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Rocky Mountain National Park 2012 Biennial Research Conference

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Date: March 12, 2012
Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363

Rocky Mountain National Park's 2012 Biennial Research Conference will be held on March 28, and 29, in the Estes Park Town Board Room.  The park hosts one of the largest research programs in the National Park System, with more than 100 research permits active each year. Park partners in research come from other federal agencies, the State of Colorado and universities around the world.  Last year, citizen scientists volunteered thousands of hours to research projects. In addition, hundreds of students participate in field data collections and lab analysis.  More than one-hundred scientists are expected to attend this two-day meeting to discuss a variety of research projects.    

Researchers will present for 20 minutes each.  Talks are organized into sessions covering related subjects.  Wednesday sessions will focus on Water, Air and Soil; Plants and Social Science. Morning sessions in water, air and soil will include talks on nitrogen pollution and its effects on mountain lakes, carbon storage in mountain streams and nutrient transport in tundra soils. The afternoon vegetation session will include an exploration of the effects of mountain pine beetle-caused tree mortality on mountain streams and possible causes of willow decline. The afternoon social science sessions will examine park communications and visitor perceptions of issues such as wildlife management, climate change and alternative transportation.    

Thursday sessions will include Wildlife, a Mixed Topic session, and a special session on International Conservation. The morning wildlife session speakers will explore chronic wasting disease in elk, population genetics of bighorn sheep and the status of pika, ptarmigan, butterflies and hummingbirds in the park. The morning mixed topic section will include talks on geology, landslides, and Native American wickiups. The afternoon international conservation session will include observations and research results from our sister parks in the Tatras of Poland and Slovakia, and the wildlands surrounding our sister city, Monteverde, in Costa Rica.    

In addition to presentations, fourteen posters on a rich variety of subjects will be presented during a morning poster session on Thursday morning.    

The conference is free and open to all interested members of the community. No registration is required. The conference begins on Wednesday, March 28, at 8:30 a.m. Sessions will end by 4:00 p.m. each day. A complete schedule is available at: www.nps.gov/romo/parkmgmt/2012researchconference.htm

The Town Board Room is in the Estes Park Municipal Building, 170 MacGregor Avenue.  For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

A photo of a volunteer giving a camera to a visitor for a research project.

Rocky Mountain National Park volunteers give more than 100,000 hours a year to the park. That equals approximately 48 full-time employees. More...