Field Safety at Sevilleta

SEV LTER research is based at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge,  ~100km south of Albuquerque, NM. The field sites are remote, in ecosystems ranging from low-lying riparian corridor to mountainous pinon-juniper woodland. For successful research at the Sevilleta, being prepared for a wide range of risks and situations is crucial.

All researchers must be responsible for their safety while working in the program.

To help researchers and visitors prepare themselves for potential conditions and hazards, the SEV team have prepared a site-specific safety plan. This reference includes University and LTER contacts, specific site hazards, and tips for preparing for a safe research trip.

See the Plan

Using The Safety Plan

This plan is written as a guide, not a comprehensive plan. Because different procedures, seasons, and locations all require special considerations, it is up to each group to determine and address their safety needs.

  • Read the trip preparation tips. This can be a starting point for your own packing list and pre-departure planning.
  • Use the template to create your specific safety plan. Visualize the details of the trip. Consider potential hazards and how they can be addressed.
  • Use our site-specific information as a guide. For your reference, this section contains information about local conditions, nearest facilities, potential hazards, and limited site coordinates. Information is provided to help plan for specific hazards mentioned in the guide.
  • Talk to your team. Familiarize everyone on your research team with the plan and help them prepare their personal gear and PPE.

If you choose to download the full plan as a reference, it is recommended that you save it as an offline Google Drive document This will keep your version up-to-date as revisions and improvements are made to the original.


If you have any questions or would like help developing your safety plan, please contact SEV program manager Missy Bacigalupa.

Beyond the Paperwork

Being informed of risks and preparing a plan is not a substitute for safety training. It is highly recommended that at least one member of each field team be professionally trained and certified in First Aid, and if possible, Wilderness First Aid specifically. For UNM-based researchers there are often tuition remission-eligible classes through the Outdoor Adventure Center, typically during the fall semester. For more information and course availability, please visit Recreation Services.