Digital Access Provided to Historical Panoramic Photographs from NPS Lookouts
See the Pecos NHP Museum Collection Online
The cards at Pecos NHP are part of a series of 550 cards available at participating national parks throughout the United States. To "earn" a trading card, kids (and adults) may participate in a ranger-led tour or answer a question about their park visit. The trading cards are vehicles for telling some 'lesser-known' stories-including the stories of civilians, women, African-Americans, Northern New Mexicans and American Indians. The program also provides further incentive to families with children to visit Pecos NHP and the 86 other parks that offer the cards.Each trading card tells a little-known story, but collectively the cards describe struggles we have endured as a nation to strive for freedom and equality. They provide an opportunity to reflect upon our past, celebrate the strides we have made, and look forward with commitment to achieve a more perfect union. ###
Fossilized Footprints Meet Modern Technology in New Mexico
An interagency team of scientists and technical specialists joined together recently in an effort to document fragile and ephemeral fossilized footprints by using remote imaging technology.
The area of study includes a portion of a Late Pleistocene megatracksite within and around White Sands National Monument. Thousands of “Ice Age” fossil vertebrate tracks and track ways that date back approximately 20,000 years have been documented within the White Sands megatracksite. The trace fossil assemblage is dominated by mammoth footprints along with associated camel-like and large and small carnivore tracks. These fossil tracks are preserved in soft sediments that are fragile, ephemeral, and weather rapidly once exposed.To document the large number and diversity of fragile fossil tracks preserved over such an extensive geographic area, an interagency team came together to support this project. Paleontologists, resource managers and aviation specialists from the NPS, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey and the state of New Mexico worked with staff at White Sands National Monument in a multi-month project planning effort to support the paleontological field work.
Several manuscripts will describe the important fossil tracks and the technology and methodologies used in their documentation. The monument staff will roll the new findings into comprehensive interpretive planning, media development, wayside exhibits, and hands-on activities. ###
Parks Seriously Affected by Climate Change, Study Finds
In the article Climate Exposure of US National Parks in a New Era of Change, NPS scientists studied climate data of the last 10 to 30 years as compared to the historical range of variability from 1901 to 2012 from 289 national parks. They found that temperatures are now at the high end of the range of temperatures measured since 1901. This is true across several temperature measurements, including annual average temperature, average temperature of the winter months, and average temperature of the summer months. The data also point to changes in precipitation patterns over time.
These findings are consistent with previous research by the National Park Service, as well as other national and international reports including the recently released National Climate Assessment.
Grand Canyon National Park is one example of an area with significant natural resources that has recently experienced extreme high average temperatures compared to its historical patterns. Warmer temperatures and extended drought are a direct threat to endangered species, and impacts the wildlife’s source of drinking water such as seeps and springs in the canyon.
Historic sites are not immune to the impacts of climate change. At Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, increased temperatures and hydrologic changes have the potential to alter the natural and man-made resources of the park. These effects could include landscape changes that will affect access to and the structural integrity of bridges, locks, lock houses, culverts, dams, and monuments. Increased occurrences of severe storms, flooding, and other unpredictable weather, and changes in growing seasons will affect vegetation and the animals that depend on that vegetation.The international online scientific journal PLoS ONE highlighted this analysis in a new collection titled “Responding to Climate Change,” which relays the recent research focused on solutions to manage resources in a changing climate. A copy of that original article may be found here. ###
Photo by Patricia Lenihan