Chapter 7 Health and Safety in the Field

While we assume that most of you are interested in the outdoors and probably spend a lot of time outdoors, a few safety reminders should be kept in mind nonetheless.

  • Unless otherwise instructed, leave only footprints and take only pictures.
  • Please keep in mind any specific safety information your TAs may provide in relation to a specific lab/field assignment.
  • The university is situated in a relatively busy urban area. Be careful and obey all traffic signals when crossing roadways.
  • By the time you are out in the field, most insects will not be very active. Still, if you are sensitive to insects, you should wear clothing that covers your skin and/or use insect repellant.
  • Certain diseases may be carried by insects that live within the UTSC area. This includes, for example, West Nile Virus carried by mosquitoes and Lyme Disease carried by certain species of ticks. The vast majority of mosquitoes and ticks do not carry these diseases. For further information about how to protect yourself and how to recognize and detect these diseases early, please refer to these links on West Nile and Lyme disease.
  • If you have an anaphylactic allergy, please bring your Epi-Pen with you.
  • Proper footwear is important. Wear boots or running shoes in the field with good soles to avoid slips and falls.
  • Be especially cautious when walking on slopes and when it has recently rained or is raining (or snowing!). Horsing around usually ends in someone getting hurt.
  • The hydrological conditions in urban rivers can change rapidly. Be aware of the local weather and steer clear of entering streams if it is raining or potentially raining upstream of where you are. If you do not know how to swim, never enter a body of water, including shallow streams.