"Cruising on the Kobuk" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Kobuk Valley

National Park - Alaska

Kobuk Valley National Park is in the Arctic region of northwestern Alaska, located about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Arctic Circle. The park preserves the 100 ft (30 m) high Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and the surrounding area which includes caribou migration routes. Park visitors must bring all their own gear for backcountry camping, hiking, backpacking, boating, and dog sledding. The park is one of the least-visited American national parks. Since no designated trails or roads exist in the park, visitors arrive via chartered air taxi from Nome, Bettles, or Kotzebue. Flights are available year-round, but are weather dependent.



Official Visitor Map of Cape Krusenstern National Monument (NM) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Cape Krusenstern - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Cape Krusenstern National Monument (NM) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).


Brochure about the National Parks 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).

Map of 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/kova/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobuk_Valley_National_Park Kobuk Valley National Park is in the Arctic region of northwestern Alaska, located about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Arctic Circle. The park preserves the 100 ft (30 m) high Great Kobuk Sand Dunes and the surrounding area which includes caribou migration routes. Park visitors must bring all their own gear for backcountry camping, hiking, backpacking, boating, and dog sledding. The park is one of the least-visited American national parks. Since no designated trails or roads exist in the park, visitors arrive via chartered air taxi from Nome, Bettles, or Kotzebue. Flights are available year-round, but are weather dependent. Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, Onion Portage - just some of the facets of Kobuk Valley National Park. Thousands of caribou migrate through, their tracks crisscrossing sculpted dunes. The Kobuk River is an ancient and current corridor for people and wildlife. For 9000 years, people came to Onion Portage to harvest caribou as they swam the river. Even today, that rich tradition continues. Kobuk Valley National Park is very remote. There are no roads to provide access, so planes take care of most transportation needs. Commercial airlines provide service from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks to Bettles. Once in Kotzebue or Bettles, you must fly to the park with authorized air taxis. Northwest Arctic Heritage Center Large, half-dome shaped, blue and grey building with just over 11,000 square feet of space. The museum space is just over 1,800 square feet and contains animal displays, soundscapes, tactile exhibits and more. The Heritage Center also contains a bookstore, restroom, art gallery, and sitting area. The Northwest Arctic Heritage Center serves as the visitor centers for the Western Arctic National Parklands: Kobuk Valley National Park, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Noatak National Preserve. Visitors generally access the park via the regional hub in Kotzebue. Commercial airlines provide daily service from Fairbanks or Anchorage, to Kotzebue. Chartered flights with licensed air taxi services, booked in advance, can take backcountry travelers to remote destinations within the park. Kobuk Sand Dunes sun setting on sand dunes The setting sun casts shadows of black spruce on the dunes and colors the water of Ahnewetut Creek a deep blue. Mountains as Far as the Eye Can See aerial view of snow capped mountains The peaks of the Baird Mountains stretch far into the distance and are so remote that many of them have not been named. Left Behind Caribou bone sitting in the sand Caribou migrate across the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, heading north in the summer and south in the fall. Some survive and some don't, which is a reality of life Lone Rangifer tarandus Single caribou with antlers in velvet A single caribou of the 240,000+ strong Western Arctic herd on its fall migration south across Kobuk Valley National Park. Kobuk Locoweed pink flower growing in sand Oxytropis kobukensis (Kobuk Locoweed) is a member of the pea family and adds a splash of pink to the sand dunes. The blossoms have that typical pea/ bean flower shape that many gardeners know. 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 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. 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 Red Fox Despite the name, red foxes come in a variety of colors. They're found throughout the United States and are not uncommon sightings in many national parks. two red foxes National Park Getaway: Kobuk Valley National Park No one visits Kobuk Valley National Park because it’s easy. A remote park in Alaska north of the Arctic Circle, Kobuk Valley rewards those intrepid enough to venture there. It’s the wonder and promise of true wilderness that draws you to Kobuk Valley. It’s the thrill of knowing you’ve visited one of the most distant, undeveloped national parks. Forested river valley with green mountains in the distance 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. 