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Field Operational Planner and Field Safety

Learn more about field safety and the Field Operational Planner for university-sponsored research or field trips.

COVID-19 Precautions and Considerations

Please visit COVID-19 Campus Resources and Guidelines

COVID-19 is no longer an unforeseen circumstance and certain COIVD-19 related costs may not be covered under the University of California’s travel insurance. Departments should set aside funds to cover these costs. Contact Risk Management with any questions.

Field Operational Planner Requirements

1. Review the UC Field Research Safety Manual to better understand the planning, training and best practices needed for your trip.

2. Choose and complete the correct Field Operational Planner for your trip:

  • Urban Domestic Field Trips or Undergraduate Student Travel – Online form
  • International Trips, Trips to Remote Areas, and/or trips involving special hazards (i.e. environmental, chemical, mechanical, etc.)Word doc | PDF

It must be submitted one month prior to your trip! Make sure your safety coordinator and department administrator have a copy of your plan before you go.

3. Send a copy of your plan to an EH&S Field Safety coordinator for review. When a plan is submitted, the Field Safety coordinator will make recommendations for organizing a safe and productive trip.

Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research Requirement

Effective January 30, 2023, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires plans for safe & inclusive off-campus and off-site research, i.e., collecting data/information/samples, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft.  

A written plan is required per the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) 23-1 for NSF-funded research (NSF PAPPG 2023).

The plan must describe how the following types of behavior will be addressed: 

  • Abuse of any person, including, but not limited to, harassment, stalking, bullying, or hazing of   any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; or 
  • Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly.

The plan also should identify steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, e.g., trainings; processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct; and field support, such as mentor/mentee support mechanisms, regular check-ins, and/or developmental events.

Communications within the team and to the organization should be considered in the plan, minimizing singular points within the communications pathway (e.g., a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone), and any special circumstances such as the involvement of multiple organizations or the presence of third parties in the working environment should be taken into account. The process or method for making incident reports as well as how any reports received will be resolved should also be accounted for.

The organization’s plan for the proposal must be disseminated to individuals participating in the off-campus or off-site research prior to departure. Proposers should not submit the plan to NSF for review. However, NSF may request the plan as a supplementary document. 


Infectious Agents in the Wild (Animal or Biological Samples)

Working with animals in the wild or infectious biological agents in the wild requires the appropriate Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval. In addition, Principal investigators must obtain an approved Biohazard Use Authorization (BUA) from the UC San Diego Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) before beginning research, clinical, or teaching activities with biohazardous materials. 

Support Contacts

Contact the EH&S Field Safety coordinator:

Additional contacts:

Environment, Health & Safety Field Safety Contacts
Field Safety coordinators Research trips
Non-research trips
(858) 534-7651
(858) 534-2454
Environment, Health & Safety (858) 534-3660
EH&S Services Lab (858) 534-0902 or 822-5525
Biological Safety (858) 534-6059 or 534-5366
Chemical Safety (858) 822-1579
Drones / UAS  (858) 534-1954
Emergency Medical Training Resources at UC San Diego Emergency Services (858) 246-0695
Export Control Office Export Control Officer (858) 246-3300
Hazardous Waste (853) 534-2753
Heat Illness Prevention (858) 534-1075 or 534-3782
Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD) (858) 534-8298
Insurance and Liability (858) 534-3820
Radiation Safety (858) 534-6138 or 822-4045
Research Assistance Program (858) 534-7651
Shipping Scottie Profitt (858) 536-3225
Signing Contracts & Agreements (858) 534-9494
Student Health Services (858) 534-3300
Travel (858) 822-0202
UC Traveler Insurance Coverage (858) 534-3820
Medical Center Diving Medicine Services (619) 471-9210
Medical Center Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) (619) 543-7060
Medical Center Travel Medicine Clinic   (619) 471-9210

Travel Resources and Information

For more information, contact an EH&S Field Safety specialist. (Note: Sign-up for a monthly field safety newsletter to stay informed about seasonal and emerging hazards, best practices, and training opportunities by emailing Past issues by topic are available on the UC Field Research Safety website.)

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