All requests to conduct scientific activities within National Park Service (NPS) units are managed under the special use program guidelines. Approved activities are conducted under the provisions of a Special Use Permit (SUP).
If you choose to request a SUP, a $50.00 non-refundable application fee is due when you submit the application for consideration. If the activity is ultimately approved, there is an additional $100.00 fee for the permit itself.
It is important that you be as specific as possible when completing the permit application, as that is the primary instrument used to evaluate the proposed activity. The date, time of day, duration of time involved, specific location(s) within the park, number of participants, number of vehicles, equipment, etc. is needed.
Please note that the park closes to visitor use at sunset. Any requests to occupy park facilities or grounds after normal operating hours, if approved, will include charges for park staff to monitor the activity for the duration of after- hours usage. A monitoring fee starting at $110.00/per two hours is charged in advance. The actual monitoring cost (minimum of two hours is required) is calculated upon completion of the permitted activity. Any excess amount received from the permittee will be refunded, and any shortfall will be billed.
NPS management policies require that all scientific research and related studies conducted within NPS units conform to all NPS policies and guidelines regarding the collection and publication of data, the conduct of studies, and park specific requirements identified in the terms and conditions of the required permit. Approved research projects will be administered and conducted only by fully qualified personnel and conform to current standards of academic scholarship, including peer review.
NPS scientific research permits may include requirements the permittees provide for parks, within agreed upon timeframes, copies of appropriate field notes, cataloging, and other data; information about the data; progress reports; interim and final reports; and publications derived from the permitted activities.
Research that essentially duplicates previously conducted studies may not be approved unless there is a compelling need for additional data, and the proposed methodology for collecting the data varies significantly enough to ensure that additional research will add to the knowledge base in that field of science. Paranormal related research, for this reason, will be denied.
If you choose to request a permit, please include concise information on the scientific method you intend to follow, purpose of the proposed research, value of the research to the scientific community, the methodology you intend to employ, qualifications of the researchers, and the predicted results (hypothesis).
Applications need to be submitted a minimum of two weeks in advance to allow adequate time for park review.
Contact us for questions about the Special Use Permit process and application submission.
Download a copy of the Special Use Permit Application.