Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
USE OF RECORDED SCIENTIFIC DATA
UTILIZATION OF RECORDED SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION IN THE GENERAL PARK ADMINISTRATIVE PROGRAM
By Geo. L. Collins.
The park administrative program is formed as a guide or calendar which states what is to be done within a given length of time. They are made up well in advance of the time of their actual functioning. If a well rounded program is thought out well in advance, a harmonious condition should obtain during the season of work covered by that program.
In establishing new projects, recorded scientific information has the great value of saving time and money to the operators. For instance, if a road contractor is bidding on a large job in a national park he can refer to meteorological records and have something tangible on which to judge the length of a working season.
The chief administrator of a national park is of course the Superintendent. Plans of administration are his big job, and we do not expect him to be a scientist but a good, sound business man. If he is a good business man he will look with favor upon recorded scientific facts as proof of the justice of any proposed projects.
The peculiar situation of a park naturalist in telling the public scientific truths in a simple yet interesting manner, might very well prove extremely difficult if he wishes to make the most of all his opportunities, unless he can fortify himself with recorded scientific data. For instance, if the naturalist wishes to have a nature trail, that wish comes through having seen an aggregation of things that could be displayed nicely by a nature trail. If one of those things happened to be a fossil bone, in place the naturalist could only justify the expense of running his trail to the locality of that bone by referring to recorded scientific information as proof of its significance and value. The superintendent and others would be guided entirely by scientific data in such a case.
Recorded scientific data is obviously, and of eminent value, in the training of personnel which is always an important part of any administrative program.
One of the largest problems confronting the National Park Service today lies in the acquisition of private property holdings. It is such a sizable factor as to effect the administrative program of the entire National Parks System. Obviously, recorded scientific data is of indispensable aid in estimating actual values of such property.