National parks present unique opportunities for scientific research. Like other national parks, Everglades National Park serves as an ideal outdoor laboratory for a variety of scientific research activity. National Park Service managers need accurate information about the resources in their care in order to make responsible decisions about how they are managed. Specifically, they need to know how and why natural systems change over time, and what amount of change is normal, in order to make sound management decisions.
The South Florida Natural Resources Center (SFNRC) conducts work across various program areas that informs the management of the south Florida national park units. The work of the SFNRC spans a variety of scientific disciplines and addresses issues pertaining to wildlife management, hydrology, water quality, restoration, and invasive plants and animals.
In addition to a wide variety of research studies directed by park resource management specialists, other investigations involve research partnerships. The National Park Service emphasizes scientific collaboration and cooperation through partnerships with universities, non-governmental organizations, other federal, state, and local government agencies, and stakeholders. As research needs are identified, the SFNRC authorizes projects through a variety of funding programs, such as the Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative and the Land & Water Conservation Fund. These programs are crucial to the Center’s success in carrying out its mandate of conducting sound science in the service of resource management and effective participation in the major restoration efforts underway in south Florida.
Everglades National Park also is one of seven parks encompassed by the South Florida / Caribbean Network, one of the 32 geographic networks that make up the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program, which was launched in 1998 to build a stronger scientific foundation for the management and protection of natural resources across the country.
Did You Know?
National Parks are some of the few places in this country where people can experience a night sky in all its magnificence, without the interference of artificial lights. In fact, a night sky monitoring program is being implemented in the National Park System to inventory light pollution.