Air and Visual Resource Training


This three day course will enhance the capability of all participants to understand and communicate the importance of clean air and visual resources for national parks. Class topics include current laws and regulations protecting air quality and scenic views, the visual resource program and its components, types and sources of air pollution and strategies for improving air quality.

Day one is designed as an “Air Quality and Visual Resources 101” course ideal for novice air professionals, such as park air monitoring technicians; staff of water, night sky, fisheries and other program areas related to air pollution effects on natural resources; interpretive staff interested in air quality or visual resources, and other park or regional staff or managers with interest or responsibilities in air quality and visual resource protection.

Day two will consist of a menu of hands-on learning activities which will allow participants to practice skills, and develop expertise in applying air quality and visual resource knowledge to national park issues. Day two will include a variety of half- day or full-day activities from which participants may select one or two options according to their areas of interest.

Day three is designed as an in-depth exploration of air quality “hot topics.” Target participants are experienced air professionals at NRSS, parks and regions, although any NPS staff with interest in digging in to the details of air quality or visual resource management is welcome to attend, following completion of day 1 and/or 2 of the course. Day three topics will include discussion of air quality in ecosystem services contexts, the implications of renewable energy development for visual resources, understanding the impacts of oil and gas pollutant emissions on parks, discussing the relationship between air pollution and climate change, developing ideas for improving collaboration between the Air Resources Division and park units, and developing air quality and visual resource management strategies for the future. Day three will be in the format of presentations with ample opportunities for discussion. Participants may attend any two consecutive, or all three days of the course.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Become familiar with the laws and regulations protecting air quality and scenic views
  • Identify park resources and values affected by air pollutants
  • Learn about the visual resource program and components of a visual resource inventory
  • Recognize types of pollutants, sources of air pollution and development affecting national park units
  • Understand how park air quality monitoring contributes to protecting clean air and improving poor air quality nationwide
  • Engage in active exploration of air quality and visual resource projects
  • Develop in depth knowledge of strategies for improving park air quality and visual resources


Target Audience

NPS Staff with responsibilities and/or interest in air and visual resources.

Course Format

Instructor led; 24 hours.

Course Dates

There are no upcoming sessions of this course scheduled at this time.


Air Resources in National Parks (currently under revision, should be available again in early 2020).

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