as of January 19, 2011
The abstracts are subject to change. Corrections are due no later than January 25. Concurrent Sessions are listed chronologically, followed by Posters and, finally, Exhibits, which are listed alphabetically by lead author. Monday morning, March 14, 10:00–12:05 Session 1 • Napoleon A1/A2 (3rd floor) • Invited Papers
Assessing Vulnerability of Resources to Rapid Climate Change
Chair: John Gross, Climate Change Ecologist, National Park Service, Ft. Collins, CO
Session overview: The goals of climate change vulnerability assessments are to identify which resources are most vulnerable to climate variation, and why. Vulnerability assessments have been identified as a high priority need in virtually every climate change strategy, but there are few examples of completed assessments or widely recognized approaches. A current challenge is to review existing studies to identify and articulate widely applicable templates useful to park management. Assessments can be conducted at local to regional scales, focus on species to biomes, and they can be simple or very complex. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Presentations in this session will provide an introduction and background to vulnerability assessments, describing common elements and approaches, and present results from a comparison of different methods. These foundational talks will be followed by case studies from high-priority biomes. The case studies illustrate approaches that differ in level of detail, comprehensiveness, and scale.
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for Parks
John E. Gross, Climate Change Ecologist, National Park Service, Ft. Collins, CO
Climate change vulnerability assessments (VAs) identify which resources will respond most strongly and be most impacted by variations in climate. VAs are thus a key input for identifying priorities for action. NPS is engaged in a broad range of activities to develop VAs; this presentation will focus on widely useful guidance, and ongoing activities. A multi-agency effort has produced general guidance for conducting VAs for species, habitats, and ecosystems. This guidance provides a context for VAs and a general framework, describes elements common to most VAs, and it includes a set of case studies that illustrate the principles. As a compliment, NPS has sponsored a broad range of projects to address resource vulnerabilities to climate change. These projects can benefit from and contribute to further developing and establishing methods that are ‘best practice’ and that are well suited to the specific needs of parks.
Comparison of Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Methods for Species
Nancy Green, Climate Change Scientist, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC
Several methods exist for assessing the vulnerability of species to climate change. This presentation provides results of an evaluation of different methods, focusing on a comparison of features such as variables considered, spatial and temporal scales, treatment of uncertainty, identification of key components of vulnerability as compared to overall vulnerability “scores,” and ease of use. Part of the evaluation included using a set of species to compare features of three relatively rapid methods for assessing vulnerability. Another part of the evaluation involved a review of scientific literature to compare other approaches used to assess vulnerability. Results and recommendations from this comparison of methods will be presented.
Vulnerability of Coastal Parks to Sea Level Change, Lake Level Change, and Storms
Rebecca Beavers, Coastal Geologist, National Park Service, Lakewood, CO
Since 2001, the National Park Service Coastal Geology Program has coordinated 28 Coastal Vulnerability Assessments. 22 Vulnerability Assessments were conducted by the US Geological Survey to assess the relative vulnerability of coastal resources to sea level and lake level changes and inform park planning (http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/nps-cvi/). Through the Storm Vulnerability Project, natural, cultural and historic resource-based data products and management documents were produced to aid coastal parks in better managing aspects of storm-preparedness and post-storm response and recovery. The storm recovery window is a unique opportunity in coastal parks to adapt to climate changes. Storm vulnerability assessments were conducted by USGS to assess the relative impacts of storms in 3 Atlantic parks (CALO, CUIS, and FIIS). Storm vulnerability assessments were also completed for GEWA, KAHO and PUHE by university partners.
A Rapid Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability for Biodiversity Conservation and Management in New Mexico
Carolyn Enquist, Science Coordinator, USA-National Phenology Network and The Wildlife Society (formerly of The Nature Conservancy), Tucson, AZ
I describe an approach for rapidly assessing the regional impact of climate change and prioritizing landscapes for management action. This involved calculating and mapping 36-year trends in a water availability metric, moisture stress (MS), for 74 watersheds across the state of New Mexico. These trends were linked to a database depicting counts of species of concern to indicate a watershed’s relative biological importance. We also evaluated projected MS for two future time periods using downscaled global climate models. Three watersheds with high importance showed significant trends in MS exposure. Because climate-linked ecological change is already evident in these watersheds, we identified management options that may reduce habitat loss for species of concern. Four watersheds with high importance showed no change in MS. These watersheds may be more resilient to ongoing climate change and have a greater chance for supporting species of concern at least into the near future.
Vulnerability Assessment of Habitats and Landscapes
Patrick Comer, Chief Ecologist, NatureServe, Boulder, CO
To minimize undesired effects of climate change, we need to understand the relative vulnerability of local ecosystems and habitats to climate variations that are most likely to occur. NatureServe has developed methods to identify resources of concern in the face of climate change, and a process to evaluate climate change exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability. Key challenges remain to effectively predict the intensity of stress, the directionality in species movements, and the speed at which these changes are likely to occur. NatureServe is currently engaged with researchers and public land managers across the nation to document methods for evaluating relative vulnerabilities among habitats and landscapes. Here we report on our progress, using examples from throughout the United States; ranging from local to regional scales of application.
Cultural Landscapes: From Sacred Lands to the Vernacular Urban Fabric
Preservation in a Shifting Landscape: Multi-disciplinary Management of Scenic Resources in Yosemite National Park
David Humphrey, Branch Chief, History, Architecture & Landscapes, Yosemite National Park, El Portal, CA
Kevin McCardle, Historical Landscape Architect, Yosemite National Park, El Portal, CA
Tim Croissant, Wildlife Biologist, Bureau of Land Management, St. George Field Office, UT
When set aside in 1864, Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove were the first scenic natural areas in the United States protected for public benefit and appreciation of the scenic landscape. One of the purposes in creating the National Park Service “is to conserve the scenery.” The park’s natural landscape has changed due to past exclusion of American Indian traditional burning, the suppression of lightning-ignited fire, and human-initiated changes to hydrologic flows. The landscape will likely continue to change as climates shift. A flexible program was created to document vista points and quantifies attributes to prioritize management. This method provides a transparent mechanism and a reasonably predictable program over a wide range of sites. Management intensity of vegetation clearing at each vista is then determined by the vegetation communities present at each vista site. This provides a balance of selection for cultural purposes with sensitive management of the natural resource.
A Productive Estate: Active Agriculture on Historic Properties
Laura Roberts, Conservation Associate, National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Boston, MA
George W. Curry, State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY
John Auwaerter, Partner, NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and SUNY Research Scientist, Department of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY
One of the biggest challenges faced by managers of historic properties is how to better engage the public with the site’s history and legacy. One such property is Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, managed by the National Park Service. Former First Lady and great humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt strongly believed in the productive use of private land and put this philosophy into practice at Val-Kill, her small country estate in the Hudson River Valley of New York. A burgeoning public interest in sustainable agriculture and local food sources may provide an opportunity for the park to forge a stronger connection between visitors and Eleanor’s beloved Val-Kill. This paper examines case studies of active agriculture on historic properties to explore strategies which may be applied at Val-Kill and similar sites.
Adapting Cultural Landscape Preservation to a Changing World
Margie Brown, Senior Project Manager/Historical Landscape Architect, NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Boston, MA
H. Eliot Foulds, NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Boston, MA
Three case studies will illustrate the compatibility between cultural landscape preservation goals and the fundamental concepts of Adaptive Resource Management. Drawing on nearly twenty years of experience guiding the stewardship of cultural landscapes throughout the national park system, the presenters will highlight experiences with projects where resource managers have successfully balanced the preservation of historic landscape character--designed spaces, historic land uses, viewsheds, active agriculture, and circulation networks--with other resource management goals such as protection of endangered species, management of invasive species (and other environmental pests), conservation of water resources, and wildlife corridors.
The Indigenous Cultural Landscape of the Eastern Woodlands: A Model for Conservation, Interpretation, and Tourism
Deanna Beacham, Program Specialist, Virginia Council on Indians, Mechanicsville, VA
The indigenous cultural landscape concept emerged from a region of our country where American Indian descendent tribes and communities have long been invisible to most of the population. A means of defining larger landscapes from the perspectives and lifestyles of pre-Colonial Native peoples, the construct is simultaneously a rationale for land conservation and a magnet for heritage tourism. It can raise awareness of contemporary Indian descendant communities, and engage those communities as crucial partners not only in prioritizing and choosing lands to be protected, but in telling their stories to the larger public, thus stimulating the economies of the American Indian peoples and the regions where they live. The concept can also be implemented on already protected parks, reserves and other areas, as an added value in attracting low-impact visitors and as means to forge partnerships with neighboring tribes and American Indian organizations.
How Cultural Heritage Shaped Sustainable Urban Housing
Jay Edwards, Professor of Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
This presentation will describe the complex configuration of sociocultural and economic forces which shaped and reshaped a tiny debased form of refugee housing surrounding the center of urban New Orleans in first decade of the nineteenth century. Thrust into a rapidly expanding urban environment, this stigmatized form of vernacular architecture was repeatedly reshaped and expanded through adaptation and processes of creolization. The shotgun family of house types endures to this day… a prime example of a vernacular adaptation that characterizes, and even dominates the urban fabric of New Orleans. The story of the success of the shotgun house is relevant to sustainable recovery efforts in both post-Katrina New Orleans and post-earthquake Haiti. It is a model that gives testimony to the importance of historic resources as a means to shaping plans for rebuilding and sustainable recovery.
