensitive or hazmat items will be held in Fairbanks and shipped at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) in order to avoid shipping delays over the weekend.
From previous experience, Toolik researchers have had the best experience shipping especially time sensitive, frozen, or packages containing hazardous items with FedEx. Please ALWAYS check with the shipping vendor directly to make sure your package will be acceptable (FedEx does not accept styrofoam for example).
- FEDEX Tips
- Styrofoam containers must be in a box
- DON'T ASSUME THAT WHAT YOU ARE SHIPPING IS NOT HAZARDOUS!
- Please check with TFS Logistics Phone: (907)474-5455 or UAF EHSRM (907)474-5617 before shipping. Your own institution should also be able to assist you
- FedEx does not accept shipments containing hazardous material on Fridays.
- If you are shipping hazardous material, please allow 2 business days before date of
- You may need to purchase special packaging material.
Clearly labeled items that must be refrigerated or frozen will be handled appropriately when they arrive in Fairbanks. Again, please make sure that TFS camp and logistics staff are made aware of special handling requirements at least a week in advance of samples coming south.
In order to ship a package via U.S. Postal Service (USPS), please print your label online at USPS Click-n-ship
Any items shipped to the Toolik Field Station Logistics office are sent to camp in
a Northbound truck as soon as possible. If your package is being shipped via UPS
or FedEx and has been marked as “delivered”, the package should be at our logistics
office. If you shipped via USPS and get a delivery notification please be aware,
that is the delivery date to the UAF Mail office who then distribute mail campuswide(1-2
days to reach the logistics office).
All packages that arrive at the logistics office are normally added to the internal
Toolik tracking system that same day. Items that go into the mailbag (small parcels,
letters, magazines, etc.) will not always be added to the Toolik tracking system.
The Toolik tracking system is currently under repair. If there are question about the status of a package that was delivered to Fairbanks, please call TFS Logistics at 907-474-5159.
To see the status of your package, first try searching your tracking number in our
freight tracking system. If no results appear, it has not been scanned into our tracking
system yet, the tracking label would not scan properly, or your package has not been
delivered to our logistics office. The next option would be to search the recipient
name on the package to see if a TFS number has been created. A TFS number (random
tracking number starting with TFS) will be created only when the original tracking
labels can not be scanned.
If you find the package in our tracking system, click it open to get a more detailed view. The timestamp under “Arrived in Fairbanks” will let you know when the package was added to our tracking system. The timestamp under “Shipment to TFS” will let you know when the package was loaded onto a Northbound truck. The timestamp under “Delivery to TFS” will let you know that the package did arrive in camp and an FOA physically scanned it. You will also be able to find information on the sender, delivery vendor, and a short description of the package.
If you are curious about the location of your package and it only has a timestamp for “Arrived in Fairbanks”, please call the Fairbanks logistics office. If your timestamp for, “Shipment to TFS” or “Delivery at TFS” is marked, please contact an FOA in camp about the location of your package.
In order to ensure compliance with IATA shipping regulations, all hazardous material shipments that will necessitate a handoff to or from Toolik staff must be coordinated with UAF Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management (EHSRM). Groups or individuals planning on shipping hazardous materials out of Toolik that will need any handling by TFS staff must coordinate with Richard Deck (firstname.lastname@example.org)/ (907)474-5617 at UAF EHSRM in advance to ensure that shipments arrive at their destination in a timely manner. Caution must be taken as otherwise ordinary items might be classified as dangerous goods for the purposes of shipping and transportation. This service removes the need for much of the specific packaging, labels, and related materials to be shipped to camp, and ensures that things of this nature are done correctly.
Radioactive materials require additional testing and documentation before they can be transported. Notify on-duty Safety Coordinator (UAFemail@example.com) and the Fairbanks Logistics office (firstname.lastname@example.org) well in advance to make appropriate arrangements for shipping radioactive materials.
UAF Industrial Hygienist/Radiation Safety Officer
Phone: (907) 474-6771
TFS Lead EMT/Safety Coordinator
email@example.comPhone: (907) 474-2457
On-Duty Safety Coordinator
Phone: (907) 455-2516
The Toolik Field Station is located at mile 284.5 of the Dalton Highway, 370 miles north of Fairbanks.
