Field Work

(not including human research projects)

Written requests to resume field work must be sent to the cognizant dean for approval with a detailed plan that includes safety protocols consistent with the guidelines in Bringing Back the Pack and CDC COVID-19 Safety Practices. Field research that involves collection of seasonal data or experiments close to completion where pause or deferral would lead to catastrophic loss of research results should be prioritized. The minimum number of full-time employees (faculty, staff, and students) needed to safely conduct activities will be allowed to participate in field research upon approval by the cognizant dean of written plans for safe conduct of fieldwork.

Travel to field sites must be in accordance with the university policy on business travel in effect at the time. Exceptions to university travel restrictions for any personnel (faculty, staff, or students) must be made in writing by the applicable Chancellor, Dean or VP. Travel to areas or communities needs to be closely considered based on the prevalence of community spread of the virus and public health guidelines and may be prohibited based on those guidelines. Travel to areas or communities that have not met the public health guidelines for staged reopening in New Mexico will not be permitted.  

All travel must be in alignment with UNM travel restrictions and guidelines in effect at the time (https://hr.unm.edu/cv19/travel-food-restrictions):

  1. When travel is via ground transportation, there should be one person per vehicle unless individuals are from the same household. If this is impossible, a plan for implementing safety protocols must be provided as part of the request for an exception to the travel restrictions.
  2. The destination must not be a COVID-19 “hotspot” and must meet NM’s public health guidelines for reopening.
  3. The requester (principal investigator) must provide a written plan for compliance with CDC, State and UNM guidelines to the cognizant dean or director to protect against infection at field sites, at stopover points in transit, and when obtaining fuel and supplies. Such plans must include protocols for using, cleaning and maintaining equipment and vehicles to minimize the potential for spread of virus between researchers.
  4. During the execution of all activities, researchers must follow all applicable COVID Safety Practices. Research protocols must be revised to allow a minimum of 6 feet of distance at all times from others and face coverings must be worn.
  5. Participation by employees is voluntary. Individuals at high risk of complications of infection should consider carefully their own health concerns, and consult with their supervisor/chair to address these concerns.  Those who are exhibiting symptoms of infection with COVID-19 are not permitted to travel.
  6. Researchers seeking exceptions to UNM business travel restrictions must obtain authorization in writing from their cognizant dean.