Session 3 • Napoleon B2 (3rd floor) • Contributed Papers
"Broadening the Reach, Closing the Circle: Protected Lands and Environmental Literacy in the 21st Century
Eric Keeling, Post-doctoral Associate, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY
Alan Berkowitz, Head of Education, Plant Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY
Park and protected land education and outreach programs have an opportunity to increase public understanding of important ecological processes that cross boundaries and affect environmental conditions both inside and outside protected lands. Drawing on preliminary findings from a nationwide NSF-funded environmental literacy study we identify key topics relevant to protected lands where public understanding is low (carbon cycling, water cycling, processes that affect biodiversity, climate change). We provide examples of how park outreach programs could include site-specific messages that address common public misconceptions in these topics. We then present a framework that considers the importance of outreach within the broader humanized landscape context of most protected areas. Ultimately, improvement in public environmental literacy should feedback on environmental conditions in protected lands by increasing support for policies that reduce adverse local and global impacts and by increasing community engagement in local land use planning.
Science Communication Internships: Connecting Parks, Science, and People
Sara Delheimer, Science Communication Intern, Schoodic Education and Research Center Institute, Knoxville, TN
Bill Zoellick, Program Director, Schoodic Education and Research Center Institute, Winter Harbor, ME
Sarah Lupis, Communications Specialist for Adapting Livestock to Climate Change CRSP, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Communicating information on the condition of natural resources is fundamental to the Service’s ability to manage park resources, but is often hampered by limited resources and staff time. The Schoodic Education and Research Center (an RLC), Acadia National Park, and the Northeast Temperate Network Inventory and Monitoring Program collaboratively sponsored a summer science communication internship program to increase the capacity for sharing results of past and ongoing scientific research, biological inventories, and natural resource vital sign monitoring in network parks. Since 2009, five student-interns have participated, engaging with park scientists, interpreters, and researchers to create podcasts, posters, promotional material, and project summaries. Lessons learned during the pilot year contributed to better organization and increased productivity in year two. This internship program offers a model that can be used in other Parks, Networks, and RLCs to enhance and expand outreach, while inspiring and developing the next generation of science communication specialists.
Education and Relevancy: Training the Teachers and Engaging the Kids
Bruce Nash, Ecologist, National Park Service, Lakewood, CO
Erika Matteo, Project Coordinator, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
David Krueger, Information Technology Specialist, National Park Service, Lakewood, CO
The NSF-sponsored Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership asked the NPS “Views of the National Parks” team to teach a graduate-level course which presented earth science concepts within a national park framework. In response, the team organized and taught a two-week content course for teachers in 2009 and 2010. The course featured field trips to national parks led by NPS resource specialists, lectures (with hands-on activities) from current and retired NPS, BLM, USGS, and non-Federal experts, a group “capstone project” (writing a General Management Plan for an imaginary park), and multidisciplinary presentations (“Geology and the Civil War,” “Using Art to Teach Earth Science Concepts”). Training educators using NPS placed-based examples, providing park-based multimedia content such as “Views,” and developing curricula enriched with “real world” issues makes learning relevant, engages our country’s youth, and will lead to lasting connections with parks.
New Tools for Science Communication at Yosemite National Park
Niki Nicholas, Chief, Resources Management and Science, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite, CA
Elizabeth Munding, Science Communication Editor, Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite, CA
Yosemite National Park (YOSE) assembles and creates a vast amount of scientific information related to the park’s natural and cultural resources, including fact sheets, annual reports, scientific papers, public presentations, web pages, social networking tools, and personal collaboration. This information is used across the park as well as by park partner organizations and the public. The challenge has been to determine the best forms to communicate resource information to a diverse audience. YOSE conducted a comprehensive assessment of our science communication program. The first step towards creating a plan and deployment strategy was to compile an inventory of the various forms of science communication already used in the park and then evaluate various methodologies. This presentation will highlight key challenges to successful science communication for national park units and some of the actions that YOSE has taken to improve processes as a result of our assessment.
New Science Communication Products on Mercury Contamination at Acadia National Park: A Collaborative Effort
Colleen Flanagan, Ecologist, NPS Air Resources Division, Denver, CO
Bill Gawley, Biologist, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
Sara Delheimer, Science Communication Intern, Schoodic Education and
Research Center (SERC) Institute
Decades of research at Acadia National Park indicate elevated and pervasive levels of mercury across the park landscape, including surface waters, sediments, and animals as diverse as fish, eagles, salamanders, and tree swallows. The major source of mercury in the park’s environment is deposition from the atmosphere – a result, in part, of emissions from coal-burning power plants. Mercury threatens the very natural resources the National Park Service is charged with protecting. Prior to 2010, findings regarding mercury at Acadia resided primarily in technical publications. Subsequently, the NPS Air Resources Division, Acadia National Park staff, and science communication interns at the Schoodic Education and Research Center collaboratively developed outreach products including a video podcast, fact sheet, and air quality displays. Fostering such awareness is essential to coordinate efforts and reduce threats to the national parks. This joint venture produced several science communication products within a short timeframe, illustrating a model potentially useful for other related projects in national parks.
