Print this page

1. What paperwork is required for field trip participants? Who is responsible for collecting that paperwork?
Please see the ESS Field Trip Paperwork Policy.

2. Do students need to be in good academic standing to participate in field trips?
Yes; students must confirm that they are in good academic standing with the university (i.e., maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or more) as part of their required field trip paperwork. Students or field trip leaders who have questions about this are welcome to contact ESS Student Services.

3. What information about course field trips should be included in the Time Schedule and sylabus?
Instructors teaching courses that have optional or required field trips should send the following information to our Time Schedule Coordinator (Michelle Barr) to be added to the course notes in the Time Schedule before registration opens to students: whether the field trip is required or optional, the dates of the field trip, and the location(s) of the field trip. An example course field trip note in the Time Schedule would be:

Required field trip to San Juan Islands April 13-15

These details about the field trip(s) should also be included in the course syllabus. These details about the field trip(s) should also be included in the course syllabus, along with the trip duration, location, means of transportation, and any other important information about the trip conditions.

4. How do field trip leaders reserve university vehicles (UCars) for field trips?
Contact our Fleet Services Coordinator (Mike Harrell) to arrange UCar reservations.

5. Who is responsible for checking whether field trip participants have completed the university’s Driver Safety and Awareness Training? How do I check this?
Please see the ESS Field Trip Paperwork Policy.

6. What procedures should I follow in the event of a car accident during an ESS-related field trip?
See the instructions on the UW Facilities website. Our Fleet Services Coordinator (Mike Harrell) and Department Chair (Ken Creager) should also be notified of any car accidents during ESS field trips.


7. Who is responsible for covering field trip costs?
Field trip costs should be incorporated into course fees. If you need to change the fees for your course, please contact the ESS Department Administrator (Scott Dakins) to discuss the process and necessary paperwork. Note that applications to change course fees are typically due two to three quarters in advance of the quarter of instruction.


8. Who should I contact about reserving field equipment?
For equipment owned by the ESS Department, contact our Building Coordinator (Dave McDougall) or Mike Harrell. If a course requires equipment that is not owned by the ESS Department or which the ESS Department does not stock in large enough quantities for all field trip participants, it is the instructor’s responsibility to place an order for that equipment through the University Bookstore by the quarterly deadline.

Enrolled UW Seattle students, faculty, and staff are also eligible to rent some camping gear from the UWild Gear Garage. Students receiving Financial Aid may be eligible to borrow UWild Gear at lower or no cost; please encourage students to contact the UWild Gear Garage to inquire about this.


9. Are there any additional policies to be aware of regarding international travel?
Field trip leaders who are planning trips outside of the United States must set up a health and safety program with the UW Office of Global Affairs.

All UW students and employees should complete the UW Office of Global Affairs’ International Travel Registry prior to engaging in international travel. Students traveling abroad for academic purposes must also meet the additional pre-departure requirements outlined in the Student International Travel Policy. Questions regarding international field trips can be directed to Katherine Kroeger in the UW Office of Global Affairs.

See Question 3 above for information about field trips that must be submitted to the Time Schedule Coordinator (Michelle Barr) before course registration begins.

10. Who should I contact if an emergency comes up during a field trip?
If an emergency occurs during a field trip, in addition to the immediate medical response and informing local trip leaders and/or local authorities, this should also be reported to the ESS Department and UW. Reporting to the ESS Department and UW is essential so that University resources and assistance can be provided to affected individuals. The University also tracks these incidents to understand field hazards and create plans and resources to mitigate future incidents.

Any events that involve serious injury must be reported to both the ESS Department Chair and to the College of the Environment Dean’s office who will then provide additional help and coordination. In the Dean’s office, call Dean Lisa Graumlich or Associate Dean Stephanie Harrington to notify them of the crisis.

  • Dean Graumlich: 206-499-1979 (c) or 206-221-0908

  • Associate Dean Stephanie Harrington: 206-200-4760 (c) or 206-543-0878

  • If you’re in doubt about whether a situation constitutes a “serious injury” please notify Lisa Graumlich or Stephanie Harrington and they will make the determination.

