"Inland Brown Bear" by NPS Photo /W. Hill , public domain
National Park & Preserve - Alaska
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is in Port Alsworth, Alaska. The park includes many streams and lakes vital to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, including its namesake Lake Clark. A wide variety of recreational activities may be pursued in the park and preserve year-round. Located about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Anchorage, the park includes a variety of features not found together in any of the other Alaska Parks: the junction of three mountain ranges, a coastline with rainforests along the Cook Inlet, a plateau with alpine tundra on the west, glaciers, glacial lakes, major salmon-bearing rivers, and two volcanoes, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna. Redoubt is active, erupting in 1989 and 2009.
Lake Clark - Visitor Map
Official visitor map of Lake Clark National Park & Preserve (NP & PRES) in Alaska. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
https://www.nps.gov/lacl/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Clark_National_Park_and_Preserve Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is in Port Alsworth, Alaska. The park includes many streams and lakes vital to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, including its namesake Lake Clark. A wide variety of recreational activities may be pursued in the park and preserve year-round. Located about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Anchorage, the park includes a variety of features not found together in any of the other Alaska Parks: the junction of three mountain ranges, a coastline with rainforests along the Cook Inlet, a plateau with alpine tundra on the west, glaciers, glacial lakes, major salmon-bearing rivers, and two volcanoes, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna. Redoubt is active, erupting in 1989 and 2009. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a land of stunning beauty. Volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes. Here, too, local people and culture still depend on the land and water. Venture into the park to become part of the wilderness. Lake Clark is located on the Alaska Peninsula southwest of Anchorage and north of Katmai National Park. It is not on the road system; therefore, in order to get here you must travel either via plane or by boat. A one to two-hour flight from Anchorage, Kenai, or Homer will provide access to most points within Lake Clark. Fixed-wing aircraft are allowed to land on all suitable lakes, rivers, beaches, gravel bars, and open ground in both the park and preserve unless the area is closed or otherwise restricted. Port Alsworth Visitor Center 2021 Phased Reopening: Please bring your mask to enjoy the outdoor visitor center and exhibits this year. There are no public restrooms. Visitors can find a wealth of park information including local hiking trail details and a self-service bear resistant container checkout station open 24/7. On weekdays, the Bristol Bay Double-Ender "boat barn" will be open and visitors are free to explore the other outdoor exhibits including the Wassilie Trefon Dena'ina Fish Cache and Denison Sawmill Exhibit anytime. The visitor center is located midway up the easternmost runway in Port Alsworth, AK. NPS Priest Rock Public Use Cabin The Priest Rock Cabin sits on the north shore of Lake Clark, approximately eight miles north of Port Alsworth. The cabin is perched above a small creek that runs into the lake. It commands a sublime view of Lake Clark's upper reaches, backed by mountains rising to 6,000 feet. It's an ideal place for kayaking, boating, fishing and wildlife viewing. Lake Clark Photo of blue sky with fluffy white clouds reflect in calm lake with mountains in the background. The park's namesake lake is the largest lake by volume in the National Park Service. Tanalian Falls Waterfall surrounded by forest in fall foiliage and mountains in the background. The park protects thousands of waterfalls including Tanalian Falls, which is a popular day hike destination from the town of Port Alsworth. Redoubt Volcano Photo of a stratovolcano flanked with glaciers towering over a river valley. Lake Clark is a land of fire and ice. Active volcanism and retreating glaciers created and continue to shape the peaks, moraines, and river systems in the Chigmit and Neacola Mountains. Tanaina Glacier photo of large alpine glacier Perenial snow and glacial ice covers ~1,250 square miles, or 20% of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Two cubs playing at Silver Salmon Creek two brown bear cubs playing in the sedges Bear viewing is a popular activity along the Cook Inlet Coast. Boreal Forest Forest of spruce trees blanketed in snow and fog. Boreal forests encircle the earth's northern latitudes like an emerald necklace. Lake Clark's forest, which covers more than 440 thousand acres or 11% of the park, is dominated by white spruce mixed with black spruce and birch. Telaquana Lake A colorful sky, an island with spruce trees, and mountains in the background reflect in a calm lake A number of glacier fed lakes pepper the western boundary of the Chigmit and Neacola mountains like a string of spectacular turquoise gems. West Glacier Creek Photo of a river delta flowing into tidal flats surrounded by green salt marshes and mountains. Estuaries where rivers meet the sea provide a mosaic of rich habitats along the Cook Inlet Coast that support high numbers of bears and other wildlife. Richard L. Proenneke National Historic Site Photo of a one story log cabin, cache, forest, and American flag reflecting in a calm, blue lake. The park protects and interprets the Richard L. Proenneke National Historic Site and trail complex as a symbol of the national wilderness movement and a source of inspiration and solace sought out by visitors from throughout the world. Lake Trout Grow Faster as Spring gets Warmer Read the abstract and get the link to an article that describes lake trout growth in warming high-latitude lakes: von Biela, V. R., B. A. Black, D. B. Young, P. van der Sleen, K. K. Bartz, and C. E. Zimmerman. 