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Research Request Form

by admin last modified Nov 02, 2016 04:25 PM


Please fill out the following information and submit it to Kate Scow, You can also download the research request form as a Word document here.

Name and email address:
Name of faculty member with overall responsibility for this research:
Department and university:
Name of person organizing field operations, if different:

    1. Summarize the proposed research giving a descriptive title of your proposed research project (e.g., "Comparison of soil water status in rainfed fallow/wheat vs. WLCC/wheat systems.") and a brief description of what scientific question(s) you are trying to answer.
    2. If you only need archival sampling, we have archival soil samples, composited by depth for each plot for 1993, 1995, 1997, and 2012. We also have small quantities of plant samples from each year.  Due to the anticipated demand for these samples over the decades, we can only release the amount actually used for analysis. If you have concerns about the uniformity of these samples, you can request enough to run two or more replicates of each sample. Contact to discuss your needs. 
    3. What kind of field sampling will you need to do, and what are the approximate dates of field sampling?
    4. If you will need advance notice of certain field operations (e.g., coordinate sampling with irrigation), please specify. Please note that we will need advance notice of all sampling and treatment operations.
    5. Which cropping system(s) at RRSAF (most a two-year rotation, and one six-year rotation) and which phase of the rotation will you study? Note that the use of 15N is allowed in the phase where wheat is not present or the phase where tomatoes are present. 
    6. Will your research require any modification of farming operations?   Any additional costs for labor, farm equipment rental, or materials will be charged to the faculty member submitting the proposal. 
    7. If the activities described in this proposal will use microplots or beds already assigned to you, please specify the microplot numbers (1-40) or beds (1-42).
    8. How many microplots or beds are you requesting per plot? 
    9. What account number will cover charges for additional crop management costs or microplot/bed fees? 
    10. If you plan to install dataloggers, neutron probe access tubes (or similar equipment) that could be damaged by or could damage farm equipment, please specify what will be installed, when they will be installed and removed, and any special arrangements to avoid damage during field operations.  Example: "Soil temperature probes will be installed after crop emergence and removed before harvest.  Probes will be placed in the crop row where they will not be damaged by cultivation, but we will need prior notice of cultivation so that we can disconnect cables connecting temperature probes to our dataloggers, which will be placed at the edge of the field." 
    11. If you will need to specify the timing of some farming operations, such as irrigation or harvest, please explain.  Example:  "Ideally, the first irrigation of the year should occur on the same day for all systems studied.  However, a difference of up to two days is acceptable."  Because the timing of operations is constrained by weather and equipment availability, an otherwise acceptable proposal may be rejected if harvesting or irrigating at a particular time is required.
    12. Will your research meet the definition of "low impact"?  "Low-impact” sampling is defined as:
      • soil cores < 40 mm in diameter and < 30 cm deep (up to 50 cores per plot per year)
      • removal of individual leaves of crops or weeds (up to 20 per plot per year)
      • any nondestructive measurements (visual observations, clamp-on chlorophyll meter, IR thermometer, etc.)
      • no application of isotopes, tracers, biocides, or other chemicals
      • staying out of plots when, in the judgement of the Facilities Manager, they are too wet for foot traffic

      High-impact research activities, such as use of isotopes or removal of large-diameter soil cores, can be authorized by the RRSAF Director with sufficient justification.  Future researchers at RRSAF need to know when and where these activities took place, however. To facilitate record-keeping and minimize negative interactions among projects, high-impact research activities are restricted to microplots allocated to individual researchers. If your experiment is low-impact, ignore the following five questions.

    13. Please describe (and briefly justify, in terms of your research objectives) any sampling involving root harvest or use of a shovel. Please include the maximum dimensions (diameter and depth) and number of resulting holes (per subplot per season).  A citation to a published method may be useful in justifying your method, although methods may need to be modified in consideration of future users of the RRSAF site. Example:  "In order to adequately describe root architecture, we need to dig up one tomato plant per microplot at first bloom, excavating to a depth of 50 cm or less, with hole diameter not to exceed 75 cm.  This is a standard method, first described in J. Root Arch. 42:1132, and cited in most recent papers in the field."
    14. If you will be collecting soil cores > 40 mm in diameter, please specify number of cores per subplot (per year), diameter, and depth.  Please explain why these large cores are needed.
    15. If you will need to apply any isotopes, biocides, tracers, or other chemicals, please provide details and explain why this is necessary for your research.  Note that 15N can only be applied to one phase of each cropping system.
    16. Please explain and justify any other research activities that might have an effect on future research in the same subplots.
    17. Even research activities with major long-term effects may be approved if there is sufficient scientific justification and if the data cannot be obtained in another way. In addition to justification of specific activities in the boxes above, you may provide an overall justification here, explaining the importance of your work to science, to the development of more sustainable agricultural practices, etc.
    18. Will you need assistance from the RRSAF staff (e.g., in sampling or in managing microplots)? Typically, managing a microplot differently from the main plot will require some discussion, for example, to prevent irrigation water applied to a microplot from affecting neighboring microplots.  But, unless specified otherwise, we will assume that your staff will be available to carry out any microplot management not involving farm equipment.

Russell Ranch Data Sharing & Right of First Use

Since Russell Ranch is a publically-funded research facility, Russell Ranch expects to make data publically-accessible to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, all data collected as part of Russell Ranch will be shared more than is normally the case for data collected by individual researchers. However, each principal investigator working at Russell Ranch will have a reasonable opportunity to be the first to interpret and publish data collected as part of his or her research. The Russell Ranch Director shall have similar rights and responsibilities with respect to core data (see below) but shall consult with and recognize (e.g., by co-authorship) other principal investigators who make major contributions to management of the experiments or collection of core data.

Therefore, all research performed at the Russell Ranch site is subject to the condition that any data collected (whether or not it is eventually published) shall be made available to the public within 2 years of the time the data are collected, unless a longer period is authorized by the Executive Committee (e.g., when publication requires a multi-year data set). Data recorded in computer-readable form (in Excel) shall be given to the Russell Ranch Director within 2 years of the time the data are collected, along with the protocols used to collect and analyze the data. An access form will be provided to each new researcher to record the metadata of their experiment and will be expected to attach the data files and protocols to that form and submit it no later than 2 years after data collection. Data recorded in computer-readable form shall be made available to the public through the Russell Ranch Electronic Data Archives (RR-EDA), which will be maintained by the Russell Ranch staff. Summarized data will be provided to the public on the Russell Ranch website. The original datasets are also available for scientific use, subject to the Data Use Agreement. Researchers should contact the Russell Ranch director to obtain a log-in for the RR-EDA.

For a reasonable period (normally 2 years) after an experiment is completed, the principal investigator who oversaw their collection shall have exclusive rights to publish the data and to assign authorship. During this period, use of data collected by another principal investigator will require permission of that investigator, and co-authorship credit would normally be appropriate. However, summaries of significant results are to be submitted to the Russell Ranch Director annually by March 1. Occasional presentation of findings to other Russell Ranch participants is also expected. Any publication containing data from the Russell Ranch site shall acknowledge Russell Ranch and a copy of the publication shall be provided to the Russell Ranch Director.

By submitting this proposal, you agree to deposit data collected at the RRSAF site (or using samples collected at RRSAF) in the RRSAF Electronic Data Archive within two years of when the data were obtained as specified in the RRSAF Charter.


__________________________________________________________                  ________________

Your Name (Print and Sign)                                                                                        Date


__________________________________________________________                  ________________

PI Name (Print and Sign)                                                                                              Date


__________________________________________________________                  ________________

RRSAF Director (Print and Sign)                                                                                 Date

Event Details


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