"Rolling Tundra" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Bering Land Bridge
National Preserve - Alaska
The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is one of the most remote United States national park areas, located on the Seward Peninsula. The National Preserve protects a remnant of the Bering Land Bridge that connected Asia with North America more than 13,000 years ago during the Pleistocene ice age. The majority of this land bridge now lies beneath the waters of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. During the glacial epoch this bridge was a migration route for people, animals, and plants whenever ocean levels fell enough to expose the land bridge. Archeologists disagree whether it was across this Bering Land Bridge, also called Beringia, that humans first migrated from Asia to populate the Americas, or whether it was via a coastal route.
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Bering Land Bridge - Visitor Map
Official visitor map of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (NPRES) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Parks in Alaska - Brochure
Brochure about the National Parks in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Parks in Alaska - Map
Map of the National Parks in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
https://www.nps.gov/bela/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bering_Land_Bridge_National_Preserve The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is one of the most remote United States national park areas, located on the Seward Peninsula. The National Preserve protects a remnant of the Bering Land Bridge that connected Asia with North America more than 13,000 years ago during the Pleistocene ice age. The majority of this land bridge now lies beneath the waters of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. During the glacial epoch this bridge was a migration route for people, animals, and plants whenever ocean levels fell enough to expose the land bridge. Archeologists disagree whether it was across this Bering Land Bridge, also called Beringia, that humans first migrated from Asia to populate the Americas, or whether it was via a coastal route. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve lies at the continental crossroad that greatly influenced the distribution of life in the Western Hemisphere during the Pleistocene Epoch. It is a vital landscape for indigenous communities who depend on the land just as their ancestors did for many generations. It is a wild and ecologically healthy landscape unlike any other. The Bering Land Bridge Visitor Center is located in Nome, AK. Nome, AK is not on the road system and may be reached via a commercial flight. The Bering Land Bridge Visitor Center is located about a mile from Nome Airport. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is located in the northern portion of the Seward Peninsula. There are no roads or trails into the parklands. Logistics on how to reach Bering Land Bridge is based on an individual’s resources and abilities. Bering Land Bridge Visitor Center Nome, AK is not on the road system and may be reached by commercial flights. From Nome, AK you may visit Bering Land Bridge visitor center which is about 1 mile away from the Nome airport. Keep in mind that Nome, AK is 100 miles (160 km) from the preserve's boundaries. You may reach the preserve by chartering a bush plane, by foot, boat or snowmobile. Commercial airlines fly to Nome, Ak. The visitor center is on Front St. in the Sitnausuak Building, about 1 mile away from the airport. Wet Muskox Three wet muskox stand in a line. Three wet muskox. Fall Colors A hiker is seen in the distance as autumn colors dominate the tundra landscape. Autumn hike at Bering Land Bridge Coastal Moon Rise Rolling sand dunes with sparse vegetation with full moon rising above. Coastal moon rise Aerial View of Serpentine Hot Springs in Summer A vast expanse of undulating hills with granite spire jutting from the top. A small aircraft descends on Serpentine Hot Springs. Flock of shore birds Flock of shore birds taking flight Flock of shore birds taking flight Home, home on your range? Read the abstract and get the link to a paper published in the Journal of Wildlife Management about the overlap across four Arctic caribou herds: Prichard, A. K., L. S. Parrett, E. A. Lenart, J. R. Caikoski, K. Joly, and B. T. Person. 2020. Interchange and overlap among four adjacent Arctic caribou herds. Journal of Wildlife Management 1-15. Caribou in brushy northern forest. Permafrost Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Permafrost underlies most of the Arctic Network and affects nearly everything in the arctic ecosystem. Thawing permafrost also changes the local hydrology and creates the second-greatest disturbance to boreal forests, after wildfires. Recent warm and wet conditions caused some thaw of ice masses and surface subsidence in Arctic parks that ultimately led to a record number of drained of shallow lakes. This brief provides an update on permafrost monitoring in the Arctic Network Polygonal shaped tundra due to underlying permafrost Geology of Serpentine Hot Springs Surrounded by gigantic tors, two geothermal areas are found alongside Hot Springs Creek: Serpentine Hot Springs and Arctic Hot Springs. Steam rises from a shallow pool near an enclosed bathouse. Arctic Cryosphere: snow, water, ice, and permafrost This article is a summary of findings from the Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic report by the Arctic Council Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. A person dwarfed in the expansive snow-covered tundra of the Arctic. Bering Strait Archaeology Camp, 2019 The annual Bering Strait Archaeology Camp provides students with hands-on activities that build confidence and curiosity while allowing students to experience a direct, tangible connection to the past. The camp teaches students to combine archaeological methods like surveying house pit sites, analyzing artifacts, and interviewing elders to create a picture of the past. kids stand around a beach campfire Summer movements of female Golden Eagle 1502 at the northwestern edge of North America. Wrangell St. Elias NPP to Bering Land Bridge NP: summer movements of Golden Eagle 1502. Satellite telemetry is expanding our understanding of Golden Ecology and revealing the stories of non-territorial Golden Eagles in Alaska during the breeding season. USFWS Biologist Stephen Lewis holds Golden Eagle 1502 while extending her right wing. Seasonal Sea Ice and Arctic Migrations of the Beluga Whale Sea ice break-up in the spring and freeze-up in the fall govern the accessibility of Alaska’s Arctic Ocean for several migratory marine species. Each year, beluga and bowhead whales navigate the Bering Strait and enter the southern Chukchi Sea, one of the most seasonally productive regions of the global oceans. Some belugas and most bowhead whales continue on their >1,500 mile migration north of Alaska to the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Alaska Park Science 17(1), 2018. Beluga whale pod migrating in the Arctic Sea. Subsistence The study of subsistence resources in parks has been a mix of long-term work and projects instigated by issues facing the Federal Subsistence Board. Winter hunting is an important subsistence activity in many Alaska communities and park areas. Alaska Native Place Names in Arctic Parks Indigenous place names are rich ethnographic and historical resources. Many of them refer to activities that regularly took place at the site; others tell of historical events that occurred there. These names have been replaced by English names on modern maps; this article discusses efforts to document these names into the future. a group of people near a canvas tent, alongside a large river Tracking the First Marine Mammal Hunters at Cape Espenberg, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Life in the Arctic would be nearly impossible without knowledge of how to harvest resources from the sea. Preserved at Cape Espenberg is the oldest evidence for marine mammal hunting in northern Alaska that suggests people developed maritime adaptations before their arrival in Alaska or as they arrived, instead of after a prolonged period of adaptation. aerial view of a peninsula dotted with many ponds Science in Wilderness Marine Reserves ANILCA establishes the largest scientific laboratory...ever! A spawning salmon struggles to get back into the water. A Tribute: Dave Spirtes, 1948-2004 A tribute to a lost colleague and friend, Dave Spirtes. Dave Spirtes holds an award presented to him by Ron Arnberger, Alaska Regional Director (retired). ANILCA and the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Cooperative Management Plan The Western Arctic Caribou Herd at 450,000 animals is only one of about 32 herds in Alaska but is by far the largest, comprising about half of the caribou in the state (and about 10% of the world total of 5 million animals). Lush green tundra cut by thousands of caribou