"Aerial view" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Channel Islands

National Park - California

Channel Islands National Park comprises 5 ecologically rich islands off the Southern California coast. Anacapa Island has trails to a 1932 lighthouse and clifftop Inspiration Point. Santa Cruz Island’s many sea caves include the vast Painted Cave. Santa Rosa Island features rare Torrey pines. Thousands of seals gather at San Miguel Island’s Point Bennett. Southernmost Santa Barbara Island draws nesting seabirds.

location

maps

Official visitor map of Channel Islands National Park (NP) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Channel Islands - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Channel Islands National Park (NP) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Vintage 1949 USGS 1:250000 map of Long Beach in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).Vintage USGS - Long Beach - 1949

Vintage 1949 USGS 1:250000 map of Long Beach in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Vintage 1949 USGS 1:250000 map of Los Angeles in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).Vintage USGS - Los Angeles - 1949

Vintage 1949 USGS 1:250000 map of Los Angeles in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Vintage 1948 USGS 1:250000 map of Santa Maria in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).Vintage USGS - Santa Maria - 1948

Vintage 1948 USGS 1:250000 map of Santa Maria in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Vintage 1948 USGS 1:250000 map of Bakersfield in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).Vintage USGS - Bakersfield - 1948

Vintage 1948 USGS 1:250000 map of Bakersfield in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Vintage 1947 USGS 1:250000 map of San Luis Obispo in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).Vintage USGS - San Luis Obispo - 1947

Vintage 1947 USGS 1:250000 map of San Luis Obispo in California. Published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

https://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Islands_National_Park Channel Islands National Park comprises 5 ecologically rich islands off the Southern California coast. Anacapa Island has trails to a 1932 lighthouse and clifftop Inspiration Point. Santa Cruz Island’s many sea caves include the vast Painted Cave. Santa Rosa Island features rare Torrey pines. Thousands of seals gather at San Miguel Island’s Point Bennett. Southernmost Santa Barbara Island draws nesting seabirds. Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was. While the mainland visitor center in Ventura is readily accessible by car or public transportation, the islands are only accessible by park concessionaire boats and planes or private boat. Advanced planning is highly recommended. Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park features a bookstore, a display of marine aquatic life, and exhibits featuring the unique character of each park island. Visitors also will enjoy the 25-minute park movie, “A Treasure in the Sea,” shown throughout the day in the auditorium (closed-caption film available upon request). The fully accessible visitor center is open 8:30 am until 5 pm daily. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving and December 25th. The visitor center is located in the Ventura Harbor in Ventura, California. Ventura is located 70 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. Plane, train, and bus service are all available to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Only train, bus, and private car transportation are available from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to Ventura. Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center The small Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center not only has one of the best views of Santa Barbara, but also offers visitors information about Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and the City of Santa Barbara. Open 10 am until 5 pm. Closed every Wednesday, Christmas Day, New Year's Day,Thanksgiving Day, and the First Friday in August for Fiesta. Also, occasionally closes early for special events. The Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center is located in the Santa Barbara Harbor in Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara is located 100 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles north of Ventura. Plane, train, and bus service are all available to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. San Miguel Island Ranger and Visitor Contact Station The visitor contact and ranger station is only open when staff is present. This visitor center can only be visited by boat. Book your transportation with the park concessioner. Santa Barbara Island Visitor Center A small visitor center is located on the island. Features include displays on the natural and cultural resources of the island. This visitor center can only be visited by boat. Book your transportation with the park concessioner. Santa Rosa Island Visitor Contact Station The historic schoolhouse is now home to this small visitor contact station with exhibits on the ranching history of Santa Rosa Island. This visitor center can only be visited by boat. Book your transportation with the park concessioner. Scorpion Ranch Visitor Center on Santa Cruz Island The small visitor center resides in the historic Scorpion Ranch house which was constructed in 1886-1887. This visitor center can only