Science & Research

park wildlife biologist uses calipers to measure the width of a desert tortoise

Research in Joshua Tree is carried out by park scientists (as shown here, where a wildlife biologist measures a desert tortoise) and by cooperators from universities and other agencies.

NPS/Cathy Bell


Joshua Tree National Park is facing a number of complex and challenging issues that threaten the integrity of its natural ecosystems, cultural resources, and visitor experiences. To meet their stewardship responsibilities, park managers need to better understand the following science issues.

  • Air pollution
  • Cultural resource identification and evaluation
  • Habitat fragmentation adjacent to the park
  • Invasive exotic species
  • Lack of baseline data about park natural resources
  • Rare species conservation
  • Recreation impacts on visitor experiences and natural and cultural resources
  • Restoration of disturbed natural and cultural landscapes

In addition to the use of science as a means to improve park management, parks can be centers for broad scientific research and inquiry. The National Park Service facilitates research in parks when it can be done without impairing other park values.

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