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Field Research Safety

Researchers and students involved in the Shoals Marine Laboratory Tern Restoration Project.
Proper planning for field research will aid in the prevention of and ability to appropriately handle the many hazards that are presented by research outside of the controlled environment of the laboratory. 

Field research involves conducting experiments while in the natural environment of the subjects being studied. The resources needed to assess hazards and organize field experiments can be found here.


Plan early for research in the field, whether research is on Cornell properties or international, creating a field safety plan that assesses the research for potential hazards is important. There are different hazards that research in the field presents. On your field safety plan, you should include contact information for those going on your trip, emergency contacts, a description of the procedure in the field, how you will be getting to and accessing the site, and local locations for food, restrooms, and lodging. Materials brought to the field, including chemicals should be brought back as surplus and then evaluated and classified as waste if no longer needed. 


There is field-specific training available that can help you when dealing with accidents and hazards in the field such as pesticides, animals, and emergency situations. 

University emergency contacts

Emergency contacts should include the researchers in the field, campus contacts, emergency services, and local contacts.  

Incident reporting

Any incidents or near misses, even if they happen off-campus, should be reported through Cority    


Whether the travel is domestic or abroad, Cornell has resources you can use to plan your trip and make sure you have all permissions necessary before you travel. You should take note of any current travel restrictions including import and export restrictions.  The method of travel (plane, car, boat) should be noted on your travel plans.

  • For domestic travel, questions visit Cornell domestic travel 

  • For international travel, questions visit Cornell Global travel 

  • for specific questions about restricted destinations, and what you can hand-carry or ship to international locations visit export controls.

  • If you are abroad and have concerns or an incident you need help with visit Cornell Emergencies Abroad

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