The Benefits of Utilizing Integrated Science for Research and Management
Chairs: Charles van Riper, ST Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ
Robert Powell, Assistant Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
With the increasing complexity of natural and social issues facing protected areas, it is important for managers of these resources to recognize the benefits from utilizing integrated/interdisciplinary science. Interdisciplinary science synthesizes the perspectives of individual disciplines and integrates them during all phases of the research process. This panel brings together nationally recognized members to discuss the benefits and challenges of utilizing interdisciplinary science to answer complex questions at the international, national, regional, and local levels. A short introduction will define interdisciplinary science and discuss why there are increasing calls for its use. This will be followed by 5-minute presentations where panelists will address the following questions: When should interdisciplinary science be utilized? What are the barriers to employing this approach and how can they be overcome? The panel will then engage the audience in a discussion on why integrated/interdisciplinary science is essential to successfully answering complex questions relevant to management.
Panelists: John Donahue, Superintendent, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, National Park Service, Bushkill, PA
Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director, National Park Service, Washington, DC
Jan van Wagtendonk, Research Forester, Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey, El Portal, CA
Carena J. van Riper, Ph.D. Student, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Tourism Best Management Practices (TBMP): Design and Acceptance by Operators
Linda Kruger, Research Social Scientist, US Forest Service PNW Research Station, Juneau, AK
Mark Needham, Oregon State University
Emily Pomeranz, Oregon State University
Trends such as an increase in the amount and diversity of nature based activities affect commercial outdoor recreation operators, their clients, other visitors and local communities. Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Alaska, a state with over 200 million acres of federal public lands. Given that tourism in this region is focused largely on nature based activities it is dependent on publicly owned land, including many protected areas, to accommodate these activities. Commercial outdoor recreation and tourism on public land has both positive and negative effects on the local community, public resources, and independent recreationists and visitors. Often the increase in activity has unanticipated social and environmental consequences. This research focuses on activities offered by outdoor recreation and tourism guides and outfitters, visitors served, positive and negative effects (e.g., environmental, economic, social, managerial) of commercial operations, and specifically the development of and compliance with tourism best management practices (TBMP).
The Impact of World Heritage Designation on Tourism to Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites
Elizabeth Halpenny, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
This paper provides a review of research published by consultants, governments and academics regarding the tourism-related outcomes associated with the World Heritage inscription of natural or cultural heritage sites. Anecdotal reports suggest that increases in tourism activity follow the designation of a World Heritage site. Increased tourism activity has been linked to positive impacts such as expanded economic opportunities for the heritage site and local communities and negative impacts such as crowding and a higher incidence of damage to heritage resources. Rigorous documentation of increases in tourism activity, particularly sustained tourism visitation levels and related positive and negative outcomes associated with this activity is lacking. Documentation that had been published on this topic suggests this assumed relationship between WH designation and increased tourism activity is grossly exaggerated and must be understood within the context of the larger tourism system and site specific influences. A program of research designed to clarify this issue will be presented to session attendees.
Social-ecological Resilience and Sustainability of Community-based Nature Tourism Development in the Commonwealth of Dominica
Patrick J. Holladay, Graduate Research Assistant, Doctoral Student, Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Robert B. Powell, Assistant Professor, Clemson University, Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, Clemson, SC
What are the conditions needed to build and enhance the resilience and sustainability of community tourism in small island nations? Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb disturbance and to learn and adapt in times of turmoil in order to grow and become more dynamic. From a resilience standpoint sustainability is the ability to create, test and maintain adaptive capability, while development is the process of creating, testing and maintaining opportunity. Despite millions of dollars invested in developing community-based tourism to diversify economies and reduce poverty in the Caribbean, little is known about what conditions lead to sustainable and resilient communities and economies. This project used an integrated mix-methods approach to investigate the conditions needed to build and enhance the resilience and sustainability of community tourism in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Social, ecological, institutional and economic sustainability domains found in this island tourism system will be discussed.
Understanding Factors that Predict Travel Decisions of U.S. Cultural and Heritage Travelers
Xiangping Gao, PhD Student, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Michael A. Schuett, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
U.S. cultural and heritage travelers represent over 100 million travelers that contribute significantly to the tourism industry. This presentation is based on a national survey profiling this specific tourist market (N=1048). The preliminary analysis shows that the visitation to parks, cultural and historical sites can be affected by perceived travel constraints, past experience, consumption behaviors, and tourism motivations. In the analysis, significant travel differences were found among socio-demographic groups, e.g., race/ethnicity. This empirical research will discuss implications for both tourism industry and national park managers to better understand the uniqueness of cultural and heritage travelers and further optimize their managerial strategies for this market segment.