    Any type of physical injury or near injury (accidents, wildlife encounters, environmental hazards, etc.) that occurs during a field trip or fieldwork must be reported to the ESS Department Chair, and an Online Accident Reporting System (OARS) report must be filled out within 24 hours if possible. These reports have great value in identifying department or university-wide safety issues.


    11. Am I required to have first aid/CPR training to lead an ESS field trip?
    All field trip leaders, instructors, and teaching assistants (TAs) must have current first aid/CPR training. The ESS Department offers an annual first aid/CPR training session at no cost to faculty, staff, and graduate students.

    12. Who should I contact if a field trip participant reports that they have experienced sexual harassment, violence, or discrimination during an ESS field trip?
    If a field trip participant discloses that they have experienced harassment or assault, the first step is to listen to their experiences, thank them for sharing this with you, and ask them what kind of support they would like moving forward.

    The next step is to inform the impacted field trip participant that you will be contacting SafeCampus (206-685-7233), who will send them a “Know Your Rights” booklet that outlines their options should they wish to seek additional support, put together a safety plan, or make an official report. As part of that conversation with SafeCampus, field trip leaders can also consult with SafeCampus regarding safety concerns. If the field trip participant who has experienced harassment or assault states that they do not wish to have their contact information shared with SafeCampus, the field trip leader can obtain a copy of the “Know Your Rights” booklet from SafeCampus and share it with the field trip participant directly.

    Any incidents of sexual harassment, violence, discrimination, or bullying must also be relayed to the field trip leader, ESS Student Services, and the ESS Department Chair unless the victim asks for confidentiality, regardless of whether those incidents were committed by individuals affiliated with UW, other universities, or members of the general public.

    UW Executive Order 54 prohibits all university employees or appointees from engaging in a romantic relationship with a student or exercising authority over a student with whom the employee has had a romantic relationship that creates a conflict of interest or could be perceived as creating a conflict of interest. Concerns about possible violations of this policy should be reported to ESS Student Services and the ESS Department Chair.

    In incidents involving minors, note that UW employees and volunteers are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse or neglect and must report this no later than 48 hours after suspecting that this abuse has taken place. Additional guidance can be found on the Youth at UW website.

    Incidents of discrimination or harassment against a member of the university community based on perception of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability or veteran status can also be reported to UW’s Bias Incident Advisory Committee using the online Bias Reporting Tool. The Office of the Ombud can also consult with UW community members regarding issues around harassment, discrimination, and interpersonal conflict.


    13. Are there any resources available to assist field trip participants who are experiencing food insecurity on trips that require participants to bring their own meals?
    The UW Food Pantry provides free food to UW students, faculty, and staff with a Husky ID. Information about additional resources, including food security grants for UW students, can be found on the Any Hungry Husky website. Low-income field trip participants may also be eligible to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called Basic Food in Washington state.


    14. I have questions regarding teaching assistant (TA) workload in a course with field trips. Who should I contact?
    First, consult the UAW Academic Student Employees (ASE) contract. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in the contract, you are encouraged to contact the union and our Director of Academic Services (Noell Bernard-Kingsley).

    15. Can field trip participants arrange their own ground travel to/from field trip sites?
    In most cases, field trip participants must drive to/from field trip sites with the group. Field trip leaders may approve field trip participants to drive themselves to a field trip site on a case-by-case basis. If approved, field trip participants must provide the field trip leaders with their contact information and their itinerary so that trip leaders can contact them in case of an emergency or change of plans. The ESS Department assumes no liability for field trip participants who choose to arrange their own ground travel.

    Field trip participants who arrange their own ground travel are responsible for arriving at the field trip site by the designated time agreed upon with the field trip leader; should they fail to arrive on time, they assume responsibility for any lost opportunities, costs, or grade penalties associated with arriving late or missing the field trip.

    16. How do I request accommodations for an ESS field trip? What are the responsibilities for field trip participants and field trip leaders in the accommodations process?
    Please see our ESS Department Guidelines for Designing and Implementing Fieldwork Accessibility Accommodations. For other accommodations, refer to the information in the College of the Environment field trip guidelines.