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Station Policies

All users of the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS) must abide by all University of Florida (UF) and OSBS policies while visiting the facility. The policies, procedures, and fees of OSBS are subject to change without prior notice. All visitors are responsible for observing any and all updates to UF and OSBS policies. Updates are posted on this website. Violation of UF or OSBS policies may result in termination of projects and activities on the Station and may result in restrictions or prohibition of future use of the facility.

Pre-Project Requirements

  1. Contact OSBS regarding use. Prospective users of OSBS should contact the Associate Director (352.846.0576 or scoates@ufl.edu) to discuss their interest in using OSBS before submitting any applications.
  2. Use Applications. An appropriate application (Research, Teaching, or Special-Use) must be completed and approved prior to activity on the Station. Online application may be completed through the OSBS Project Portal found on this website (ordway-swisher.ufl.edu). All relevant permits (institutional, state, federal) provided before a project can be reviewed for use of the Station and its resources. Once a use application is approved, a project use permit ID will be assigned by Station administrators.
  3. Student Projects. UF student research projects require a UF faculty member sponsor. This sponsor will be responsible for completing the project application.

Station Use

  1. Access to Station. Access to the Station is permitted with an approved use permit or prior arrangement with administrators.
  2. Entrance Gates. The Station has two entrance gates for visitors to use for entering and exiting the Station. The gates are automated and require an assigned access code to open. Unique access codes are assigned to each project or class at the time of their use is approved. The codes are removed once use has been completed.
    1. North Entrance: 245 Mason Rd, Melrose, Fl
    2. West Entrance: 590 N SR 21, Hawthorne, Fl
  3. Visitor Registration. Visitors are required to sign-in & out at the check kiosks located at the entrance gates each day the Station is visited. The following information is required: Date, Full Name, # in party, Time in, Time out, Purpose of visit, Location(s) visiting (use Management Unit or Area ID). Project Permit IDs should be written in under the “Purpose of Visit” column.
  4. Project Keys. In cases when non lodging facility keys are needed by a station visitor, the Associate Director will provide a key agreement form to be completed by the user before keys are provided. Keys checked out shall not be given or loaned to other individuals. All keys provided must be turned into the Associate Director.
  5. Station Speed Limit. The speed limit throughout the Station is 15 MPH.
  6. Trash & Recycling. General trash generated by visitors and recycling materials such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper, and cardboard may be deposited in designated containers at Bldg 2201 located at the Conservation Center.
  7. Off-road Vehicle Use. Vehicles are not permitted to leave designated roads without explicit permission by Station administrators. To reduce impact to ground cover vegetation and soil erosion, vehicles should turn around at road or firebreak intersections instead of turning around into management units.
  8. Collecting and Capturing of Species. Capturing and collecting of species on the Station is prohibited without an approved OSBS project use permit.
  9. Hunting and Fishing. Hunting and fishing are prohibited on the Station. Violation of this policy may result in arrest by law enforcement representatives.
  10. Use of Firearms. Firearms are prohibited on the Station except by permission of administrators.
  11. Domestic Animals. Domestic animals (dogs, etc.) are not permitted on the Station, unless they are part of an approved research project or are necessary to help a disabled user. Please notify the Station administrators if you have a special need.
  12. Prescribed Fires. When a prescribed burn is being conducted at the Station, access to the burn area and bordering roads are closed to access. Once a burn has been conducted, the burn area is closed to access for 7 days post fire to let the area settle for safety reasons. The surrounding roads may be utilized once the burn is completed.
  13. Fire Breaks. Fire breaks are not accessible to vehicles. Foot traffic is permitted.
  14. Cultural Artifacts. Removal of any Native American or homesteader artifacts (e.g., arrowheads, pottery, etc.) is prohibited.
  15. Biosecurity Measures. Biosecurity is defined as practical steps that can be taken to minimize the spread of unwanted organisms. The Station will follow the following guidelines for biosecurity:
    1. Introduction of species. The introduction or use of species not found on OSBS is prohibited without an approved OSBS permit.
    2. Aquatic flora/fauna. Aquatic flora/fauna must be removed from nets before they are moved between waters.
    3. Use of Aquatic Sampling Equipment. All aquatic sampling equipment (nets, dredges, etc) shall be cleaned with a 5% bleach solution between use in other lakes/ponds/streams.
    4. Use of Boats. To reduce introduction of exotic species into the lakes and ponds, outside canoes and boats are prohibited from being used unless an individual receives written permission from Station administrators. The Station has boats and canoes that are available for use. A minimum of 2 flotation devices must be present in a boat when being used.
  16. Use Locations. Only use locations approved under the appropriate OSBS project permit may be used for the designated activities.
  17. Changes in Activities. Requests for any change from permitted activities (e.g., study location, personnel, species of focus, sample collection, project time-line, impact to habitats-species- environment, OSBS resources needed, etc.) must be submitted in writing for review prior to enacting the change. Updates to institutional (IACUC, ARC, etc), state, federal permits shall be uploaded to the designated project on Project Portal at the time of their approval.
  18. Use of Marking Material. For projects needing to use marking material such as PVC tape/flagging, the Station requires that projects have their own unique marking pattern/color. Current reserved flagging/marking materials can be reviewed when completing an online application through the Project Portal. Users may request a marking material when completing their use application. All marking material is to be removed once the activity has been completed unless otherwise agreed upon by Station administrators.

Use of Station Equipment

  1. Station Vehicles. Designated Station vehicles may be available for use on an available basis and are subject to the Station's fee schedule. They may not to be driven unless permission has been obtained from administrators. When using state vehicles, users must complete mileage log stored in each vehicle.
  2. Station Boats. Canoes, Jon boats, and v-haul boats are available for use on an available basis and may be subject to the Station's fee schedule.
  3. Other Station Equipment. Permission must be obtained from administrators before borrowing any equipment. Equipment loaned for use are for studies using OSBS wholly or partly and may be subject to the Station's fee schedule.
  4. Use of Bldg 2202 Facilities. Visitors wanting to use the classroom/kitchen/camping facilities at Bldg 2202 (Butler Bldg) must complete/sign the Use Instructions Form. The form is provided by the Office Manager upon request to use the facility.
  5. Onsite Lodging. The Station has lodging facilities that can be rented by Station users. Please visit the Station’s website to review lodging use fees, policies & requirements (ordway-swisher.ufl.edu).

Post-Project Requirements

  1. Removal of Equipment. Once a project or class activity has been completed, all equipment shall be removed from OSBS unless otherwise agreed upon by Station administrators.
  2. Acknowledgment in Publications. Publications resulting from the use of the Station must acknowledge the University of Florida and the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station.
  3. Publications. Researchers should notify Station administrators when publications generated from studies conducted at OSBS are available. Researchers have the option of emailing an electronic copy to the Station’s email address, osbs@ifas.ufl.edu or upload a copy to their project account in the Project Portal.
  4. Research Data. Researchers should notify Station administrators if data generated from their use of OSBS is uploaded to an open public data repository.
Copyright 2000-2017, Ordway-Swisher Biological Station
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Contact UsLast Revised: December 31st, 2015