Fieldwork is an important part of teaching and research at UNT but has the potential to expose those involved to unique hazards and safety challenges off-campus, especially when working with animals in the field.
UNT is committed to observing all Federal policies and regulations and extends to wild animals the same considerations given to animals used in research in the lab. Principal Investigators are responsible for knowing about and complying with all institutional policies and applicable local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations. All fieldwork activities involving animals and research must be proposed and approved by the IACUC committee to ensure the appropriate measures are taken to avoid harm to the animal, researchers, and general public.
There are many aspects of field studies that the IACUC committee may need to assess differently from in-lab research work, such as assessing possible animal population and environmental effects of the proposed research in the wild, evaluation of natural animal behavior in their habitat, safety in regards to naturally occurring diseases among wildlife populations, appropriate capture and transport techniques, appropriate housing, food and water supplied, appropriate release or reintegration plans, etc. The IACUC requires that copies of any and all required permits for work with certain animals and protected species be submitted along with the protocol. It is strongly suggested that PIs consult with qualified wildlife experts, ecologists, zoologists and or a veterinarian prior to submission; this consultation can be noted in the protocol. The committee may also request special consult with experts during its review.