Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

A young eagle gets his talon measurements done by gloved veterinarians
Post-approval monitoring visit by NPS IACUC for research activities involving eagle nest checks and eaglet assessment. Handlers measuring an eaglet and wearing appropriate gear, such as gloves, for protecting human and animal health.

NPS Photo.

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What We Do

  • Provide oversight for the humane care and use of wild, vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and training in parks.
  • Assist parks and researchers in achieving compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Inter-agency Research Animal Committee (IRAC) principles.
  • Provide guidance to promote animal welfare, human and animal safety, and scientific integrity in activities occurring in NPS units.

How We Do This:

  • Review projects involving vertebrate animals to be used in research, teaching, and training within NPS units. This includes projects already approved by another IACUC.
  • Consult with park representatives and researchers about proposed animal activities and advise on regulatory requirements and current standards of care for wildlife research animals, emphasizing the 3 R's: refinement, reduction, and replacement.
  • Visit locations where vertebrate animal activities are conducted for post-approval monitoring (PAM).
  • Report to appropriate authorities on the use of animals in research within NPS units.
  • Advise, consult, and collaborate with other agencies on animal welfare oversight in wildlife research.

Submission Forms

All submissions to the NPS IACUC are accepted via email. Submit the appropriate NPS Form and attachments to the email address listed on the Form. Larger documents may take several minutes to open. Thank you for your patience.

For questions about projects involving wild, vertebrate animals and the need for NPS IACUC review or for any questions about animal welfare oversight by the NPS IACUC, please contact us.

NOTE: NPS units issue permits for conducting scientific projects within their respective boundaries through the Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS). NPS IACUC approval DOES NOT replace Park specific permit requirements. Please contact your NPS park representative for specific requirements and procedures.

Personnel Training, Qualifications, and Experience

The NPS IACUC requests that all vertebrate animal research submissions provide adequate information regarding the training and qualifications for personnel conducting activities in the field within NPS units. These should be addressed within the submission materials and include, but are not limited to:

  • Role of each person listed in conducting any procedures with wild vertebrate animals.
    • Investigator may not be involved in conducting field research so list who will be the responsible, qualified person conducting and/or overseeing the procedures.
  • Experience with the species or justification for translating other species’ experience.
    • If not all personnel are experienced, list who will train and how training will be conducted.
    • Supervision will be provided for students or less experienced personnel by qualified expert and criteria for if/when allowed to conduct procedures independently.
  • Experience with the specific procedures and appropriate certification such as:
    • Chemical immobilization qualifications and training courses completed
    • Aerial Capture, Eradication, and Tagging of Animals (ACETA), if applicable
    • Euthanasia methods, particularly in the field, and if personnel in this role have been adequately trained. This should include firearm selection and qualifications if humane killing by gunshot is the most appropriate method.


Dr. Laurie Baeten
IACUC Chair and Attending Veterinarian
(970) 966-0756

Allie Petersen
IACUC Administrative Assistant
(970) 685-2500

e-mail us

Last updated: January 24, 2024