The Importance of Intimate Access to Cultural Sites: Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Wayne Freimund, Arkwright Professor of Wildland Recreation and Protected Area Management, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Access and experiences of cultural resources are often mediated by interpretive guides or spatial closures. At Chaco Culture National Historical Park, many primary cultural sites remain open to independent exploration by visitors. In this study, the importance of autonomy to the visitor experience is compared to access management to support a general management plan being developed by park staff. Visitors ranked scenarios for management that assumed a doubling of visitation. Approximately half of the visitors supported continued open access with the other half supporting restriction of access at either the site or park level. Visitors were more likely to favor the different systems depending on factors such as convenience, resource quality, and conditions related to soundscapes. This presentation will highlight the findings of the study and discuss how this information supported proactive decision making regarding future visitor use management in the park.
Coastal Heritage at Risk: Mitigating Threats to Cultural Heritage in Coastal Zones
Chair: Andy, Ferrell, Chief, Architecture and Engineering, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Natchitoches, LA
Recent natural events have demonstrated the vulnerability of coastal regions around the world. With increasing frequency and magnitude predicted, coastal storms will continue to threaten these communities and their associated cultural heritage. The purpose of this session is to bring together a panel of experts to discuss how to identify these resources, assess risks, present disaster planning efforts, and discuss mitigation strategies that might be implemented before the disaster. The goal of the session is to create a larger dialog with disaster professionals on the importance of integrating cultural resource protection into disaster preparedness planning and response.
Panelists: Barrett Kennedy, Professor of Architecture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
David Morgan, Director, NPS Southeast Archeological Center, Tallahassee, FL
Patrick Sparks, Principal, Sparks Engineering, Round Rock, TX
David Preziosi, Executive Director, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Jackson, MS
The Nature of History, The History of Nature: Environmental History and National Parks
Chairs: David Louter, History Program Manager, National Park Service, Pacific West Region, Seattle, WA
Rolf Diamant, Superintendent, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, VT
This panel of environmental historians will explore the role of environmental history in how we understand national parks and interpret them to the public, as well as the ways that environmental history can inform management policies and decisions for national parks. Each participant will be limited to 10 minutes. The session will open with remarks from Rolf Diamant about the past and future of national parks within the context of the Second Century Commission Report. Next, panelists will address a wide range of topics: how historical research shed light on the oyster controversy at Point Reyes, the place of environmental history in the NPS’s science program, interpreting human relationships to the land and the past at Stones River, the ways we can interpret wilderness and its historical values in the Apostle Islands, and the preservation of both at places like Isle Royale. Finally, panelists will discuss their work with the audience for one hour.
Panelists: Timothy Babalis, Historian, National Park Service, Pacific West Region, Oakland, CA
Craig Colten, Professor of Geography, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Rebecca Conard, Professor of History, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Jim Feldman, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
Phil Scarpino, Professor of History, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN
Session 8 • Oak Alley (4th floor) • Contributed Papers
Incorporating New Science into Management: Developing a Non-invasive Technique to Estimate Population Size Using Fecal-DNA
Mary Kay Watry, Biologist, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO
Kate Schoenecker, Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey and NREL, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Gordon Luikart, Research Associate Professor, Conservation Ecology, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Laura Ellison, Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO
Developing non-invasive techniques to study large mammals is the goal of many wildlife managers. Handling ungulates causes stress to animals and risk to humans. In certain places, such as wilderness areas, flying helicopters to radio tag or mark ungulates is heavily scrutinized. The development of viable alternatives is needed. Technological advances have made collecting, extracting and analyzing non-invasive DNA samples possible. We are conducting a study to develop a population estimation technique using fecal DNA. Mark re-capture models will be used to estimate parameters such as population size and survival, where the “mark” is an individual animal’s DNA. If this technique is more viable than traditional aerial helicopter monitoring, park managers may be able to determine trends in bighorn sheep and other wildlife populations non-invasively. This would inform a variety of management decisions. We have finished the second field season of this 2-year study. Preliminary results will be presented.
Is Genetic Purity a Problem for the National Parks?
Peter Dratch, Endangered Species Program Manager, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO
There have been several recent examples where issues of genetic purity, in both animals and plants, pose potential management problems for national parks. North American plains bison (Bison bison bison) were saved from extinction by a few ranchers who crossed them with cattle to create a more hardy domestic animal. Using high resolution DNA techniques, bison with cattle ancestry at very low levels are identified in most NPS herds. Other instances where genetic purity has become an issue include the restoration of greenback cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki stomias) in Colorado, proposed utilization of a fungus- resistant hybrid of the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata), and use of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at national battlefields and other sites. Outlining the molecular methods used to analyze animals and create new hybrid vigor in plants, this paper examines genetic integrity of organisms in light of the environmental challenges facing national parks.
