• An open vista frames two white grave stone and a flag in the distance with a white cottage in the foreground.

    Herbert Hoover

    National Historic Site Iowa

Research

Natural sciences research builds a strong scientific foundation for the management and protection of natural resources in national park areas.

 
A scientist inventories plant species in the tallgrass prairie.

A National Park botanist inventories plant species in the tallgrass prairie at Herbert Hoover NHS.

NPS Photo

Inventory and Monitoring

Park managers use scientifically collected data to monitor the park's "vital signs"-measurable, early warning signals of significant changes- to assess the long-term health of natural systems. Trends in populations of birds, native plant communities, and exotic invasive plants may indicate changes in the overall health of the reconstructed tallgrass prairie. Park scientists assess the quality of stream habitat by inventorying Hoover Creek's physical characteristics as well as fish and aquatic invertebrate communities. The park also has inventories of other animals: mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

National Park Service scientists from the Heartland Inventory & Monitoring (I&M) Network, fifteen national parks in the Midwest sharing resources and professional expertise, supplemented by volunteer citizen-scientists, periodically inventory and monitor the park's natural resources.

 
Two men search for birds in the prairie.

Volunteer citizen-scientists Jim Fuller and Ken Lowder take an annual survey of breeding birds at Herbert Hoover NHS.

Sherry Middlemis-Brown

Citizen-Scientists

Citizen-scientists take an active, hands-on approach to stewardship of public natural resources. Volunteers survey breeding birds at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site using established scientific protocol. The findings supplement inventory and monitoring data collected by National Park Service biologists. Studying long-term changes in bird populations helps park managers evaluate prairie restoration efforts, the effectiveness of management methods (such as prescribed fire in the grasslands), and the quality of habitat the park provides.

 
A woman holds a fish in her hands.

Biologists identified about 10 species of fish, including this white sucker, in Hoover Creek during a study in 2008.

NPS Photo

Reports and Data

Species lists, Inventory and monitoring reports, and other natural resources data for Herbert Hoover NHS may be found at NPS Inventory and Monitoring. Additional data may be found through the National Park Service's IRMA (Integrated Resource Management Applications) data system.

Hydrology

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) supports a real-time data stage gage in Herbert Hoover National Historical Site. It provides data on current and historical stream conditions (discharge, temperature, and rainfall) for Hoover Creek. The USGS prepared a flood map and frequency report.

Natural Sounds

The National Park Service measures natural sounds and noise in national parks. Learn more »

Acoustical Monitoring Snapshot, 2013

Acoustic Monitoring Report, 2014

Water Quality

Volunteers sample water quality at Hoover Creek in Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The sample site is number 916066 in the IOWATER database. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported on trends in water quality on Hoover Creek.

Did You Know?

Yellow coneflowers in the lush green prairie grass.

General Land Office surveyors who first came to Iowa commented that the territory was fit only for waterfowl. Eighty-five percent of Iowa used to be soggy tallgrass prairie. More...