Great Lakes Network
Inventory and Monitoring Program
The Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network is one of 32 similar networks across the United States and part of the U.S. National Park Service’s (NPS) strategy to improve park management through greater reliance on scientific information. The Great Lakes Network consists of nine national park units in the upper Midwestern United States.
The purpose of the inventory and monitoring (I&M) program is to design and implement long-term ecological monitoring and provide results to park managers, science partners, and the public. The intent is to provide periodic assessments of critical resources, to evaluate the integrity of park ecosystems, and to better understand ecosystem processes.
Specifically, the goals of Inventory and Monitoring networks are:
- Determine the status of and trends in selected indicators of park ecosystems that allow managers to make better-informed decisions and to work more effectively with other agencies and individuals for the benefit of park resources.
- Provide early warning of abnormal conditions of selected resources to help develop effective mitigation measures and reduce costs of management.
- Provide data to better understand the dynamic nature and condition of park ecosystems and to provide reference points for comparisons with other, altered environments.
- Provide data to meet certain legal and Congressional mandates related to natural resource protection and visitor enjoyment.
- Provide a means of measuring progress towards performance goals.