Shenandoah National Park Trust Research Grant

Supporters of the Shenandoah National Park Trust have generously donated to fund an annual grant for scientific activities. This program supports field research in the physical, biological, ecological, social, and cultural sciences. The intent of this grant is to support projects conducted in the park and helping to answer questions important to park resources. Grants are managed by Shenandoah National Park and up to $15,000 will be awarded.

Important Dates

September 15 - Announcement - Begin accepting applications

October 31 - Applications Due

December 15 - Grant Award Announcement

For more information including application instructions download the application packet.

Current Award

The 2017 grant was awarded to Ellen Frondorf for her study entitled "Assessing post-fire oak and pine regeneration across a burn severity gradient in Shenandoah National Park."


Past Awards


Dr. Jessica Rykken - Catch the buzz: pollinator diversity, distribution, and phneology in Shenandoah National Park

Sampling by J. Rykken over the course of the growing season was a combination of net and bowl collecting, and included habitats such as rock outcrops, overlooks and roadsides, meadows, and forest openings. Overall, J. Rykken and the volunteers ran 73 bee bowl transects and had 101 separate net-collecting events.

Between May 11 and October 9, 2015 the team collected approximately 3,400 bees and 415 syrphid flies throughout Shenandoah National Park. Collections were made by J. Rykken in mid-May, late July/early August, and mid-September, and by volunteers between June and October. Identifications of bees and syrphid flies are ongoing, to date we have catalogued 26 bee genera in five families, and more than 90 bee species. These include soil mining bees, twig nesting bees, mason bees, leaf-cutting bees, carpenter bees, and parasitic bees.


Dr. Christine May - Revealing the Current Relationship between Stream Acidification and Fish Species Richness: What is the Status after Two Decades of Recovery?

Dr. May and graduate student Pat Harmon measured Acid Neutralizing Capacity (ANC) and identified species of fish found in streams. ANC is a measure of a stream's ability to neutralize acid. Shenandoah National Park recieves high amounts of acid deposition (like acid rain), which alters the park's ecosystems. This replicated a previous study by Dr. Bugler et. al. in 1995.

Changes in the relationship between fish species richness (measured in the number of different species) and minimum ANC from 1995-2016 occurred primarily in basaltic and granitic watersheds (which have medium to high ANC). The study revealed that different species of fish were found in many of the watersheds. For instance, from 1992-1995, brook trout and blacknose dace were the primary fish species found in the 13 study streams. There were four species of fish that were not found between 1992 and 1995 that were found during the 2016 survey (cutlip minnow, red belly dace, central stone roller, brook lamprey).

Shenandoah National Park Trust - Logo
Grants made possible with support from the Shenandoah National Park Trust.

Last updated: December 14, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500

Contact Us