Science and Research

Parks are living laboratories where scientists ask questions and conduct research. Scientists observe and experiment. They learn from interactions of plants and animals in their natural environment. The National Park Service preserves the places and stories of discovery and uses what we learn through science to manage our natural and cultural resources.

  • Two people kneel by a lake looking into a white basin containing an indistinct object in water.

    Citizen Science

    Citizen scientists work alongside researchers to collect data and find answers to real-world questions that help us manage parks.

  • A person hikes on a a designated trail of rocks on a mountain

    Social Science

    Social sciences in the National Park Service include a collection of disciplines that study humans and their interactions with parks.

  • A citizen scientist examines dragonfly larvae in a wetland field.

    Research Learning Centers

    RLCs promote research in parks and communicate the results and processes of that research.

  • A young woman sits in front of a computer with a microscope next to her

    Request a Research Permit

    Apply for Scientific Research and Collecting Permits.

  • Yellow and white thermophile feature

    Benefits Sharing

    All studies conducted in parks provide the NPS with some type of benefit.

  • Plant id for Sitka National Historical Park Landcover Map

    Inventory & Monitoring

    Inventories help us understand the natural resources in and around parks. Monitoring helps us understand how these resources are doing.

Last updated: January 25, 2021