Inbreeding and the Wolves of Isle Royale
Rolf Peterson, Research Professor, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
John Vucetich, Assistant Professor, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
Leah Vucetich, Assistant Research Professor, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
Jennifer Adams, Research Associate, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
Jannikke Raikkonen, Research Scientist, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
Phil Hedrick, Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
The wolf (Canis lupus) population in Isle Royale National Park has been considered a genetically isolated population throughout its 60-year history. With usually two-three breeding pairs and average population size of only 23, the wolves are severely inbred. Since 1994 the prevalence of vertebral anomalies has been 100%, yet breeding wolves were productive and lived maximal lifespans, and rates of reproduction and mortality were similar to mainland populations. Analysis of fecal DNA in 1999-2007 revealed that a single immigrant male arrived in 1997 and he bred annually in 1998-2006. A genomic sweep occurred as his genes quickly came to dominate the population. There were no changes in skeletal abnormalities or demographic parameters. This case history illustrates the difficulty of detecting effects of inbreeding from field estimates of demographic parameters, and the challenge of maintaining genetic heterogeneity in small, endangered populations.
Partnership Approach to Nursery Production of Locally Genetic Plants for Park Restoration and Landscape
Betty Young, Director of Nurseries, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, San Francisco, CA
Biologists at many parks are coming to understand the importance of using genetically appropriate plant material for restoration and landscaping in their parks. The challenge then becomes how to obtain plants from locally collected propagules, at outside nurseries or to start a nursery at the park. Using the Presidio and Golden Gate National Parks as a case study, this talk will discuss how; to effectively use partnership opportunities to finance and manage nurseries dedicated to the park’s mission, take advantage of each partner’s expertise; Opportunities for volunteers and making the best use of this resource while providing an enriching experience; through dedicated nurseries and expert staff, attention can be given to providing the most appropriate plant material from propagules collected and grown using practices which promote conservation of local plant genetics while avoiding genetic degradation.
Bison: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Mietek Kolipinski, Natural Resources Management and Research Program Manager, National Park Service, Oakland, CA
Arthur Scott, Historian, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
Steven Borish, Anthropologist, Department of Human Development, California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA
Kristen Kozlowski, Administrative Coordinator, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dominican University of California, San Rafael CA
Sibdas Ghosh, Chair, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
No species in North America today more powerfully represents the United States than the bison. Preserving genetic integrity of this species (Bison bison) is important to the nation, because its founders brought this magnificent animal so close to extinction. This paper examines the bison’s special historic relationship with North American Native American cultures (including hunting, ceremonies, spirituality, etc.), events leading to 19th century near-extinction, early conservation successes, and prospects for future bison. Some individuals and organizations succeeded in early conservation work. However, strong challenges exist today, such as bison-cattle interbreeding and threat of bison genomic extinction. Several bison protection organizations and a Department of Interior bison working group are developing strategies. Their goals include finding and establishing connected habitats wherein buffalo can roam and migrate as they did historically across broad ranges. Maintaining genetic purity and creating safe habitats for bison herds can lead to long-term viability.
Session 9 • Bayside A (4th floor) • Contributed Papers
Visitor Safety and Resource Protection: Impacts of Crime and Illegal Immigration
Rethinking Crime Prevention in Natural Areas
Joel McCormick, Ph.D. Student, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Stephen Holland (no affiliation given)
The literature suggests that crime and fear of crime is increasing in recreational settings (Chavez, Tynon, & Knap, 2004, Manning, et al., 2001; Pendleton, 2000; Shore, 1994). However, research on the effectiveness of crime prevention programs in urban parks, rural parks, or national forest/park lands is scarce. In 2006, Tynon and Chavez published an article entitled “Crime in the national forest: A call for research.” This presentation will highlight some of his research in park crime prevention and provide the attendee with a basic understanding of how Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), Situational Crime Prevention, and Environmental Criminology can be applied to the management of parks and natural areas. This talk will be geared towards park managers, not law enforcement personnel, however they are welcome too.
Attributing Responsibility for Visitor Safety in Mount Rainier National Park: An Exploratory Study
Laura Rickard, Graduate student/Student Conservation Association Intern, Cornell University, Department of Communication, Ithaca, NY
Clifford Scherer, Associate Professor, Cornell University, Department of Communication, Ithaca, NY
Attracting hundreds of millions of visitors each year, national parks represent one context in which unintentional injuries are recurrent and fatal. Given unique environmental and infrastructural risks and varied recreational opportunities, who is perceived as responsible for preventing injuries, and how might this relate to perception of risk? How might attribution of responsibility predict visitors’ support for preventative risk management? Limited research has considered these questions; yet, increasing promotion of parks to diverse audiences suggests a need to build public support for NPS risk management. Using survey data, this exploratory study found that most MORA visitors perceived themselves as responsible for their own safety, and perceptions of the uncontrollability of park-related risks were positively related to these attributions; however, attribution failed to predict support for preventative risk management. Significant predictors included perceptions of risk, participating in high-risk activities, and traveling companions. We discuss ongoing, related research in two other parks.
