In any given year, as many as 200 scientific researchers are permitted to use study sites in Yellowstone National Park, and many more conduct research at the park's Heritage and Research Center (HRC). Research conducted at the HRC facility does not require a permit. However, all other types of research done in the park, including that performed by National Park Service employees, are subject to the park's research permitting policy, and do require a permit. The park's Research Permit Office, located in the Yellowstone Center for Resources, is responsible for issuing and tracking research permits, and provides support to permitted researchers in the park. Each permit application undergoes a formal, standard process for research permit review and issuance.
Permitted researchers study everything from archeology to zoology in Yellowstone. All are required to submit an annual report of their study progress and results. These Investigators' Annual Reports (IARs) are then entered into the National Park Service's Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS), a searchable database that is available for public use.Thank you for your interest in conducting research in Yellowstone National Park (YNP).
Please contact the Research Permit Office at (307) 344-2239 prior to submitting a proposal so that your project can be discussed personally and you can get an early start on the permitting process.
Did You Know?
Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.