Read the information below about applying for a research permit. After reviewing the process, go to NPS Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS) to complete an application.
To do research in Acadia National Park, you must apply for a research permit through the Research Permit and Reporting System. The National Park Service is committed to facilitating research in parks. The permit review process is designed to ensure that research can be done safely without impairing natural or cultural resources or visitor experiences.
When submitting a permit application, be sure to include well-labeled, explicit responses to the following questions, either in the online application form or in a separate document (e.g., research proposal) that you upload with your application:
During and after the study, we ask that you submit reports updating us on your progress and share data that you collect so we can preserve them in our park archives and use them to inform park management decisions. Click here for more information about required reports.
Research Permitting Policies
It is the policy of the National Park Service to guarantee that management of park sites is enhanced by the highest quality scientific information. Understanding our natural and cultural resources is vital to improving park management and expanding scientific knowledge. Research will be allowed as long as it can be conducted safely and in a manner that does not threaten or diminish the resources of or visitor experiences in Acadia National Park.
A research permit is required to conduct research in the park. The research permit will be approved by the park's Science Coordinator. The following are some of the criteria used to evaluate research proposals:
Permit Review Process
The Science Coordinator will consult with park staff and outside subject-area experts to ensure that proposed work is scientifically valid, will not harm the park's natural and cultural resources, will not unduly affect park visitors or staff, follows the appropriate policies and conditions, and can be conducted safely. We may ask for supplemental information if necessary. We endeavor to treat all investigators fairly.
Students who propose to conduct research studies must have a representative from their institution or agency serve as a co-investigator.
Once your research permit has been approved, you will be notified by the Science Coordinator or the Science Information and Communications Manager.
Research permits in Acadia National Park must uphold specific permit conditions. To learn more about these regulations, please click here to download information on Acadia National Park permit conditions and here for information on general conditions for scientific research in the National Park Service.
For researchers who plan on collecting specimens as part of their field work, please visit our Collecting Specimens page for a list of permit conditions.
Breach of any of the terms of your permit or violation of park regulations will be grounds for revocation of your permit and denial of future permits.
Renewing a permit
Research permits are authorized on a calendar year basis, starting when your permit is issued and expiring on December of that same year. After this date, your permit is no longer valid. Your permit may be renewed if your project needs additional time to be completed. Modifications or amendments to your originally proposed project must be submitted 30 days in advance of any fieldwork. We recommend that you submit these changes when you are renewing your permit at the beginning of the calendar year.
By March 31st of each calendar year, you are required to submit an Investigator's Annual Report (IAR) through the Research Permit and Reporting System whether or not you are renewing your permit.
Please remember that you are obligated to provide the park with an Investigator's Annual Report as well as a final report within 90 days of the completion of your project. We also request that you send us copies of all reports, papers, etc. related to your research in Acadia National Park. These reports, papers, etc. will be kept in the park's bibliography and archives so they can be used in future research and education programs and to inform park management decisions.
Click here for more information on Reports.
Last updated: October 29, 2020