National Park Service

Rocky Mountain I&M Network


Data gathering in Glacier National Park
Data gathering in Glacier National Park.

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.

Rocky Mountain Network Vital Signs Monitoring Plan and Appendicies provides a detailed description of the strategy for monitoring these vital signs. Use the links at the left hand side menu to learn more about our vital signs monitoring.

Protocols are the core of the Rocky Mountain Network monitoring program, describing what will be measured where, how, and how often. Protocols are detailed study plans designed to ensure that changes detected by monitoring actually are occurring; that is, that they do not stem from measurement variability introduced when different people or methods are used.

Monitoring Protocol Vital Signs Status
Upland Vegetation and Soils
  1. Vegetation Composition Structure and Soils (small park grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands)
  2. Invasive/Exotic Plants
Alpine Vegetation and Soils (GLORIA)
  1. Vegetation Composition Structure and Soils (alpine habitats)
  2. Invasive/Exotic Plants
  3. Focal Species (elk)
  4. Weather and Climate
Wetland Ecological Integrity
  1. Wetland Communities
  2. Invasive/Exotic Plants
  3. Ground Water Dynamics
  4. Surface Water Dynamics
  5. Water Chemistry
  6. Focal Species (beaver and elk)
In Press
Stream Ecological Integrity
  1. Water Chemistry
  2. Surface Water Dynamics
  3. Ground Water Dynamics
  4. Fresh Water Communities
  5. Invasive/Exotic Aquatic Biota
  6. Focal Species (beaver)
In Review
Snow Chemistry
  1. Wet and Dry Deposition
  2. Weather and Climate
  1. Weather and Climate
Landscape Dyanmics
  1. Landscape Dynamics
  2. Focal Species (beaver, elk, and grizzly bear)
To Be Developed
Alpine Lakes
  1. Water Chemistry
  2. Fresh Water Communities
  3. Invasive/Exotic Aquatic Biota
  4. Focal Species (beaver)
To Be Developed

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster