Research and Collection Requirements

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Supplemental Guidelines for Research and Collection Permits


General guidelines and requirements for submission of research and/or collection permits have been prepared by the National Park Service and are available at These supplements to those guidelines have been developed specifically for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To receive consideration, applicants must follow both sets of guidelines.

Applicants must provide adequate detail for reviewers to fully understand what is being proposed. Inadequate requests will be returned for improvement and will not be reevaluated until the next scheduled committee meeting. Since this could jeopardize the research schedule, be sure to follow the guidelines and discuss the proposal with the appropriate staff person before submission.

Submission and Review

A park research committee will review all applications and recommend approval or denial to the superintendent. This committee will be composed of resource management staff and representatives from other park divisions. The intent is to review the projects from a variety of perspectives and expertise.

Monthly Reviews - Applications will be reviewed monthly by the research committee. Deadlines for these reviews are: the 1st day of each month. If this day falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next workday. Researchers are encouraged to submit an application at least one month prior to anticipated start date.

If submitting only hardcopies (NOT RECOMMENDED) six copies of the application must be provided. Late applications will be retained for the next scheduled committee meeting.

Students - Students are required to have a university professor named as Principle Investigator.

Letters of Support - We routinely receive requests for letters of support for grant applications. These will generally be reviewed on the same monthly schedule as permit applications. Support information should be as detailed as possible. The review committee must be able to fully understand the intent and ramifications of the proposed research or collection to determine if park support is appropriate.

Subject Matter Experts (SME) - Researchers should discuss potential projects with the staff SME well in advance of submission dates. This will insure that quality products are submitted and correspond with National Park Service policies, regulations or guidelines. Please contact Lisa Petit, Division Chief, Science and Resources Management, at 330-342-0763 extension 1 to determine the appropriate SME for your project.

Post Approval Requirements

Permits for approved applications will be issued subject to several conditions. These are as follows.

Work Products - Work products will be provided to the SME at certain stages of the research project. A research project summary will be prepared within two weeks of issuance of the permit. This will be one page or less in length. It will include the hypothesis or reason for the study, a description of the methodology, a work schedule, the locations of the research and the names and telephone numbers of the investigators. This document will be used to inform park staff of the project. It should, therefore, use commonly understood terminology and avoid highly technical descriptions.

Following each year of the project, usually in January or February, an investigator's annual report must be prepared. Usually this product is electronically submitted and reviewed. Instructions will be provided to the principle investigator at the appropriate time.

At the completion of the project, three copies of the final report will be provided to the SME. These must be provided in a timely fashion.

Permit Coverage - Approved research and/or collecting can only occur on National Park Service, owned lands. The permit does not authorize work on private property, easements, or inhabited sites. Furthermore, research may only be done on sites specifically enumerated on the permit. Copies of the permit should be carried in the field and placed in the windshield of vehicles to alert park staff about what is occurring.

Other Permits - It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain necessary permits from other federal, state or local agencies. The National Park Service permit does not negate the need to obtain such approvals.

Collection Ownership & Storage - All collection voucher specimens are the property of the National Park Service. Upon receipt of a permit, investigators will receive information regarding National Park Service regulations and guidelines for museum collections. Factors to be addressed include loans, labeling and storage. The park museum specialist will provide this information. Some items collected may not be appropriate for compliance or may be destroyed during the research. Examples might include water, tree leaves, soil or exotic plants. Requirements will be determined at the time of project approval.

Laws & Regulations - Researchers and assistants must comply with all federal, state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.

Woodlake Environmental Field Station

Field Station Collection Permits - Because of the nature and purposes of the field station, collection permits may be issued annually or for longer periods. These will be for class-related work or preparation of reference collections, not for specific research. These may be obtained for individual classes or for several classes. Applications for such collection permits will be through by the normal monthly permit process.

General Considerations - Several factors will be considered prior to issuance of a blanket collection permit. Priority will be given to non-destructive collections where samples are be gathered, studied and quickly returned to the collection point without damage or harm. Collecting for field station classes should avoid stressing plant or animal populations. Collecting too often, too much or concentrated in one location should be avoided. Projects that involve non-native species will generally be more favorably viewed. Duplicate or redundant reference collections will not be permitted. Reference collections, which can be obtained outside the park, will be preferred and encouraged. Finally, unless otherwise stipulated in the permit, collections will only occur on the campus of the field station.

Special Requirements - Field station collections will only be allowed during classes and when an instructor/permit holder is present. Students will not be allowed to collect otherwise. All requirements associated with other permits apply. A report on any collection activities will be prepared and submitted to the SME at the end of each school term. This report will include an enumeration of the number and species collected, the location of collections, a description of the disposition of the samples and any other pertinent information deemed necessary by the permit holder or the SME.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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