As I mentioned before, I totally support Research Science in our National Parks. I found this short video called Working Between the Tides on the science of tide-pools at Olympic National Park fascinating. It shows how the National Park service determines the distribution, diversity and abundance of the sea creatures that live in the tidal zone and why the tidal zone is so important as a leading indicator of climate change. It is well worth the 5 minutes it takes to watch:
Scientists at Olympic National Park have only a small window of time to study intertidal communities, the turbulent meeting place between land and sea. In order to work at the lowest summer tides, they often wake at 2AM and hike in the dark to the Pacific coast. This is a place of rich biological diversity, fierce competition, and strong indicators of a changing climate.
I have to admit that in many ways I’m a science geek — even though I’m not very good at it, I love reading about it and all the new things I discover from the research that others do. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found that the Science Learning Network had published a number of videos about research science being done in our National Parks:
The Science Learning Network has some pretty great goals:
National Parks are our national treasures, which protect living, breathing ecosystems and the cultural history of the American public. Whether monitoring natural ecosystems or studying historic sites, national park scientists are stewards of our nation’s crown jewels. Working unobtrusively and mostly out of sight, park scientists do the rigorous science needed to document park ecological health and to conserve historical riches.
The Science Learning Network (SLN) is where science and education come together to help preserve and protect areas of national significance. Its mission is to integrate research and education to better communicate park science to the public and other NPS staff. The Science Learning Network increases the effectiveness of communicating park research, scientific results, and the management of park resources by:
• Facilitating use of parks for scientific inquiry
• Supporting science-informed decision making
• Communicating relevance of and providing access to research knowledge
• Promoting resource stewardship through partnerships