tracks. Understanding Arctic Sea Ice in a Period of Rapid Climatic Change Decreasing sea ice poses significant challenges to both wildlife and people of the Arctic. This article explores the impacts associated with decreasing sea ice and how we may adapt. woman in red parka kneeling by a small hole in ice Animal Icons as Peaceful Warriors: Beyond Science and Culture to Achieve Conservation Muskoxen are an iconic Arctic species, and the Arctic is a place for an international commitment to conservation. This article explores the history of muskoxen and international conservation with Russia. a circle of muskoxen In Celebration of ANILCA Former President, Jimmy Carter, offers a sentimental introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition of Alaska Park Science and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Black and white photo of six white men standing in front of an old National Park Service Building. National Park Service Aviation Personnel Attend DOI National Pilot Ground School During the week of December 10, 2017, twenty-eight National Park Service (NPS) airplane and helicopter pilots, pilot trainees, national and regional aviation staff attended the 2017 DOI National Pilot Ground School (NPGS). The weeklong training brought together over 100 DOI pilots from the NPS, US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and DOI’s Office of Aviation Services (OAS). A group of 17 men stand in front of a room. Cleaning Up Alaska's Beaches Cleanup crews hit the beaches in 5 of Alaska's coastal national parks in 2015 to collect, assess and ultimately remove abandoned and washed up trash. The massive endeavor was part of a larger project aimed at understanding the sources of marine debris and keeping it out of the ocean and off of Alaska's beaches. NPS staff and volunteers with bags of trash collected off beach. A History of Science in Alaska's National Parks National park units in Alaska precede the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. The first park unit, Sitka National Monument, was conceived in 1908, and by the mid-1920s four national monuments along with Alaska’s first national park were part of the growing park system. Discover how the early 1900s and observations of a few helped to establish the National Park Service in Alaska. Black and white photo of Arno Cammerer sitting at his desk looking through papers. Old is Getting Older In the last 25 years, persistent archaeological survey and improved scientific techniques have resulted in new data which confirms that Alaska sites are actually much earlier than we once believed. NPS archaeologist works at Amakomanak site in Noatak National Preserve. Long-term Monitoring of 1977 Tundra Fires in the Northwest Alaska Parks The frequency and size of lightning-caused tun-dra fires could increase with climate warming and may result in major ecosystem changes in vegetation, soils, and wildlife habitat over large areas of the arctic. A female fire ecologist stands waste high in green willows along the shore of Imuruk Lake. NPS Alaska Planning and Designs for the Future with Climate Change Alaska’s national parks face new and unexpected planning, design, and maintenance challenges as we enter a new era of climate change. It behooves the NPS to pay attention to these changes and plan and act accordingly cars driving on a road covered in water Download Alaska Park Science: Volume 16, Issue 1 Download a print-friendly copy of Volume 16, Issue 1 of Alaska Park Science. a group of muskox running across a field Why the National Park Service Cares about Shipping in the Arctic An increase of up to 500% of ship traffic in the Arctic was recently forecasted over the next decade with the largest increase coming from “destination” shipping, such as tourism and resource extraction. The NPS is actively engaged in efforts to document and forecast these changes because of the potential to impact park resources and values in the Arctic. A large cruise ship nears harbor seals hauled out on the ice near Glacier Bay National Park A Partnership to Remove Marine Debris from Alaskan Coastal Parks Marine debris can affect marine mammals and birds through entanglement, strangulation, and digestive blockage. In summer 2015, we conducted an extensive multi-partner project to remove over 11 tons of marine debris from remote beaches in five Alaska parks. park rangers putting trash into white plastic bags on a rocky beach The Vulnerabilities of Cultural and Paleontological Resources to Coastal Climate Change Processes in Northwest Alaska Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument exhibit a wide variety of coastal landforms including barrier lagoons, tundra bluffs, accreting spits, and beach ridge complexes; all home to vulnerable fauna, flora, and avian communities; internationally significant archaeological, historic, and ethnographic resources; and unique paleoecological and fossil records. Coastal erosion and a changing climate pose a threat to these areas. people near two yellow tents in a tree-less expanse of tundra Promoting Spill Preparedness in Western Arctic Parks with the Community Integrated Coastal Response Project With continued sea ice extent reductions, the Bering Strait is poised to become a crucial marine transport waterway for the world. To help safeguard Arctic parks, the NPS conducted a study of resource risk and incident response preparation that includes shipping traffic modeling, community response training, and geographic response strategies. man in cold-weather gear standing in the back of a small boat loaded with scientific equipment Lost Arctic Lakes Read the abstract and get the link to an article published in a peer-reviewed journal: Swanson, D. K. 2019. Thermokarst and precipitation drive changes in the area of lakes and ponds in the national parks of northwestern Alaska, 1984-2018. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 51(1): 265-279. A large lake nearly dry. Loons without lakes Over a decade of loon population survey data combined with satellite imagery of lakes in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve dating back to the mid-1980s indicate remarkable changes in the nesting lakes of loons are underway. Lake drying in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and consequences for loons. How will loons cope with the widespread draining of lakes? A Yellow-billed Loon sits low on its nest. Travels in Remote Alaska Lead to More Remote Travels How remote is remote? For SCA intern Lia Nydes working in Bering Land Bridge NP headquartered in Nome, AK was remote. It is the land of the midnight sun! It is off the road system! It is remote! Then the opportunity arose to travel to St. Lawrence Island, a small community in the middle of the Bering Sea. Boat sit on the gravel beach. Land Ownership in National Park System Units in Alaska and Possibilities for Mining and Other Developments There are over 54 million acres of National Park System units in Alaska, which is 65 percent of the entire National Park System. Although most of those lands are in federal ownership and are managed by the NPS, there are over two million acres of non-federally owned lands within those units. These non-federal lands are in private, state, borough, or municipal ownership. The existence of these lands creates the possibility of mining and other developments within the boundaries rustic buildings near a creek, hills and mountains in the distance Nome Archaeology Camp Nome Archaeology Camp provides a field experience for youth to learn about nature, culture, and traditions in Alaska. Participants from Nome Archaeology Camp pose for a picture on top of a hill. Supporting Community Archeology: The Golovin Heritage Field School The NPS Shared Beringian Heritage Program encourages local and international participation in the preservation and understanding of cultural resources on both sides of the Bering Straits. Between 1998 and 2000, the Shared Beringian Heritage Program funded the Golovin Native Corporation in northwestern Alaska to carry out archeological investigations at sites on corporation lands, giving high school students opportunities to document their region’s history. View of Golovin students. Studying Arctic Marine Mammals in the Shipping Age Pod of narwhals, one of the few mammals endemic to the Arctic Ocean. Photo used by permission from Kristin Laidre A pod of narwhals surfaces in the Arctic. Coastal Dynamics in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument Arctic coastlines are changing as a result of warming temperatures and decreasing sea ice extent and duration. An understanding of these changes can contribute to the effective management of coastal habitats and ecosystems, oil-spill response, marine debris collection, and the preservation of cultural artifacts. Alaska Park Science 18(1):2019. A researcher stands on the Arctic coastal tundra. Analyzing Early Driftwood Houses of Coastal Alaska Early indigenous semi-subterranean houses of coastal Alaska are traditionally made from a driftwood frame and whalebone, covered with