• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Research Results and Resource Information

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.

 
cover of "Current Resource Projects," with a montage of five animal images depicting a brown spruce grouse, a grizzly bear, a wolf, a snowshoe hair and a mew gull

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 2014 (6.1MB)

Archives:
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

 
a moose cow and tiny calf cross a wet road
Visitors might spot a radio-collared moose along the Denali Park Road.
Kent Miller
 

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.

 
a hammer next to a fossilized, three-toed dinosaur footprint

Dinosaur fossil footprint found in Denali

David Sunderlin

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

 
two people in heavy coats sit on a rocky field, snowy mountains in the background

Researchers near the Middle Fork (Toklat) Glacier

Barbara-Lynn Concienne

Science at Denali

Science at Denali provides an overview of park science, describes early science at Denali, gives examples of current or recent projects (inventory, monitoring, and research), and tells how science has been useful to management of Denali resources.

[Suggestion: For best results, print this document on 11" x 17" paper (double-sided) and fold to produce a 12-page booklet.]

 
Ree Nancarrow's Seasons of Denali quilt at the Eielson Visitor Center colorfully illustrates some of the plants and animals that researchers study in Denali.

Close-up of Quilt Displayed
at Eielson Visitor Center

Lucy Tyrrell

Research Results and Resource Management

On the web pages linked below are highlights of selected research studies and resource activities. These materials may help you learn more about what you saw or experienced during your recent trip to Denali, or may enhance your future visit.

Did You Know?

a green hillside and a brown scar denoting where a landslide occurred

Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.