Studying Visitor Use


Did you know Yellowstone researchers study people in the park? Park staff like Jenni use a variety of tools, including trail counters, to learn more about visitation in popular areas of the park. While these trail counters might look like small cameras, they actually collect data by detecting body heat as people pass by them on a trail. This data helps us understand when sites are most crowded, how trail use changes throughout the year, and ultimately informs park management when making decisions regarding visitor use at a site.

"When visitors see us in the park and ask what we are studying, they are often surprised to learn that it is them. Sometimes they suggest people must be boring subjects. Far from it - people are fascinating! I find it rewarding to collect information that helps to both improve the visitor experience and protect park resources." – Outdoor Recreation Planner Jenni Burr

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Last updated: September 21, 2020

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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