sod and turf. Such houses are found on both sides of the Bering Strait and date back at least 3,000 years. Driftwood is scattered on a sandy beach. Fire Ecology Annual Report 2018 Fire Season Despite the relatively quiet fire season in Alaska in 2018, the National Park Service saw 24 wildfires spanning over 36,000 acres burning within and adjacent to park boundaries. Six of those fires were in Cape Krusenstern National Monument. An anvil-shaped smoke plume rises above the tree line on the Yukon River. Volcanoes and Permafrost in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve A famous early twentieth century geologist named William Morris Davis proclaimed that “volcanoes are accidents of nature.” Morris believed that volcanic eruptions were anomalous and random events that could not be scientifically classified. Today, scientists know that volcanic eruptions involve a bewildering range of behavior and eruptive styles, resulting in numerous very different landforms that are all called volcanoes. A grassy field transitions into a rocky lava field. Barbarians at the Gate: Biting Flies of Beringia For blood-sucking flies, the Far North is a paradise of food and breeding habitat, but for the animals and humans that reluctantly furnish the blood, the Far North is hell on Earth. The world’s largest populations of black flies and mosquitoes are found in northern regions of the globe. Micro image of a black fly Aurora Borealis: A Brief Overview A brief overview of how Northern Lights occur. two ribbons of greenish light in a dark blue sky, over a very dark forest Alaska's Northern Parks: The Wonder of the Arctic The Arctic is a region characterized by extremes and adaptation. It is rich in natural and cultural history. The articles in this edition of Alaska Park Science highlight the many facets of life in the Arctic. stone outcrop in the Arctic tundra Synthesis of Coastal Issues and Projects in the Western Arctic National Parklands The Arctic coastal parks are currently facing a new set of threats brought about primarily by climate change and associated economic trends. Remote parks, people, and cultures are finding themselves increasingly in the midst of complex and novel situations. seal along the coast National Park Service Participation in the Arctic Council The Arctic Council and its working groups provide a forum through which NPS scientists and managers can share information and learn from a wide array of colleagues and Arctic residents that are coping with similar challenges. Caribou skulls in an Arctic valley Small Mammals as Indicators of Climate, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Change This is a time of rapid environmental changes in Alaska. Species that have evolved within tundra habitats over multiple glacial cycles are not only best adapted to high-latitude and high-elevation environments, but may also respond more slowly to change. Studies of small mammal communities could provide valuable insights to larger ecosystem changes. two marmots perched atop a large boulder Muskox: An Iconic Arctic Species, Then and Now In response to changes in hunting regulations and low harvest rates, the most recent data show that between the 2012 and 2015 the muskoxen population across the Seward Peninsula appeared to stabilize. The number of animals within Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and adjacent areas, however, declined during the same time period. a person in a white parka looking at three muskoxen across a snowy landscape Collaborative Conservation of the Rare Alaskan Yellow-billed Loon Through collaborative research with our partners, we are addressing the data gaps outlined in the Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Yellow-billed Loon to inform prudent conservation efforts and science-based management of this rare and majestic species across Alaska. a bird spreading its wings while sitting in water 2013 Microgrant Recipients The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Microgrant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Microgrant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2013 Microgrant recipients and their outreach projects. A Ranger stands with two junior rangers 2019 Science Education Grants The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2019 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. a park ranger and kids standing in shallow lake water Let's Blitz at Bering Land Bridge Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is difficult to reach. There are no roads that bring you here. Therefore, the inaccessibility and remoteness of the preserve has set the stage for a multi-day science field trip at Serpentine Hot Springs, where a select number of participants are shuttled in to the preserve via bush plane. Once the aircraft leaves, BioBlitz participants and NPS staff are on their own. This is BioBlitz – Alaska Style. Bat Projects in Parks: Alaska Region Parks Bats in Alaska? Find out! A scenic view of Alaska, mountains in the distance and a grizzly in front of a lake in the front. Caribou: Did You Know? Did you know facts and life history about the Western Arctic Caribou Herd of northwest Alaska Bull caribou in the Brooks Range mountains of Alaska Connecting Youth to Coastal Resources in Western Arctic Parks We added youth-related initiatives to three science projects in western Arctic parks: Yellow-billed Loon monitoring, shorebird migration, and marine debris clean-up. In doing so, we provided opportunities for Alaska youth to participate in NPS science, promoted cultural and social exchanges between rural and urban youth who shared their story through digital media. a woman holding a disposable plastic bottle Fire in the Range of Western Arctic Caribou Herd Wildland fire may have a significant impact on lichen-dependent caribou within the tundra ecosystem. A caribou carrying heavy antlers walks slowly though green tundra on a hazy, grey day. Feathered Ambassadors of Arctic Coastal Parks Coastal areas in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are increasingly vulnerable to heightened industrial activity and a rapidly changing climate. Little is known regarding abundance, species composition, or distribution of shorebirds during fall migration in this region. Without such information, it will be impossible to prioritize effective oil spill response to the most critical areas if such a disaster does occur or to manage restoration activities after an incident. brownish bird in flight Understanding the Ecology of Arctic Coastal Lagoons through Fisheries Research and Monitoring Shallow, dynamic coastal lagoons represent a critically important ecosystem in the Arctic region, supporting avian, fish, and invertebrate populations, in addition to being used by both terrestrial and marine mammals. The lagoons are extremely vulnerable to both climate change and human impacts from increased activities in and around the region. a smiling woman holding a large fish in two hands Eurasian Metal Found in Ancient Alaska Excavations at Cape Espenberg have recovered thousands of wood, bone, ivory, antler, lithic, ceramic, and metal artifacts. The metal finds are significant because the presence of smelted alloys in a prehistoric Inuit context in northwest Alaska is demonstrated here for the first time, indicating the movement of Eurasian metal across the Bering Strait into North America before sustained contact with Europeans. Excavations at Cape Espenberg Fire Ecology 2018 Annual Report Summary, Monitoring & Inventory During the 2018 field season, the NPS Alaska fire ecology program conducted monitoring in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. This article provides a brief summary about the Yukon-Charley Rivers results, research projects, and fire ecology program activities. Lichens growing toward the sun years after a wildfire. Pleistocene Megafauna and the Bering Land Bridge The Bering Land Bridge and how Pleistocene megafauna migrated across. A short-faced bear. Mastodon or Mammoth? Can you tell the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth? side-by-side mammoth and mastodon 2018 Science Education Grants The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2018 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. an instructor and a camper work on a carving Uniforms for the Caribbean Did you know that employees from across the National Park Service stepped up to help their fellow employees after hurricanes hit the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico? In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest known hurricanes in the Atlantic, lashed the Caribbean and Florida. It was followed within days by Hurricane Maria, another devastating hurricane that also hit Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, among other places. Boxes line a hallway awaiting shipment to parks in the Caribbean. Photo by Kristine Brunsman The Fate of Permafrost At present, permafrost is continuous in Arctic parks and discontinuous in Denali and Wrangell St.