Science & Research

Researcher doing a plant survey line

Through science and research, Bandelier seeks to understand, maintain, restore and protect the Monument's unique natural and cultural resources. Bandelier currently has a number of ongoing studies and research projects. This web page highlights one of our most recent collaborative planning efforts, called East Jemez Landscape Futures.


Since 1996, by hotter droughts and fire severity far outside the historical range of variability have dramatically impacted the eastern flanks of the Jemez Mountains. Over the past 20 years these major disturbances, driven by warmer temperatures and lower precipitation, have significantly affected an area roughly 300,000 acres in size that crosses various land management boundaries. Managers across the landscape face extraordinary vegetation changes, altered ecological function, and uncertainty about where, when, or how to best restore, mitigate, or embrace the altered landscapes. A coordinated effort to develop experiments, fill knowledge gaps, and generate a range of existing and novel actions is needed. The size and complexity of the disturbances requires a landscape-scale approach and must involve multiple land management partners
Bandelier brought together the USGS New Mexico Landscapes Field Station and the Northern Arizona University Landscape Conservation Initiative to look at the possibility of doing more coordinated stewardship and research across the landscapes of the East Jemez altered by severe droughts, fires, and floods.


To increase our understanding of the altered landscapes, leverage resources, and craft a deliberative path forward in an uncertain future, we are assembling a group of stakeholders through the East Jemez Landscape Futures, to lay the groundwork for the development of collaborative adaptive management and research. The objective of this effort is to coordinate and plan research and management strategies across the landscape and build a framework for on the ground action. The project will consist of three phases: 1. A needs assessment to understand the data availability, needs, and management issues; 2. Data development, acquisition, and consolidation to support decision making; 3. Collaborative planning through series of workshops or working groups supported by spatial data. These workshops or working groups will result in maps that identify a diverse library of options for potential management interventions. Through this process, it will be possible to highlight locations for potential treatment and areas where a purposeful reservation of action is appropriate. Workshop participants will develop a mutually agreeable plan for adaptive research and stewardship across boundaries. By cultivating relationships, consolidating current knowledge, identifying where to act, flagging knowledge gaps, and designing experiments, this project will chart a path forward for the eastern Jemez and set a standard for the type of transboundary adaptive planning that will become increasingly more necessary in our rapidly changing world.


The altered landscapes of the East Jemez offer many scientific research questions and management issues, but on an individual and community level, the dramatic disturbances also force us to grapple with a sense of place, our relationship to a landscape, our vision for its future, and the future of our communities. What does it mean to exist in a transformed landscape? How do we balance our attachment and sense of place to a landscape with the need to be resilient and adaptive to change? We will explore these questions through storytelling, and visioning phase of the project focused on the sense of possibility and future vision for the altered landscapes of the East Jemez.


The outcome of the needs assessment will be a report that identifies the key ideas and themes that we heard during these conversations and makes -recommendations on how Bandelier and other managers and stakeholders might move forward toward coordinated management and research.

Last updated: May 3, 2023

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Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road

Los Alamos, NM 87544


505 672-3861 x0

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