Alaska Park Science

Alaska Park Science is an award-winning journal published by the National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office. The journal reports information from on-going and recently completed research in and around Alaska’s national parklands. Alaska Park Science covers all relevant scientific disciplines in the biological, physical, cultural, and social sciences.

Although Alaska Park Science is not a discipline-specific journal, we are committed to excellence in quality and accuracy. Therefore all articles are reviewed by at least two individuals with sufficient technical or scientific expertise in the subject matter to offer substantive comments on the content of the article.  Learn more about science and scientists in Alaska. 

NEW ISSUE: Reckoning with a Warming Climate

The wild lands of Alaska national parks are changing at a rapid pace due to the disproportionate increases in temperature at high latitudes. The uncertainty about cumulative climate changes and how they will impact specific regions is one of the greatest challenges facing park managers. Climate has fundamentally shaped the landscape of high-latitude parks, but now climate change is redefining them. This issue of Alaska Park Science provides a glimpse of the science related to climate change in the high-latitude national parks where temperatures are warming fast.

Download a pdf of the most recent issue of Alaska Park Science or read the full issue online.

A large land slump in the Arctic.
Crossing the Zero-Degree Threshold

Warming above the freezing point is altering the physical landscape of Alaska and creating a cascade of effects.

A person looks down onto a river corridor.
High-latitude Parks: The Cusp of Change

Climate has fundamentally shaped the landscape of high-latitude parks, but now climate change is redefining them.

A river bend.
Stories Yet Told

Climate change is threatening irreplaceable archeological sites, historical sites, and modern communities.

A seabird carcass on a rocky shore.
When Northern Oceans Get Too Warm

Recent marine heatwaves provide a window into what may happen to ocean life in a warming world.

A family of mountain goats
Wildlife Respond to a Warming Climate

Research and long-term monitoring provide insights into how wildlife are responding to a warming climate.

A green alpine meadow.
Changing Vegetation Patterns

Climate is a fundamental driver of the character, structure, and distribution of plant communities in the Far North.

Two glaciers merge together.
Planning for Future Climates

Deciding how to act in the face of climate change can be overwhelming. Here is a framework with examples that can help.

A sign marking where the end of a glacier was.
Communicating Science & Inspiring Hope

Park interpreters explain the science, the changes happening on the landscape, and the reasons why, but that’s only half their task.

Open water on a winter river.
Using Satellite Imagery of River Ice

Using satellite remote sensing, researchers have documented the historical changes in local river ice seasonality.

A coastline battered by a storm.
Effects of Climate Change on Subsistence

Climate change threatens remote areas of Alaska that depend on subsistence resources.

Open leads on a river in winter.
Traditional Knowledge of River Ice

Elders, culture-bearers, and expert trappers shared their knowledge and experience of change on the Copper River ice over time.

Last updated: September 28, 2023