Field Research Information Sessions


Join us for the Field Research Information Sessions (online), happening Feb 7 to 17, 2023.  

Who should attend?

This event is intended for University of Alberta academics, staff and students who supervise or participate in research projects off-campus or in the "field".  

Definition of Field Research: 

Any off-campus research activity undertaken by members of the University staff, students, postdocs, volunteers, and faculty to collect, generate or analyze all forms of data, including but not limited to environmental, biological, archival, ethnographical, anthropological, library or other research (e.g., laboratory research conducted by a member of the University community at a host institution or reconnaissance field trips to locate suitable field sites or visit an industrial or construction site for hazard assessment), as well as field trips and field schools carried out nationally or internationally. Travels to conferences that do not include research activities would not be considered in this definition.

How do I sign up?

Review the session summaries below and select those you'd like to attend when you fill out the online form to register.

You will receive calendar invitations based on the sessions you select. Registration will remain open until the day before each session or until each session is full.

As sessions are held and recorded, recordings and presentations will be available here.

Register to Attend

Please see the details of the planned sessions below: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2:00 - 3:30pm - Culture of Care & Pre-planning for Field Research Activities

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 7 (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 


  • Philip Stack, Director, Health, Safety and Environment, HRHSE
  • Dr. Erin Bayne- Field Research Office Director, Professor, Biological Sciences, SCI 
  • Kim Schaerer - Field Research Safety Advisor, HRHSE

Session Description:

Listen to the Director of HSE explain the new set of initiatives over the next three years that should have a profound and positive impact on the university's safety culture and our collective attitudes and behaviours toward safety.  

Dr. Erin Bayne, Professor in Biological Sciences, who runs a large lab carrying out comprehensive field operations will give advice as to how to prepare a Field Activities Plan, including details of the hazard assessment and control process, emergency response plan, benefits of check-ins, etc. Hear about upcoming training offered by FRO this year and what other services FRO provides. 


  • Participants will learn how the new safety initiatives will make a positive impact on the University's safety culture. 
  • Participants will understand the hazard assessment process with a particular focus on COVID-19, Wildfires, and extreme weather incidents
  • Participants will learn what assistance FRO can be including how to rent equipment, find available storage at the university, etc. 
  • Participants will have a basic understanding of occupational health and safety legislative requirements for field research legislation and U of A policy related to off-campus activities
Thursday, February 9, 2:00 - 3:00 pm - Driver Authorization and Training (Kenji Kinoshita), Lessons Learned from the 2022 Field Season (Kim Schaerer)

Date/Time: Thursday, February 9  (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) 


  • Kenji Kinoshita, Fleet Safety Advisor, HRHSE 
  • Kim Schaerer, Field Research Safety Advisor, HRHSE

Session Description:

Driver Authorization and Training (Kenji Kinoshita)

Lessons Learned from 2022 Field Season (Kim Schaerer) 

  • Who has to have driver authorization and training?

  • What do you require to obtain driver authorization?

  • Information about the past year's reported incidents

  • Tips to control common field hazards

Tuesday, February 14, 2:00 - 3:00 pm - All your WCB questions answered

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 14 (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) 


  • Cathy Myles, Director, Risk Management and Insurance 
  • Giles Rieger,  Recovery and Return to Work Senior Consultant, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment
  • Fatima Mirza, Director, HR Services, Vice-President Finance & Administration - Shared Services HR Services
  • Dr. Erin Bayne, Field Research Office Director

Session Description:

Join us for a panel discussion where all your questions about WCB will be answered.  Participant Outcomes: 

  • What to do prior to field research commencing to make sure workers are eligible for WCB insurance while in the field, particularly in another province

  • When to report an incident to WCB (Students versus Staff)? 

  • What happens after the WCB claim is accepted? 

  • Returning to the field after you are recovered

Thursday, February 16, 2:00 - 3:00 pm - CN Railroad Crossings Safety Presentation

Date/Time: Thursday, February 16, (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) 


  • Constable Dean Solowan,  CN Community Resource Officer
  • Dr. Erin Bayne, Field Research Office Director 

Session Description:

A field researcher is bound to cross a railroad multiple times in a field season and therefore it is important for field researchers to know the in and outs of safely crossing railroads. Attend this session to learn of the various differences between railroad crossings and to obtain advice from the source of truth, CN, to controlling the hazard and mitigating risks. 


  • Difference between uncontrolled and controlled crossings
  • When do conductors have to blow whistles?
  • Are you authorized to cross all railroads? What constitutes authorization to cross?

Missed the session? 

As sessions are held and recorded, recordings and presentations will be available here.

Photo Contest

Each year, the Field Research Office hosts a photo contest. Congratulations to the 2021 winners!   The winners will receive their prizes at the February 2nd information session. 

First Place Winner - Chris Schulze (ALES, RenR) 


Second place winner, Tharindu Kalukapuge (SCI, BioSci) 20212ndplacewinner.png

Third place winner, Jéssica Chaves Cardoso (ALES, RenR)


Below is a video prepared by our 2022 Masters of Public Health Intern, Sobia Ikram, of all the photos submitted for the 2021 Photo Contest, many thanks to those who shared!