• Students at South Peak

    Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller

    National Historical Park Vermont

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  • Starting Wednesday July 23rd Expect Road Closures

    July 23rd, Prosper Trail, North Slope & Middle Pass Trails - west side of the park CLOSED for forestry operations. McKenzie Farm Trail & McKenzie Rd will remain open for access between Prosper Parking Lot and the Pogue. CAUTION Heavy Equipment in use!

Mercury Project


Mercury Sampling locally

This will be the fourth year we have received funding from the National Park Foundation to help Woodstock High School students monitor Mercury (Hg) at the Pogue at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and Stevens High School students monitor at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Students work in teams to formulate their own questions about Hg in our community and try to test their hypothesis based on the data they collect and other research.
2014 posters collage

Click here to view 2014 posters

Poster Presentations @ Dartmouth College - Congratulations Students!
The evening presentation of their projects started out with a keynote presentation by Kent McFarland, Conservation Biologist at Vermont Center for EcoStudies. After the keynote, everyone was invited to walk around and see the student poster presentations and ask them about their work.

Woodstock Union High School Biology Teacher Jennifer Stainton, was recognized as 2013 Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year, in part for her 9th grade science classes' study of mercury in the environment at the park.

Link to previous years' information.

Mercury in the environment

How Mercury Enters the Environment



"Dragonfly larvae are currently being sampled for mercury levels in national parks. Mercury is a toxic pollutant that can harm human and wildlife health, threatening the natural resources the NPS is charged with protecting. The main source of human-caused mercury in remote national park environments is atmospheric deposition from coal-burning power plants.

National parks from Alaska to Florida and Maine to California are participating in the study. The data are available via the Citizen Scientists Study page link below. Ultimately, results will allow comparisons between parks, and will shed light on ecosystem health by characterizing the risk and potential transfer of mercury around food webs."

Read more details about the National Park Service's study: Citizen Scientists Study Mercury in Dragonfly Larvae

Link to the US Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury exposure pages.

Did You Know?

Black and white Carleton Watkins photograph, showing Yosemite's massive granite Cathedral Rock. Billings Family Archives.

Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. wrote to George Perkins Marsh in 1857, asking his advice on promoting "free soil" settlement in Texas to challenge the westward expansion of slavery. Strongly anti-slavery, both men would also champion land stewardship and public access to places like Yosemite Valley.