Research Permit Conditions

Researchers are required to follow the below terms and conditions in conjunction with the issuance of their research permit.

Leave No Trace

You must minimize the impacts of your research on the park’s natural and cultural resources.

Study And Permit Number

Please label all reports, data, and other deliverables with your study number and permit number, both of which appear on your permit. This will help us track your documents in our museum collections.

Annual And Final Reports And Publications

You are required to submit an Investigator’s Annual Report (IAR) each year, within 90 days of the end of the calendar year. At the end of your research project, you must also submit a Final Report
(in addition to your IAR), also within 90 days of the end of the calendar year. An IAR is a standard form that you fill out to provide a brief summary of your work in a given year. IARs become publicly available online after submission and park review. A final report is a report you write summarizing the work of the project and its initial findings and any additional information—such as relevance to park management or future plans—that you think is appropriate to include. Final reports will be permanently archived, and may be made publicly available online. You should submit both annual and final reports through the NPS Research Permit Reporting System ( We also request that you email one electronic copy of any publications, etc. that result from this work for reservation in the Acadia National Park museum collections.

Sharing data

We ask that you share your data, preferably by archiving it in a permanent repository, such as those participating in DataONE (, and sharing with us a link to the data and metadata. DataONE also has excellent guidelines and tools for managing, sharing, and archiving data.

Geospatial data

As soon as practicable, send the Science Coordinator and Science Information and Communications Manager the specific latitude and longitude, using the WGS84 datum, of your research site(s). This will help us track research sites to avoid conflicting uses of the land. You are also required to submit all final GIS data layers and associated metadata developed as a result of your research. “Base layers,” such as USGS roads, shorelines, streams, etc., do not need to be submitted unless (a) you have modified them drastically or (b) you have made changes that pertain to your study that
would be difficult or impossible to duplicate. All geospatial data should be submitted as ArcGIS shapefiles, geodatabases, GRID or other ArcGIS-compatible formats. The preferred coordinate system is Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Zone 19N using the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83) and, if applicable, the North American Vertical Datum of
1988 (NAVD88). If you need more information, contact the park’s GIS Specialist.

Travel and safety

Travel within the park is restricted to methods that are available to the general public unless otherwise specified in this permit. You must file safety and travel plans with your collaborator or employer to facilitate your safety and rescue should you not return after work. We also encourage you to file your safety and trip plans with your park liaison prior to conducting your fieldwork in the park. This applies especially to backcountry travel and travel by boat.

Carrying and displaying permit

Everyone in your research team must carry a copy of the signed research permit while working in the park. A copy of the permit should also be displayed visibly in your parked vehicle.

Other permits and IACUC

You must obtain all other required permits to conduct the specified project. If you are working with vertebrates, you must obtain approval from the NPS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Contact the Science Coordinator and the Science Information and Communications Manager to start this process.

Permanent markers and field equipment

Please do not use flagging. Flagging found in the park may be taken down. All structures and materials placed in the field must be clearly marked with your name, institution, and permit number—
National Park Service (NPS) research tags are available in the Curatorial Workroom at Park Headquarters. These items must be removed at the conclusion of the project. You must provide geographic coordinates to the Science Coordinator and Science Information and Communications Manager for every piece of equipment (i.e. monitoring station, well, instrumentation, marker, etc.) you install within 48 hours of installation. Should this project go into hiatus for any reason (e.g. lack of funding, etc.), you must notify the Science Coordinator and Science Information and Communications Manager to discuss and evaluate the future of any installations associated with the project.

Cultural resources

If you encounter archeological resources, stop work at that site immediately and notify the Chief of Resource Management.

NPS participation

You should not anticipate assistance from the NPS unless specific arrangements are made and documented in either a stipulation attached to this permit or in other written agreements.

Last updated: May 25, 2022

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