-Elias national parks and preserves. We expect the distribution of permafrost will still be continuous in Arctic parks by the 2050s; however, it is very likely that the distribution of permafrost in Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias will become sporadic by then. a person standing next to an eroded hillside Caribou: Nomads of the North Caribou are an iconic Arctic species that are highly adaptable both physiologically and behaviorally. Yet, caribou populations face many challenges, such as climate change and industrial development, and are in decline in many portions of their range. two bull caribou swimming through a river Wolf Dispersal in Alaskan Parks Wildlife biologists have long known that wolves occasionally travel enormous distances in search of new mates and ranges. However, the advent of GPS-based wildlife tracking has allowed researchers to follow in the very footsteps of wolves as they travel across vast and wild landscapes. Alaska National Park scientists have witnessed some surprisingly intimate and breathtaking interconnections between wolves, parks and people by using this technology over the last few years. Close up of a wolf standing and facing the camera 2017 Science Education Grants The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2017 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. two girls sit in a kayak out on the water 2015 Microgrant Recipients The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Microgrant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Microgrant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2015 Microgrant recipients and their outreach projects. Students kneel in a wetland and examine a net Caribou Migration Linked to Climate Cycles and Insect Pests Read the abstract and get the link to an article published in Ecosphere on climate and insect drivers for caribou migration: : Gurarie, E., M. Hebblewhite, K. Joly, A. P. Kelly, J. Adamczewski, S. C. Davidson, T. Davison, A. Gunn, M. J. Suitor, W. F. Fagan, and N. Boelman. 2019. Tactical departures and strategic arrivals: Divergent effects of climate and weather on caribou spring migrations. Ecosphere 10(12):e02971. 10.1002/ecs2.2971 Caribou migrate across snow-covered tundra. Old Carbon Impacts on Arctic Stream Food Web Read the abstract and link to a peer-reviewed published paper on the impact of old carbon from thawing permafrost on Arctic stream food webs: O’Donnell, J.A., M.P. Carey, J.C. Koch, X. Xu, B.A. Poulin, J. Walker, and C.E. Zimmerman. 2019. Permafrost hydrology drives the assimilation of old carbon by stream food webs in the Arctic. Ecosystems. Arctic Grayling Caribou Resource Brief for the Arctic Network The Western Arctic Caribou Herd is one of the most critical subsistence resources in northwest Alaska. Monitoring the herd helps develop subsistence and sport hunting regulations that conserve the resource, protect critical habitat, and reduce conflicts among user groups. Since 2009, over 300 GPS collars have been deployed on caribou that have collected over 800,000 caribou locations. Caribou swim across the Kobuk River at Onion Portage in Kobuk Valley National Park Fall 2019 Weather Summary for Arctic Parks What was the weather like in Arctic Parks in 2019? Check out this weather summary for Fall 2019 for Bering Land Bridge NP, Gates of the Arctic NPP, and Western Arctic Parklands. Climate scientists repair climate station. Mountains in the backdrop. Magnetic Detection of Archaeological Hearths in Alaska Read the abstract and link to a recent article on archaeological research using magnetic detection of hearths: Urban, Thomas M., Jeffrey T. Rasic, Claire Alix, Douglas D. Anderson, Linda Chisholm, Robert W. Jacob, Sturt W. Manning, Owen K.Mason, Andrew H. Tremayne, Dale Vinson (2019). Magnetic detection of archaeological hearths in Alaska: A tool for investigating the full span of human presence at the gateway to North America. Quaternary Science Reviews 211: 73-92. An archaeologist searches for hearths using a magetometer Improving Muskox Survey Methods Read the abstract and link to an article that describes improved survey methods for muskox populations on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. Schmidt, J. H. and H. L. Robison. 2019. Using distance sampling-based integrated population models to identify key demographic parameters. The Journal of WIldlife Management DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21805 A group of muskox on the tundra. Discovery of Paleoclimate Proxies in Maar Lakes of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Read the abstract and get the link to an article on clues lake sediments can give us about the paleoclimate of the Bering Land Bridge: Wang, K. J., J. A. O’Donnell, W. M. Longo, L. Amaral-Zettler, L. Gaoyuan, Y. Yao, and Y. Huang. 2019. Group I alkenones and Isochrysidales in the World’s large maar lake complexes and their potential paleoclimatic applications. Organic Geochemistry. Three researchers in an inflatable boat collecting lake sediment cores. Harmful Algal Toxins in Alaska's Seabirds and Marine Mammals Seabirds and marine mammals along Alaska's coastline have been experiencing unusually large and consistent die-offs for the past several years, in conjunction with warming ocean temperatures. Researchers want to know if harmful algal blooms, typically associated with warmer climates, are playing a role in these deaths. A researcher examines a dead glaucus gull on a beach. A Paleontological Inventory of Arctic Parks Mammoth bones from the same skeleton are relatively uncommon in Alaska, making this one of the more complete mammoth skeletons known. Arctic parks also contain abundant marine fossils, including trilobites, ammonites, brachiopods, gastropods, and many more. several dark colored bones laid on the ground Predicting Seasonal Distributions and Migratory Routes of Western Arctic Herd Caribou Read the abstract and get the link for an article on caribou migration patterns published in Movement Ecology: Baltensperger, A. P., and K. Joly. 2019. Using seasonal landscape models to predict space use and migratory patterns of an arctic ungulate. Movement Ecology 7 (18). DOI: 10.1186/s40462-019-0162-8. The western arctic caribou herd along the Kobuk River. Permafrost Landforms as Indicators of Climate Change in Parks Across the Arctic Permafrost, ground so cold that it stays frozen for multiple years, develops certain landforms when it thaws, and thereby provides a way for scientists to recognize and monitor our changing climate. treeless hillside partially collapsed into a river at its base Beringia: Lost World of the Ice Age From little beetles to massive wooly mammoths, many clues remain for scientists to understand the ways that the Bering Land Bridge influenced all living organisms in the area we call Beringia - both past and present! map of alaska and western russia with an area labelled beringia between the two Tracking Mineral and Energy Development Projects near Alaska Parks through Web Mapping Visitors flock to places like Glacier Bay to experience a connection with the landscape. Early visitors to the state also discovered gold and other resources, development of these which helped shape modern Alaska. A careful balance between conservation and resource development continues today. Visual mapping allows land managers, visitors, and the public to more easily understand the type, scale, and scope of resource development adjacent to parks. aerial view of a dirt road and equpiment in a tree-less landscape Late Pleistocene Paleontology and Native Heritage in Northwest Alaska ossil remains are bountiful in northwest Alaska, with the Baldwin Peninsula, Kotzebue Sound, and Seward Peninsula being particularly fossil-rich areas. Recorded paleontological discoveries were made in the immediate area as early as 1816. However, the region has lacked the level of attention and scientific study of other northern areas such as the Klondike and the Yukon, and is therefore lesser known. woman standing to a waist-high leg bone Research Fellowship Recipients 2013 Read about 2013 fellowship recipients and the studies they chose to conduct throughout Interior and Arctic parks in Alaska. a woman sitting in a muddy field Bizarre Maars Magma and ice seem like an unlikely pair. Yet when mixed together they create amazing formations. Discover how the Espenberg Maars came to be largest maars in the world A winding river pours into a body of water. National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map Alaska Aviation Safety In Alaska, small planes are often the best way to get around but flying has its risks. Aviation safety requires more than just a pilot’s skill–it takes all of us. Learn more about aviation to increase the safety of your next park flight. An NPS pilot in a plane cockpit flying over a turquoise lake Lichens of the Arctic Because certain lichen species are both abundant and sensitive to changes in the environment, they can serve as useful indicators of ecosystem health. When exposed to even low levels of certain pollutants, particularly sensitive