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.