• Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

    Kenai Fjords

    National Park Alaska

Kenai Fjords in the Field 2013

About This Blog

Resource Management staff often conduct research and field observations in areas of the park few others will ever see. Use this blog to discover new places and current research happening in Kenai Fjords National Park this summer.

Until Next Year

September 30, 2013 Posted by: Julie Markus

A farewell

 

Time Flies When You're Counting Birds: Time Lapse Photography and Seabird Monitoring

September 23, 2013 Posted by: Jennifer Curl, Julie Markus

Monitoring the populations of different seabird species in Kenai Fjords National Park is never an easy task. University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Jen Curl is working to make that task just a little easier by using timelapse photography. Read about her field work in Aialik Bay and how her research is helping with current and future seabird surveys.

 

Studying Seabirds: Things That Go Squawk in the Night

September 13, 2013 Posted by: Elisa Weiss, Julie Markus

Landing a boat on rocky shores amongst the swell of the sea, climbing up steep vegetated cliffs, tiptoeing around burrows; all in a days work for Biological Technician Elisa Weiss. Join her as she studies seabirds in the Chiswell Islands and learn about the unique method her research uses to determine the health of seabird populations in this area.

 

Black Oystercatchers: Defenders of the Intertidal

September 05, 2013 Posted by: Sam Stark, Julie Markus

Biological Science Technician Sam Stark spent the summer season in Aialik Bay studying the Black Oystercatcher, a shorebird species important to the nearshore ecosystem of Kenai Fjords. In this post he gives us insight into the goals of his research and what he learned from his adventures this summer.

 

The Exponential Value of Repeat Photography: Documenting History and Monitoring Change in Kenai Fjords

August 30, 2013 Posted by: Deb Kurtz, Julie Markus

How much has that glacier changed in the past 50 years? What new vegetation has grown in this deglaciated valley? Repeat photography can answer a wide range of questions and help the park plan for the future. Learn about the importance of repeat photography from the perspective of Deb Kurtz, Natural Resource Program Manager.

 

A Day in the Life of an Exotic Plant Management Intern

August 20, 2013 Posted by: Nara McCray

Nara McCray, the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Exotic Plant Management Intern, talks about the goals of her position and tells of her experiences working in Kenai Fjords National Park this summer season.

 

Social Trails and Hiker Psychology: Impact Monitoring on the Harding Icefield Trail

August 12, 2013 Posted by: Christina Kriedeman, Julie Markus

The Harding Icefield Trail is a popular day hike due, in part, to the breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield at the end of the trail. This popularity results in impacts to vegetation and soils near the trail. Read about how Resource Management staff work to monitor and prevent these impacts.

 

Protecting the Native Flora: Exotic Plant Management in the Southern Fjords

August 01, 2013 Posted by: Peter Frank, Julie Markus

The southernmost regions of Kenai Fjords National Park are rarely visited and therefore have remained relatively free from human impact. The Exotic Plant Management Team sets sail for the southern fjords to survey for and remove invasive plants before they spread into this pristine region of the park.

 

Sea Otter Snacks and Clam Counts: Studying the Nearshore Ecosystem

July 19, 2013 Posted by: Ben Weitzman, Julie Markus

Nearshore ecosystems and their many components are especially good indicators of change. Recently, NPS and USGS researchers teamed up to collect data on a wide range of nearshore species and environmental factors as part of a long-term monitoring project in Kenai Fjords. Read all about their experience here.

 

An Ursid Whodunit: Mystery Diner at Exit Glacier

July 11, 2013 Posted by: Leslie Adams

A classic whodunit. Read along as Wildlife Technician Leslie Adams searches for clues as to who or what is causing trouble at Exit Glacier Campground.

 

Exploring Changes in Exit Creek

July 08, 2013 Posted by: Julie Markus

Every year, thousands of visitors come to Kenai Fjords and drive Herman Leirer Road to see Exit Glacier and stroll on the nearby trails. In recent years, late summer flooding of Exit Creek has caused road closures and restrictions on visitor access. Read about the research that is being done to assess current conditions an determine if the flooding is going to continue to be a problem.

 

Battling the Bushes: A Day of Invasive Species Research

June 28, 2013 Posted by: Peter Frank, Julie Markus

Invasive species threaten the integrity of the native plant communities in Kenai Fjords National Park. The Exotic Plant Management Team crosses Exit Creek and ventures into the wilds of the outwash plain to survey for and monitor infestations of invasive species.

 

Checking On Our Coastal Beaches

June 21, 2013 Posted by: Julie Markus

A major attraction of Kenai Fjords National Park is the ability to kayak and camp on remote coastal beaches. Recent concerns related to marine debris led to a pre-season trip by NPS Staff to assess the marine debris situation and check on the condition of the bear resistant food storage lockers after a long winter.

 

Investigating Seasonal Snow Accumulation

June 14, 2013 Posted by: Deb Kurtz, Julie Markus

The Harding Icefield and its many glaciers make up a large area of Kenai Fjords National Park. Resource Management staff work to monitor key indicators of a glacier's health, such as whether it is gaining or losing mass over time. Read what challenges and joys arise with this research.

 

Bald Eagles, Bait and Bigfoot: Studying Raptors in Kenai Fjords

June 14, 2013 Posted by: Laura Phillips, Julie Markus

Raptors play an important ecological role in the marine nearshore environment of Kenai Fjords as predators of fish and birds. In May, NPS and US Fish and Wildlife Service researchers conducted research on bald eagles and peregrine falcons with the goal of better understanding their diet, nesting habits, and foraging and migratory movements. Read about the methods used and patience needed to trap these large birds.

 

Welcome to the 2013 Field Season!

June 03, 2013 Posted by: Julie Markus

Welcome, readers! This blog will allow you to read about all of the field research that is taking place in Kenai Fjords National Park from first-hand accounts by the park researchers themselves. This post is an introduction to the Resource Management team and what you can look forward to reading about this summer.

 

Did You Know?

River Otter

River otters defecate in certain spots to mark their territory. Researchers in Kenai Fjords National Park have discovered that these "latrine sites" enrich the soil, allowing plants to grow in those spots that aren't found anywhere else close by.