2016 Science Education Grant Recipients 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 2016 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. a photographer takes a picture in the grass while the sun sets 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. 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. Army Couple Visits 59 National Parks When you’re a dual-military couple, it can be a challenge to try to find things to do together, especially when you’re at separate duty stations or on deployment. For one Army couple, what started out as a simple idea to get out of the house turned into a five-year adventure. Couple standing in front of The Windows at Arches National Park. 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 Kobuk Valley National Park Wilderness Character Narrative Kobuk Valley is part of a 17 million acre contiguous expanse of arctic and subarctic wildlands preserved as wilderness, bordered by the Noatak and Gates of the Arctic Wildernesses to the north and the Selawik Wilderness to the south. Still, the future of Kobuk Valley is uncertain. Imminent threats from climate change, developing technologies, changing use patterns, and potential regional developments make preserving the wilderness character of Kobuk Valley challenging. Kobuk Valley tundra in fall color. 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. 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 Practice Safe Bear Spray Use Proper behavior in bear country and understanding bear behavior can help to avoid dangerous situations for people and bears. Bear spray should be used as a last line of defense when dealing with bears- not immediately upon seeing one. This introduction will help cover bear behaviors as well as safe use of bear pepper spray. A black bear stands on a wooden bench. 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 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 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 2014 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 2014 Microgrant recipients and their outreach projects. Two students kneel in grassy field taking notes while looking at pink flagged marked locations 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 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 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. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Kobuk Valley National Park, 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] wilderness scene with animal skull 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 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 Artists Spotlight Alaskan Wilderness Voices of the Wilderness Traveling Art Exhibit is a collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, poetry, and other works inspired by Alaska’s wilderness. quilt of two white birch trees 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 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 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. 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 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 Research Fellowship Recipients: 2009 Learn about 2009 research fellowship recipients Looking Back—A Heady Time for National Park Service Science in Alaska Spurred by Alaska gaining statehood and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), the 1970s saw a spurt of scientific activity that gave experienced Alaska investigators additional access to remote field study sites and introduced investigators new to Alaska to exciting and challenging opportunities for conducting field study in remote places. mist on forested mountains 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 Monitoring Dall Sheep Discovery how and why scientists monitor Dall sheep in national parks throughout Alaska. A group of three dall sheep walk down a dirt road Camp Willow Teaches Local Kotzebue Kids What it Means to be a Park Ranger During the summer of 2015, Western Arctic National Parklands held its seventh annual Camp Willow summer camp program. The program which is partially funded through the Murie Science and Learning Center’s science education microgrant brings local 10 - 15 year olds from the local community of Kotzebue to discover what it is like to be a park ranger. campers sit on a beach looking out at the water 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 What Future for the Wildness of Wilderness in the Anthropocene? Visionary as it was, the Wilderness Act did not anticipate today’s human-driven, global-scale changes. The idea of preserving wild lands challenges us with the irony that such places, untouched by humans, will only continue through our will to keep them that way. A resolute human purpose is needed to maintain the decision to have areas that are free of human purpose. aerial view of wolves moving single-file through a snowy forest The Economic and Cultural Benefits of Northwest Alaska Wilderness Northwest Alaska, from Kotzebue Sound to the headwaters of the Kobuk River, is approximately the size of Indiana. It is mostly roadless wild lands, dotted by eleven