Sunday November 23, 2014  

Outdoor Action Training for Field Scientists

What OA Offers

Faculty, graduate students and research staff in the Field Sciences (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geology, and Geosciences) often travel to remote locations with limited access to medical care to perform research. Providing a safe environment for research means having staff on the trip who are trained to deal with first aid and emergency issues and are carrying the proper equipment. Outdoor Action can provide training in outdoor safety and wilderness first aid. McCosh Health Center can provide information on diseases and medications which may be required or recommended fro travel in certain parts of the world. McCosh Health Center can also provide immunizations. Please contact McCosh Health Center for more information.

These are the training programs which we suggest Field Science Staff have for research in remote areas. These programs are offered a different times throughout the academic year. Consult the latest Outdoor Action Newsletter or the OA TripStore for current information and schedules. All of these are open to all members of the Princeton University community. There are fees associated with some courses which can be paid by the individual or billed to the department. For more information contact the Outdoor Action Office.

First Aid & CPR

HEART Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Health Education and Rescue Training (HEART) will be offering a 25-hour Wilderness First Aid Course which includes CPR. This intensive course will cover patient examination and evaluation, body systems and anatomy, wound care, splinting, environmental emergencies, and backcountry medicine. This is an excellent course and is highly recommended to all wilderness travelers. The course is taught by experienced Wilderness First Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians. There is extensive hands-on practice of skills through realistic simulations of actual wilderness emergencies. Typically offered Monday/Wednesday evening or Tuesday/Thursday evening from 7:30 - 10:30 PM during fall and spring semester.

Wilderness First Responder Course

OA sponsors one or more Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Courses each year taught by Wilderness Medical Associates. This is an excellent course for anyone spending extended periods in wilderness or remote environments including backpackers, paddlers, climbers, photographers, and scientists. This 72-hour intensive course is specifically designed to emphasize the wilderness context—remote locations, severe environments, and simple improvised equipment. The course will cover patient examination and evaluation, body systems and anatomy, trauma care, environmental emergencies, splints, wilderness rescue, and backcountry medicine. This is an intensive course that meets 10 hours each day with morning lectures and afternoon skills practice including simulated rescues, daily quizzes and a final exam. The course will run from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM each day and will be held at the Princeton-Blairstown Center. The cost of the course includes lodging and all meals. Participants will be staying in rustic cabins at the Center. 

CPR Courses

Outdoor Action and McCosh Health Center both offer CPR courses throughout the semester.

Outdoor Safety Management

the most important aspect of trip safety for field research is prevent accidents before they occur. This workshop is designed to make all wilderness travelers familiar with how to plan and run safe wilderness trips. The Dynamics of Accidents Model that will be taught is used by outdoor professionals around the world. All OA Leaders must attend this seminar once. Offered multiple times each semester.

First Aid Kits

Outdoor Action can provide first aid kits for departmental use for approved academic field research programs (kits are not for personal use). Kits contain the standard Outdoor Action supplies. The following guidelines apply for rental/use of first aid kits:

  • Kits can be rented from Outdoor Action throughout the academic year. Kits will not be available from August 1 - September 15.
  • Medications are provided with the first aid kit only when:
    • There is someone on the trip with an appropriate level of first aid training
    • Medical history forms have been filled out by all trip participants and are carried with the group showing information on any medication allergies/contraindications.
  • Epinephrine is distributed with these kits only when:
    • When a physician at McCosh Health Center has written a prescription to Outdoor Action authorizing the use of Epinephrine and
    • An individual on the trip has been trained in the use of Epinephrine for anaphylaxis by Outdoor Action, McCosh health Center, or an approved outside provider.

Consulting & Other Training

Outdoor Action staff are available to departments to help them implement an outdoor field research safety program. Some field research may require special training such as rope handling, technical climbing, etc. Some courses already offered by OA may fill your needs or we may be able to develop a custom course. Contact email Outdoor Action for more information.


Outdoor Action trips and activities are only open to Princeton University students, faculty, and staff. Specially listed activities are open to Princeton University alumni and their families.