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Current Research and Monitoring


Klamath Network

The NPS recently launched several new science initiatives as part of the Natural Resource Challenge program, a Service-wide effort aimed at bolstering science and resource management throughout the national parks. A key feature of this initiative is the newly established network of Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU's). These units were created to facilitate park science and provide technical assistance to resource managers within designated biogeographic regions. Plans call for the eventual creation of a network of 17 such units nationwide. A prominent feature of the CESU program is establishment of formal linkages with a national network of colleges, universities and non-governmental research organizations. The NPS has placed full-time Research Coordinators at the universities hosting CESU's. Glacier National Park was fortunate to be among the first Parks to benefit from this initiative through establishment of the Rocky Mountains CESU located at the University of Montana in Missoula. Dr. Kathy Tonnessen, the National Park Service Research Coordinator at this unit, facilitates research, technical assistance and outreach programs between affiliated universities and parks throughout the United States with an emphasis on units in the Rocky Mountain cluster.

NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program

A further boost to park-based science was provided through the recent inauguration of a Service-wide comprehensive Inventory and Monitoring Program. The biological inventory phase of this initiative was implemented in 1999 to secure basic descriptive information about natural resources occurring throughout the nationwide system of national parks, monuments and historic sites. Glacier National Park received funds to begin this work in 2001. The second phase of the program involves long-term ecological monitoring which will take place under the banner of "Vital Signs Monitoring". Glacier National Park is part of the Rocky Mountain Inventory and Monitoring Network headed by Dr. Mike Britten. Funding to begin Vital Signs Monitoring in the Rocky Mountain Network became available in 2003.




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