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Updated 1 March 2016

The lands and nearshore ocean around Barrow and Atqasuk encompass many different jurisdictions and scientific research usually require one or more permits prior to the start of fieldwork. In addition, any research projects using US federal funding sources must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. CPS and UIC can assist researchers in identifying which permits may be required and the cognizant agencies responsible for each.

Almost all research projects, other than those conducting social science work or outreach activities, will require UIC Land Use and North Slope Borough Land Management Regulation permits, described below. Other permits may be required depending on the season, location, or scope of planned activities and could include permits from the Federal Aviation Administration, US Fish and Wildlife Service (Endangered Species Act Section 107 Consultation), US Army Corps of Engineers, National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106 survey), or others. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you confer with CPS and/or UIC Science early in the planning process for your fieldwork.

In order to determine the required permits and prepare applications please provide your CPS or UIC Science project manager with the following information:

      • • 1-2 page summary describing the scientific background and planned fieldwork
      •      activities;
      • • Location for each work site.  In cases where you are not exactly sure, i.e. it may be a
      •      function of ice conditions, briefly explain;
      • • Approximate dates the activity will take place;
      • • Indicate all types of travel (foot, truck, ATV, snow machine, boat, fixed wing,
      •      helicopter)you plan to use and show on a map the general path that will be taken if
      •      not on surface roads;
      • • Indicate any fuel storage including type, amount, and measures to be taken to prevent
      •      spillage while refuelling;
      • • Describe any hazardous and/or radioactive materials including location of use,
      •      type/description, SDS, amount, precautions to be taken during use including
      •      personal protection devices, and ultimate disposal plans;
      • • Describe any emissions into the air including type, amount, frequency, and location;
      • • Describe any noise generation including source, frequency, and duration. This
      •      includes activities involving underwater acoustics;
      • • Indicate plans to dig holes or collect soil, ice, water, or biological samples;
      • • Describe plans to set up any type of structure on the ground or in the water,
      •      regardless of height or extent (i.e. board walks, tents, small tower, solar panel,
      •      stakes, etc.)
      • • If using chemicals, provide the SDS and address the personal protection device, spill,
      •      and ventilation issues which will be addressed;

Based on this information, in addition to assistance with formal permitting CPS/UIC Science will help in coordinating with local organizations to ensure your fieldwork does not interfere with any local subsistence activities or other indigenous rights and to establish measures for mitigation.

If you have any questions, please contact your CPS project manager or the UIC Science Operations Manager.

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UIC Land Use Permits
Anyone travelling off the Barrow road system onto UIC-owned land must obtain a UIC Land Use Permit. There is no advance application required – UIC Science will issue each individual a permit during their arrival orientation. Permits are valid through the end of the calendar year in which they’re issued and cover unlimited entries. Maps of UIC-owned land and the Barrow Environmental Observatory are available here

NSB Land Management Regulation Permits
The North Slope Borough requires a Land Management Regulation Permit for any activity off of the Barrow road system including foot travel to passive study sites and extending 3 miles offshore. Governing regulations are found in North Slope Borough Municipal Code Title 19. Permits are valid for up to one year. Recurring fieldwork usually requires re-application each year. For projects funded through the NSF Division of Polar Programs and receiving support via CPS, CPS will prepare a permit application based on information provided by the PI. All others may contract with UIC Science for similar support or complete the application process themselves. Forms and instructions are available here. Form 400 is the proper version for scientific research activities, which usually fall under the “Administrative Approval” classification.

Please be aware of the lead time required to obtain an LMR permit, illustrated below. (Click on image to enlarge)
LMR permit timeline_jpeg