If you are thinking of going in the field, the most important take home message isĀ plan ahead! It is helpful to have a field checklist of items to bring, but here are some basic guidelines.

Permits Make sure you have all necessary permits to conduct your work before leaving for the field. If you are doing international work, talk with a Staff Curator about your plans for bringing specimens or samples back to the museum so that all import paperwork is taken care of prior to your return. Your work also must be approved by the UCB Animal Care and Use Committee prior to conducting the activity.
Zebra-tailed lizard specimens.

Field work may involve travel by air, car, boat, horse, or other means of transport. The MVZ vehicle is available for field work with prior approval, and must be reserved in advance. If you are traveling by plane, check for any travel restrictions in terms of baggage weight or transportation of equipment. Also pay attention to the TSA restrictions on what can or cannot be hand-carried. Also note that airlines have the authority to refuse to allow certain items (e.g., a liquid nitrogren tank or dry shipper, even if empty), so it’s best to call the airline and make sure that you can transport all necessary equipment.

Field expedition with MVZ and Guatemalan researchers.

Equipment and Supplies
Leave plenty of time to gather all necessary equipment and supplies prior to your trip. The MVZ will provide some items, but it’s possible that certain supplies need to be ordered. Sometimes, those supplies are on backorder and can take a longer-than expected time to receive them. If you need items for specimen preparation and/or note-taking, talk with a Staff Curator or the Prep Lab Manager – do not just take things without asking! Field notes always should be written on archival paper, so make sure that you have a supply of that – either with printed catalog pages or blank/lined paper. Tissues should be preserved in MVZ standard Nalgene vials, labeled with a Cancer Diagnostics pen, and barcoded in the field. Please return any unused or borrowed items to MVZ staff when you return.

Preparing specimens in the southern Sierra Nevada.