If there are any billion-dollar babies in the National Park System, they would be the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both of which contributed more than $1 billion in tourism benefits to the communities surrounding their borders, according to a 2015 analysis of the National Park System's value to the national economy.
Kobuk Valley National Park
There are many units of the National Park System where you can explore and have fun on sand dunes – Death Valley National Park in California, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado … and Kobuk Valley National Park in Alaska.
The National Park Service and the Murie Science and Learning Center are seeking applicants for two research fellowships that are available to individuals wishing to conduct research in Denali National Park and Preserve and other arctic and subarctic Alaska national parks.
In the coming year technicians will install an array of 17 remote automated stations in five national park areas in northern Alaska to help the National Park Service track climate trends.
The most popular national parks get visitors galore. Let's have a look at the other end of the attendance spectrum, the end that is anchored by the least-visited parks in the system.
What could possibly inspire someone to circumnavigate Alaska, traveling 4,678.8 miles by foot, ski, and inflatable raft? For Andrew Skurka, the challenge was both physical and mental and an underlying desire to "take advantage of the 70, 80 years that I've got on this planet."
The U.S. already has a cross-border park arrangement with Canada (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) and proposals for some type of agreement with Mexico across from Big Bend National Park have been floating around for decades. Now there's news of renewed interest in expanded cooperation with another country, but it doesn't involve either Canada or Mexico. Can you locate "Beringia" on a map?
If the sun shines bright and warm on your skin today, count yourself more fortunate than the people in Alaska’s four arctic national parks. They’ll get a few hours of ambient light if the sky is clear, but there’ll be no warming sun.
Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Caribou in Alaska's Parks and Preserves
Caribou have been on the landscape for more than 400,000 years. For roughly the past 12,000 years, they have been hunted by humans — ﬁrst the paleo-Indians, now the First Nations’ cultures along with many other Alaskans. Resilience to hunting, to weather, and to predators has enabled the caribou to remain an integral part of both the natural landscape and the human culture. The greatest test of their resilience, though, stands to be climate change.
This week’s quiz deals with National Park System units that are linked to each other in some way. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The efficient enzymatic resolution of conduritol B and C derivatives is an important step in synthesizing all possible enantiomeric pairs of conduritol stereoisomers.”