be visited by boat. Book your transportation with the park concessioner. Visitor Center Anacapa Island Once the historic Coast Guard general services building (workshop and garage), this Mission Revival style building now serves as a small visitor center that features include displays on the natural and cultural resources of the island and the original lead-crystal Fresnel lens from the Anacapa Lighthouse. This visitor center can only be visited by boat. Book your transportation with the park concessioner. Anacapa Island Campground Primitive camping is available (seven sites; $15 per night per site; reservations required). Picnic table, food storage box, and pit toilet are provided. No water is available. Distance from landing to campground is one-half mile and includes a 157-stair climb. WARNING: Western gulls nest on Anacapa Island From April through mid-August. During this time, visitors will encounter seabird rookery conditions: guano, strong odor, constant noise, bird carcasses, and birds protecting their territory. Anacapa Island Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for camping on the islands. For six of the sites on Anacapa Island, this fee covers up to four people. For one of the sites, it covers up to six people. Reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or through http://www.recreation.gov/ Anacapa Island Campground by Tim Hauf Within a field of yellow flowers lie tents that overlook historic buildings and the ocean. Anacapa Island Campground San Miguel Island Campground Primitive camping is available (nine sites; $15 per night per site; reservations required). Wind shelter, picnic table, food storage box, and pit toilet are provided. No water is available. Distance from landing to campground is one mile up a steep canyon (400 ft. climb). San Miguel Island Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for camping on the islands. For San Miguel Island, this fee covers up to four people. Reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or through http://www.recreation.gov/. San Miguel Island Campground by Tim Hauf Camping tents in grassland overlooking a foggy ocean. San Miguel Island Campground Santa Barbara Island Campground Primitive camping is available (seven sites; $15 per night per site; reservations required). Picnic table, food storage box, and pit toilet are provided. No water is available. Distance from landing to campground is one-quarter mile and includes a steep climb. Santa Barbara Island Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for camping on the islands. For Santa Barbara Island, this fee covers up to four people. Reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or through http://www.recreation.gov/ Santa Barbara Island Campground by Tim Hauf Small tent perched on bluff overlooking the ocean. Santa Barbara Island Campground Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground The Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground is currently the only backcountry campground on Santa Cruz Island. The hike to the campground is 3.5 miles from Prisoners Harbor and 12 miles from Scorpion Anchorage. It has four primitive campsites (four persons per site) and users must camp within these designated sites.Reservations are required ($15 per night-per site). A picnic table, food storage box, and pit-style toilet are provided (campers must bring their own toilet paper). Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for camping on the islands. For the Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground, this fee covers up to four people. Reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or through http://www.recreation.gov/. Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground by Tim Hauf Campground picnic table on green grass overlooking ocean, coastline, and blue sky with white clouds Santa Cruz Island Del Norte Backcountry Campground Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground Primitive camping is available (25 individual sites at $15 per night-per site and 6 group sites at $40 per night-per site; reservations required). Picnic table, food storage box, potable water, and pit toilet are provided. Distance from landing to campground is one-half mile. Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for the 25 individual sites at Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground. This this fee covers up to six people. For the six group sites the fee is $40.00 per site-per night and covers up to 15 people. Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground by Kathy deWet Oleson Blue camping tent in green grass with picnic table and tall trees Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground by Tim Hauf White flowers on green grassy hillside overlooking campground in tall trees below. Santa Cruz Island Scorpion Canyon Campground Santa Rosa Island Backcountry Beach Camping Backcountry camping on Santa Rosa Island is currently limited to certain beaches between August 15th and December 31st. Hiking is along the beach and rugged, unsigned (and sometimes unmaintained) dirt roads. The closest beach for camping is 8 miles from the boat/plane drop-off location. Reservations are required ($10 per night-per site). No services are provided.This is primitive, dispersed, backcountry camping. Visitors must backpack to all locations and carry all of their own gear, food and water. Santa Rosa Island Backcountry Beach Camping Fee 10.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all camping in the park. