Guidelines for permits for teaching, research and outreach on Arboretum lands

The following information summarizes permitting procedures used to sanction teaching, research and outreach conducted on Arboretum lands. The permits are essential to document use of Arboretum lands by UW and other groups, meet compliance requirements of UW-Madison Office of Risk Management, and avoid potential conflicts when proposed field visits might conflict with our planned management activities such as proscribed burns and brush removal.

PERMITS for RESEARCH:  For me to facilitate research by students or classes, I need the student or instructor to complete a research permit application form at For those of you familiar with the permit application, you’ll notice that we have replaced the Word document version with an online form. I and/or the Arboretum Research Director, Dr. Joy Zedler review these applications quickly, but we appreciate at least a week’s notice of a class data-gathering visit.

REPORTING:  The “Requests and Restrictions” section at the bottom of the application form asks for data collected at the Arboretum to be added to our permanent research data archive. This adds to our permanent record of the number and type of projects conducted annually.

PERMITS for CLASS VISITS: If you anticipate the need to collect samples (insects, leaves, etc) or be off trail at any time, a permit is required (cf. same form as for research).

No permit is needed for classes to walk the trails or visit Longenecker Garden. However, I request that you email me at least two days in advance indicating the course number, number of students, and purpose of the visit.

OUTLYING PROPERTIES:  The Arboretum manages 11 remnant natural areas (mostly in southern Wisconsin) totaling over 480 acres. More information about these properties will soon be on our website ( These areas are intended primarily for research but are  widely visited by classes and the general public. If you would like to visit them, either personally or with classes, please contact me (; 263-7344) for permission.

HOW WE USE THE DATA:  Information in the permits and on class visits is often needed when we apply for grants, and it helps us fulfill our mission of conserving and restoring Arboretum lands, advancing restoration ecology and fostering the land ethic

Thank you for your past use, and I look forward to your future use of the Arboretum for research and teaching.

Brad Herrick
Arboretum Ecologist and Research Program Manager