Research in Yellowstone Park
Stacey
Gunther
Overview
Each year…
 The Research Permit
Office issues ~200
research permits
 Approximately 30-40
new research requests
 In 2010, researchers
from 35 states and 5
foreign countries
Bruce Fouke
Research Permits 1954-2010
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
1954
1964
1974
1984
1994
2004
Research by Discipline
Summer vs. Winter


Most all research in Yellowstone occurs in
summer months, between May-September.
Only 20% researchers conduct studies yearround
National Parks Omnibus Act of
1998 (Thomas Bill)

“The Secretary [of the Interior]…is directed to
assure that management of units of the National
Park System is enhanced by the availability and
utilization of a broad program of the highest
quality science and information.”

“The Secretary shall…assure the full and proper
utilization of the results of scientific study for park
management decisions.”
Other Law and Policy that
Regulates Research Activities





National Environmental Policy Act
Archeological Resources Protection Act
National Historic Preservation Act
Wilderness Act
Code of Federal Regulations
Permitting Requirements
Research project must not
adversely impact…
 public health and safety
 environmental or scenic
values
 natural or cultural resources
 other scientific research
 implementation of
management responsibilities
 proper allocation and use of
facilities
 visitor use activities
Permitting Requirements, contd.




Researchers must be affiliated with a university,
research facility, or government agency.
Researchers must adhere to all park regulations
and the conditions of their permit.
Researchers are required to renew permit
annually and complete an annual report.
Must agree to supply NPS with copies of
student theses, unpublished reports, and journal
articles.
University research studies provide the park
valuable information
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
is at least 140,000 years old.
The things we can’t see might be
valuable to society
Over 40 patents involve YNP research
A Virus in a Fungus in a Plant:
Three-Way Symbiosis Required for
Thermal Tolerance
Luis M. Márquez,1 Regina S. Redman,2,3 Russell J. Rodriguez,2,4
Marilyn J. Roossinck1*
Vicki Thompson holds a flask of
the catalase enzyme her team
discovered, that breaks down
hydrogen peroxide into harmless
oxygen and water. (INL photo)
Someone
actually studies
(and cares
about)
nematodes that
parasitize
mosquito larvae
Edward Platzer
It’s easier to fish using an electrical
current than it is with a fly rod.
Otters are not only cute, but are
important members of aquatic and
terrestrial
food webs.
Jim Peaco-NPS
You can learn a whole
lot about wildlife
populations, just by
collecting animal poop
Are you collecting
over there, or
making a deposit?
Photos clockwise from top right-NPS, NPS, R. Raymond, F. Gardipee; inset photo Foos
Photos from Top Left-J Merkl, Davis-NPS, J Merkl, NPS, Davis-NPS, Murphy
Do You know what a bryophyte
or slime mold is??
Cyanobacteria can
reduce phosphonate to
phosphate for cell growth
and maintenance.
Phosphonates are
commonly found in
herbicides, flame
retardants, and
plasticizers.
Cyanobacteria are also
photosynthetic by day,
and at night when the
sun goes down, they start
metabolizing nitrogen.
Photos courtesy of Ward Lab, MSU
Funny things happen…
Wolf reintroduction lead to increased research
interest on northern range
Dan Stahler-NPS
Bob Landis
Questions?
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Research in Yellowstone Park 2010 - C. Hendrix