• Pink flowers blossom in the garden of a white two-room cottage.

    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

More reports and data, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for Herbert Hoover NHS, are at NPS Inventory and Monitoring. Find species lists for each park at the NPS Natural Resource Program Center website. The reports linked below are in PDF format.

Aquatic Invertebrates

Resource Brief | Bowles D. E., H. R. Dodd, and J. A. Luraas. 2010. Aquatic invertebrate monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, 2008. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/HTLN/NRDS- 2010/053. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Birds

Avian surveys at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Resource Brief | Peitz, D. G. 2010. Bird community monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa: 2005 - 2010 status report. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/HTLN/NRDS-2010/102. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Resource Brief | Peitz, D.G. 2007. Grassland bird monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Iowa: 2005-2006 Status Report. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRTR--2007/024. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Fish

Fish of Hoover Creek

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.

Mammals

Inventory of Distribution, Composition, and Relative Abundance of Mammals, including Bats, at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Natural Sounds

Acoustical Monitoring Snapshot, 2013

Acoustic Monitoring Report, 2014

Nonnative Species

Resource Brief | Young, C. C., M. F. Short, L. W. Morrison, C. S. Gross, and J. L. Haack. 2010. Invasive exotic plant monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site: Year 2 (2010). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRTR-2010/289. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Young, C.C, J.T. Cribbs, J.L. Haack, K.E. Mlekush, and H.J. Etheridge. 2007. Invasive exotic plant monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site: Year 1 (2006). Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRTR-2007/018. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Plant Communities

Resource Brief | James, K. M.. 2011. Vegetation community monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Iowa: 2004-2009. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/HTLN/NRDS-2011/143. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Resource Brief | Williams, M.H., S.A. Leis, and P. Christiansen. 2007. Evaluation of fire effects and restoration progress through 21 years of prairie vegetation monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, 1982-2005. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRTR-2007/052. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

2004 Herbert Hoover NHS Preliminary Report

Reptiles and Amphibians

A Herpetofaunal (Reptiles and Amphibians) Inventory of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

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?

Black and white photo of the mustached Charles Curtis.

Herbert Hoover's vice president Charles Curtis was of almost half American Indian ancestry. Curtis’ mother was one quarter Kaw, one quarter Pottawatomie and one quarter Osage. More...