Driving to the station takes 9-12 hours and requires travel on a largely unpaved industrial artery that serves operations at Prudhoe Bay. There is no cell reception anywhere on the Dalton Highway; satellite phone or InReach should be considered when traveling to/from the station. CB radios should be considered as well as a means to communicate with other users of the Dalton Highway.
Challenging conditions are often encountered on the drive, including, but not limited to: mud, ice, snow, washboard, dust, heavy industrial traffic, fog, smoke, soft shoulders, and steep grades. Passengers must be prepared to travel slowly, yield to industrial traffic, and change flat tires.
The majority of our visitors - NSF or non-NSF funded researchers and staff - travel to Toolik via a fleet of NSF-owned Toolik-managed Science Support trucks that travel between Toolik and Fairbanks on a set schedule. There are several other methods of travel one may choose:
- Option 1: Year round: Toolik-managed Science Support Truck from Fairbanks (requires truck reservation during the MyToolik reservation process).
- Option 2: Commercial rental truck or project-owned vehicle (responsibility of the project)
- *Not available in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions* Option 3: June-September only: “Toolik Taxi” shuttle from Prudhoe Bay (requires reservation in the MyToolik reservation process)
- *Not available in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions* Option 4: Externally operated Dalton Highway Express service from Fairbanks (arranged by a project users directly)
Note that no matter how you'll get to Toolik, you will need to have an approved reservation before coming for any overnight stay, or have made prior arrangements with the Facility Supervisor for any other visits.
The trip to Toolik takes between 9-12 hours depending on the road and weather conditions.The trip between Fairbanks and the Toolik Field Station is about 370 miles and is very remote with limited or no services. Challenging conditions are often encountered on the drive, including, but not limited to: mud, ice, snow, washboard, dust, heavy industrial traffic, fog, smoke, soft shoulders, and steep grades. Passengers must be prepared to travel slowly, yield to industrial traffic, and change flat tires.
- Field Season (May-September)
- Northbound trucks on Tuesday and Thursday
- Southbound trucks on Wednesday and Friday
- During peak season additional trucks may be added
- During peak season additional transportation may be reserved with a northbound route on Friday and southbound on Saturday
- Winter Season (October-April)
- Northbound on Tuesday
- Southbound on Thursday
- Note: Trucks do not run every week in the winter
- During long stretches without a truck in the winter a tote of supplies and equipment may be sent north as needed. Check with Toolik Logistics staff if you are trying to get something to camp outside of truck availability.
- *Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many 2021 departures will be straight from the quarantine hotel.* Trucks depart from the Fairbanks garage at 9:00am
- *Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many 2021 departures will be straight from the quarantine hotel.* Please arrive at the garage 15-20 minutes before departure for an orientation and completion of any necessary paperwork.
- While these vehicles (one ton diesel or gasoline crew cab pickups with enclosed toppers) are well equipped for Dalton Highway travel, not everyone is comfortable driving in these conditions. The scheduled truck runs do not automatically include a driver, rather passengers share driving responsibilities during the trip.
- Researchers age 25 and over without any significant driving violations are eligible to drive the Toolik science trucks. Any passenger that is uncomfortable or ineligible to share driving responsibilities should notify Toolik Logistics when making their reservation. If a truck is without any eligible, experienced, or willing drivers, efforts will be made to arrange for one. All drivers will need to complete a release of driving record form (Driving Record Form), supply a copy of their driver's license, and receive a driving orientation. This will be done the morning of the trip.
- Passengers are advised to pack ample food and drink for the drive. *Stops in public places are not permitted in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions* There are limited food options along the route, and not all groups choose to stop for meals. Prior to departure from Fairbanks ,those in the truck may agree on stopping at a local grocery store to obtain snacks for the drive north and any last minute items.
- Cargo space in cabs of the trucks is extremely limited and luggage will need to ride in the topper (garbage bags are provided to protect luggage from dust). Space will be provided for two personal bags for each passenger.
- Scheduled truck runs are used to deliver general Toolik freight, so cargo space is limited. If you will have more than two bags, or any large or bulky items, please contact Toolik Logistics in advance.
- Additionally, if your cargo has special needs (Hazardous Material, Do Not Freeze, Keep Frozen, etc) please contact Toolik Logistics in advance.
