BFS Policies, Procedures, And Forms

Use of the Biological Field Station is primarily as a center of undergraduate, graduate and faculty research where knowledge related to the ecology of terrestrial and aquatic plant and animal communities can be gathered, assimilated, and synthesized into a form that will provide a functional understanding of ecosystems in the northeastern United States. This includes other natural sciences and historical attributes relevant to the area.

  1. Any modification of the environment must be confined to logical sampling and experimental procedures.
  2. No materials will be removed from Field Station properties with the exception of those utilized in research or reference collections, or directly used in experiments pertaining to the basic philosophy of Field Station use. Movement of equipment requires Field Station administrative permission according to SUNY Oneonta policy.
  3. Students, faculty and staff shall use areas as indicated according to Field Station policies.
  4. ​Field trips associated with classes must be directed and accompanied by faculty (or their representatives) doing research in the area.
  5. Locations particularly useful for general class activities include access to Otsego Lake via the Thayer Boathouse, the Upper Site and the Thayer Farm including Rum Hill. There, optimum utilization is encouraged.
  6. SUNY Oneonta biology staff members are free to make use of these areas as they deem appropriate as long as their activities are not destructive to plant or animal populations. Activities of others which involve teaching or research in the natural sciences may utilize these general use areas insofar as such does not conflict with use for SUNY Oneonta biology classes. An application naming the instructor in charge, name of the course, and the proposed activity must be submitted to the Station secretary at least 14 days prior to the date requested. A calendar is maintained by the Station secretary for the information of those interested in using these areas for classes. Dates for any use should be cleared as far in advance as possible and must be filed at least 14 days before the date requested. SOME AREAS ARE USED FOR HUNTING BY SELECTED FIELD STATION PERSONELL AND THOSE WITH DEEDED ACCESS. BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE ABOVE POLICIES (6) TO ASSURE THERE ARE NO SAFETY CONCERNS.
  7. No applications for recreational use will be considered.


  1. Be considerate of others. If classes are in session, maintain quiet.
  2. No pets are allowed in buildings.
  3. Field gear is only to be worn in utility areas.
  4. Before any use is authorized the BFS Safety and Health Manual and the SUNY Oneonta Laboratory Safety Guideline Program must be read and understood.
  5. Upon entering any room note the location of fire extinguishers and exits.
  6. Work should be done during normal hours (8am to 10pm) Monday through Friday if possible. If one must be in the building or on the premises at odd hours, notify BFS personnel ahead of time. Individuals working after normal hours are responsible for the security of building. ALL DOORS TO ROOMS AND EXITS MUST BE LOCKED UPON LEAVING.
  7. If any instruments are to be left running, or other procedures left unattended, notify BFS personnel.
  8. If items are borrowed from another's work space, leave a note so they may be traced. Checkout sheets are posted on the door of every room. Materials removed from those rooms should be noted on them.

Thayer Farm Shop & Boathouse:

Use of power tools is NOT authorized except by permission, after instructions concerning use
have been received and the BFS Safety and Health Manual has been read and understood. Hand
tools may be used outside the shop only for brief periods and should be recorded on the checkout


  1. Books containing library cards may be checked out and removed from the stacks. The cards should be filled out with the borrower's name and the date and filed in the box provided.
  2. Books may be checked out for as long as needed, provided they are not in demand by others. When a book is in demand a two week limit may be imposed.
  3. When books are returned they, and their cards, should be returned to their proper places in the stacks.
  4. Journals, reprints and books not supplied with library cards may NOT be removed from buildings and must be replaced on the shelves they were removed from at the end of the day.
  5. Books are available for campus or interlibrary loan when not in demand on site. Milne library must arrange for transportation of books; however Field Station personnel will cooperate in this process where possible.

In the Field:

  1. Follow items noted in "Policy on Field Station Academic Use".
  2. Upon entering upland areas close gates and replace locks.
  3. Work only in areas for which you have authorization to enter.
  4. If use is made of field labs, follow laboratory procedures (above).
  5. Before leaving, replace items used, make sure stoves and lanterns are turned completely off and lock doors securely.

Dock Areas:

  1. Use of boats are not authorized except by permission of Field Station staff, after reading the BFS Safety and Health Manual, and after the person requesting use demonstrates competency regarding line handling and engine operation to the person authorizing use. It is the boat operator who is responsible for all passengers' use of PFDs and additional safety devices and their activities in the boat regarding safety and navigation. HIS OR HER DIRECTION MUST BE FOLLOWED REGARDING BOAT UTILIZATION AND SAFETY SINCE HE OR SHE IS LIABLE FOR ALL PERSONNEL, ANY ONBOARD EQUIPMENT AND THE VESSEL ITSELF.
  2. Do not jump into or drop heavy objects on docks or in boats to avoid damage and injury.
  3. Before using any boat, note position and length of lines. When returned boats must be moored EXACTLY THE WAY THEY ARE FOUND or serious damage may result.

Responsibility and Enforcement:

It is the responsibility of all students and faculty to advise individuals that are acting in violation of these "Operational Procedures". This document has been designed to make the normal routine safer, to protect equipment and to maintain more efficient use of equipment and supplies. Every statement included came into being because of damage, loss of materials and potential or actual injury to personnel in the past. Individuals noting chronic violations of these procedures by others should notify the proper BFS personnel. Faculty and students will be made cognizant of their actions. If Field Station personnel, after consultation with the Director, determine that an individual is not responsible or mature enough to follow these procedures, the privilege of Field Station use will be terminated.

Safety Manuals (required reading for all users of BFS facilities)

BFS Fee Schedules:

Liability Release Form: to be submitted by all users of and visitors to BFS properties

Proposal to Use BFS Facilities Form: to be submitted by faculty or researchers wishing to use BFS Facilities; available below in MS Word format.

Questions or Concerns? Please drop us an e-mail at


Main Laboratory
5838 State Hwy 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 607-547-8778
Fax: 607-547-5114

Lakeside Farm &
Upland Interpretive Center
7027 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY
(physical address)

Thayer Boathouse
7016 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY

Rum Hill
Thurston Hill Rd.
Springfield, NY

Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary
7290 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY

Greenwoods Conservancy
824 Zachow Rd.
Hartwick, NY 13348

Upper Research Site
Averill Rd.
Cooperstown, NY

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