What's New

FRO has Moved 
The Field Research Office has relocated to Environment Health and Safety in the Research Transition Facility #3-107 as of April 3, 2017. The RTF building is located south of the ECHA building and north of the Kaye Clinic.  Researchers will be able to pick up their equipment by driving to the south side of the building (sign that says RTF Main Entrance) and  there is a loading zone area available.  Just enter through the south door and go up to the 3rd floor.   

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....

EHS ATV Safe Operating Procedure now finalized
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is a high-risk activity. This ATV Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) developed by EHS outlines steps to drive or transport an ATV safely.  There is also a Pre-Ride Inspection Template.

Field Research Safety E-modules 
To access the Field Research Safety e-modules  - “Creating a Field Activities Plan” and  “Bear Awareness and Safety”, go to https://training.ehs.ualberta.ca

To log in:  1)  type in your CCID as your Username, 2) enter your CCID password  3) once logged in: Scroll to bottom of page until you see the 'Field Research Office' category, here you will find the FAP and Bear  e-modules.  Follow the directions to complete the modules and receive your certificates.

Field Communications 
Do I need a SPOT device, an inReach or a satellite phone for my field research? Environment Health and Safety prepared a flowchart to help researchers determine what communication device(s) to use in the field.  

Hands-on Bear Safety Training 
Registration for hands-on Bear Awareness Session is now CLOSED. No more sessions will be held until the 2018 field season. Tom Hantos, Biological Sciences Safety Officer offered 8 hands-on sessions this past May and trained 63 field researchers.  Many thanks Tom! You can practice your bear spray skills after viewing the Alberta BearSmart video. Make sure to use expired bear spray or an inert can (available at Kodiak Wildlife Products Inc.) on a calm, non-windy day.  

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.

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Featured Researchers

  1. Faye Hicks

    Faye Hicks is a Professor Emeritus in the Water Resources Engineering Group of the Department of Civil and Environmmental Engineering. Since joining the University of Alberta in 1989, she has focused on experimental, numerical and field research investigating rivers and river ice, with a primary focus on flood forecasting.

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