What's New

Message from FRO's Director, Dr. Martyn Unsworth
Welcome to the Field Research Office!  Field research at the University of Alberta makes a major contribution to our core activities of academic research and student training.  Field research includes any of these activities taking place off-campus, and in recent years has covered the entire range from arts to science and engineering. Geographically, our researchers are active in the field from coast to coast to coast in Canada and internationally we have a presence on every continent. Read more....

Training Courses offered on Campus
UAV Training
Canadian Unmanned is running two UAS (Drone) ground school training courses on campus  - on April 19-21, 2017 and  June 6-8, 2017. Register online directly with them.

Wilderness First Aid Training
FRO will be organizing another  Wilderness First Aid course on April 28, 29 and 30, 2016 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).   Standard First Aid is a pre-requisite.  Please pre-register online.

Truck & Trailer Course
A trailer course is being offered on April 28th (noon until 3:00 pm) by Dick Puurveen and Kenji Kenoshita out at Ellerslie Farms.  Please pre-register online.

Chainsaw Course
FRO has organized a Chainsaw Certification course on May 3, 4 and 5th at the Ellerslie Research Station.   Please review the particulars and pre-register online.

24 hour check-in call centre available for UAlberta field researchers  
UAlberta field researchers should have a regular check-in procedure as part of their Emergency Response Plan.  The University has recently came to an agreement with the AoG Provincial Radio Control Centre allowing their researchers to check in with the centre 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. Please read more details and consider signing up for this newest service.

Voluntary Field Research Registry  ..... 
A voluntary registry was set up last year for those researchers working off-campus to register their field site. The purpose of collecting the information is to allow the University to be in touch with its researchers and be able to distribute messages of safety alerts and internal incidents that would be of interest to the UAberta field research community. Many who used this last year thought the alerts were helpful. Sign up here!

Is your Emergency Response Plan foolproof?

Have new and other personnel watch this WorkSafeBC video to teach the value of an emergency response plan, why we have ERP’s pre-defined, periodic testing of them for remote sites, and importance of check-ins using accurate field work-location detail (rather than “general” location of work). The Field Activities Plan has a section for an ERP. 

Hiring foreign nationals to conduct field research? 
Human Resource Services provides U of A staff members advice on inviting foreign visitors and hiring foreign nationals. Before you invite a foreign national to campus, please seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Human Resource Services.  See our Hiring page for more information.

List of Frequently needed permits

Most all field researchers require permits to allow them to conduct their work. FRO has started to compile a list of frequently needed permits for local domestic research, mostly in Canada and the western provinces. This is not an exhaustive list but a place for the researcher to start their search. This spreadsheet gives links associated with where to apply and other guidelines. Is the permit that you need not there? Contribute to the list by filling out the permit form.

Get your Daily Field Safety Log Book for this upcoming field season from the Field Research Office
The Daily Field Safety Log Books ease the task of identifying, controlling, and documenting hazards encountered by field researchers.   If you require a book, please request one online.

Advisories and Public Safety in the Field

How to keep safe in the field?  Prepare in advance by knowing about road closures, weather alerts, bear warnings, etc. and plan accordingly. Visit these great sources of information:

Alberta Emergency Alerts
Alberta Road Closures 
Alberta Health Advisories (water, air quality)
Alberta Parks Advisories (includes road closures and bear warnings within the parks)  

Field Training

Please see our event calendar to see the field research training.  

The Field Research Office has moved! The Field Research Office is located at 1-03 South Academic Building, same phone number - 780-492-8981. The office is at the south end of SAB on the lower level.  Our office hours are  8:30 am to 4:30 pm (noon hour closed). 
The Field Research Office has moved! The Field Research Office is located at 1-03 South Academic Building, same phone number - 780-492-8981. The office is at the south end of SAB on the lower level.  Our office hours are  8:30 am to 4:30 pm (noon hour closed). 
The Field Research Office has moved! The Field Research Office is located at 1-03 South Academic Building, same phone number - 780-492-8981. The office is at the south end of SAB on the lower level.  Our office hours are  8:30 am to 4:30 pm (noon hour closed). 

Check us out on Twitter now!


Add your email to FRO Email Distribution List

FRO can provide you with important "updates" pertinent to field research if you sign up here. We promise not to bombard you with irrelevant or unnecessary emails.

Top 5 Tips for Field Research 


  1. Sled Dogs Have Been Pulling Us for Millennia, Archaeology Shows

    University of Alberta Archaeologist, Dr. Robert Losey, having excavated canine burials in Siberia that go back some 8,000 years, says that dogs have been critical to human habitation in the Far North.

  2. The race against Zika

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the extreme measure of issuing travel advisories for pregnant women and women thinking about getting pregnant, suggesting that they not travel to more than 20 countries in the Americas where the Zika virus is endemic.

  3. Scientists study safety of skating on urban storm-water ponds

    Mark Loewen and his research team spent the last two winters hauling around a radar machine and drilling through ice as children and adults raced around on skates and fired slapshots.

  4. »more

  1. Truck and Trailer Workshop

    What to Bring: Your "Indent" (payable to Dick Puurveen, Renewable Resources), your truck and trailer (if possible as there are only a few "extra" trailers out at the farms), and appropriate clothing and footwear according to the weather as the farms can be muddy at this time of year. Must go south on 127th Street, past Ellerslie Road and take the first RIGHT at the farm house. Pre-course requirement: All participants must watch this Alberta Construction Safety video before attending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGQXKxSeMtk

  2. Wilderness First Aid Course-April 28-30, 2017

    Please note the times of this course above. The cost of the course will cover instruction, camp facilities, one meal and one snack for the weekend, however, you are expected to bring your food supplies for the rest of the weekend (two breakfasts, two lunches and other snacks). There also can be arrangements if you require a ride to the area for a limited number of people. Participants will need to sleep at the camp, there are co-ed facilities (cabin) as well as area for tenting. There is a cook shack and outhouses for toileting. There is a bit of a hike in from the road access (1.5 km). More details will be sent out as the course date approaches. Pre-requisite: current Standard First Aid certification There will be an outdoor component of the course and therefore come dressed for the weather and prepared to spend a good portion of the day outside. Bring lunch and water. Topics include: - Introduction to Wilderness Survival - Emergency Scene Management - Airway and Breathing Emergencies - Circulatory Emergencies - Medical Emergencies - Head and Neck Injuries - Severe Bleeding - Wound Care - Bone and Joint Injuries - Burns - Eye Injuries - Multiple Casualty Management - Poisons, Bites and Stings - Environmental Emergencies - Rescue Carries - Dental Emergencies - Aquatic Emergencies - Altitude Illness - Extended Care - Casualty Evacuation - Communication - Critical Incident Stress - Psychology of Survival

  3. May 3, 4 and 5, 2017 Chainsaw Certification

    Course time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. As stated in the online registration form, the instructor will provide all power saws, PPE, first aid and falling training stands where needed. All registrants will need to bring CSA safety footwear (steel toed, higher, cut resistant), gloves, chainsaw chaps (if you have them), lunch and water as well as transportation to the site (Ellerslie Research Station or Ellerslie "Farms"). If you have never been to Ellerslie Farms before, take extra time to get there -from University it takes at least 25 to 30 minutes! It is just to the south of the intersection of 127th Street and Ellerslie Road.

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Featured Researchers

  1. Martyn Unsworth

    Dr. Martyn Unsworth is a professor of geophysics with a joint appointment in both the Department of Physics and Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Many of Dr. Unsworths' studies are a part of multi-disciplinary studies that combine multiple geophysical and geological datasets to answer major questions in the Earth sciences.

  2. »more