species will decline or die, making lichen community composition a good indicator. closeup of green colored lichen Cruise Ship Standards of Care As part of the Arctic Waterways Safety Committee, the National Park Service is helping to develop best practices for the growing cruise ship industry in Arctic Alaska. The resource brief reviews what is at stake and efforts to protect both the wildlife and communities of of Alaska's Arctic region. The sun sets over the Arctic Ocean, casting an orange glow in the sky. The 19th Amendment, Elizabeth Peratrovich, and the Ongoing Fight for Equal Rights In Alaska, women's suffrage passed in 1913—seven years prior to the 19th Amendment—and antidiscrimination legislation passed nearly 20 years prior to the major national civil rights bills of the 1960s. In the 1940s, Elizabeth Peratrovich—a Tlingit woman who was Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood—led the charge to end discrimination against Alaska Natives. gold coin of a raven, a woman's face, and words elizabeth peratrovich anti-discrimination law NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] rolling tundra Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 16 Issue: Science in Alaska's Arctic Parks The National Park Service manages five parks that fall partially or entirely within the Arctic tundra biome. These five parks encompass 19.3 million acres of land and constitute approximately 25% of the land area managed by the National Park Service nationwide. These are undeveloped places, with free-flowing rivers and wilderness at a massive scale. a group of muskox running across a field Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 12 Issue 2: Climate Change in Alaska's National Parks In this issue: * Status and Trends of Alaska National Park Glaciers * Tracking Glacial Landscapes: High School Science Gets Real * Climate Change Scenario Planning Lessons from Alaska a hillside overlooking a wide valley filled by a glacier, surrounded by steep mountains Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 13 Issue 2: Mineral and Energy Development There’s no denying that energy and mineral extraction have been and will continue to be important across the North for a long time. Mining and energy-related industries provide direct and indirect employment for thousands of people, taxes and other revenues. Our need is for science, engineering, and scholarly research; to develop safe, effective, and affordable technologies; to protect, preserve, and restore the natural and human environment; and to record and communicate our history. aerial view of buildings and a pier sticking out into the ocean Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 13 Issue 1: Wilderness in Alaska This issue includes: * Economics of Wilderness * Using Ethics Arguments to Preserve Naturalness * Busing Through the Wilderness: "Near-Wilderness" Experiences in Denali ... and more! mountains reflecting into a calm lake, the words 'alaska park science' Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 15 Issue 1: Coastal Research Science in Alaska's National Parks This issue focuses on studies occurring in coastal areas throughout national parks in Alaska. Articles include a variety of studies on arctic coastal lagoons, background on a large research project studying coastal brown bears, and more. a brown bear investigating a clam on a beach Series: The Legacy of ANILCA The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act impacts the National Park Service in many ways. ANILCA stipulates the designation of wilderness, subsistence management, transportation in and across parklands, use of cabins, mining, archaeological sites, scientific research studies and more. Two men drag a harvest seal from icy blue waters across frozen ice. Series: Copper River Basin Symposium - Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve February 2020: With a theme of Tradition, Science, and Stewardship, the two-day symposium included keynote speakers, 26 short presentations, and a poster session. A panel discussion delved into opportunities in working with indigenous communities. Ahtna elders provided wisdom in daily welcomes, and there was a presentation by Copper River Stewardship Youth. Topics ranged widely from fisheries to archaeology to geology. As well as sharing knowledge, participants shared meals, stories, and ideas. Copper River Basin Symposium logo by Lindsay and Elvie Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Alaska Park Science, Volume 18, Issue 1, Understanding and Preparing for Alaska's Geohazards Alaska is the most geologically active part of North America. Much of the awe-inspiring landscapes of Alaska's parks are created by geologic processes. But sometimes, these processes can be hazardous. This issue explores the state of the science to understand geohazards in Alaska national parks. Alaska Park Science 18(1): 2019. A man jumps down a dune of volcanic ash. Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 17, Issue 1. Migration: On the Move in Alaska Alaska is home to many amazing animal migrations. In this issue, you will read about caribou, salmon, Golden Eagles, Swainson's Thrushes, beluga whales, and more. Human migrations have also occurred here, from ancient Beringia to the Klondike Gold Rush. You can even read about now-extinct species from the Cretaceous and Pleistocene eras. Enjoy this issue of Alaska Park Science and read about migration. Alaska Park Science 17(1), 2018. Caribou swim across a river. Brown bear population size and harvest in Northwest Alaska Read a summary and get the link to a paper published in the Journal of Wildlife Management on brown bear population trends in northwest Alaska: Schmidt, J. H., H. L. Robison, L. S. Parrett, T. S. Gorn, and B. S. Shults. 2021. Brown bear density and estimated harvest rates in northwestern Alaska. The Journal of Wildlife Management 85(2): 202-214. Aerial view of brown bears crossing a snow field in the Brooks Range. Fire Extent and Frequency Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Fire affects all 5 parks within the Arctic Network. The first fires in the network were officially recorded in 1956, although the history of fire in these parks, based on charcoal records dates back to at least 6,000 years ago. Since 1956, 574 fires have occurred in Arctic Network parks, burning nearly 1.1 million acres, an area almost twice the size of Cape Krusenstern National Monument. The vast majority of these fires (97%) were started by lightning. Fire ecologist measures depth of soil consumption in tussocks 1 year after a recent fire in Noatak. NPS mentors Chinese-Tibetan community rangers The NPS Office of International Affairs mentors park colleagues across the world as they strive to manage the natural and cultural resources in their countries. One example is the partnership work at a new national park in China. Mapping and Monitoring Landscape Changes Using Structure from Motion from Aircraft Aerial SfM is an accessible tool for mapping and monitoring landscape changes for a wide range of applications and disciplines across parks in Alaska. The success of the Alaska Region aerial SfM system during the first four years of testing and deployment has demonstrated its value to park mangers to address rapidly changing park landscapes. Alaska Park Science 20(1), 2021 A split image showing two different kinds of remote sensing. An Introduction to Some of the High-flying Technology Used to Study the Movements of Alaska’s Migratory Birds There are many tools available to study the movements of birds and the technology is evolving rapidly. Explore how satellite telemetry, global system for mobile communications telemetry, archival light-level loggers, and GPS data loggers are used in migratory bird research and what we are learning as a result. Alaska Park Science (20)1, 2021 A gyrfalcon perched on a rocky cliff. New Approaches to Study Interactions Among Climate, Environment, and Humans in Arctic Alaska Lake sediments accumulate for thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, serving as a geological record or environmental archive of long-term climate change and ecological variability. Paleoclimatologists and paleoecologists are examining lake sediment cores to deduce environmental changes of the past. This understanding will allow us to make more informed predictions about future change. Alaska Park Science 20(1), 2021 Scientists set up to collect a lake sediment core in the Arctic. Series: Alaska Park Science Volume 20 Issue 1 - Parks as Proving Grounds Parks in Alaska pose special challenges to researchers: they are large, remote, and less is known about them. This makes it all the more important that tools and techniques we use here are practical, effective, and impactful. While researchers often focus on sharing the findings from their work, here we shine a light on the devices and approaches used by researchers with attention to the innovation needed to work in Alaska. Alaska Park Science 20 (1), 2021 A scientist uses a probe on the top of a mountain. Shallow