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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment


Planning Your Trip

Principal Investigators (PI) planning to work in the field should ensure that all field team members consider the following information BEFORE leaving:

Hazard Assessment and Training
    • The PI of NASA funded projects planning to conduct field work are required to complete the hazard assessment and ensure that the field team completes the appropriate training. If a PI has a collaborator (no NASA funding) conducting field work, the PI needs to ensure that they review the hazards that they might encounter take the appropriate safety training under their own institutional procedures. Learn More Here
Important items to discuss with your HR Department
    • Health Insurance
      • Your institution is responsible for costs associated with victim transport including medivac and Search and Rescue (SAR), to a medical facility or back home.  Some health insurance plans do not include certain emergency services, such as evacuation.
      • Talk to your HR department to ensure all field personnel have health and evacuation insurance.
      • Consult your HR department if employees should receive a physical exam prior to remote field work.
      • If you are working outside the US, make sure your policy applies to international locations.
      • PIs are responsible for volunteers or sub-contractors on your team, so make sure they have the proper health insurance and evacuation coverage.
    • Workers Compensation and Alaska Workers Compensation Board
      • Check with your HR department to ensure that their workers compensation (WC) policy includes the type of fieldwork you are conducting and that it applies to working outside the US if you are leaving the country.
      • Have a clear understanding of any subcontract workers in terms of ensuring that the subcontract company carries workers compensation. 
      • Report all work accidents to Alaska Workers Compensation Board. This is an Alaskan requirement, even if your WC policy is out of state.
      • Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Workers' Compensation
    • Emergency Planning
      • Each PI is responsible to have an emergency plan in place that integrates communications that could be necessary between the field, the nearest emergency services, and your home institution.  Your home institution will need to be contacted in the event of an emergency and they will become an important part of the emergency chain of communication between providers, staff and family members.  In certain study locations the CCE Office will establish and assist with emergency planning and communications. 
      • Emergency plans should be in writing, reviewed with all team members, and need to include:
        •  Pre-trip planning and communication.  Get the team together and discuss levels of experience and training, emergency responsibilities (first aid providers, communication trees, incident commander), and response to various types of emergencies (wildlife encounters, first aid issues, boat/atv accidents, severe sickness, etc).
        • Emergency evacuation.  Have a plan that includes multiple communications to evacuate injured or sick personnel to treatment. 
Packing and Planning


Please Contact us with any questions.