Resource Briefs

2017

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    2016
    people on boat
    Conducting nearshore surveys in Katmai National Park and Preserve.

    NPS/J. Walton

    Marine Bird Monitoring -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    In Katmai National Park and Preserve and Kenai Fjords National Park, ecologists collect data on marine bird species composition, distribution, and population density. Many species that are monitored were impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill; monitoring marine birds improves the ability to discriminate among the potential causes of change in these populations.
    Mussel Monitoring -2016 (PDF)
    The Southwest Inventory and Monitoring Network monitor mussel populations in Katmai National Park and Preserve and Kenai Fjords National Park. Mussels are not only a valued food for humans, but they are consumed by many nearshore predators including sea otters, sea stars, and marine birds.
    otter grooming in water
    Sea otter grooming.

    NPS

    Sea Otter Monitoring in SWAN parks -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    Biologists with the Southwest Inventory and Monitoring Program monitor sea otter populations, as well as other components related to sea otters in nearshore ecosystems.

    Black Oystercatcher Monitoring -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    The Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SWAN) monitor black oystercatchers in southwest Alaskan National Parks.

    Harbor Seals and Glacier Ice Habitat -2016 (PDF)
    A collaborative study is investigating the importance of tidewater glaciers in relation to harbor seal distribution and abundance in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

    Sea Star Wasting Disease -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    An update on the spread of sea star wasting disease in the northern Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands.

    Bald Eagle Monitoring -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    The Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network monitors bald eagle nests in National Parks along the Northern Gulf of Alaska.

    Coastal Forest Monitoring -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    The Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SWAN) recently completed an inventory of the coastal forests of Kenai Fjords National Park.

    Sea Otter Research Highlights -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    Researchers at the Southeast Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Program will begin a research project in 2016 to better understand the spatial distribution and abundance of sea otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This project will provide a foundation for understanding the colonization dynamics of sea otters and their influence on nearshore marine communities.

    Resuming Tlingit Harvest of Gull Eggs -2016 (PDF) Web Article
    In recent years, the National Park Service and the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA) have collaborated on a range of programs designed to encourage and reinvigorate cultural activities within the park, including resuming the gull egg harvest. Currently, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve managers are collaborating with the HIA to collect data on glaucous-winged gulls to inform future harvests.

    2015

    harbor seal in water

    NPS

    Harbor Seal Research -2015 (PDF) Web Article
    Biologists at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve recently completed a study that examined post-breeding movement patterns and dive behavior of female harbor seals. It was found that female harbor seals traveled extensively both within and beyond the boundaries of Glacier Bay, and extensively throughout the Gulf of Alaska. Biologists observed the longest migration known for a harbor seal: 3,411 km (over 2000 miles!). This brief highlights this collaborative study and can also be found on the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve's website.

    This research project was also featured in Newswave, a Department of Interior (DOI) quarterly newsletter featuring stories on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from within the DOI. The story is features in the Fall 2015 newsletter.

    Adaptations on the Chukchi Sea -2015 (PDF) Web Article
    In the Arctic, archeologists investigate how coastal settlement patterns have changed throughout time. Cape Krusenstern National Monument has been an ideal place to study these patterns, as this area is known for its human occupation dating back 4,000 years. Visit their site to learn more about these fascinating projects, and review the resource brief above.

    Brown Bear Tracking -2015 (PDF) Web Article
    Biologists at Katmai National Park and Preserve recently began a project entitled, Changing Tides. This project will investigate the relationships between intertidal invertebrates, bears and people. As part of this larger project, biologists outfitted 12 bears with GPS collars to track their movements between different foraging habitats. This brief outlines this collaring project in more detail. Learn more about this project by visiting their research page.

    Kittlitz's Murrelet Abundance Estimates -2015 (PDF) Web Article
    Biologists at the Southeast Inventory and Monitoring Network conduct annual monitoring of the Kittlitz's murrelet (KIMU). They recently completed the abundance estimates for 2015. The OASLC recently designed this brief summarizing their findings. Visit their site for reports and data access.

    This project was also featured in Newswave, a Department of Interior (DOI) quarterly newsletter. The story is featured in the Fall 2015 newsletter.

    2014
    Sea Star Wasting Disease -2014 (PDF)
    Gulf Watch Alaska comprises of more that 30 scientists, including NPS staff, that are involved in long-term monitoring projects in and around the northern Gulf of Alaska. The OASLC worked with the the southwest Alaska I&M monitoring network (SWAN) on a resource brief that summarizes the surveys Gulf Watch Alaska researchers conducted in 2014 that determined that there was no evidence of Sea Star Wasting Disease in the northern Gulf of Alaska, though it has been found in southeast Alaska. This brief can also be found on the SWAN website.

    Update: In May 2015, Gulf Watch Alaska scientist Brenda Konar observed sea stars stricken with wasting disease in Kachemak Bay. Alaska Dispatch News has this story.

    This research project was also featured in Newswave, a Department of Interior (DOI) quarterly newsletter featuring stories on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from within the DOI. The story is featured in the Spring 2015 newsletter.

    Last updated: February 13, 2018