The National Park Service (NPS) welcomes your interest in considering national parks for your research site. The park service is responsible for protecting in perpetuity and regulating use of our national park areas (parks, monuments, battlefields, seashores, recreation areas, etc.). Preserving park resources unimpaired and providing appropriate visitor uses of parks requires a full understanding of park natural resource components, their interrelationships and processes, and visitor interests that can be obtained only by the long term accumulation and analysis of information produced by science. The NPS has a research mandate to provide management with that understanding, using the highest quality science and information. Park managers increasingly recognize that timely and reliable scientific information is essential for sound decisions and interpretive programming. NPS welcomes proposals for scientific studies designed to increase understanding of the human and ecological processes and resources in parks and proposals that seek to use the unique values of parks to develop scientific understanding for public benefit.
A Scientific Research and Collecting Permit is required for most scientific activities pertaining to natural resources or social science studies in National Park System areas that involve fieldwork, specimen collection, and/or have the potential to disturb resources or visitors. When permits are required for scientific activities pertaining solely to cultural resources, including archeology, ethnography, history, cultural museum objects, cultural landscapes, and historic and prehistoric structures, other permit procedures apply. The park's Research and Collecting Permit Office or Headquarters can provide copies of NPS research-related permit applications and information regarding other permits.
The Research Permit and Reporting System (RPRS) will provide you the following services if you are interested in obtaining permission to conduct a natural resource or social science study in a unit of the National Park Service:
Learn more about the RPRS and the NPS scientific permit application process
Last updated: January 6, 2023