For RSENR researchers and lab users, the Rubenstein School is providing safety guidance and forms for resumption of lab and field research during COVID-19. This guidance is evolving rapidly, so please return to this page frequently for new and updated information. If you have questions, please contact Associate Dean Breck Bowden (


Regarding Fieldwork and Research Travel

Q: What is going on with UVM SPA and who do I contact with questions in the Rubenstein Business Service Center?
A: See this update memo about RSENR Business Service Center and UVM SPA contacts (PDF).

Q: Are there any restrictions on class lab or field research activities?
A:  With two exceptions, we are back to pre-COVID operations. The remaining restrictions are that 1) unvaccinated persons must wear a mask at all times with a UVM facility of any kind and 2) international travel requires an exemption from Gary Derr and Kirk Dombrowski. Other practices are encouraged. Please read the UVM summer 2021 research update memo (PDF) for more details.

Q: Do I need permission for a “field” activity (course, research, program) that involves UVM students, staff, or faculty at a location or locations that are off-campus and not walkable?
A:  No.

Q: Do I need approval to do fieldwork with no associated travel?
A:  No. 

Q:  Do I need permission to travel with no fieldwork?
A:  For domestic travel, no. Any international travel must be appproved by Gary Derr and Kirk Dombrowski.

Q: Do I need to request a Travel Authorization?
A: A Travel Authorization is not required for travel inside Vermont unless the travel is overnight or will incur some other anticipated expense. Domestic travel outside of Vermont does require a Travel Authorization, whether just a day trip (e.g., to NY or NH and back) or overnight. International travel is still restricted and requires permission from Gary Derr and Kirk Dombrowski. Please keep Breck apprised of any Travel Authorization requests, especially international.

Q: How do I request a Travel Authorization?
A: Follow this travel authorization guidance (PDF)

Q:  How soon prior to my travel do I need to submit a formal Travel Authorization?
A: 14 days.

Q: Do I need to submit an essential hire form to hire a student?
A:  No, as of guidance from Provost on 4/16/2021.

Q:  Can I hire a UVM undergraduate this semester?
A:  Yes.  The process starts with the Student Employment Office.

Q: Will UVM undergraduate students engaged in field or lab work have to test for COVID-19?
A:  Yes.  This will be true for all UVM students whether hired or working for credit.  The only exception is for students who are working entirely remotely and never come to campus or engage with others in fieldwork. See this student employee guidance.

Q: What if I have students who will be in the lab sometimes but in the field at other times, often for extensive periods.
A: See this testing guidance to declare the period(s) that students will not be in town for testing.

Q: Will UVM students on paid or unpaid internships with non-UVM entities have to test regularly or report to UVM?
A: No. But any entity with whom we work to secure an internship position should have a work resumption plan that aligns with our own.  We will devise a mechanism to track these students and their sponsors’ COVID plans.

Q:  Will undergraduate students working on research projects that use UVM facilities need to be sponsored as during the Winter Break?
A:  Yes. See this summer student researcher or intern guidance.

Q: Will minors or volunteers be able to work on my field crew this summer.
A:  No.


Research Guidance

Lab/Fieldwork and Travel


General Lab Safety Guidance