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $10.00 per site-per night is charged for backcounrty beach camping on Santa Rosa Island. This fee covers up to four people. Reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or through http://www.recreation.gov/. Santa Rosa Island Backcountry Beach Camping Island coastline with tan sand beach leading out to rolling hills in the distance with green water. Southeast Quadrant Beach Santa Rosa Island Campground Primitive camping is available (15 sites; $15 per night per site; reservations required). Wind shelter, picnic table, food storage box, toilet, and potable water are provided. Distance from landing to campground is 1.5 miles from the pier and .25 miles from the airstrip. Santa Rosa Island Campground Fee 15.00 Advanced camping reservations are required for all of the park's campgrounds. There are no entrance fees to visit the park. However, a reservation fee of $15.00 per site-per night is charged for camping on the islands. Santa Rosa Island Campground by Tim Hauf Campgrounnd wind shelters on dry, grassy terrace looking down canyon to blue ocean. Santa Rosa Island Campground Inspiration Point by Tim Hauf Steep, rugged ocean cliffs extending in an island chain. Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island: One of the most spectacular views in the park can be found from Inspiration Point. Looking to the west, one may see Middle and West Anacapa, with Santa Cruz Island in the distance. Arch Point by Tim Hauf Yellow flowers in foreground extending out along a rocky coastline to a natural arch. Arch Point, Santa Barbara Island: With winter rains, the coreopsis emerges from summer's dormancy with light green foliage and bright yellow daisy-like flowers Torrey Pines by Tim Hauf Pine tree high on a ridge overlooking a bay with blue water and white sand beach. Torrey Pines, Santa Rosa Island: Torrey pines occur naturally in only two locations throughout the world--on the cool, fog drenched northeastern slopes of Bechers Bay and just north of San Diego. Point Bennet by Tim Hauf Brown seals and sea lions on white sand beach with blue water and partly cloudy sky. Point Bennet, San Miguel Island: One of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the world occurs on San Miguel with over 100,000 pinnipeds gathering to breed, pup, and rest. Island Fox by Tim Hauf Rust and grey colored fox in green grass. Island Fox, Santa Cruz Island: Thousands of years of isolation in a unique island environment has resulted in the development of the endemic island fox, a dwarf form of the mainland gray fox. 2019 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Celebrate 50 years of the NPS Volunteer-in-Parks Program, and learn about the contributions of the volunteer recipients of the 2019 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service, for work performed in fiscal year 2019. a volunteer wearing a red life vest walks towards you with a smile, lifting a canoe paddle Shark Awareness Before heading into the ocean, review some safety information to further minimize the chances of a shark encounter. Shark and fish in the blue ocean waters Partnerships add a Charge to your Travel Plans The National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, BMW of North America, the U.S. Department of Energy, concessioners, and gateway communities have collaborated to provide new technologies for travel options to and around national parks. As part of this public-private partnership, BMW of North America, working through the National Park Foundation, donated and arranged for the installation of 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in and around national parks. 2014 Recipients: George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Discover the inspirational stories and amazing dedication of volunteers honored with the 2014 Hartzog Award. Volunteer Thelma Johnson standing with her cooking equipment Channel Islands Serve As Reptile Evolution Laboratory What do pygmy mammoths, Channel Islands foxes, and Santa Cruz Island gopher snakes have in common? Sure, they’re all vertebrates found at one time or another in Channel Islands National Park, but there’s something else. All are dwarf species with larger mainland counterparts. Recent research by Dr. Amanda Sparkman has found that they are not the only Channel Islands dwarfs. The park’s southern alligator lizards and western yellow-bellied racers are also dwarf species. Portrait of a southern alligator lizard climbing on a rock NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Channel Islands National Park, California Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] rocky coast Mountaintop Sea Cows? In August 2018, a paleontological crew excavated the first known sea cow fossil skeleton from Channel Islands National Park. It is estimated to be 20 to 25 million years old and is likely a new species. Two men outdoors on a sunny day, excavating a fossil Basking Sharks Sighted In Santa Barbara Channel NOAA has been actively trying to find and study basking sharks since 2009. They managed to find and tag four individuals in 2010-2011. Then, they found no more...until this year! No one is quite sure why, but this spring there were a slew of basking shark sightings in the Santa Barbara Channel. For example, in early May Channel Islands National Park staff spotted a school of 21(!) basking sharks. Underwater view of a huge shark with its enormous, seemingly toothless