Lakes Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Currently, lakes in the parks of the Arctic Network are being negatively affected by climate warming—lake surface area has significantly declined since the 1980’s due to warming temperatures, and rapid change has happened over the last five years. Lakes and wetlands are often referred to as the “kidneys of the landscape” because they clean the water by trapping sediment, nutrients, and organic material like leaves. Every year we visit six continuous monitoring lakes. a biologist in a bug jacket walks a lake margin recording vegetation data. Brown Bear Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Alaska has more than 50% of the remaining North American brown bears and the second largest population worldwide. Parks in the Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network may ultimately provide a refuge for brown bears in northwest Alaska that are adapted to life in the Arctic, but strong monitoring programs are needed to understand whether these bear populations can remain healthy in a rapidly changing Arctic. A brown bear sits in a tundra wetland. Bumble Bees of Alaska: A Field Guide This field guide to bumble bees will help you identify these abundant and conspicuous pollinators, which are found across most of Alaska. They are well-adapted to cold, harsh climates and live in every habitat where there are flowers offering up pollen and nectar, including forests, shrublands, tundra, wetlands, riparian areas, beaches, and gardens. a bumble bee perched on tiny pink flowers Top Ten Tips for Visiting Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Plan like a ranger. Follow these 10 tips when traveling to Bering Land Bridge. Portrait of a ranger in the vast and expansive tundra. What a mammoth's tusk can tell us about its life Where did woolly mammoths roam when they lived in Beringia? What can learning about their movements tell us about their lives and their extinction? Read more here: Wooller, M. J., C. Bataille, P. Druckenmiller, G. M. Erickson, P. Groves, N. Haubenstock, T. Howe, J. Irrgeher, D. Mann, K. Moon, B. A. Potter, T. Prohaska, J. Rasic, J. Reuther, B. Shapiro, K. J. Spaleta, and A. D. Willis. 2021. Lifetime mobility of an Arctic woolly mammoth. Science 373(6556): 806-808. Two woolly mammoths walk across Beringia. The Hope and Promise of Ublasaun: A Herder's Story Ublasaun, meaning “crack of dawn” or “first light”, derives its name from a time when the site was used as a seal hunting ground. During the 20th century, Ublasaun became a place of shifting land use. Reindeer herding was introduced to western Alaska as a way to provide a stable food source for native populations. The Barr family maintained a residence at this site and provide rich illustrations of this transitional time in Ublasaun. Book cover of From Hunters to Herders Stream Communities & Ecosystems Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Stream flow has changed in recent decades at monitoring sites near the Arctic Network. The timing of peak discharge during spring snowmelt now occurs nearly 10 days earlier than it did 30 years ago. The Kobuk River is now re-freezing later in fall than it did in the 1980s. In headwater streams of the Arctic Network, permafrost thaw is changing watershed hydrology, causing streams to cool and discharge to decline during summer months. Aerial image of a Braided river in Alaska’s Arctic Network with mountains in background Indigenous Languages of Alaska: Iñupiaq “Language is the soul of the People” --Wolf A. Seiler, Northwest Alaska is home to the Inupiat People and their traditional homeland spans from Norton Sound to the northeast boundary of Alaska and Canada. The language spoken by the Iñupiat People is Iñupiaq or Iñupiatun. A man takes a selfie in front of a salmon drying rack. Series: Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) Newsletters From 2009 to 2015, the Pacific Ocean Education Team published a series of short newsletters about the health of the ocean at various National Park Service sites in and around the Pacific Ocean. Topics covered included the 2010 tsunami, marine debris, sea star wasting disease, ocean acidification, and more. Ocean waves wash in from the right onto a forested and rocky shoreline. POET Newsletter Summer 2010 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from Winter 2009. Articles include: Stewardship Without Boundaries: Conserving Our Ocean Ecosystem from Baja to the Bering Sea; A Seamless Network of Parks, Sanctuaries, Refuges & Reserves; Life Entwined with the Sea: The Non-Coastal Park Connection; Take the Plunge into Ocean Stewardship; Nearshore Vertebrates in Four Hawaii Parks; and Ocean Stewardship: A Commitment to Collaboration. Sea stacks rise above ocean waves washing ashore. A wooded ridge rises in the distance. POET Newsletter Winter 2009 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from Winter 2009. Articles include: Stewardship Without Boundaries: Conserving Our Ocean Ecosystem from Baja to the Bering Sea; A Seamless Network of Parks, Sanctuaries, Refuges & Reserves; Life Entwined with the Sea: The Non-Coastal Park Connection; Engage Visitors in Ocean Park Stewardship; Inventory Map & Protect Ocean Parks; and Ocean Stewardship: A Commitment to Collaboration for Conservation. A color map indicating the depth of the Pacific Ocean floor. Darker blue represents deeper oceans. Series: Volcanic Eruption Types The most fundamental way to characterize a volcanic eruption is whether it is magmatic, phreatic, or phreatomagmatic. volcanic eruption seen at a distance Phreatomagmatic (Hydrovolcanic) Eruptions Phreatomagmatic eruptions include fresh lava or tephra, but also include violent steam explosions caused by the interaction of hot magma or lava with water. volcanic eruption Volcanic Craters Craters are present at many volcanic vents. The size and shape of volcanic craters vary a great deal from volcano to volcano, and they even change during the lifespan of an active volcano. Craters can become filled by lava domes or lava flows, and new craters may form during subsequent eruptions. cinder cone crater Changing climate, changing access for Arctic Indigenous harvesters in National Parklands How is climate change impacting Indigenous communities’ access to subsistence coastal resources in and around Western Arctic National Parklands? Recently published research examines this question. Seasonal changes in subsistence harvest windows for Indigenous people in Northwest Arctic Alaska. Frank Churchill’s 1905 Documentation of the Reindeer Service in Alaska The photographic collection and historic account of an audit of the U.S. Reindeer Service undertaken in 1905 documents the sociopolitical context of early years of Native reindeer herding in Alaska. Alaska Park Science 20(2), 2021 A herd of reindeer on a beach. Nome Archaeology Camp: Using Place-based Education to Inspire the Next Generation of Stewards in the Bering Strait Region Nome Archaeology Camp engages high school students from across Alaska in learning about the cultural heritage of the Bering Strait—past and present. They practice archaeological survey techniques, learn from elders and local experts, work with museum collections, and more. Alaska Park Science 20(2), 2021 Students examine a soil core with an archaeologist. Qatŋut: Celebrating the Legacy of Trade, Dance, and Connection at Sisualik Qatŋut is a traditional trade fair that celebrates dance, food, culture, connections, and trade among peoples. The fair has its roots in the exchange between Indigenous communities on both sides of the Bering Strait. The Beringia Shared Heritage Program has played a key role in supporting and continuing this tradition. Alaska Park Science 20(2), 2021 Traditional dancers perform in a school gym. Studying Long-term Patterns of Bering Strait Cultural Interaction and Exchange Through Archaeological Ceramic Analysis The study of ceramic technology expands what we know about the extent of social networks over time. This work is exploring the mobility of social networks across Beringia and how people adapted to changing environmental and social circumstances. Alaska Park Science 20(2), 2021 Handmade clay pots over a fire. Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 20, Issue 2. Beringia: A Shared Heritage This year (2021) is the 30th anniversary of the Shared Beringian Heritage Program. This issue highlights some of the history, intent, and accomplishments of the program. The following articles demonstrate the variety of projects and the values of the program. Indigenous dancers in traditional dress. Maars and Tuff Rings Maars and tuff rings are low-standing pyroclastic cones with large craters that usually form from highly-explosive eruptions caused by the interaction of magma with ground or surface waters. Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park is a maar. lakeshore and tundra Learning more through collaborative archeology Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is home to archeological sites that tell the story of thousands of years of Iñupiaq subsistence, technology, and lifeways. But today coastal erosion, driven by sea level rise and sea ice retreat, is threatening many of these sites. Can collaborative archeology help? Three archaeology technicians search a deflated beach dune for signs of past human occupation. Arctic Summers are Getting Longer Read a summary and get the link to an article that describes how the Arctic is getting greener: Swanson, D. K. 2021. Start of the green season and normalized difference vegetation index in Alaska's Arctic national parks. Remote Sensing 13(13): 2554. A muskox naps in the tundra. Terrestrial Landscape Dynamics Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Landscape dynamics are the “big picture” of changes in the growing season, vegetation, and surface water. The timing of the start and end of the growing season and snow-free season varies by about a month from year-to-year. The area of lakes and ponds has declined in the northern coastal plain of Bering Land Bridge NP, from about 8.5% of the land surface area in 2000 to less less than 7% by 2019. Tall shrubs are expanding their range and getting denser in some areas. Muskox lying on tundra with a mountain in the background under overcast sky Women in Fire Science - Jennifer Barnes Jennifer Barnes, regional fire ecologist for the Alaska Region of the National Park Service realized that a job as a fire ecologist combined the best of two worlds – the excitement of wildfire and love of science and ecology. A woman in a hardhat and fire gear measures a chunk of earth with vegetation on top (duff plug). Shield Volcanoes Shield volcanoes are typically very large volcanoes with very gentle slopes made up of basaltic lava flows. Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are shield volcanoes. diagram of a shield volcano with lava features Terrestrial Vegetation and Soils Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Vegetation is the basis for ecosystem productivity and wildlife habitat. Arctic vegetation is very sensitive to climate change and disturbance such as fire, herbivory, and traffic. Research has documented an increase in shrubs and, to a lesser extent, trees in the arctic over recent decades, probably related to climate change. Major changes in vegetation structure such as these have a cascading effect on other ecosystem attributes. scientists measure the cover of plants on the tundra along a tape measure Coastal Erosion Resource Brief for the Arctic Network The coastlines of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BELA) and Cape Krusenstern National Monument (CAKR) have eroded in most areas over the past seven decades, but accretion (seaward advance of the shore) has occurred in some places. Erosion at rates of over 1 meter per year continue in many areas and could threaten archeological sites. Tundra and an eroded beach along the coast of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Cinder Cones Cinder cones are typically simple volcanoes that consist of accumulations of ash and cinders around a vent. Sunset Crater Volcano and Capulin Volcano are cinder cones. photo of a dry grassy field with a cinder cone in the distance Series: Volcanic Features Volcanoes vary greatly in size and shape. Volcanoes also may have a variety of other features, which in turn, have a great range in diversity of form, size, shape, and permanence. Many volcanoes have craters at their summits and/or at the location of other vents. Some craters contain water lakes. Lakes of molten or solidified lava may exist on some volcanoes. Fumaroles and other geothermal features are a product of heat from magma reservoirs and volcanic gases. photo of a lava lake in a summit crater Plan Like a Park Ranger - 10 Tips for Visiting Alaska's National Parks Planning a visit to the National Parks of Alaska? Check out our top 10 tips and plan like a park ranger. two people camp next to a glacier Calderas Calderas are large collapse features that can be many miles in diameter. They form during especially large eruptions when the magma chamber is partially emptied, and the ground above it collapses into the momentary void. Crater Lake and Aniakchak Crater are calderas. photo of oblique aerial view of a volcanic caldera with snow and ice Series: Volcano Types Volcanoes vary in size from small cinder cones that stand only a few hundred feet tall to the most massive mountains on earth. photo of a volcanic mountain with snow and ice Monogenetic Volcanic Fields Monogenetic volcanic fields are areas covered by volcanic rocks where each of the volcanic vents typically only erupt once. Monogenetic volcanic fields typically contain cinder cones, fissure volcanoes, and/or maars and tuff rings. They also usually encompass large areas covered by basaltic lava flows. oblique aerial photo of a lava flow that extended into a body of water Nonexplosive Calderas Nonexplosive calderas are located at the summit of most large shield volcanoes, like Kīlauea and Mauna Loa in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. They form during VEI 0-1 (Effusive to Severe) eruptions that drain the shallow magma chambers located beneath them. Nonexplosive calderas can contain pit craters, which are smaller collapse structures, as well as lava lakes that can be active for periods of time. photo of a volcanic calders with clouds and a rainbow Series: Commemorating ANILCA at 40 Forty years after ANILCA was passed, the Alaska Region of the National Park Service is reflecting on the impact, legacy, and future of this unique legislation. Many Alaskans experience ANILCA as both a blessing and a burden. While tremendous hurdles have been overcome, there are many yet to be faced. This issue of Alaska Park Science provides a range of perspectives on ANILCA that we hope strikes a balance and reflects over four decades of varied experiences. The Charley River. The Harvest and Use of Wild Resources by Communities Within or Near Northern Alaska Parklands Customary and traditional harvests of wild resources provide for the nutritional, economic, spiritual, and cultural well-being of communities throughout Alaska. The National Park Service has the authority and responsibility to manage these uses on parklands. Comprehensive surveys reveal harvest and use patterns, providing information to maintain these critical resources and manage for the continuation of subsistence required under ANILCA. Alaska Park Science 21(1), 2022 A pile of frozen northern pike from ice fishing. Weather and Climate Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Climate is the most important broad-scale factor influencing ecosystems. Temperatures across Alaska are rising much faster than at lower latitudes. Trends in Arctic Alaska’s average annual air temperatures from 1950 to 2021, our longest consistent record, show a significant temperature increase of >2.6°C in the communities in and around Alaska’s Arctic national parks. A helicopter standbys while two people work on a climate station station. Coastal Lagoons Resource Brief for the Arctic Network Lagoons are important landscape features because their varied size, depth, connectivity to the ocean, and chemistry creates a mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial habitats utilized by a diverse group of organisms. These locations are home to healthy populations of furbearers, waterbirds, and fish, resulting in a plethora of subsistence fishing and hunting or trapping opportunities for Iñupiat residents who rely on wild-harvested resources for food security. a large lagoon spans the background as viewed from a rocky perch on the flowering tundra Pyroclastic Flows and Ignimbrites, and Pyroclastic Surges Pyroclastic flows and surges are among the most awesome and most destructive of all volcanic phenomena. Pyroclastic flow deposits are found in at least 21 units of the National Park System. photo of a cloud of ash and dust moving down a mountain side. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve/Nome Weather Summary Fall 2021, Winter 2021-2022, and Spring 2022 The weather station in Nome has been recording temperature and precipitation data for over a hundred years. It was a dry fall season with each month coming in below normal. Not much precipitation fell during the cold month of November. December brought extreme precipitation and rain-on-snow along the West Coast of Alaska and into Interior Alaska. Heavy snowfall, freezing rain, and rain brought record amounts of precipitation to many communities. Spring was warm and dry. a valley in brown and gold hues with scattered rock outcrops Lava Flow Surface Features Surface features on a lava flow may reveal important information of the specific dynamics that occurred during the eruption and emplacement of the flow. photo of lava rock with a rippled surface of ropey lava Records Found: Reflections On An 8,000-mile Journey Along The Continental Divide One man’s journal entry from the Serpentine Hot Springs Logbook reveals his reflections as he and his companion completed the final leg of an 8,000-mile journey along the continental divide. His words are raw, soulful, and a stark reminder of the effects wild landscapes have upon the human psyche. Aerial view of meandering rivers across the tundra. Mapping Arctic Alaska's Coastal Vegetation Read the abstract and link to this published article about methods for mapping coastal vegetation in Alaska's Arctic parks: Hampton-Miller, C. J., P. N. Neitlich, and D. K. Swanson. 