Published Research Results

More than 800 scientific and scholarly studies have taken place in the park since the early 1900’s. In 2013, there were 14 new active Research and Collecting Permits for studies in Denali and dozens more continuing projects. Some researchers are conducting more than one study. These scientific studies are conducted by Denali staff, park cooperators (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey or Alaska State Department of Fish and Game), and investigators from universities, institutions, and other agencies. Appropriate research for Denali is that which gathers information while making minimal impacts to park resources and visitor experience.

Research in Denali

Researchers and resource specialists study everything imaginable in Denali from why glaciers surge, to the population dynamics of wolves and their prey, to the physiological effects to humans of climbing Denali. Research on subarctic ecosystems and studies of culture, history, and place have been an integral part of understanding and protecting Denali’s natural and cultural resources since the park’s inception.

Check out a wide array of research fact sheets to get information on research results and findings.

Current Projects

Denali publishes Current Resource Projects annually to summarize results of resource studies from the previous year, and describe what resource projects are planned for the next field season.

[Caution: These are large documents. Please be patient when opening the links.]

Current Resource Projects 2015 (6.7MB)

Current Resource Projects 2014
Current Resource Projects 2013
Current Resource Projects 2012
Current Resource Projects 2011
Current Resource Projects 2010
Current Resource Projects 2009
Current Resource Projects 2008
Current Resource Projects 2007
Current Resource Projects 2006
Current Resource Projects 2005

Investigator Annual Reports

Each year researchers at all national parks submit an Investigator Annual Report (IAR) summarizing their findings to the National Park Service’s Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS) website. You can search IAR’s by park, investigator name, year, or general subject heading. Researchers may apply on line for a research and collecting permit at the same website.

National Park Service website for research permits and for IARs

Research Results

Below, browse a full listing of articles containing research information from Denali. You can also search through Denali research results.

Showing results 1-5 of 34

  • person digging next to a thick wall of ice covered by a thin layer of soil

    Learn about a 2003 baseline study of 160,000 acres in the Toklat River basin of Denali. Permafrost was known to exist in the area, but this study provided specific details which will benefit park managers and future scientists. Read more

  • forested landscape with snowy mountains in the distance

    A quick overview of the natural history that formed what we know today as Denali National Park - and glimpses at changes that might happen in the near and distant future. Read more

  • Denali National Park & Preserve

    An Integrated Study of Road Capacity at Denali

    two green buses on a grassy hill with people standing outside taking photos

    A sole road provides access to the interior of Denali. Traffic on it is restricted mostly to buses, with a cap on how many total trips can occur in a summer. Though the limit hasn't been reached, visitation increases annually. In order to evaluate the traffic limits and how traffic impacts wildlife, we have designed a multidisciplilnary study. This research will inform decisions about managing traffic to protect resources and maintain quality visitor experiences. Read more

  • Denali National Park & Preserve

    Beavers Across Denali’s Hydrologic Landscape

    closeup of a beaver

    Learn more about nature's chief engineer! Read more

  • Denali National Park & Preserve

    Bull River Prehistoric Upland Hunting Site

    people kneeling on a tree-less ridge top

    Artifacts suggest prehistoric humans hunted throughout upland areas of Denali over 12,000 years ago. Finds like these help researchers test hypotheses about how humans colonized the Americas. Read more

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Tags: research , DENA