mouth wide open. Investigating Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal <em>July 21, 2016</em> - Cabrillo National Monument and Channel Islands National Park are concerned about the impact that ocean acidification will have on their intertidal communities and the ability of their visitors to enjoy a seascape rich in marine life. They already monitor key rocky intertidal species, but to understand the dynamics of ocean acidification in the rocky intertidal and how the monitored species are responding, a new type of monitoring has become necessary. A freshly collected interidal seawater sample. Black Abalone Regain Lost Ground <em>March 15, 2017</em> - For many years after the black abalone population crashed in the 1980s and 90s, Channel Islands National Park biologists found little evidence of recovery. Surviving abalone did not appear to be reproducing. That began to change around 2007 on Santa Cruz Island. Then other islands began to experience some slow recovery as well. Meanwhile, Cuyler Harbor, a site on San Miguel Island, still had not seen any black abalone since 1997. That is, until 2016. A mix of black abalone sizes/ages Crystal Clear: Prisoners Harbor Coastal Wetland Restoration Non-native eucalyptus trees were introduced for horticultural and utilitarian purposes in the 1880s. When agricultural operations were abandoned, eucalyptus trees expanded and spread beyond their intended purpose. The park, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, recently restored this rare wetland by removing fill and reconnecting hydrology. Wildlife response to the restoration has been dramatic and immediate. view overlooking a harbor with dock World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill Channel Islands Bald Eagles Have Their Best Year Yet In mid-March, biologists and bald eagle fans watched with excitement as a live webcam captured three eggs hatching within a few days of each other on a nest in Sauces Canyon, Santa Cruz Island. Another webcam at a nest on Santa Cruz Island’s Fraser Point captured a similar scene: three more eggs hatching in close succession. Those six were among a total of 19 eaglets to be successfully raised by a record 20 breeding bald eagle pairs across the Channel Islands in 2018. Webcam portrait of a young bald eagle looking towards the camera in the early morning sunlight Biologists Document Seabird’s Journey from Rare Visitor to Breeding Resident In 2014, Channel Islands National Park biologists began to notice a new and impressive seabird roosting on East Anacapa Island, and on Sutil Island, off of Santa Barbara Island. They recognized the birds as brown boobies, which had been occasionally seen passing through over the years. Last fall, David Mazurkiewicz and his fellow seabird biologists counted 102 brown boobies on Sutil Island, and in an exciting new development, they discovered four active brown booby nests! Brown booby sitting on a nest, surrounded by several other brown boobies Invasive Kelp Spreads into New Territory Do you know that seaweed from your miso soup? Tasty as it is, Wakame, or <em>Undaria pinnatifida</em>, is not only known as a celebrated staple of some Asian cuisines. It is also a notorious marine invader. Undaria was first found in California in 2000 in Long Beach Harbor. Since then it has been inadvertently carried by boat to other harbors up and down the California coast. In 2008, it was discovered in Ventura Harbor, the mainland home of Channel Islands National Park. Undaria pinnatifida growing on the seafloor 2002 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2002 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards The Archeology of Abalones: Chinese and Japanese Fishing Camps in Channel Islands National Park From the mid-1800's to early 1900's, Chinese and Japanese fishermen harvested abalone around the Channel Islands. Archeology has uncovered what daily life was like for these individuals as they worked and camped on the islands. Cooking and Drying Abalone. Pilot Mark Oberman Awarded Airward for Safe Aviation Actions during Thomas Fire Channel Islands Aviation pilot Mark Oberman responded to assist Channel Islands National Park employees on December 5, 2017 when the Thomas fire burned on the mainland. For his efforts, the NPS awarded him with an Airward. Mark Oberman (left) holds Airward, while ranger Ian Williams sits to the right. Wildland Fire in Chaparral: California and Southwestern United States Chaparral is a general term that applies to various types of brushland found in southern California and the southwestern U.S. This community contains the most flammable type of vegetation found in the United States. Chaparral on steep rocky slopes. Scorpion Rock: A Model of Seabird Restoration Success For Cassin’s auklets, good nesting habitat must have lots of natural crevices or lend itself to the construction of nest burrows. Scorpion Rock was great for burrowing until crystalline iceplant, an invasive species, began driving out native vegetation and triggering soil erosion. Between 2008 and 2012, the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program sponsored a huge push to remove crystalline iceplant from Scorpion Rock, help native species take root, and stem erosion. Scorpion Rock seen from the coast of Santa Cruz Island Microplastics on National Park Beaches Every beachgoer has probably noticed plastic trash littering their favorite beaches, however remote. A new study of microplastic distribution