Platt National Park
Environment and Ecology
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For years national parks have offered the public something which seems to be necessary to all human beings, be they young or old, male or female, scientist or student. Whatever this basic human requirement is—whether it takes the form of recreation or merely the need to be outdoors—Americans look to their national parks for its fulfillment. It is apparent that more and more of us are aware of this need, for as pollution and the pressures of urban living are rapidly increasing, so are the visitation rates at the national parks.

This book is designed to serve as an introduction to many of the natural and cultural aspects of Platt National Park. It is intended to familiarize the reader with the diverse environments he will encounter while traveling through the park. Perhaps more significant, it is intended to create an awareness of the delicate yet vital ecological relationships which not only are apparent in the park but exist in one form or another throughout the entire world.

This guide is intended to go beyond the traditional field guide. We feel that understanding environmental relationships is far more important than merely identifying separate components of a natural community. With this in mind, the reader will come to understand some basic and underlying ecological assumptions, and we trust that, through an understanding and appreciation of these concepts, the total environmental picture of the world we live in will be more fully realized and admired for what it is. In addition, it is hoped the reader will have a greater appreciation of the role each and every person has in this dynamic system.

This book is the result of the combined efforts of several persons. The original idea, as well as many supportive ideas and contributions, must be shared with our associates in the Department of Geography of the University of Oklahoma.

Joseph B. Schiel, Jr., must be credited for the initial proposal of preparing this manuscript, and it was largely under his direction that much of the research in the park was conducted. John D. Gunter deserves special credit for his interpretation of the geological history of the area. Others who provided substantive contributions were James B. Humphries, Jr., and Charles E. Webb. Chester Weems was responsible for most of the photographs appearing in this book. Many thanks are due the naturalists at the Platt National Park Travertine Nature Center, who gave freely of their time to aid us in the preparation of materials. Special gratitude is felt for John W. Morris, who was responsible for the preliminary editing of the manuscript. Without his help and encouragement this book would not have been possible.

Lastly there is the debt owed our wives, Carol and Molly, who typed the manuscript and tolerated the whole endeavor.

West Point, New York
Norman, Oklahoma
July 31, 1974

Ballard M. Barker
William Carl Jameson


Platt National Park: Environment and Ecology
©1975, University of Oklahama Press
barker-jameson/preface.htm — 09-Mar-2009

Copyright © 1975 University of Oklahoma Press, Publishing Division at the University. Material from this edition may not be reproduced in any manner without the written consent of the University of Oklahoma Press.