Guide for Researchers

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Principles of Community

The PIE LTER includes investigators, staff, and students from many different institutions. Much of the research for PIE and related projects takes place in the field where investigators and students are away from their home institutions. Therefore, it is important that we all share common values and agree to a common set of Principles of Community to foster the best possible working and learning environment. Adopting these principles helps assure that we are all committed to promoting and maintaining a culture that supports every person in an atmosphere of mutual respect, cooperation, professionalism, and fairness. This requires awareness and active participation by every member of our community. Anyone using PIE facilities or interacting with members of the PIE team is expected to practice and adhere to these basic principles, both as individuals and in groups.

Workplace Safety, Sensitivity, and Inclusion

At PIE, we believe strongly in a respectful workplace and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. All participants are expected to follow our Principles of Community, show civility, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you are using PIE facilities, you are also required to agree and adhere to the MBL Unlawful Harassment Policy. For guidance on options for support or reporting, please download our Incident Reporting and Resource Flow Chart.


All researchers affiliated with PIE are required to register annually, regardless of if you plan to visit or work at PIE facilities. The information we collect is used for mandatory NSF annual reporting. The emergency contact information section is required if you plan to use PIE housing or boating facilities. All non-MBL researchers are required to read and acknowledge the MBL Unlawful Harassment Policy and MBL Risk Waiver.

Field Safety

All groups are responsible for their own safety in the field. Groups should complete a field safety plan before leaving and group leaders should have emergency contact information, knowledge of medical issues, and a first aid kit. A field safety plan serves as a tool to document your hazard assessment, communication plan, emergency procedures, and training. This plan should identify hazards, as well as precautions and actions taken to address and mitigate those hazards. As you complete your plan, be mindful in considering the unique safety concerns that can apply to individuals with marginalized racial, sexual, and gender identities. In some cases, a single plan for the season may be sufficient. In other cases, you may need to have a number of plans for different locations or operations. This plan does not cover the requirements you must follow when using PIE boats. Please see below for the MBL boating policy and float plan requirements.

PIE provides this field safety plan template, which includes important local information, to help you create your own field safety plan.

Use the NOAA tide predictions to plan your trip, but remember that if you are going up the river, the tides may be delayed by as much as an hour and a half.


PIE has two housing facilities available, the Marshview Farm and the Rowley Field House, which are able to sleep up to 21 people combined. Marshview Farm also has two lab spaces and limited short-term storage space. If you are visiting PIE and would like to request housing, please check housing availability on the PIE Housing Calendar and complete the Boat & Housing Request Form. Housing is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority going to PIE LTER staff and projects. Housing assignments will appear on the Housing Calendar once approved. Please note that all visitors must provide their own sheets, linens, and towels. For more information, read the Field Station User Guide.

Marshview Farm
297 Newburyport Turnpike
Newbury, MA 01951
(get directions in Google Maps)

Rowley Field House
95 Railroad Avenue
Rowley, MA 01969
(get directions in Google Maps)


PIE has two boats that are available to use: the Growler, an 18' MariTime Skiff with 90HP Honda, and the Stein, a 16' Tracker Jon boat with 25HP Mercury. Priority usage goes to PIE LTER projects.

All new personnel operating a PIE boat need to:

  1. Read the MBL Boating Policy. Note that field station boat use may differ slightly.
  2. Read the MBL Boating Manual.
  3. Complete an online boating course and send a copy of the certificate of completion to Sam Kelsey at
  4. Schedule and complete a field checkout with Sam Kelsey.
  5. Receive confirmation from Sam Kelsey that you are a certified boat user.

Approved safety courses:

The boats are available by reservation only and priority usage goes to PIE LTER projects. To check if the boat is available, use the PIE Calendar. To reserve a boat, fill out the Boating & Housing Request Form. Last-minute reservations are available if the boat is not in use. If the boat is in use during the day you would like to use it, reach out to the person who reserved it or Sam to see if sharing the boat is possible.

All boat users must make a float plan prior to departure. A float plan consists of documentation about the details of your trip and designates a shore contact who is aware of your plans and responsible for checking in if you lose communication. You should let your shore contact know when and where you’re going, when to expect you back, and when you actually get back. You can create a float plan online.

For more information, read our Boating Guide.


There are two laboratory spaces at Marshview Farm Field Station with sinks, counter space, and short-term refrigerator and freezer storage. Field station lab use can be requested by e-mailing PIE facilities. If you use the labs, you are responsible for keeping them clean and all of your equipment, samples, and belongings should be removed from the lab when you are done. If you need to request longer-term storage space in the labs, please e-mail PIE facilities.

Data and Metadata

All PIE researchers are participants in the LTER Network and are required to submit research data and metadata in accordance with the LTER Data Access Policy. We publish this data in the Environmental Data Initiative Repository at the time research results are peer-reviewed and published, or no later than 2 years after collection. For more information on our data publication policy and links to data management resources, see Information Management.

In order to submit data for publication, e-mail the data and the completed Metadata Template to following the PIE LTER Data and Metadata Best Practices guide. The PIE Information Manager will gladly assist with data archiving and publishing. Please reach out with any questions.