Facilities Guidelines

  1. Contact Information, Emergencies, and Safety
    1. Director. Dr. Jeffrey Basara (jbasara@ou.edu, 405-325-1760).
    2. Site manager. Ben Dixon (bdixon@ou.edu, KAEFS: 405-344-6976 , cell: 405 208-9317).
    3. Emergencies. Call 911. The farm address is 18388 190th Street, Purcell, OK 73080, at the corner of 190th and Western in McClain County. McClain County Sheriff # is 405-527-2141, OU police: 405-325-2864, Purcell police: 405-527-2166, Purcell fire: 405-527-3132. KAEFS can be found on Google Maps by searching for Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station.
    4. First Aid. It is the responsibility of all KAEFS users to bring their own first aid kits, safety supplies, etc.  Visitors need to be aware of biting/stinging insects, ticks, snakes, poison ivy, etc. and take appropriate precautions including application of insect repellents.
    5. Be Weather Wise. During periods of high heat, dress appropriately. We recommend lightweight clothing, light colors, hat, long sleeves, long pants, sturdy shoes and socks. Visitors also need to dress appropriately for cold or inclement weather and stay weather-aware in case of severe storms. Storm shelters are located east of the ARM trailer by the station entrance and by the farmhouse.
    6. Sign-in. All visitors must sign in and out using the sign in roster at the farm entrance. This will enable KAEFS personnel to seek assistance in case a user becomes stranded in the field. It also helps track KAEFS usage.
    7. Waiver of Liability. Researchers will need to provide a signed Waiver of Liability form for all members of their research group that will be on site. Visitors who are not employees of the University of Oklahoma must submit a signed waiver of liability form to KAEFS prior to visiting KAEFS. Any visitors who are minor children and are not enrolled students at the University of Oklahoma must have a Minor’s Liability Form filled out and signed by the appropriate parent or guardian.
  2. General Use Policies
    1. Notification of visits to KAEFS. Individuals entering KAEFS must notify the Director of KAEFS, Jeffrey Basara (jbasara@ou.edu, 325-1760) prior to their visit. Notification is necessary to ensure safety of individuals and facilities, coordinate use, and document activities at KAEFS. Prior notification is not required for regularly scheduled activities of individuals conducting approved research projects.
    2. Hours of Operation. KAEFS hours of operation are generally Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Access gates are locked at other times and unapproved access outside of hours of operation is prohibited. For access outside of the hours of operation, contact the Director or Site Manager.
    3. Parking Areas. Visitors must park in designated areas which are currently the life estate area across from the cottage and the gravel area across from the ARM facility. Buses must park in these designated areas and may not be left idling after discharging their passengers.
    4. Driving off road. All cars, trucks, vans and busses must use and remain on roads and driveways designated for regular vehicular travel to minimize fire risk. No off road vehicle driving is permitted. 
    5. Utility vehicle access. KAEFS maintains a small group of utility vehicles (four wheel drive “Gators” or “Mules” or similar types) that may be rented for use by research projects. These vehicles must be driven in a safe manner and must avoid steep slopes, eroded areas, and research plots. All drivers must be approved by the Director or Site Manager and sign liability waivers prior to use. 
    6. Drinking Water! Although there are different water sources at KAEFS, including potable water from Purcell, visitors should always bring their own adequate drinking water supplies with them. Check posted signs regarding the suitability of different water sources for drinking or other uses.
    7. Pets. No pets are allowed at KAEFS.
    8. Firearms and fireworks. Firearms and fireworks are strictly prohibited at KAEFS.
    9. Smoking. Smoking is prohibited at KAEFS.
    10. Fires. Users of KAEFS should be aware of the risk of wildfires and should not use matches or other items in ways that increase the risk of fire. Campfires are prohibited.
    11. Litter and trash. It is the responsibility of all KAEFS users to dispose of trash properly and to remove any litter that they find on the site. All trash must be disposed of either by removing it from the site, or placing it in the dumpster. If the dumpster is full, all trash must be removed from the site.
  3. Research Policies
    1. Research Use. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma and elsewhere may apply to use KAEFS property and facilities. Requests should be made by completing the research request form and submitting it to Dr. Jeffrey Basara (jbasara@ou.edu), Director, KAEFS. The application should include detailed information about the proposed project, including (i) description of the project and source of funding, (ii) the proposed location of research activities at KAEFS, (iii) duration of the project, (iv) space needs and frequency of use at the KAEFS Laboratory building or other buildings on site, and (v) description of any equipment left on site during the project. The request will be reviewed by the Director and the KAEFS Steering Committee for approval. Research conducted at KAEFS must comply with policies of the Office of the Vice President for Research, including policies relating to animal care and use, human subjects, etc. All research areas need to have GPS coordinates (for placement on the KAEFS GIS) and be clearly marked.
    2. Researcher Responsibilities. Researchers are responsible for maintenance of their site and should provide contact information to the Director and Site Manager. Failure to maintain research projects within KAEFS guidelines will result in termination of research activites and loss of access to KAEFS. At completion of the research project, researchers are responsible for removing all research equipment and supplies from the field site and laboratory as quickly as is possible. If experimental materials are not removed, the site will be cleaned by OU Facilities and all costs charged to the researcher. Any research project that needs to dig into the ground deeper than 18 inches at any time MUST work with the site manager and contact Okie One Call (1-800-522-6543) at least 72 hours prior to any digging activities. There are active and inactive pipelines under the property and this will reduce the likelihood of puncturing one of those. Users who dig without contacting Okie One Call first will be liable for any and all charges related to pipeline repair and other damages..
