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Field School Information

Fac. of Science IT Support


Department of Geoscience

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5184
F. 403.284-0074

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Field Practices

These procedures apply to ALL field activities including one day field excursions, field schools or field work undertaken by faculty and/or graduate students. It is the responsibility of the trip leader to ensure compliance. Before embarking on any field excursion, read the Field Practices Manual. A logistics checklist for all field school instructors may be found here.

Before leaving for the field the trip leader must complete the following:

    1. Assess the risks associated with the field trip and list the controls that will mitigate these risks. Use the Hazard Assessment Form with guide and instructions on last page. Here is a completed example. Do not use the example without making changes that apply to your field trip. Copies of this form must be provided to all participants of the field excursion and a copy must be given to Lynne Maillet at least 24 hours prior to leaving for the field.
    2. Complete Field Work Activity and Communications Plan using this template. Be as specific as you can. Provide a copy of this form to all participants and a copy to  Lynne Maillet at least 24 hours prior to leaving for the field.
    3. Faculty members must complete  an Absence from Campus Form to give to Faye Nicholson.  You must attach the first page of both the Hazard Assessment and Field Work Activity and Communication form to prevent delays in approval and as an assurance that required safety forms have been submitted.  
      • ***MANDATORY****Provide a description and/or map of where you will be and how you got to your destination. Include highway and road numbers and exact locations if possible (lat/long, GPS coordinates etc.). Remember if we have to locate you, we have to know where you are! Copies of this form must be provided to all participants of the field excursion and a copy must be given to Lynne Maillet at least 24 hours prior to leaving.
      • If you deviate from your schedule during field school, you must call or email Lynne Maillet to note the change.
      • Detail emergency contacts at your final location and along the route. Just giving 911 as an emergency contact is not sufficient. Look up RCMP detachment phone numbers here (click on the province and then choose Detachments from the left menu). List the address of the nearest hospital or emergency clinic. List other information such as landowner contacts or provincial/national park authorities if relevant.
      • ****NEW**** Provide  the details of a check-in procedure.  Provide an emergency contact name and number for each activity staff member. This page of the form is not distributed to students.  Guide and Instructions for Check-in procedure here.
    4. All students, volunteers and Emeriti must sign an Informed Consent form prior to leaving for the field.
    5. All field schools must have a Safety Briefing before departure. To make arrangements for a safety briefing, contact  Lynne Maillet. The Informed Consent and copies of the Hazard Assessment and Field Work Activitiy and Communications Plan will be distributed to the students at this briefing. Safety briefings must occur at least one day before departure.
    6. If you should need to report an illness, injury or accident in the field, contact Lynne Maillet as soon as possible.  Incident reports on currently logged on line.  Paper copies of the older incident report forms are found in the first aid kits and may give you an idea of the kind of details required.   In the event of an incident, the instructor will be required to maintain twice daily verbal contact with the Department until the emergency has been deemed recitifed.
    7. International Travel (Outside Canada):   The registration of international travellers is beneficial for both the traveller and the University in the event of an emergency. These range from major incidents that impact the travellers such as a SARS outbreak, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or military coup, to localized incidents such as personal injury to the traveller or loss of their passport. Situations where travellers may need to be accounted for and/or contacted are numerous, so registration provides another layer of protection for the University and its people. By registering, employees and students can be quickly accounted for, contacted, and given assistance where required. Furthermore, some University of Calgary insurance policies which cover employees travelling outside the country on university business, require registration with risk management. Without this registration, there is a risk that this insurance coverage could be compromised. Registration is required by the University International Travel and Security policy. Rregister and see your country risk rating here.  Click on International Travel, then Travel Registration & Country Risk Ratings.   All individuals travelling to Extreme Risk countires are required to sign an Extreme Risk Travel waiver.  This can be obtained by sending an email to