2020. Lake trout growth is sensitive to spring temperature in southwest Alaska lakes. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. A fish otolith with growth rings marked. Snowshoe Hare Snowshoe hares live in the boreal forests of North America and are active year-round. They gain their curious name from their very large hind feet form a snowshoe, supporting their weight on the surface of the snow. Hares greatly influence the world around them, including the vegetation, predators, and other herbivores and omnivores that live in the same habitats. a white colored hare under a shrub in snow Kennedy-Rasmussen Site Explore the history of air transportation in the Lake Clark region and learn more about a site built to accommodate early air travel and tourism in Alaska. Historic black and white image of a dirt path leading towards a log cabin. Backpacking in Alaska Alaska is large and remote. Along with this remote character comes a need for increased preparation and orientation when hiking or backpacking. One must be self-sufficient. Much of Alaska hiking is not on trails. This article will provide some backcountry pro-tips from park rangers to help you get acquainted with what makes Alaska unique before you plan your trip. Image of a backpacker crossing a stream. Traditional Meanings of Dena’ina Tinitun (Trails) Learn more about Dena’ina cultural Uses and meanings of trails, “tinitun.” While on the surface, trails appear to be solely utilitarian, in truth, the cultural meaning of trails - tinitun - is deep and multilayered in inland Dena’ina tradition. River at sunset with mountains in background. Examining Artifacts Found on the Landscape What evidence do archeologists use to study the past? Consider why is it helpful to conduct archeological surveys and what we can learn from the evidence that is found on the landscape. Each artifact we find and study hints at another side of the story of those who lived before us. Image of peach colored stone, a micro-blade core made out of chert. Projectile Point: Why Archeologists Value Context In an ideal world, all artifacts would be found in context, allowing us to know a more complete a story about the people who made them and their lives. Sometimes, however, we just have just the artifact. Even if we don’t have context, archeologists can still learn how to read the artifact—what message can an object itself tell us about the past? Image of dark stone artifact, projectile point, with ruler at bottom. November 1968 at Twin Lakes On November 28th, 1968, Dick Proenneke spent his first Thanksgiving in his new cabin at Upper Twin Lake. Proenneke took the time to notice and enjoy life's simple pleasures, explore a frosty November day through his vivid descriptions. Scanned image of journal entry. Lichen Biodiversity Read the abstract and get the link to an article published in Mycosphere: McCune B, ... Walton J. 2018. Biodiversity and ecology of lichens of Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks and Preserves, Alaska. Mycosphere 9(4):859–930, Doi 10.5943/mycosphere/9/4/10 A box of different lichens. Belemnites of Southcentral Alaska Read the abstract and get the link to the article published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology: Dzyuba, O. S., C. D. Schraer, C. P. Hults, R. B. Blodgett, and D. J. Schraer. 2018. Early Bajocian belemnites of Southcentral Alaska: new data and new perspectives on mid-Middle Jurassic Megateuthididae and Belemnopseidae biogeography. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2018.1486335 Spatial Correlation of Archeaological Sites and Subsistence Resources in the Gulf of Alaska Discover how a GIS-based analysis of nearly 2,000 coastal archaeology sites demonstrates the strong correlation between seasonally-available marine food and human settlement around the Gulf of Alaska. map of southwest alaska Southwest Alaska Network Lichen Inventory Southwest Alaska Network Lichen Inventory Bald Eagle Nest Dynamics 2018 Resource brief on Bald Eagle nest dynamics in southwest Alaska, specifically in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. bald eagle in a tree Subsistence The study of subsistence resources in parks has been a mix of long-term work and projects instigated by issues facing the Federal Subsistence Board. Winter hunting is an important subsistence activity in many Alaska communities and park areas. A Dena'ina Perspective: Respecting Ełnena (Land) The legacy of unseen footprints of the Dena’ina people has sustained the place now called Lake Clark Wilderness for centuries. people standing on a snow-covered, frozen lake near a spruce forest Science in Wilderness Marine Reserves ANILCA establishes the largest scientific laboratory...ever! A spawning salmon struggles to get back into the water. Wayfinding at Telaquana Corridor Within the Telaquana Corridor, wayfinding has allowed travelers to traverse unfamiliar terrain without the use of a physical map. Inland Dena'ina navigated the area by using a system of place names given to nature features, which were incorporated into songs and stories. The features and their names are important in preserving the cultural traditions of the landscape. Steep mountain sides rise out of the green river valley, stretching up a deep canyon. Exakta VX llb Camera During his time at Twin Lakes, Richard Proenneke had this Exakta VX llb. Proenneke loved to take moving images and still photos of scenery and the wildlife around him. Explore more about Proenneke's work in documenting the wilderness, and the camera that came along with him on the journey. Image of an Exakta VX llb camera. Tracking Wolf Movements to Estimate Denning Date Read the abstract and get the link to a peer-reviewed article from the Wildlife Society Bulletin: Walsh, P. B., S. A. Sethi, B. C. Lake, B. A. Mangipane, R. Nielson, and S. Lowe. 2016. Estimating denning date of wolves with daily movement and GPS location fix failure. Wildlife Society Bulletin 40(4):663-668. Aerial view of a wolf pack with four young wolves. Bald Eagle Nesting Dynamics Read the abstract and link to a paper recently published in Ecology and Evolution: Wilson, T., J. Schmidt, B. Mangipane, R. Kolstrom, and K. Bartz. 