    3. Research Use Fees. Fees for use of KAEFS property and facilities are assessed in order to offset maintenance cost of KAEFS. Contact the Director of the KAEFS for further information on user fees and other financial obliations of researchers.
    4. Research Sites and Equipment. To ensure security of research projects, equipment, and facilities it is essential that users of KAEFS be mindful of other research projects at the site. Researchers should use only the field sites, laboratory facilities, and equipment approved for their project. Researchers should report any problems or irregularities they observe at KAEFS (i.e. power outage, building maintenance problems, wind damage, vandalism, etc.) so that maintenance personnel and other researchers may be notified.
    5. Herbicides, pesticides, chemicals. No herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals are allowed at KAEFS without prior approval of the Director of the KAEFS.
  4. Class, Outreach, and Visitor Use Policies
    1. Students, Outreach, and Visitors. University and K-12 classes, outreach programs, and other visitors are welcome to visit KAEFS for tours, research projects, and other learning opportunities. Visitors should contact Dr. Phil Gibson at least 5 days prior to each visit and complete a class visit request form. Dr. Gibson and KAEFS staff will assist in coordinating your visit and identifying different learning opportunities. Instructors are responsible for their students at KAEFS. All sample collection must be approved prior to class visits including the sites of sample collection. Data from these samples can be placed on the KAEFS GIS for research and class use. Casual removal of any plants, including flowers, soils, or animals is considered sampling, and is not permitted without prior approval. Because KAEFS is a natural area with ongoing scientific research, it is important that the site be disturbed as little as possible. KAEFS faculty and staff appreciate the efforts of outreach programs in protecting KAEFS habitats. At no time are classes to enter into or place materials in marked research areas without specific permission of the researchers in charge of those areas. Any materials placed on the farm for class use must be removed at the completion of the course. 
  5. KAEFS Facilities
    1. KAEFS Office. The Site Manager's office is located in the homestead area. To ensure security and efficient operation, all users must obtain permission to use the office. Users should lock the doors and windows when leaving the building. Also, because there is no regular custodial service in the building, users are required to clean up after themselves and properly dispose of trash. No food is to be stored in the KAEFS office. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in loss of use of the office space.
    2. Wallace Barn. There is a workshop area and some tools in the Wallace Barn. All users must obtain permission and any necessary safety training from the Facility Manager or Director before using the workshop, tools, or equipment.
    3. Cattle and wildlife. KAEFS is an active cattle ranch, and users should be mindful of the cattle on the property. Gates need to be left in the condition they are found when visitors arrive at KAEFS, i.e. if a gate is open, please leave it open, if it is closed, please close it after yourself. Please do not approach cattle. Because KAEFS is an active biological research site, hunting and fishing are prohibited. Only users conducting research on wildlife should approach these animals.
  6. Voucher Specimens
    1. The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History (SNOMNH) may accept donations of voucher specimens of amphibians, reptiles, birds, bird eggs and nests, mammals, fish, and insects and other invertebrates for disposition into its collections in the Departments of Herpetology, Ornithology, Mammalogy, Ichthyology, and Recent Invertebrates. Donations may include preserved specimens and/or specimen parts (e.g., tissue samples) as well as unpreserved material (e.g., frozen carcasses, live animals). The SNOMNH also accepts donations of images (digital or printed photographs or slides), sound recordings, field notes, and other natural history archival material. Acceptance of voucher specimens is at the discretion of SNOMNH Curators and must be in accordance with the SNOMNH Collections Management Policy. Specimens donated to the SNOMNH should have information on collection locality and geographic coordinates, date, and other relevant data and/or documentation considered adequate within the pertinent scientific discipline. Specimen preparation should meet the highest possible standards to ensure long-term preservation of specimens for scientific and educational use. Potential donors are encouraged to contact SNOMNH curatorial staff for guidelines on specimen preparation and recording data.
    2. The Robert Bedd Herbarium agrees to provide a repository for plant voucher specimens obtained during research at KAEFS. Specimens should be prepared in accordance with policies of thr Robert Bebb  Herbarium (OKL) in George Lynn Cross Hall on the Main Campus of the University of Oklahoma. Specimens submitted to the Bebb Herbarium shouold meet modern standards for plant research collections that include properly driend and pressed non-sterile plants and collections that have complete label and georeference data on them.
    3. Copies of permits or other documentation that the material was obtained legally must accompany all specimen-related material donated to OKL and SNOMNH.
  7. Data archiving
    1. Data collected by class and researchers at KAEFS may be archived on a secure portion of the KAEFS web site. Please contact Dr. Gibson for metadata requirements, which follow those recommended by the OBFS (www.obfs.org) [Organization of Biological Field Stations] 
    2. Data are publicly available upon their initial placement on the KAEFS web page. Please contact Dr. Gibson or the data manager for conditions of data use.
  8. Using the Kawasaki Trans Mule ATV
    1. Prior to seeking permission to use the Kawasaki Trans Mule, individuals must read, understand, and comply with the ATV safety procedures at: http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib080306.html
    2. All users must complete safety training and submit a waiver form to Dr. Phil Gibson to use the Trans Mule.