Continued Cultivation of Illegal Marijuana Production in U.S. Western National Parks
Jim Milestone, Superintendent, National Park Service, Whiskeytown, CA
Charisse Sydoriak, Sequoia- Kings Canyon National Parks, Three Rivers, CA
Athena Demetry, Sequoia- Kings Canyon National Parks, Three Rivers, CA
Since 2001, several national parks have been used as illegal marijuana cultivation sites by Mexican Cartels. This paper documents the continued use of national park lands as illegal cultivation sites. During the grow season of 2010, the Mexican Cartels began scouting the hills of Whiskeytown in mid-winter. Supplies and personnel to manage the sites were in place as early as March. Rangers detected four grow sites within the park boundary and several sites immediately adjacent to the park. Rangers eventually removed 8,240 plants which had a street value of nearly $33,000,000. Four foreign nationals were arrested and all believed to be associated with the Mexican Cartels. Similar situations occur at Sequoia, Yosemite, Golden Gate, North Cascades and Santa Monica National Recreation Area. As Californian voters decide on a referendum whether or not to legalize marijuana (Proposition 19), park managers believe the threat of marijuana cultivation within park lands will continue even if the measure passes.
On the Border in Everglades and Dry Tortugas: Exploring Immigration Impacts on Florida’s National Parks
Amanda Bentley, Research Associate, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Michael A. Schuett, Associate Professor & Director, Center for Socioeconomic Research & Education, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
David Matarrita-Cascante, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
This study explored immigration to the United States via south Florida’s national parks. The purpose of the study was to examine the impacts of immigration on national park staff and natural resources. Data were collected during January 2010 via on-site interviews with NPS administrators, rangers, law enforcement officers, Border Patrol, Coast Guard, and other key informants. Border Patrol reported 5,254 apprehensions of illegal and legal immigrants in Florida (2008) with nearly one fifth (841) taking place in Dry Tortugas National Park alone. Federal agency coordination is problematic in transporting immigrants out of the national parks. Hazardous materials need to be disposed of which is costly and can cause environmental damage to the resource. Study findings exposed the pressure and costs to NPS staff and management each time immigrants land in national parks. Future research to monitor the impacts of this phenomenon in Florida and Caribbean national parks will be discussed.
Assessing Border-related Human Impacts at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Christopher Sharp, Ph.D. Candidate, Research Assistant, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Tucson, AZ
Cross-border activities in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) are a significant source of impact and anthropogenic change. ORPI’s need for an inventory of off-road vehicle routes and trails suggested the use of remote sensing. The data used was four satellite image steps (4 years of imagery) of ORPI. This study measured the accuracy of the remote sensing methodology and analyzed spatial patterns of routes and trails in ORPI and correlated them with management actions, changes in the border fence, and increased enforcement presence. This paper reveals the efficacy of remote sensing in trails inventory for remote and difficult settings.
Global Connections: A History of the National Park Service’s International Programs
Chair: Jonathan Putnam, International Cooperation Specialist, National Park Service, Office of International Affairs, Washington, DC
2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Park Service’s Office of International Affairs (OIA). Created by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, OIA was the first official federal program devoted to international conservation. Over the last five decades, the NPS has had significant impact on the development of national parks and other protected areas, as well as cultural heritage preservation, around the globe. The NPS has likewise been influenced in numerous ways through exchanges with international colleagues. In this panel, Lary Dilsaver will provide an overview of his recent work on the history of OIA, and several individuals with direct experience with NPS international programs will present their perspectives on how these programs have made a difference, both around the globe and at home.
Panelists: Lary Dilsaver, Professor, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
David Reynolds, Chief, Natural Resources and Science, Northeast Region, NPS, Philadelphia, PA
Jacob Fillion, Environmental Education Chief and International Programs Coordinator, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Alvaro Ugalde, Former Director, Costa Rica National Park Service
Stephen Morris, Chief, NPS Office of International Affairs, Washington, DC
Session 11 • Maurepas (3rd floor) • Contributed Papers
Restoring Meadows and River Processes through Removal of Abandoned Infrastructure
Judi Weaser, Branch Chief, Vegetation and Ecological Restoration, Resources Management and Science, Yosemite National Park, El Portal, CA
Sue Beatty, Restoration Ecologist, Resources Management and Science, Yosemite National Park, CA
The broad floodplains of Yosemite Valley support relatively rare mid-elevation Sierra habitats—historically characterized by interconnected wet meadows, riparian forests, oak woodlands, and sparse conifer stands. Due to substantial infrastructure development, including roads, utilities, culverts, and ditches, however, much of this floodplain habitat has been altered or destroyed. This pristine open meadow/river system was one of the scenic resources that inspired the creation of Yosemite National Park, as noted in the park’s enabling legislation. During the 19th and 20th centuries construction of sewer lines, roads, paved trails, culverts, and ditches altered surface and groundwater hydrology of Valley meadows. These alterations often hydrologically isolated the meadows from surface runoff channels and the Merced River. Vegetation community changes followed. These changes included the persistence of non-native upland grasses planted for hay production in the 1860s, invasion of noxious exotics, and conifer encroachment into the meadow. During the last twenty years, Yosemite has been working to restore meadow hydrology and river process through removal of fill dirt and ditches as well as removal of abandoned utility lines that cross the Merced River and effectively serve as drains for wet meadows. The techniques developed to restore hydrology while having the least impact to these fragile systems is a key component of project success.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Opportunity for Restoration!
