What We Monitor

The Southeast Alaska Network uses long-term ecological monitoring to understand the current condition and future changes of important park resources, called "vital signs."
  • Researchers handling water samples.

    Environmental Contaminants

    The Southeast Alaska Network monitors three kinds of environmental contaminants: airborne, freshwater, and marine.

  • A tidewater glacier winds its way down the mountain in Glacier Bay.

    Glacial Dynamics

    Sensitive to seasonal variation in temperature and precipitation, glaciers are excellent indicators of regional and global climate.

  • The rocky intertidal zone of Klondike Gold Rush NHP.

    Intertidal Communities

    Intertidal communities are particularly important because of their close ecological linkage with the nearshore marine ecosystem.

  • A murrelet takes flight from the surface.

    Kittlitz's Murrelets

    The Kittlitz’s Murrelet is a rare seabird endemic to Alaska and eastern Russia; they are often associated with tidewater glaciers.

  • A river winds through a valley surrounded by steep mountains.

    Landcover and Landform

    Landscape spatial structure resulting from natural processes underlies the diversity and integrity of ecosysystems.

  • A group of sea lions in the water.

    Marine Predators

    Marine predators are important components of Southeast Alaska ecosystems. We currently monitor sea otters, but intend to expand over time.

  • A researcher prepared equipment to sample ocean water.

    Oceanography

    Understanding the oceanographic factors that control marine productivity is critical to wise stewardship.

  • A sea otter floats comfortably looking attentive.

    Sea Otters

    Sea otters can dramatically affect the structure and complexity of their environment.

  • The Taiya River in Klondike Gold Rush.

    Streamflow and Water Quality

    Southeast Alaska is a rainforest landscape dominated by a wet and maritime climate. Streamflow and water quality indicate ecosystem health.

  • A researcher maintains a weather station.

    Weather and Climate

    Weather and climate are key physical drivers of ecosystem structure and function.

Last updated: June 8, 2018