• An aerial view of Old Faithful erupting taken from Observation Point with the Old Faithful Inn to the side.


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Yellowstone Center for Resources

NOTE: Planning for the 12th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is underway! Mark your calendars to attend this important event at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel October 6-8, 2014. The theme of this year's conference is "Crossing Boundaries in Science, Management, and Conservation" and will focus on the challenges and opportunities posed by multiple environmental, disciplinary, and jurisdictional boundaries in the quest to achieve one Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Registration is now open and info can be found at this link: http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/12thbiennialscienceconference.htm

SCIENCE NEWS: A newly published scientific report on the geology and hydrology in the area around Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park includes suggestions on how to avoid harming the unique hydrothermal (hot water) features during maintenance of nearby park roads, utilities, and historic buildings. You can read the full text of the report here.

The Yellowstone Center for Resources (YCR) was created in March 1993 to centralize the park's science and resource management functions. Many of the YCR's resource managers hold advanced degrees that provide them with the knowledge and experience to fill a scientific research role while performing the majority of their work within the realm of resource management.

The goals of the YCR are:

  • to gather, manage, and analyze data that helps the park better manage natural and cultural resources;
  • understand and mitigate the environmental and historic consequences of proposals;
  • preserve and curate rare, sensitive, and valuable cultural and natural resources;
  • work with park partners to meet resource management goals;
  • promote transfer of knowledge to other park staff, partners, and the public.
The Yellowstone Center for Resources is divided into the following work groups, or programs. Please visit specific branch pages for more information about the work we do on behalf of the park. Please visit this link to find out more about our organizational structure and for contact phone numbers for our staff.
Bison cross the Yellowstone River in winter

NPS photo.

Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Program

Biologists and technicians in this branch inventory, monitor, research and manage some of the most high profile and controversial resources in the National Park Service, including bison, grizzly bears, wolves and Yellowstone's native cutthroat trout.

Brightly colored thermal feature

NPS photo.

Physical and Climate Resources Program

The geologists, physical scientists and special analysts in this group protect and monitor Yellowstone's unique geothermal features; monitor volcano and earthquake activity; manage the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lab, and conduct research to understand the effects of climate change on Yellowstone's landscapes.

wildflowers in bloom

NPS photo.

Vegetation and Resource Management Program

Vegetation communities found in Yellowstone National Park reflect underlying geology, climate conditions and disturbances created by fire, roads and developments, nonnative species and potential climate change. In addition to nearly 1,350 native vascular plant species, 217 nonnative plant species have been documented in the park. The Vegetation and Resource Management staff inventory, monitor, manage and conduct research on the vast array of vegetation communities in Yellowstone National Park. These include: 1.) invasive, nonnative plant inventory and control, 2.) wetland communities and rare plant survey and protection, 3.) vegetation monitoring and ecological restoration, 4.) Aquatic Invasive Species prevention from establishment in park waters.


NPS photo.

Cultural Resources Program

These specialists research, monitor and protect archeological sites and historic structures, operate the park research library, archives and museum collections; and work toward productive relationships with members of a network of native American tribes that has shown traditional association with Yellowstone National Park.
Snowmobiles and snowcoaches at the Canyon yurts

NPS photo.

Environmental Planning, Compliance & Science Coordination

A critical part of the planning process is identifying and understanding the compliance requirements associated with a particular project or activity. The branch provides technical assistance to Yellowstone National Park staff in meeting their compliance responsibilities. In addition, the branch manages the research permit process and produces publications that convey the efforts and findings of the park's scientific efforts.

Family enjoying a boulder bench in front on Mt. Everts

NPS photo.

Social Science Program

Research Themes

Current Projects

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.