The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Science and the National Parks
resources are used and appreciated by people should be documented. In addition, National Park Service researchers should have more input into the development of resource management plans. Effective interaction between research results and resource management plans cannot take place without both a strong science program and a strong resource management program.
The National Park Service should also establish and encourage a strong "parks for science" program that addresses major scientific research questions, particularly within those parks that encompass large undisturbed natural areas and wilderness. This effort should include NPS scientists and other scientists in independent and cooperative activities. The goal is to facilitate the use of parks for appropriate scientific inquiry on major natural and related social science questions.
SEPARATE FUNDING AND AUTONOMY
The National Park Service should revise its organizational structure to elevate and give substantial organizational and budgetary autonomy to the science program, which should include both the planning of research and the resources required to conduct a comprehensive program of natural and social science research. The program should be led by a person with a commitment to its objectives and a thorough understanding of the scientific process and research procedures.
The National Park Service science program should receive its funds through an explicit, separate (line item) budget. A strategic increase in funding is needed, especially to create and support the needed long-term inventories and the monitoring of park resources.
BUILDING CREDIBILITY AND QUALITY
To provide leadership and direction, the NPS should elevate and reinvigorate the position of chief scientist, who must be a person of high stature in the scientific community and have as his or her sole responsibilities advocacy for and administration of the science program. The chief scientist