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Muskox at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
Muskox at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

The intent of park vital signs monitoring is to track a subset of physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park ecosystems that are selected to represent the overall health or condition of park resources, known or hypothesized effects of stressors, or elements that have important human values.

The elements and processes that are monitored are a subset of the total suite of natural resources that park managers are directed to preserve "unimpaired for future generations," including water, air, geological resources, plants and animals, and the various ecological, biological, and physical processes that act on those resources. In situations where natural areas have been so highly altered that physical and biological processes no longer operate (e.g., control of fires and floods in developed areas), information obtained through monitoring can help managers understand how to develop the most effective approach to restoration or, in cases where restoration is impossible, ecologically sound management.

Visit the individual Alaska I&M Network sites for more information about the vital signs monitored at individual networks and parks.

Alaska Region-wide Climate Change Efforts

While Alaska's networks identified and selected vital signs independently maximizing relevance to park managers, several notable common themes have emerged. These themes have led us to seek common approaches that strengthen our ability to infer trends across larger geographies than would otherwise be possible. These themes are climate, contaminants, wildlife populations, and aquatic resources.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster