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coast of Kenai Fjords National Park
coast of Kenai Fjords National Park

Subject Area Information

Providing information on the vital signs of Alaska's national parks and the ongoing monitoring efforts used to better understand and protect them is a priority of the Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Program. The links and information, organized by subject area below, provide information on the various monitoring programs, affiliated research efforts, and partners within the National Park Service.

Alaska Park Science

Alaska Park Science is a semi-annual journal that shares what we are learning in Alaska's national parks through the study of their vital cultural and natural resources.

NPS Data Store

The NPS Data Store is a "one-stop shop" for data and information on park-related natural resources. From the portal you can search for, view, and download documents, reports, publications, data sets, park species lists, and links to additional data sources.

Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Science Communication Plan (2011)

In 2011, the four I & M networks collaborated on a regional plan to advance communication efforts of monitoring and inventory activities throughout the state.

Subject Area Highlights and Summaries

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Aquatic Communities
Base Cartography
Dall’s Sheep
  • Dall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) inhabit the high rugged cliffs of Alaska’s mountain ranges. They are typically found in alpine meadows and along steep cliffs. Dall’s sheep are sometimes confused with mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), which are found in the wetter climate of coastal southeast Alaska.
  • Monitoring Dall's Sheep in the Arctic
  • Denali Sheep
Ecological History
  • Muskox (Ovibos moschatus): Historically, muskoxen ranged across the North American arctic. Once extinct in Alaska, the population is now thriving after reintroduction. Muskoxen prefer moist areas near aquatic habitats in summer and retreat to hillsides in the winter.
  • Gates of the Arctic Muskox
Ocean Life
  • Oceanography is a broad term referring to the study of the physical, chemical, and biological components of the world's oceans. Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline and contact with the ocean, most of which is remote and virtually unchanged by people.
  • Oceanographic monitoring in Southeast Alaska
Plants and Vegetation
Seasonal Patterns
  • Soils influence ecological processes and landscape evolution - Soil inventories in Alaska national parks provide valuable information about the influences soil has on landscapes and ecosystems.
  • Alaska Soil Inventory
Water Quality

Research Learning Centers

Two centers in Alaska serve as resources for research and education.

Research Opportunities

Contact the any of the program managers for more information about research opportunities.

Alaska Region Inventory and Monitoring Guidelines

The Inventory and Monitoring Program has strict accountability requirements to ensure our responsibilities to the American public are met. Administrative reporting is required at the programmatic level. Rigorous peer review of reports, plans, and monitoring protocols is mandatory. Appropriate archiving and distribution of program data and reports is emphasized to ensure the material is available.

Many guidelines are established at the national level, however others are delegated to regional or network management. The links below provide guidance for most situations.


The Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS) provides guidance on publishing reports. All products of the I&M program must be published in this series, unless published elsewhere.

Peer Review

Appropriate peer review is required of all reports and plans produced by the I & M program. Most peer review procedures are described in the NRSS Publications page as well. The national program oversees the review and approval of Vital Signs Monitoring Plans and other key documents of lasting programmatic impact. Review of the vital signs monitoring protocols is delegated by the national program to the Regional I & M Program Managers. Management of review of network level reports is delegated to the Network I & M Program Managers.

Peer Review (NPS only)

Annual Administrative Work Plans and Annual Administrative Reports are required by the national program following specified guidance. Drafts are due to the Regional I & M Program Manager for review prior to submittal to the national office.

Web Author Guidance (NPS only)

Guidance Documents and Operating Procedures (NPS only)

Last Updated: January 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster