MSU adopted a new student travel policy effective July 1, 2013.  The main purpose of this new policy is to know when our students are on a trip and which students are on the trip so that we know where they are if there is some sort of catastrophe near the event (i.e. a tornado). This policy covers field trip experiences and local trips. 

View the official MSU policy and forms.  For your convenience, a Field Trip Summary Document includes form with some LRES-specific information pre-filled, as well as relevant policy information regarding state vehicle use.

Summary of Forms for Off-Campus Field Trips Required in LRES Classes

  • Form 1: Emergency Contact List (policy s. 301.01) - fill in participants for each off-campus field trip and email (or submit a hard copy) to Reilly ( before the trip.
    • This form provides us with emergency contacts for trip participants so that we know whom to contact in an emergency.
    • This form may be used as an attendance form; however, in order to provide the information to Jessie prior to the trip, trip coordinators may prefer to gather the information during the class prior to the trip and take attendance separately.
  • Form 2: Short Term Trip Form (policy s. 301.02 and 301.03) - complete even if travel is one day or less and students are meeting you there OR you are providing vehicles
    • "Sponsoring Unit Contact" is Bob Peterson (994-7927)
    • Turn in/email to Reilly before the trip
  • Form 3: Participant Agreement (policy s. 302.00) - ask students to sign on the first day of class and keep in your files
    • You are responsible to make sure students attending the trip have a signed Participant Agreement on file
    • If communicated to the trip participants, this form can cover all field trips for a class
  • Form 4: Driver's Agreement(policy s. 401.00) - complete if any students transport 1 or more other students in their personal vehicles and keep in your files
    • If communicated to the drivers, this form can cover all field trips for a class
    • If students are using State vehicles, they must sign the Vehicle Use Form instead
      • These must be turned in to Reilly before the trip; the original will be kept on file with HR and is valid for a driver's entire career as a student and/or employee.
  • Form 5: Medical Consent (policy s. 1003.00) - complete only for multi-day field trips and keep in your files

Summary of Recommended Procedures and Tips

Before the Trip


Have all drivers sign the MSU-Bozeman Vehicle Use Form if they are driving a State vehicle.  This form MUST be turned in to Reilly; she will keep a copy and forward the original to HR.  The form is also available at the LRES front desk.  Pages 10-12 of the Field Trip Summary Document include relevant portions of the State of Montana's vehicle use policy and the MSU student travel policy.

If your drivers are using their personal vehicles to transport fellow trip participants, please have them sign the Driver Agreement Form (Form 4, see page 9 of the Field Trip Summary Document), which essentially makes them aware of the fact that they are liable for everything.


Have all students complete Form 1 (emergency contact information) and Form 3 (participation agreement) before departing on the trip.  The trip coordinator may use his/her discretion on how to gather the emergency contact information so long as the information is compiled into a completed Form1, which is then provided to Jessie Sheperd.  A Respondus-ready version of Form 1 is being developed so that you can integrate it into your D2L course seamlessly.

If applicable, also have students sign Form 4 (driver use - see above).

Faculty/GTA (aka Trip Coordinator)

Complete Form 2 (trip form).

Provide a copy of Forms 1 and 2 to Reilly.

Orient students.  Encourage (or require) a "buddy system".

Orient trip coordinators.  Do they have First Aid training?  Are they familiar with emergency protocols?

On the Trip

Take attendance and email a photo of the attendance sheet it to Reilly ( right away.  If there is an emergency and the LRES department doesn't know who is actually present on the trip, they cannot effectively deal with the emergency.

Be alert.  Be prepared.

Be sure you have cell service or some way of alerting the Sponsoring Unit Contact (Bob Peterson - 406-994-7060) or campus dispatch (406-994-2121).

In case of an emergency or car accident:

  1. If there are any injuries, call an ambulance.  Most communities have a "911" system that would allow you to call a single number to dispatch all necessary emergency services.
  2. Call the local policy or highway patrol and report the accident.
  3. Call the designated university contact (Bob Peterson - 406-994-7060).  The designated university contact is responsible for contacting the appropriate campus officials and shall call Transportation Services if a university vehicle is involved, etc.  If the contact is not available, call the University Police dispatch at 406-994-2121.
  4. If a university vehicle is involved and is not operational, call a tow truck to take the vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop.  If possible, Transportation Services should be notified before the two truck is called and repairs are made.
  5. Make arrangements for the students' alternative travel and/or lodging.  The students may wish to wait for repairs if that is possible or may make alternative travel plans.
  6. Advise the designated university contact what is in place for each student.
  7. Complete the Incident Report.  The person most knowledgeable about the incident should complete the report.  If there are questions about filling out the report, contact Safety and Risk Management at 406-994-2711.
  8. In the case of an incident or a near-miss, recognize that much can be learned from both incidents and near-misses to prevent future incidents.  Therefore, take the time to evaluate and revise travel procedures if necessary.

Taken from Section 403.00 of the travel policy.

Important Phone Numbers

406-994-2121......University Police (24-hour dispatch)

406-994-2828......Dean of Students Office

406-994-2711......Safety and Risk Mangement

406-994-6902......Office of Activities and Engagement

406-994-7060......LRES Main Office