Field work may involve different kinds of transport that are subject to local, state, or federal regulations. Researchers should be aware of all regulations covering the transport of chemicals, equipment, specimens/tissues, and other materials. The UC Berkeley Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee also may impose certain requirements on transport (e.g., liquid nitrogen).

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.

Airlines have specific regulations regarding transport of firearms and sharp objects that may be used for collecting. Firearm restrictions apply to anything that looks like a gun (e.g., shotgun, rifle, air rifle, pellet gun, dart gun, etc.). The basic rules are:

  • firearms must be declared at the ticket counter
  • firearms must be broken down and transported in a locked, hard-sided gun case
  • ammunition must be packed separately from the firearm(s)
  • ammunition must be in its original container
  • ammunition is limited to a certain weight

If you are traveling internationally, always check with the airline and destination country re: restrictions on transportation and importation of items before traveling.

Curators may draft a letter certifying that the carrier is a researcher with the MVZ and is conducting legitimate scientific research. This is especially useful for international work, but also can be relevant for work within the U.S. A copy of the letter should be shown to officials upon request.

TSA Travel Tips