Brenda Waters, Assistant Chief for Natural Resources, NPS Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN
John Kwilosz, Restoration Biologist, NPS Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN
Randy Knutson, Wildlife Biologist, NPS Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN
Daniel Mason, Botanist, NPS Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN
Charles Morris, Environmental Protection Specialist, NPS Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Porter, IN
The first year of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with more than $2.3 million to implement restoration projects along southern Lake Michigan. This remarkable natural resource management opportunity is unprecedented in the park’s 45 year history. Discussion and photos will highlight the ambitious nature of planning and restoration efforts undertaken in the first year of a five-year federal initiative. Project implementation will be highlighted including control of invasive species, nuisance wildlife management, significant wetland restoration, and cleanup of contaminated sites. Large planning efforts include a Watershed and Resource Condition Assessment and a Comprehensive Shoreline Restoration and Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. Lessons learned will be shared about challenges that arise when the opportunity for substantial habitat improvement knocks.
Jennifer Gibson, Ecologist, National Park Service, Whiskeytown, CA
The loss of frequent fire as an ecosystem process within Whiskeytown’s high elevation forests has greatly altered forest structure, composition, and function. Areas once fire-maintained as open mixed conifer forests and oak woodlands are encroached by dense, even-aged fir trees; diminishing the cover and diversity of the forest understory. These crowded conditions increase the chance of crown fire, pest outbreaks, and competition-induced stress on older, large diameter trees. With assistance from Humboldt State University, park managers have determined the degree and extent to which these forests have deviated from historic conditions within the past Century. This lead to the park’s first mechanically treated forest restoration project, focused on promoting growth and vigor of old growth trees by removing smaller-diameter, fire-sensitive species. Stands of old growth forest are becoming rare throughout the Pacific Northwest and the risk of losing such forests to fire or competition-induced stress gives urgency to restoration.
LiDAR Derived Forest Metrics for Forest Restoration at Redwood National & State Parks
Daryl Van Dyke, GIS Analyst, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Arcata, CA
Lathrop Leonard (no affiliation given)
With the acquisition of LiDAR for the Mill Creek component of Redwood National & State Parks, the opportunity arose to determine relative stand conditions in a manner more cost-effective than a traditional cruise. These metrics quantify tree density, basal area,quadratic mean diameter, and other forest metrics by developing regression equations based on known forest conditions found on surveyed plots. After the first round of calibration, preliminary models specific to both the forest conditions. Results indicate that the LiDAR analysis is an effective means of identifying stands in jeopardy of slowing growth rates, declining health, and possible mortality without achieving late-seral conditions or optimal slope stabilization. This evaluation develops a treatment prioritization to reduce stand densities and improve habitat, slope, and stand stability. The longer term goal should be to treat most of the stands with the highest priority ranking in the next 5 to 10 years.
Session 12 • Borgne (3rd floor) • Sharing Circle
Knowledge and Ways of Knowing: Is Science Knowledge the Only Paradigm for Resource Management Decision-Making?
Organizers: Judy Bischoff, CPCESU Research Coordinator, National Park Service, Flagstaff, AZ
Jeff Bradybaugh, Superintendent, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Erik Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Land management agencies frequently use the “buzz words,” science-based management decision-making and have espoused this Western science model for “best practices” in resource management. The notion of other types of knowledge and validity of using that knowledge for resources management decision-making has been better integrated in Alaska and Canada, where subsistence is recognized as an important part of the decision-making process. This is not true for much of the “lower 48.” The intent of this session is to discuss issues in the form of a sharing circle on integration of traditional knowledge into resource management.
Session 13 • Borgne (3rd floor) • Sharing Circle
Resource Literacy, Resource Needs: A Discussion About Improving Dialogue and Knowledge
Organizers: Teresa Moyer, Archeologist, National Park Service, Washington, DC
Sara Melena, Education Specialist, NPS Office of Education and Outreach, Natural Resource Program Center, Fort Collins, CO
Angie Richman, Communication Specialist, Climate Change Response Program, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO
America faces a crisis in historical and scientific illiteracy. NPS sites hold a wealth of resources to affect visitors’ understanding of important issues and topics – a job that is typically placed in interpretive rangers’ hands. How can interpreters, resource managers, educators, and others improve their own resource literacy to help visitors with theirs? What avenues in parks, programs, and beyond exist to access and digest the latest relevant scholarship? How does illiteracy affect the relationships between staff and visitors when sensitive or controversial topics are featured? What role can interdisciplinary work play when it breaks down stovepipes between disciplines, programs, and biases? Discussants will address approaches, needs, and concerns.