SciSun: Park Science   Leave a comment

NPS logo NPSThere are over 400 National Parks and sites in the United States. Every state has at least one park (except Delaware. There’s gotta be something that can be a park in Delaware), and over 280 million people visit the National Parks every year to camp, hike, explore, learn, or just enjoy nature and wild places. This week (April 20 – 28) – is National Park Week; and while the official mission of the National Park Service is to “Preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations” (why can’t they just say “Make the parks a nice place for everyone”?); it takes more then keeping trails maintained and answering visitor questions to make every park a healthy environment and living resource; and to protect and showcase the Parks as among the most special places of all the natural wonders of America.

Some of the people who work at these important, but largely unseen jobs, are park scientists. While they might not be the Park Rangers you see in a campground or visitor center, these researchers work in fields from archeology to wildlife science; from history to water quality; and everything in-between. As one of the leading Agencies in the US Government, responsible for both the present and the future of millions of acres of land and resources; historic sites; endangered species; public enjoyment and outdoor recreation; it’s vital the scientific research, data, analysis and decisions that affect the Parks be based on sound science and peer-reviewed study. There’s even one active volcano that’s within a National Park; we all want to be certain anyone working with a lava-spewing volcano knows what he or she’s doing!

From the time the first Park was founded – Yellowstone National Park in 1872 – science was one of the goals and reasons for setting aside this unique area. Old Faithful and the other geysers of Yellowstone are the largest collection of geysers in one place, of anywhere in the world. Preserving, protecting, and study of these geysers; and their associated geological formations; and how the geology effects the landscape; and how plants and animals live and thrive on that land; and the enjoyment people gain from visiting such special places; are all connected to science, scientists, and researchers of our National Parks.

And we know that’s good science, because only scientists would say things that are so complicated.

Despite extensive testing, the ‘DesertVille’ game app never really gained much of a following.


Michonne Says: Are the national park people the men who all have the same type fur? (Editor note: We think she means ‘uniforms’). I’ve seen some of them and they are nice. But I don’t think they had ever seen a rock or a leaf or a marmot before, because they took a lot of time just looking at everything and picking things up. Not marmots, though. We don’t like to be picked up.

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