Introduction to Implementing Science in National Parks explores the critical role science plays in helping the NPS fulfill its mission. This course explores the critical role science plays in helping the NPS fulfill its mission, providing learners from any discipline with foundational knowledge on the importance and application of science in parks, natural resource law and policy, and scientific knowledge and understanding.
Essential competencies of Scientific Knowledge, Scientific Methodology, Professional Credibility, and Resource Stewardship are examined to provide support for the goal of resource stewardship to ensure natural resource professionals possess the capability to be informed by science and scholarship, traditional ecological knowledge, fidelity to the law, and the ability to communicate to decision-makers.
Science, resource stewardship, scientific literacy, and best available science are defined and examined. Science is critical for the management and understanding of NPS resources, and application of science in decision making is crucial to resource management. For example, assessing the effectiveness of a decision. This includes day to day operations and larger management decisions.
The course looks beyond park and discipline boundaries to examine how science conducted in parks contributes to the broader scientific community, and the role of park units in supporting scientific research and inquiry. Learners will consider how park divisions from natural resources and interpretation to facilities and visitor protection carry out and benefit from science. They will also see how scientific data and information are used to develop, inform, and assess the effectiveness of decisions and management actions.
Learners will explore their role in collecting and using high quality scientific information and data. They will examine the value of collaboration with others who also conduct science as a way to ensure that sound science is implemented in decision making. Learners will also review the importance of being able to summarize and communicate scientific findings clearly, using techniques appropriate to different audiences. Finally, they will have the opportunity to apply their new knowledge as they work through an exercise in applying science to a natural resource management challenge in their park or work unit.
- Importance of Science to the National Park Service
- Guidance & Authorities Relevant to Science
- The Scope of Science
- Approaches to Park Science
- Implementing Park Science
- Applying Science to Your Resource Challenge