villages that are located on the coast or major rivers. The formal designation of wilderness areas in northwest Alaska contributes to sustaining an ecosystem that is predicated on an expansive area of natural habitat that is not fragmented by human development. four caribou swimming in neck-deep water 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 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 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: Dall Sheep in Alaska's National Parks Discover the importance of Dall Sheep in Alaska's National Parks Two sheep rest on a snowy mountain 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: 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: Alaska Park Science - Volume 14 Issue 2: Birds of Alaska's National Parks This issue includes articles exploring birds throughout national parks in Alaska. Particular emphasis is on the changing ways to study birds, and the increasing importance not just on the summer homes of birds in Alaska, but the routes between their wintering and summer breeding grounds. a great horned own and two large owlets in a nest Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix 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. Fire in Ecosystems: Boreal Forest The boreal forest, also called taiga, is the largest forested habitat in the world, making up one third of the earth’s total forested area. In North America, the boreal forest spreads from Alaska, across Canada, and into the Great Lakes region of the United States. Boreal forests have burned naturally for thousands of years creating a variety of landscapes, or mosaic, with young and old trees living on the landscape. Aerial view of flaming front in coniferous trees putting off a lot of smoke. 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 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. 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. 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 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 How stream chemistry can be used to understand ecosystems and disturbances in Arctic Alaska Read the abstract and get the link to an article on monitoring stream chemistry for insights on the impacts of climate change in the Arctic: Shogren, A. J., ... O'Donnell, J. A., Patch, L., Poulin, B. A., Williamson, T. J., et al. 2022. Multi-year, spatially extensive, watershed-scale synoptic stream chemistry and water quality conditions for six permafrost-underlain Arctic watersheds, Earth System Science Data 14(1): 95-116. Arctic river with gravel beach. Is flow declining in headwater streams of Arctic Alaska? Read the abstract and get the link to a published science article on how permafrost thawing and borealization impacts streamflow of headwater streams: Koch, J. C. Y. Sjoberg, J. O’Donnell, M. Carey, P. F. Sullivan and A. Terskaia. 2022. Sensitivity of headwater streamflow to thawing permafrost and vegetation change in a warming Arctic. Environmental Research Letters 17(4): 044074. An Arctic stream with vegetation in fall color. 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 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. Western Arctic Parklands/Kotzebue Weather Summary Fall 2021, Winter 2021-2022, and Spring 2022 The weather station in Kotzebue has been recording temperature and precipitation data for over seventy years. We use that information to provide context for the changes we are seeing today inside the park. Fall of 2021 was cool in Kotzebue and the total precipitation was slightly below normal. December brought extreme precipitation and rain-on-snow along the West Coast of Alaska and into Interior Alaska. The Spring season was warm and dry. 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. Series: Geologic Time—Major Divisions and NPS Fossils The National Park System contains a magnificent record of geologic time because rocks from each period of the geologic time scale are preserved in park landscapes. The geologic time scale is divided into four large periods of time—the Cenozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, Paleozoic Era, and The Precambrian. photo of desert landscape with a petrified wood log on the surface 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. Seasonal Changes Across Alaska Parks Featured here are a series of videos made from a year-long series of images from remote cameras (phenocams) at climate stations in Alaska national parks. We use this information to compare seasonal events such as when snow persists on the ground, when snow is completely melted, the timing of vegetation green-up and senescence, and more. A scientist at a climate monitoring station Shaping the System Under President Jimmy Carter President Jimmy Carter oversaw one of the largest growths in the National Park System. Explore some of the parks that are part of the legacy of the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who served as the 39th president of the United States from January 20, 1977, to January 20, 1981. Historic photo of Jimmy Carter walking through a crowd at Harpers Ferry Rusting of Wild and Scenic Rivers in Alaska Arctic National Parks Over the past few years, scientists have observed a new phenomenon related to thawing soils: streams which have turned a vibrant orange color across Alaska’s Arctic. Of particular concern is the recent discoloration of the Salmon Wild & Scenic River in Kobuk Valley National Park. a river with orange rusty water
