Science & Research

park wildlife biologist uses calipers to measure the width of a desert tortoise
Research in Joshua Tree is carried out by park scientists (as shown here, where a wildlife biologist measures a desert tortoise) and by cooperators from universities and other agencies.

NPS/Cathy Bell


Joshua Tree National Park is facing a number of complex and challenging issues that threaten the integrity of its natural ecosystems, cultural resources, and visitor experiences. To meet their stewardship responsibilities, park managers need to better understand the following science issues.

  • Air pollution
  • Cultural resource identification and evaluation
  • Habitat fragmentation adjacent to the park
  • Invasive exotic species
  • Lack of baseline data about park natural resources
  • Rare species conservation
  • Recreation impacts on visitor experiences and natural and cultural resources
  • Restoration of disturbed natural and cultural landscapes

In addition to the use of science as a means to improve park management, parks can be centers for broad scientific research and inquiry. The National Park Service facilitates research in parks when it can be done without impairing other park values.

  • People setting up a large net over a pond
    Inventory and Monitoring

    Scientific research is key to protecting the natural and cultural wonders of our national parks.

  • an aerial view of rocks, roads, and the desert floor.
    Geographic Information Systems

    The GIS program at Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP) maintains accurate geospatial data for the park, produces high-quality maps, collects an

  • Setting up mist nets over a pond
    Joshua Tree Science

    Joshua Tree Science is a publication devoted to promoting a better understanding of the natural, physical, and cultural environment in Joshu

Last updated: April 26, 2023

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74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

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