Information for Academic Activities
To facilitate academic activities, a flow chart has been developed to help those interested ensure ease of planning and conducting academic activities at the ranch. Timelines have been suggested for activities, however, certain activities may have unique requirements. This is why an essential component of academic activities at the ranch is early communication and planning with ranch director and management to ensure all needs are met.
- Be sure to read and be aware of the guiding principles of the ranch and the ranch policies and procedures, including ranch costs. Engage with ranch director and management early in the development of ideas and academic activities. W.A. Ranches Academic Activities Resource Request Form has been developed to help those responsible for academic activities to develop their ideas and is required to support initial discussions with ranch management.
- Approval by ranch director is required prior to any funding submissions, if applicable. The ranch director may also be able to provide letters of support for funding applications.
- Projects will be prioritized based on a combination timing of submission to ranch director and resource availability. Coordination of activities amongst interested parties is encouraged to facilitate efficient use of resources and collaboration. Those planning academic activities are encouraged to discuss faculty collaborations with their department or to contact the ranch director, Dr. Ed Pajor.
- Ensure that ranch director is informed of all funding decisions, positive or negative, to facilitate resource planning.
- All academic activities must complete a MOU for use of ranch animals that is to be submitted with animal care protocols as a part of completing permits and approvals (W.A. Ranches Memorandum of Understanding for Research and Teaching)
A forms package is available to assist with common forms required for academic activities
All projects involving the use of animals requires UCalgary approval of animal use protocols (AUP) via IRISS, and those involved with these protocols are required to complete the Institutional Animal User Training Program at the University of Calgary, which may involve hands-on species specific training, prior to the start of the project. Part of completing the animal care protocols for use of W.A. Ranches animals includes submitting W.A. Ranches Memorandum of Understanding for Research and Teaching form within the IRISS system.
For academic activities involving W.A. Ranches cattle, once approved, animal care protocol numbers are also used for animal tracking and certain types of data collection within the ranch herd data management system. Those responsible for the academic activity must fill out the W.A. Ranches HerdTrax Information Collection form and discuss details with the ranch director and ranch management during project planning. Information for the study summary can be copied from animal care protocols as appropriate.
Wildlife Research Permit and Collection License: Questions can be emailed to AEP.WildResPermits@gov.ab.ca
For activities to be conducted on lease lands contact Brendan Kowalenko at Alberta Environment and Parks (Brendan.Kowalenko@gov.ab.ca). See this table for approval processes for research, education, outreach activities on provincial lease land.
Those responsible for academic activities are required to work with ranch director and management to ensure that necessary permits are completed and documented appropriately prior to commencement of any activity at the ranch
If your activity involves access to the physical sites at W.A. Ranches, you must plan accordingly.
- Be aware of biosecurity policies and procedures for people and equipment.
- Access within the ranch is limited to road access for vehicle traffic, within pastures is only accessible via ranch research UTV or foot. No other vehicle traffic is permitted in order to maintain pasture quality and biosecurity. Use of the W.A. Ranch research UTV must be coordinated with ranch management and requires that UTV drivers have completed the required training at their own expense (i.e. training is not provided nor compensated by the ranch). Copies of training certification are required to be submitted to designated ranch representative prior to arrival of ranch. Vehicle access (e.g. keys) will not be permitted without this documentation.
- For research and teaching involving access at lease sites, wildlife awareness training is required for group leaders that will be present during the activity. Approved wildlife awareness training is at the cost of the user.
- A field level hazard assessment (FLHA) is required for temporary worksites, mobile worksites, and for non-routine work. This form must be completed before work begins, communicated to each affected employee onsite and implemented.
- If the activity involves the ranch staff, ensure to include them in the FLHA for alignment on hazards and controls.
- Original FLHA are to be kept in either the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) binder for the department or the Laboratory safety manual for the lead of the academic activity. If ranch staff are included in the FLHA, a copy must be given to ranch management for record keeping in their OHSMS binder.
- Field Level Hazard Assessment (FLHA)
- A field communication plan is required for academic activities off campus. It describes modes of transportation, participant contact information and emergency contact list.
- For assistance filling out the FLHA or communication plan, contact Environment, Health and Safety.
- Medical Aid requirements are detailed here
- Prior to starting academic activities at the ranch, all members of the activity that will be present at the ranch are required to review the general ranch orientation with their designated ranch representative, as well as an in-person safety orientation at the site of the activity within the ranch. Please ensure the proper signatures are documented depending on the type of participant
- If there are non-UCalgary attendees at the activity, they are required to complete the following waivers. Waivers must be completed yearly, and stored for 12 yrs (child forms until they are 18+, unless birthdate unknown then for 30 yrs)
- All applicable components for preparing for an approved academic activity must be completed prior to commencing the activity.
- Biosecurity protocols for people and equipment must be followed.
- Visitors must check in with their designated ranch representative each day when they arrive and leave the ranch for emergency communication management. Activity attendees are required to complete the Visitor Log at the home ranch office daily, unless other biosecurity tracking measures have been arranged with ranch management.
- Activity organizers are encouraged to maintain communication with ranch management throughout their project.
- All activity attendees must follow the ranch policies and procedures throughout their time at the ranch.
W.A. Ranches wishes to ensure continued support for the ranch and those who use our facility by showcasing their work, as appropriate. Following your visit to W.A. Ranches, we will follow up requesting additional information that can be included in our Annual Report and in informational material.
- Project leaders will be provided with the Post Visit Information Template document, which requests the following information:
- A brief report summarizing your activities, including (for example) teaching objectives, preliminary findings;
- Photos, video, or other media that can be used in annual reports online and for other purposes;
- Notifications and links to (or electronic copies of) any publications resulting from your work at W.A. Ranches (e.g. newsletters, media coverage) and feedback on your visit to W.A. Ranches.