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Field Safety

Expectations for Field Trips in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Contact Information

Leave an itinerary, list of participants, and emergency contact information behind with your department or program. Make sure they know how to get in contact with you in case of emergency.


Take an appropriate first aid kit. If you are going to be out of cell range, check out a satellite phone from Tom Koos (or the GES office, if you are part of the GES department). Be aware of who on the trip has first aid training (you can acquire this information from the SES emergency contact/medical form) and familiarize yourself beforehand with the locations of hospitals and medical facilities. Know the risks associated with your destination and have a contingency plan in case of injury! Communicate risks to all participants and remind them to bring proof of medical insurance. If you are really going to be off the beaten path, we have Personal Locator Beacons available for check out. 


Make sure participants are informed about what to expect on the trip, what to bring, what is required of them academically, and how they should conduct themselves. Stanford students, faculty and staff are expected to abide by the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard, and Sexual Harassment Policy, and undergraduates must abide by the University Alcohol Policy at all times. 

Collect emergency contact information and liability waivers from all participants, including faculty and TAs. It is also recommended that you collect medical history information (same form as emergency contact) however you cannot require participants to disclose their medical information and any forms containing personal information must be kept in a sealed envelope during the trip and destroyed once you return home. 

Whenever possible, have participants work in pairs or teams. If it is necessary to split up make sure a contingency plan is developed in case of emergency. 


Only drivers who have completed the SES vehicle training may drive SES vehicles. Drivers should not drive more than 10 hours in one day. When caravanning, make sure all drivers are familiar with the route and planned stops beforehand. It is a good idea to bring walkie-talkies to communicate between vehicles. All vehicles should have a phone number for someone in all the other vehicles. The best rule for caravanning is "be responsible for the car behind you". If everyone always waits for the car behind them then you will never all get separated. Have a contingency plan in case you get separated in spite of your efforts.

All SES vehicles have a spare key, which should be given to a responsible party during the trip. At least one vehicle should carry extra drinking water if conditions warrant. For more information about safety when driving off-road, please review the Remote Vehicle Safety checklist.  


Return all University-owned equipment clean and in good condition. If items are lost or damaged, report this immediately.

Incident Reporting

In the event of an incident (accident/injury/illness/fatality/lost student, etc.), and when it is safe to do so, the relevant department or program manager must be contacted and briefed. 

For questions or more information please contact Tom Koo.