Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
THE RESEARCH PROGRAM IN THE NATIONAL PARKS
SURVEYS OF PARK SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS
By Frank T. Been and Geo. L. Collins
A survey of park scientific problems may be necessary in order that the best method of their solution can be decided upon.
The term Surveys, expressed here, in relation to a research program, would suggest the matter of keeping in touch with or investigating current problems that a visual picture of them may be drawn from reports, etc. at any time. It suggests particularly. however, preparation for problems of the future.
For instance, if a survey is made at a certain time of each season of all the forest areas within a park with reference to insects, it is pretty certain to result in our having a knowledge or picture of what a normal condition of insect infection in that forest is, and we could judge the necessity and means of control accordingly.
Surveys of various important features, not greatly accessible, could be made with special reference to the value of those features to the public, and their consequent influence on forthcoming road or trail systems.
Surveys of public opinion by means of contacts with various groups outside of National Park Service organization should be made as public opinion of course is important to consider in the science of functioning as good public servants.
A survey of the general history of a park region should be made in order that the relationship of various historical happenings can be known and lined up with park exhibits
The main reason why the above topic was introduced was in order to give Park Naturalists a broad perspective of possible fields of investigation which might be correlated under their general supervision.
It was brought out that the naturalist should list as many as possible of the unsolved scientific problems in his individual park. This will give a perspective of the field of possible investigations and will lead to a determination of what are the most important problems and which are the problems requiring immediate attention. If the unsolved problems are recognized it will then quite often be possible to call in outside help to assist in their solution.