- Reserve Seats when you make a housing reservation through your myToolik Account. Truck seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
*Not available in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions*
- Monday and Thursdays (May through September)
- Depart Toolik 11:00 am
- Arrive in Prudhoe Bay 2:30 pm
- Depart Prudhoe 4:50 pm
- Arrive at Toolik 8:20 pm
- If no reservations have been made, service will be canceled for that day.
- The Toolik Taxi is operated by Toolik staff and is scheduled to provide service from incoming Alaska Airlines flight 50 (from Anchorage). Reserve a taxi seat by selecting "Monday/Thursday Toolik Taxi- Fly to/from Prudhoe Bay" on your TFS Housing Reservation Form from the 'Arrival Method' and 'Departure Method' drop-down menus.
- Please note that regardless of the schedule, no taxi will be sent without prior reservation. With a wait in Deadhorse, inbound flights arriving before 4:40 PM are compatible with the Toolik taxi, but the outbound flights departing before 5:30PM are not. We cannot guarantee an arrival at the airport early enough for the outbound flights before 5:30PM.
- The taxi is set up to service the afternoon Alaska Airlines flight (flight 50) from Anchorage. If any other flight is used, there may be significant waits/lodging to be arranged in Deadhorse to wait for the next Toolik Taxi service. The Taxi picks up at the Alaska Airlines terminal unless other arrangements are made in advance with the camp manager. You must let the TFS Camp Manager know if you are using a flight other than AS50.
*Not available in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions*
- Dalton Highway Express is a small Alaska-owned business that specializes in summer-time (June through August) transportation on Alaska's Dalton Highway.
- They provide northbound service from Fairbanks* to Toolik Field Station on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and southbound service on Sundays and Wednesdays. Please check their website for up-to-date schedule and prices, or call them at (907-474-3555) to make a reservation.
- Travel time takes roughly 12 hours from Fairbanks to Toolik and vice versa
- Northbound - Departure from Fairbanks at 6:00 AM arriving at Toolik at ~ 18:00 PM
- Southbound - Departure from Toolik at 12:00 PM arriving in Fairbanks at 24:00AM
- *For ease of scheduling, we recommend flying into Fairbanks the day before your northbound DHE departure, and spending the night in a hotel in Fairbanks.
- If you plan to use a Rental Vehicle and Battelle ARO vehicle at Toolik you will need to set up a fuel account in order to fill up your vehicle.
- Rental Vehicle options
- Battelle ARO Contract Vehicle
- Arrange with your Project Manager
- Pick up in Fairbanks
- Science Support Trucks
- There are 6 NSF-owned, crew-cab, 4x4 science support trucks available for use by scientists working at Toolik. Some of these trucks have toppers and others do not. These trucks are for use only on the North Slope and do not travel between Fairbanks and Toolik.
- These vehicles are available for check out by residents who don't have their own transportation and need to access local sites (e.g. Kuparuk River, Imnaviat, etc.), and for transportation to and from Deadhorse. Fuel for these vehicles is included. Please notify staff when a truck needs to be refueled.
- A mileage log needs to be filled out each time you use one of these trucks.
- Toolik Field Station has a fleet of bicycles (and trailers!), available for use in-camp (in camp bikes) and out-of-camp (mountain bikes) to reach field sites along the road system. Bikes are for everyone to use unless they are specifically labeled (for example, EMT bike, Maintenance bike).
- Mountain bikes are available for recreation and must be signed out prior to use. Helmets and reflective vests are mandatory for any bike trips outside of the station.
- In-camp bikes can be used as needed on a first-come first-serve basis. If you see one on the pad, just grab it, and leave it anywhere on the pad for someone else to use!
- During the winter season it may be necessary to travel by snowmachine to a site location.
- Snowmachines are available upon prior coordination and reservation. Due to the limited availability of snowmachines, please coordinate with the TFS Managers during the planning process to determine availability.
- Additionally, a project will need a permit allowing you to use snow machines on the north slope. Please see the permitting page.
- For more details on snowmachines, please visit the Maintenance, Equipment Support & Fabrication page.
- Project vehicles can not be refueled without an active fuel account. (Vehicles provided by Toolik will usually be refueled without an account)
- Fuel accounts must be renewed annually and created before visiting Toolik. This is the link to the fuel account request form.
- Unleaded gasoline and diesel are both available.
- Fuel is not included in the Toolik user day rate.
- Fuel is generally billed on a monthly basis in the summer, and quarterly in the winter months. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about fuel billing.