April 14, 2021
It was, literally, earth-shaking; so much so that a seismometer thousands of miles away picked up the vibrations. It contained enough force to push debris a mile under water, heaving it uphill onto the opposite shore, and generate a tsunami high enough to rival Seattle’s Space Needle.
But this was no earthquake.
Today on America's National Parks, they Icy Bay Landslide, a 60-second deluge of boulders, earth, and trees in a remote slice of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve on October 17, 2015.
April 8, 2021
One of the most significant land conservation measures in our nation’s history was an act that protected over 100 million acres of land, doubled the size of the country’s national refuge system, and tripled wilderness areas. It created or expanded nine national parks and preserves, six national monuments, sixteen national wildlife refuges, twenty-five wild and scenic rivers, and two national forests, including our nation’s largest: the Tongass in Southeast Alaska. This legislation also created a compromise between the needs of development and conservation and the competing interests that fought for them. While it was not perfect, it has shaped the history of our public lands and the National Park Service system itself.
This week on America’s National Park: the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA.
March 28, 2021
A collared Yellowstone wolf has been killed...by the governor of Montana, Yellowstone is seeking to improve communication services, Glacier National Park has re-opened the East entrance after over a year of closure, a man is sentenced for stealing over $3000 from Grand Canyon, Wind Cave tours resume, and more. All on this episode of National Park News. Public comment on the Yellowstone communications plan can be submitted here: parkplanning.nps.gov/fiberEA
March 21, 2021
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are spending their free time counting birds, measuring water quality, or monitoring pollinators. They may also be counting asteroids, collecting bugs, measuring air quality, reporting wildlife sightings, or tracking monarch migration. The amazing thing is that these people are not career scientists. They live in the city and in the country, go backpacking or have picnics in the park. They vary in age and it doesn’t matter what their job is. They are community scientists.
Community science is the practice of data collection by everyday people, that is, people who aren’t scientists. Community scientists volunteer their time to help collect data, analyze results, and solve problems about important issues facing our natural world, and that includes our national parks.
Sometimes, the best and easiest way to collect data is to involve volunteers. For example, if a park manager needs to know what areas of the park need better protection, they may need to know where rare plants are blooming each year. A mobile app can support volunteer scientists to record when they see those flowers, and if hundreds of people get involved in the project, there will be more data than if the single scientist tried to explore the entire park alone. This can also be a great way for visitors to learn, get excited, and be involved in something important. By taking part in real science in the park, visitors can learn to appreciate their national parks in new ways.
This week, on America’s National Parks Podcast, we’re exploring stories of community science in our national parks.
Lindsey Taylor's blog: https://curiositychroniclesblog.wordpress.com/
March 16, 2021
On June 17, 1775, New England soldiers faced the British army for the first time in a pitched battle. Bloody fighting took place throughout a hilly landscape of fenced pastures that were situated across the Charles River from Boston. Though the British were victorious, the psychological toll inflicted by American soldiers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire was staggering. Of the 2,400 British Soldiers and Marines engaged, 1,000 were wounded or killed.
Today on America's National Parks, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Bunker Hill Monument, part of the Boston National Historical Park.
March 8, 2021
One and a half million acres of shallow-water marine habitats, freshwater marshes and prairies, saltwater wetland forests, and pine and hardwood forests provide refuge for threatened and endangered animals in the Gulf of Mexico. The green sea turtle, American crocodile, West Indian manatee, Everglade snail kite, and piping plover all depend on critical habitat within Everglades National Park. 1.3 million acres of the park is designated wilderness, making it the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.
February 28, 2021
Visitor statistics have been released for 2020, and visitation to parks was down about 1/3, thanks to park closures. There's a new National Park Service app, new rules for anyone taking video in parks, and Hot Springs National Park is about to celebrate a huge milestone.
February 20, 2021
More than a thousand years ago in the Upper Midwest, indigenous people were moving mountains—literally. The Mound Builders changed the landscape by piling earth into tall shapes that could only be truly appreciated from up above. In our time, one Ho-Chunk woman lived a special life in this area, and one National Park Service superintendent went to prison for stealing the bones of her ancestors.
February 15, 2021
This week on America's National Parks, a great mountain of the west, and conservation lessons learned over the course of a century.
February 5, 2021
Much of the western United States was once blanketed in hundreds of feet of sand. The unforgiving sun beat down on the landscape for 20 to 30 million years during the early Jurassic period. Thin layers of rock allowed water to collect even in the dry desert, though sometimes it was hidden a few inches below the surface. Dinosaurs and other animals were able to survive the harsh conditions, and as the sand slowly turned to sandstone, traces of these animals were caught and preserved in the rock, creating fossils.
More than 150 million years later, a man named Earl Douglass was born in Medford, Minnesota in 1862. He didn’t know it yet, but his fate was already entwined with the dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.
This week on America’s National Parks: Earl Douglass and Dinosaur National Monument.