on national park beaches indicates that whichever one you visit, there is probably also some amount of plastic that is harder to see, mixed in with the sand between your toes. Microplastic piece and organic matter Field Season Beginning for Mediterranean Coast Plant Monitoring Teams <em>March 15, 2017</em> - Even for drought tolerant southern California plant communities, four dry years in a row was a lot to handle. Annual vegetation monitoring at each of the three parks in the Mediterranean Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network recorded significant dieback in some places. This year, however, rainfall has been well above average throughout the region. Monitoring teams are excited to survey in a much more brightly colored landscape. Shooting stars decorated in water droplets Eelgrass Eelgrass is a type of marine, flowering seagrass that exists in temperate zones around the world. It thrives in soft seafloor environments, typically in shallow bays and estuaries, such as Point Reyes National Seashore's Drakes Estero, Estero de Limantour, and Tomales Bay. In Channel Islands National Park, large eelgrass beds occur off of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa Islands. Eelgrass bed at Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park. Night Sky Darkness in Coastal Southern California National Parks The velvet black of a dark night sky offers many values. People seek darkness for stargazing. Birds navigate by starlight. Prey hides from predator in the dark. But light pollution from human development—streetlights, buildings and other sources of artificial light—is spilling over into natural areas and taking an ecological toll. In Southern California, the National Park Service monitors the night sky of its parks and applies best practices to improve night sky darkness. Portion of the Milky Way visible over mountaintops in the Santa Monica Mountains. Surfgrass Surfgrass occurs in turbulent waters at or below the low tide line. It requires a rocky substrate to latch onto so it does’t wind up washed ashore or stranded at sea. During negative tides, surfgrass beds are often exposed to the air where their contents may be feasted upon by birds or explored by intrepid tidepoolers. Surfgrass during low tide at Channel Islands National Park Gary Fellers Leaves Legacy of Scientific Inquiry in California National Parks Few individuals have shaped our understanding of terrestrial species in the San Francisco Bay Area and California national parks like Dr. Gary Fellers, who passed away in November. Gary worked at Point Reyes National Seashore from 1983 until his retirement in 2013, first as a National Park Service scientist, and later as a researcher for the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. Dr. Gary Fellers Scientist Profile: Stephen Whitaker, Marine Ecologist “My current position as a marine ecologist for the National Park Service is a dream by most accounts! I often tell people when asked, “What do I do,” that I am responsible for assessing the condition of the shoreline habitats in Channel Islands National Park. In reality, my jurisdiction is not limited to the shore as I also spend chunks of time working underwater offshore in kelp forest, eelgrass, and other biogenic habitats in the park." Stephen Whitaker in full rain gear, collecting data at a rocky intertidal monitoring plot. Pacific Border Province The Pacific Border straddles the boundaries between several of Earth's moving plates on the western margin of North America. This region is one of the most geologically young and tectonically active in North America. The generally rugged, mountainous landscape of this province provides evidence of ongoing mountain-building. Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. NPS photo/Sarah Codde POET Newsletter September 2012 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from September 2012. Articles include: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Parks; Fun with Coral Reefs and Climate Change Education; and Climate Change Exhibits From Sea to Rising Sea. people on beach POET Newsletter November 2011 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from November 2011. Articles include: Protecting Our Oceans through Partnerships; Conservation through Cooperation; Early Monitoring Indicates Positive Trends in Reserves; and A New Tool To Sustain Our Ocean Resources. kelp forest California Spiny Lobster This species of spiny lobster is often encountered in rocky dens or in beds of surfgrass at relatively shallow depths. California spiny lobster Garibaldi This species of damselfish inhabits the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, California to Baja California along rocky coastal reefs and among kelp forests. Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) Pollinators - Hummingbirds Hummingbirds (family Trochilidae) are amazingly adapted pollinators, and they play an important role in pollination. A flying hummingbird hovers next to a red flower National Parks Defend America's Coast During World War II Many national park sites joined the war effort in World War II by erecting Aircraft Warning, radio and radar stations. Some historic forts came to life with coastal defenses ready to defend the nation. color photo of explosion atop a fort wall, ocean beyond Elk Kelp Elk kelp, with its distinctive antler-like branches, is the second-largest kelp species in Channel Islands National Park. It grows in cool, deep waters, often too deep for giant kelp forest to grow. Green blades of elk kelp reaching towards the surface in turquoise ocean water POET Newsletter May 2012 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from May 2012. Articles include: Is the NPS Prepared for Tsunami Debris?; Caring for the Coast in Kenai Fjords; Marine Debris Monitoring; and Tsunami Debris - FAQs. kids cleaning beach POET Newsletter May 2013 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from May 2013. Articles include: Culturing Ocean Science; Ocean for Life; Inspiring, Educating and Empowering our Next Generation; A Virtual Visit to Remote Island and Ocean Environments; and A Creative Approach to Long-term Monitoring. kid underwater taking a photo Giant Kelp Giant kelp is the worlds largest species of marine algae. In the United States, it can be found along the west coast, especially around southern California where it grows in dense patches, or kelp forests. Giant kelp Paleontology of Channel Islands National Park Channel Islands National Park has one of the best fossil records in the National Park Service. The marine rocks of the islands have yielded significant microfossils, shellfish and other invertebrates, and marine vertebrates such as sea cows. Younger sedimentary deposits blanketing the islands include fossils of birds, other small vertebrates, snails, plant roots, and the famous pygmy mammoths. rolling hills covered in grass Conserving pinnipeds in Pacific Ocean parks in response to climate change The evolutionary record from previous climate perturbations indicates that marine mammals are highly vulnerable but also remarkably adaptable to climatic change in coastal ecosystems. Consequently, national parks in the Pacific, from Alaska to Hawaii, are faced with potentially dramatic changes in their marine mammal fauna, especially pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). black harbor seal Rancho del Norte Cultural Landscape Rancho del Norte is a component landscape of the Santa Cruz Island Ranching District of Channel Islands National Park. Although this ranch was constructed in 1952, the wider landscape has a period of significance of 1880 to 1952 for its associations with ranching. A simple wooden structure has wooden siding, a slightly tilting roof, and a door with a window. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall 2020 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> fossils on the ground with two people and a mountain in the distance Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Series: Crystal Clear: A Call to Action In 2016, the nation celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) as the steward of special places that represent our natural and cultural heritage. Many national parks were founded on the beauty and value of water. Since the preservation of the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the National Park System has grown to include significant examples within majestic rivers, the Great Lakes, oceans and coasts, and other spectacular water resources. bright blue lake green islands in between Series: Physiographic Provinces Descriptions of the physiographic provinces of the United States, including maps, educational material, and listings of Parks for each. George B. Dorr, founder of Acadia National Park Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Neogene Period—23.0 to 2.58 MYA Some of the finest Neogene fossils on the planet are found in the rocks of Agate Fossil Beds and Hagerman Fossil Beds national monuments. fossils on display in a visitor center Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Compliance Inspires Science on Santa Cruz Island In May 2020, the Scorpion Fire burned 1,395 acres on eastern Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park. Burned Area Emergency Response funding supported emergency stabilization, including environmental compliance and an inventory of burned archeological sites. With park staff, researchers, and Chumash tribal partners working together, the compliance project became one of discovery and science that provided insight on Chumash lifeways across hundreds of generations. Person looking at a small object near a rock formation, with a charred landscape beyond. Plan Like a Park Ranger: Top 10 Things to Know Before You Go A visit to the Channel Islands is an exercise in preparation and self-reliance. ranger with visitor looking at map West Coast National Parks Work with NOAA to Better Understand Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal and Beyond Ocean acidification (OA) is a huge threat to marine life. But it is hard to track remotely on a large scale. So this summer, seven West Coast national parks are teaming up with the 2021 NOAA West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise. They’ll collect water samples in-person to check several OA indicators. Their data will help paint the most detailed picture yet of OA conditions up and down the coast, from parks’ rocky intertidal zones to dozens of miles offshore. Collage of different rocky intertidal creatures photographed against a white background. An Ocean on the Edge Along the northwestern tip of the continental United States, large rocky stacks rise like sentinels from the mist. Shrouded in beauty and wonder, the expansive coastline of Olympic National Park sets a dramatic stage for the convergence of several unique ecosystems. Pristine, glacier-capped mountains painted in lush rainforests descend swiftly into the crashing waves where land meets sea. This is where our story begins. Black-and-white photo of impressive rocky stacks rising up above an expansive coastline. Insularity, The Seacoast, and the Paleocoastal Landscapes of California's Islands Dr. Torben Rick will discuss the archeology of paleocoastal landscapes and his fieldwork investigating a 13,000 calendar year archaeological record on California’s Channel Islands. His research has investigated the impacts of people on ancient kelp forests and other marine ecosystems, the effects of human hunting on marine mammals, birds, and fishes, evidence for the introduction and movement of ancient wild and domesticated animals to offshore islands. 