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The Parks Department allows scientific research, field work to support academic studies, and some collection in San Mateo County Parks by permit only. Apply by filling out the Scientific Permit Application Form. (This form doubles as the Site Activity Review Application.) Permit requests take at least one month to process and should be applied for early. If you have any questions about if your proposed activity will require a permit, please contact the County Parks Natural Resource Manager, Evan Cole, at (650) 599-1377.

Successful applications will include all aspects of the proposed activity including access, methods of study, tools and equipment necessary to carry out the activity, and a clear strategy to avoid impacts to the environment. Research projects should contain a clear goals and objectives, demonstrate knowledge of the topic, and include a schedule of activities and when reports will be made available to County Parks.

All approved applications are expected to make their findings available to County Parks through a report, presentation, or publication arising from the research.

To streamline your application process please fill out the hold harmless form attached below and provide proof of insurance with your application. There is an example insurance document provided below. Also, if you anticipate collecting a physical resource, please fill out the payment form and include in your application.

Permit applications submitted less than one month prior to initiating the research activities may result in denial of the request.