Conducting Social Science Research with the National Park Service

The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires agencies to demonstrate the practical utility of the information that they propose to collect and to balance this against the burden imposed on the public.Thus, it is critical that agencies describe the need for the information and how it will be used. Without a clear justification, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cannot approve the collection.The burden on the public must also be completely accounted for and minimized to the extent practicable while still yielding useful information.

The National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for reviewing all social science surveys of the public that will be used to provide the agency with information needed for planning and management. Various review processes apply to surveys conducted, funded, or sponsored by the NPS, and to independent research conducted in parks.

Below are the different information collection types you need to know about before you begin your research in a National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park NPS Photo/Kurt Moses

Information Collection

Learn about the 4 routes to OMB approval

Yellowstone National Park NPS Photo/Neal Herbert


Learn about the permits you need to conduct research in the National Parks.

Yellowstone National Park NPS Photo/Neal Herbert


Learn about the protocols necessary to conducting research in the National Parks

Last updated: August 8, 2016


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