2020 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Each year nearly 300,000 volunteers across the National Park Service (NPS) donate more than 6.5 million hours of service, for a value of more than $185 million. Through their extraordinary work and dedication, these volunteers make an exceptional contribution to their parks and communities. We are pleased to congratulate the national recipients of the 2020 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service. Photo of Tom and Karen Hartley dressed in period clothing standing and smiling outdoors. “The Questions Are Infinite for Us” – A Mexican Scientist’s Reflections on Diversity in Nature and Science Questions of diversity are always interesting and important. As a community ecologist, Magda Argueta-Guzmán studies the diversity of plants, bees, and microbes in Channel Islands National Park. She’s working as well to understand and increase the diversity of people who become ecologists. A woman in a hat stands next to a pickup truck with an insect net Series: Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) Newsletters From 2009 to 2015, the Pacific Ocean Education Team published a series of short newsletters about the health of the ocean at various National Park Service sites in and around the Pacific Ocean. Topics covered included the 2010 tsunami, marine debris, sea star wasting disease, ocean acidification, and more. Ocean waves wash in from the right onto a forested and rocky shoreline. POET Newsletter February 2014 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from February 2014. Articles include: A Beacon of Light for the Channel Islands; A Challenging Place; Isolation within Isolation; Destruction Island Lighthouse A black and white historic photo of the Destruction Island lighthouse tower on a bluff top. POET Newsletter Summer 2010 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from Winter 2009. Articles include: Stewardship Without Boundaries: Conserving Our Ocean Ecosystem from Baja to the Bering Sea; A Seamless Network of Parks, Sanctuaries, Refuges & Reserves; Life Entwined with the Sea: The Non-Coastal Park Connection; Take the Plunge into Ocean Stewardship; Nearshore Vertebrates in Four Hawaii Parks; and Ocean Stewardship: A Commitment to Collaboration. Sea stacks rise above ocean waves washing ashore. A wooded ridge rises in the distance. POET Newsletter Winter 2009 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from Winter 2009. Articles include: Stewardship Without Boundaries: Conserving Our Ocean Ecosystem from Baja to the Bering Sea; A Seamless Network of Parks, Sanctuaries, Refuges & Reserves; Life Entwined with the Sea: The Non-Coastal Park Connection; Engage Visitors in Ocean Park Stewardship; Inventory Map & Protect Ocean Parks; and Ocean Stewardship: A Commitment to Collaboration for Conservation. A color map indicating the depth of the Pacific Ocean floor. Darker blue represents deeper oceans. Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background The Life of a Female Northern Elephant Seal A team of researchers spent over 5 decades tracking almost 8,000 female northern elephant seals. They marked the females with tags and monitored their lives at the Año Nuevo rookery every winter breeding season and during the summer molting period. They focused on how lifetime reproductive success of females varied within the study group. Through the act of sustained observation for this group of females, our understanding of female northern elephant seals has expanded. A cartoon of an adult female elephant seal posing proudly with a red cape that billows behind her. “Why Black Abalone?”: The Duality of Black Abalone in California Black abalone are endangered marine snails. When I told people that I was making a podcast about them, I was often met with the question, “Why black abalone?” If you are curious too, you’re in the right place. I hope to elucidate why black abalone represent an interesting case study in delicate balances: between marine and terrestrial, ancient and Anthropocene, and vulnerability and resiliency in the context of roles they play in their communities and in ours. Two large, round black abalone side by side in a tidepool. Calderas Calderas are large collapse features that can be many miles in diameter. They form during especially large eruptions when the magma chamber is partially emptied, and the ground above it collapses into the momentary void. Crater Lake and Aniakchak Crater are calderas. photo of oblique aerial view of a volcanic caldera with snow and ice Series: Volcano Types Volcanoes vary in size from small cinder cones that stand only a few hundred feet tall to the most massive mountains on earth. photo of a volcanic mountain with snow and ice

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