Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Alma College’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the care and use of any animals involved in teaching and/or research at Alma College. The committee is comprised of faculty, a veterinarian, and an outside community member.

The committee reviews protocols that involve the use of animals, ensures compliance with animal care standards, inspects housing and facilities, and oversees the training of personnel involved in animal care. The goal of the committee is to ensure that all animals are treated humanely in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Animals.

Does my study need IACUC approval?
  • All faculty, students, and staff that are working either directly or indirectly with vertebrate animals need IACUC approval. This includes demonstrations using animals, using animals in the classroom, and doing research involving animals.
  • Purely observational field work does not require a protocol but field work involving any handling of animals does require a protocol.
  • We recommend but not require submission of protocols that deal with invertebrates or animals not technically covered under IACUC.
What do I need to know before submission?
  • An approved protocol is required BEFORE animals are received or ordered.
  • Training is required before any personnel work with animals.
  • All studies require faculty or staff member oversight.
  • Guidelines for procedures due to inappropriate conduct or inaccurate protocols is covered in our assurance.
  • It can take between one week to one month to approve a protocol, so early submission is highly recommended.
How do I get my work approved?
  • Download the protocol and fill out the required sections. Definitions and thorough instructions are provided in the document.
  • Send the document to the chair of the IACUC, Natashia Swalve, at swalvenl@alma.edu.
  • The protocol will then be sent to all members of the IACUC for approval. If there are any concerns, the chair will then send the protocol with required changes back to the investigator who submitted the protocol.
  • Once all changes have been made, the protocol will be approved and an email will be sent to the investigator. The protocol is approved for three years, after which a continuing revision will need to be submitted.
  • Facilities in which investigators are housing animals such as mice, rats, and rabbits will be inspected semi-annually with all members of the IACUC participating in the inspection.
What do I do if I have questions/concerns?
  • If you have any questions about the IACUC, please email the chair, Natashia Swalve, at swalvenl@alma.edu
  • If you have concerns about the treatment of animals or any other welfare issues, please contact our assurance coordinator, Mike Bishop at bishop@alma.edu.