Aquatic Ecology (1174 kb) - Rocky Mountain National Park was set aside to protect and preserve the ecosystems, habitats, plants, animals, vistas, and water resources of the Rocky Mountains. The protection of many of these resources, especially the water resources that begin here, is vital to the health of the park's ecosystems and the many of life within. Understanding watershed structure and natural processes is crucial to understanding that certain factors can either degrade or improve the condition of a watershed. The "Aquatic Ecology" Teacher Guide lays out the importance of an area’s water quality, animal populations, and riparian zones as well as how to monitor these resources.
Cultural History (5.9 MB) - While Rocky Mountain National Park was first shaped by natural forces, it has also been shaped in the human mind by a series of behaviors and ideas going back thousands of years. The human history of the park has shaped it as much as a glacier or a flood. The choices humans have made over time have contributed to the Rocky we know today in sometimes surprising ways.
Ecosystems of Rocky (1784 kb) - To understand the park as a whole and how all of its living organisms thrive, it is best to learn about the characteristics of each ecosystem and to compare them in order to see the story of survival and beauty in Rocky Mountain National Park. The "Ecosystems of Rocky" Teacher Guide discusses Rocky's four ecosystems in detail.
Fire Ecology (1264 kb) - Fire plays an important role in many ecosystems. It is a natural, episodic event on the same level as other natural occurrences, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods. The "Fire Ecology" Teacher Guide explains how for many ecosystems, fire is essential for succession, regeneration, and maintenance of healthy forests.
Front Range Floods (1242 kb) - In September of 2013, Colorado experienced its most extensive flooding event in the state's history. The media would portray this flood event as "unprecedented", when in fact flooding is quite common throughout the history of Colorado's Front Range. There were three factors, however, which set this particular flood apart from the other events.
Geology (2.3 MB) - Rocky Mountain National Park is a unique and beautiful place. The park is made up of several geologic processes working together for billions of years creating the dynamic beauty you see today.This teacher guide is intended to give an overview of all the geologic history with details of the key events.
Our National Parks (2372 kb) - National Parks are a uniquely American idea. National Parks in the United States are owned by the American people. The "Our National Parks" Teacher Guide focuses on the creation of national parks, the history of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the roles of park rangers.
Winter Ecology (1157 kb) - Winter is the longest season in Rocky Mountain National Park lasting up to seven months in some ecosystems. Winter is characterized by cold temperatures and wind chills, short days, low light, and slow growing seasons. These characteristics can prove very challenging and make winter the most difficult season for plants, animals, and humans. The "Winter Ecology" Teacher Guide tells stories of winter survival for all who call Rocky Mountain National Park home.
Last updated: September 22, 2023