Field Research Info Sessions

 Join us for the Field Research Information Sessions (online), happening Feb 7 to 16, 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.

Register to Attend

Please see the details of the planned sessions below: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2:00 - 3:30pm - Culture of Care (Philip Stack) & Pre-planning for Field Research Activities (Dr. Erin Bayne)

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 7 (2 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

Friday, February 10, 2:00 - 3:00 pm - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Field Research Settings (Dr. Laura Beard, Dr. Marta-Marika Urbanik & Rebecca Hayes)

Date/Time: Friday, February 10  (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.) 


Session Description:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Practices in Field Research Settings  

  • High-level review of the University's progress on the EDI Strategic Plan 

  • General knowledge to ensure that EDI is incorporated into your research programs and projects 

  • Considerations for LGBTQ2S+ friendly fieldwork practices

Tuesday, February 14, 2:00 - 3:00 pm - All your WCB questions answered (Panel Discussion)

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 | Industry/Resource Road Safety

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 may use industry/resource roads to access their field sites. Attend this session to learn how to best control these high risk travel hazards. 


CN Railroad Safety

  • General safety lessons for CN railroad crossings
  • Difference between uncontrolled and controlled crossings
  • When conductors have to blow whistles to warn 
  • Authorization for crossing railroads 
Industry/Resource Roads  
  • Learn what you need to know when accessing industry/resource roads
  • Learn the rules of travelling on industry/resource roads 
  • Who has the right of way on these roads?
  • What communication devices do you require?
  • Are the rules different in each province or depending upon who "owns" the road?

Missed the session? 

Here's a link to the Google folder with all of the recordings and slide presentations. 


Photo Contest

Each year, the Field Research Office hosts a photo contest. The 2022 winners are as below:

First Place Winner - Hande Gür (ARTS, Anthropology)  


Second Place Winner, Ben Louter (ARTS, Anthropology) 


Third Place Winner, Jéssica Chaves Cardoso (ALES, RenR)