Natural Resource Monitoring at Shenandoah National Park

The last remnants of fall cling to the trees as the sun begins to set on Bearfence
Fall colors at Bearfence, Shenandoah National Park.

NPS / Brett Raeburn

Shenandoah National Park is one of ten parks in the Mid-Atlantic Network which is part of a nation-wide effort of the National Park Service to generate scientifically sound information on the changing conditions of park ecosystems. Park staff conduct natural resource management activities, but also monitor the status and long-term trends of natural resources in order to better inform management decisions. Each year, park staff and volunteers collect information for several natural resource monitoring programs.

To learn more about these programs and key findings, choose from the options below.

Monitoring Programs

  • A view from an overlook on a mountain looking into a valley with foothills in the distance
    Air Quality

    Park managers benefit from knowing the type and extent of various air pollutants in order to evaluate their impacts on park resources.

  • Staff searching for benthic macroinvertebrates in a rocky creek
    Benthic Macroinvertebrates

    Staff at this park have sampled benthic macroinvertebrates for 25 years, initially in response to gypsy moth defoliation.

  • Brook trout swimming in a rocky stream

    The relatively pristine and high elevation streams found in Shenandoah currently support increasingly rare coldwater fish communities.

  • Forest in the fall in Petersburg National Battlefield Park, with all of the leaves turned to yellow
    Forest Vegetation

    All Mid-Atlantic Network parks have forests that form an essential part of the landscape and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife.

  • Device recording water chemistry at the edge of a stream beside a data sheet and pencil
    Water Quality & Quantity

    Monitoring water quality & quantity helps the National Park Service fulfill its duty to protect pristine (or improve impaired) park waters.

  • Climate monitoring station in a grassy clearing, with many scientific instruments scattered about.
    Weather & Climate

    Climate is a dominant factor driving the physical and ecologic processes affecting Mid-Atlantic Network parks.

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    Park Monitoring Documents

    Resource briefs are short PDFs summarizing our monitoring programs or results.

    Source: Data Store Saved Search 4876 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

    Periodically, we publish reports that describe what we are learning in the field. These monitoring reports are more in-depth than resource briefs and include data analysis and a discussion of our findings.

    Source: Data Store Saved Search 4879 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

    Last updated: January 21, 2022