2022. A high-resolution map of coastal vegetation for two Arctic Alaskan parklands: An object-oriented approach with point training data. PLOS ONE 17(8): e0273893. A three-panel image showing mapping steps. The Russian-American Telegraph: A Failed Attempt To Connect The World The Russian-American telegraph expedition was an ambitious but doomed attempt to run a telegraph line along the coast and beneath the Bering Strait and ultimately connect the US with Europe. Map of proposed overland telegraph via Bering Strait and Asiatic Russia to Europe. What's the Difference: Reindeer vs. Caribou Caribou and reindeer are the same species and share the same scientific name, Rangifer tarandus. Caribou are what the species is called in North America and reindeer are what they are called in Eurasia. Graphic illustration of a caribou and reindeer, Taking the Pulse of U.S. National Parks How do we know if parks are healthy? We measure their vital signs, of course! Across the country, there are 32 inventory and monitoring networks that measure the status and trends of all kinds of park resources. We're learning a lot after years of collecting data. Check out these articles written for kids and reviewed by kids in partnership with the international online journal Frontiers for Young Minds. A cartoon of a ranger taking the pulse of the Earth. When are newly collared caribou representative of the herd? Read the abstract and get the link to a paper published in the Wildlife Bulletin about representativeness among collared animals in a population: Prichard, A. K., K. Joly, L. S. Parrett, M. D. Cameron, D. A. Hansen, and B. T. Person. 2022. Achieving a representative sample of marked animals: A spatial approach to evaluating post-capture randomization. Wildlife Society Bulletin e1398. A collared caribou bounds away. Ice Conditions: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Coastal Parks When you ask about changing ice conditions in Skagway, Alaska and Nome, Alaska, you get two very distinct answers. In Skagway, talk immediately turns to glaciers. While there are no glaciers in Nome, changes to sea, river, and lake ice are top climate change issues. Ice floes along the Bering Sea coast. Permafrost: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Coastal Parks Many parts of Alaska have a hidden underground world of ice and frozen ground. The depth and extent of this “permafrost” varies by location, depending upon average air temperatures, soil types, topography, and surface vegetation. Frozen ground is stable, providing a solid foundation for roads and buildings. As temperatures rise, however, permafrost can thaw and sink under the weight of these structures. Permafrost is impermeable, allowing water to pool on the surface. A scientist is dwarfed by a permafrost cut bank. Seasonal Change: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Coastal Parks The first blooms of spring. The first frost. The first dusting of snow. The signs and timing of the seasons is a finely tuned natural process. The interplay of temperature and daylight activate these changes and the subsequent plant and animal responses. Human activities like gardening are equally tied to the seasons, and devoted gardeners are keen observers of conditions that may impact their productivity. Trees change from green to yellow along a river. Series: Observing Change in Alaska's National Parks Capturing the effects of change on cultural and natural resources at these two coastal park areas, and hearing about the effects on the human connection to those resources allows audiences to gain first-hand understanding of a changing environment and provides the opportunity to draw comparisons between two distinct regions of Alaska. Dilapidated fish camp near Nome after Typhoon Merbok. Wildlife: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Coastal Parks Changes to plants and vegetation do not just effect humans. Vegetation is the basic building-block for what creates habitat for wildlife and birds. Whether predator or prey, animals are adapted to eat particular things and to survive in habitats where this food source dominates. As the weather and landscapes change, the animals associated with these places also will shift. Caribou walking across a grassy field. Vegetation: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Coastal Parks An easily seen change in your local environment can be found in the plants and trees that grow around you. As environmental conditions change in a particular place, plants will either adapt or they will die out. Flowering plants can adapt by blooming earlier or later in the season. Tree species may start to appear at higher latitudes than where they were typically found. If a plant cannot adapt, it will suffer the consequences and no longer be able to survive in a particular A cluster of blueberries growing on a branch. Conversations About Change: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Observing Change in Alaska's National Parks contains oral history interviews with long-time residents of Skagway, Alaska talking about their observations of environmental change in and around Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and with National Park Service employees and residents of Nome, Alaska discussing the changing environment in and around Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. A dilapidated fish camp near Nome, AK after Typhoon Merbok. Weather: Observations of Environmental Change in Alaska Alaskans are keenly aware of the weather. Many activities, including work, gardening, hunting, fishing, trave, or recreating take place outdoors. These are greatly affected by temperature, precipitation, wind, and freeze-up conditions. A beautiful sunset with swirly clouds over Ikpek Lagoon. How Are Alaska's National Parks Responding to the Challenges of Climate Change? The National Park Service has been paying close attention to climate change in Alaska and continues to find ways to respond, adapt, and lead efforts to slow climate change. The NPS conducts scientific studies and ecosystem monitoring to better understand what is happening, work to minimize their carbon footprint, and continue to conduct extensive public outreach about climate change. A high elevation weather station in a field with wildflowers near a glacier. What Do These Changes Mean to You? First-hand experiences with climate change can be dramatic, life-changing, and sometimes life-threatening for people who work, live, and travel in the midst of such changes. But it is not just happening in Alaska. Climate change affects everyone across the globe. Although changes may be observed on a local level, they have far-reaching impacts. A backpacker looks at granite tors across the tundra through binoculars. What Do These Changes Mean to These National Parks? Local observations of environmental change provide new insights into what climate change means for Alaska’s national parks. Climate change does not just affect the wildlife or the glaciers in the wilderness parks that we have all heard about. People living in and near parks on the frontlines of climate change have shown how deep the human impacts can be. A scientist looks at science gear while standing near the shore with a packraft in the background. What Do These Changes Mean for Life in Coastal Alaska? Local observations of environmental change provide new insights into what climate change means for Alaska’s national parks. Climate change does not just affect the wildlife or the glaciers in the wilderness parks that we have all heard about. People living in and near parks on the frontlines of climate change have shown how deep the human impacts can be. A man take a selfie while standing in front of a fish rack. How Can You Help? Learning to adapt to Earth’s changing climate, even as we work together to slow that change, is not easy. It will likely result in a significantly different way of life for most of us, regardless of where we live. Alaska’s National Parks are living laboratories and communities for understanding, appreciating, and protecting a continually changing environment and our natural heritage. Get involved, take action, and make a difference! Tent perched on a cliff overlooking Glacier Bay's mountains and islands. A New Look at Lava Volcanologist Erika Rader's first thought about visual near-infrared spectroscopy equipment was, "I don't understand this and therefore I don't believe it works, but planetary scientists use it a lot so maybe I should give it a think." Soon after, she wanted to share the technology with others. Two people walk across a dark hardened lava field with snowy peaks in the background