National Parks in Alaska Alaska National Parks Alaska National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Upper Noatak Valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve C U H K S I CH BEAUFORT Noatak Noata k Cape Krusenstern 2 r ve River 7 er A IT Kobuk Valley Riv S TR 10 ko Yu uk uk n upi ne Fort Yukon iv e Circle BE RI Koy Bering Land Bridge P o rc Bettles/Evansville C AN AD A AT ES U N IT ED ST NG 12 Kobuk r R i v er 4 Yukon-Charley Rivers Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center on Tana n iv ver i t na Sus 1 Eagle River Anchorage 1 T LE OK CO Nus ha Dillingham 1 Homer ST O L Yakutat Kenai Fjords Glacier Bay GULF OF ALASKA Juneau Gustavus Katmai Y Sitka Petersburg Hoonah Kodiak Sitka Stra it Port Heiden Skagway Haines DA ES NA TAT CA D S E IT I BR A Klondike Gold Rush Seward King Salmon B Mt. St. Elias 18008ft 5489m Cordova UN SEA K WrangellSaint Elias C ha BERING KO 9 4 tham S KU W Soldotna 1 Valdez McCarthy IN Rive r Y B A Iliamna k ga Chitina er Prince William Sound Kenai Lake Clark Nabesna Gulkana Palmer Bethel IM River Ku sko kw im Glennallen 5 2 1 Slana 3 13 Alaska Public Lands Information Center Tok 8 River 8 5 Ri 4 Mt. McKinley 20320ft 6194m Alaska Public Lands Information Center a 2 McKinley Park Denali R Eagle 2 3 er Yu k NORTON SOUND Alaska’s immense size can make travel to and through the state challenging. Some planning is necessary. Just getting to Alaska can be an adventure involving travel by air, highway, and sea. Commercial airlines serve Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other towns, while cruise ships ply Alaska’s southeastern waters through the Inside Passage. The Alaska Marine Highway transports people and vehicles on ferries from the Lower 48 to towns in Southeast Alaska and between points in Southcentral Alaska. The Alaska Highway, paved in Alaska and most of Canada, is open and maintained year-round. It extends 1500 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska, and provides a land link with roads to the south. Subsistence hunting, fshing and gathering by rural Alaskans continues on many park lands here. These customary and traditional uses of wild renewable resources are for direct personal or family consumption. Local residency and customary reliance on these uses determines eligibility for continued subsistence uses on national park lands. 6 2 Nome Copp S IA S S TAT E U R S ED IT UN Uses of Park Lands: Many national park lands in Alaska are designated as national preserves.This designation allows for uses not typical in national parks or national monuments in the continental United States. Within these preserves, sport hunting and trapping are permitted subject to state fsh and game laws, seasons, and bag limits; and to federal laws and regulations. Gates of the Arctic 11 Kotzebue Private Lands: Privately owned lands are located within and next to park boundaries throughout Alaska. These private lands are not open to public use or travel without permission from the owners. Check with park staff to determine the location of private lands and public easements. Unauthorized use or travel across private lands could be deemed criminal trespass. 6 9 KOTZEBUE SOUND SEA Anaktuvuk Pass Rive r Travel Tips Once in Alaska, you may have several options for travel to the park lands. Unlike most National Park Service areas in the Lower 48, most in Alaska are not accessible by road. Scheduled air service to towns and villages will put you within air-taxi distance of most of these hard-to-reach parks. Experiencing Alaska’s more remote treasures can require signifcant time, effort, and money and may involve air or boat charters, rafts, kayaks, and hiking. See the back of this brochure for access information for individual parks. Inupiat Heritage Center EA R For information about individual parks, contact them directly (see back of this brochure) or visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/akso/index.cfm. For information about national parks or other public lands in Alaska, visit or contact the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Tok, or visit their homepage at www.AlaskaCenters.gov. • Anchorage: 605 West Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, AK 995012248, 907-644-3661 or 866-869-6887 • Fairbanks: Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, 101 Dunkel Street, Suite 110, Fairbanks, AK 99701-4848, 907-459-3730 or 866-869-6887 • Ketchikan: Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, 50 Main Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901-6659, 907-228-6220 • Tok: P.O. Box 359, Tok, AK 99780-0359, 907-883-5667 or 888-256-6784. Tourist information is available from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, P.O. Box 110804, Juneau, AK 99811-0804, www.travelalaska.com. For information about ferry or railroad travel in Alaska, contact: • Alaska Marine Highw
National Parks in Alaska Map National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

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