2018. Nest use dynamics of an undisturbed population of bald eagles in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4259. A Bald Eagle flies to the nest with a fish. Story of a Photo: A Grateful Heart Read how this historic photo demonstrates the abundance from the land and Dena’ina values revolving around gratitude. Gain a deeper insight into the historic photo of Katie Trefon Hill Wilson and her mother, Mary Ann Trefon, at the mouth of Walker’s Slough, Chulitna River, circa 1927. Historic photo of woman and child in front of tent with fish and furs in background. Bald Eagle Monitoring in Alaska Southwest Alaska's Inventory and Monitoring Network continues to improve bald eagle nest monitoring in NPS lands along the northern Gulf of Alaska. bald eagle flying with fish In Celebration of ANILCA Former President, Jimmy Carter, offers a sentimental introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition of Alaska Park Science and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Black and white photo of six white men standing in front of an old National Park Service Building. A History of Science in Alaska's National Parks National park units in Alaska precede the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. The first park unit, Sitka National Monument, was conceived in 1908, and by the mid-1920s four national monuments along with Alaska’s first national park were part of the growing park system. Discover how the early 1900s and observations of a few helped to establish the National Park Service in Alaska. Black and white photo of Arno Cammerer sitting at his desk looking through papers. Old is Getting Older In the last 25 years, persistent archaeological survey and improved scientific techniques have resulted in new data which confirms that Alaska sites are actually much earlier than we once believed. NPS archaeologist works at Amakomanak site in Noatak National Preserve. An Overview of the Changing Tides Research Project Southwest Alaska’s coastal brown bears are the largest of their kind in the world, deriving much of their bulk from the abundant salmon resources that pulse into the rivers from the sea each summer. Bears also use intertidal resources such as clams and mussels. Along the shores of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and Katmai National Park and Preserve, bears spend hours in the mudflats digging, chomping, slurping, and digging again. a brown bear pawing at a clam on a beach An Increase in Fires for Lake Clark In 2019, extreme fire weather indices and record setting temperatures created significant impacts throughout Alaska. Many regions in the state saw numerous fires some of which were long duration fires, structure loss and hazardous smoke conditions. With an estimated population of over 735,000, very few of Alaska’s residents weren’t impacted in some way by this year’s fire season. A wildfire burns through thick timber in southwest Alaska. Black-Capped Chickadee Black-capped chickadees and boreal chickadees are tiny but tough songbirds that are year-round residents in many parts of Alaska. "Two in the Far North" Two in the Far North,” is a biographical novel written by the “Grandmother of the Conservation Movement” Margaret Murie. It’s a story of Margaret’s adventures in more northern parts of Alaska. So why is it in Lake Clark’s museum collection? Because this particular copy of the book was given to Dick Proenneke by Murie herself. Image of book cover reading The Model Boat "Maizie B" This two foot long, intricately detailed model boat was built by Dr. Elmer Bly while he was living on the shores of Lake Clark in the late 1940s. Explore why he named the boat "Maizie B." and about his time in the region. Image of a wooden model boat painted red and white. Using Dena'ina Birch Baskets to Fight Fire Birch bark baskets have a long history in Dena'ina culture, and when a forest fire was raging near Port Alsworth in the early 1950's, these baskets helped save the day. A Dena'ina birch bark basket Land Ownership in National Park System Units in Alaska and Possibilities for Mining and Other Developments There are over 54 million acres of National Park System units in Alaska, which is 65 percent of the entire National Park System. Although most of those lands are in federal ownership and are managed by the NPS, there are over two million acres of non-federally owned lands within those units. These non-federal lands are in private, state, borough, or municipal ownership. The existence of these lands creates the possibility of mining and other developments within the boundaries rustic buildings near a creek, hills and mountains in the distance Changing Tides: April 2016 Recap The Changing Tides project is a three-year study examining the link between the marine and terrestrial environments, specifically between coastal brown bears, clams and mussels, and people. It is a cooperative project of the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Sealife Center, and Washington State University. Preliminary data from the summer of 2015 creates more questions to study. A researcher looking through a scope on the beach. Tree Rings Reveal Drought Stress Read the abstract and get the link to the article published in Ecological Applications: Csank, A. Z., A. E. Miller, R. L. Sherriff, E. E. Berg, and J. M. Welker. 2016. Tree-ring isotopes reveal drought sensitivity in trees killed by spruce beetle outbreaks in southcentral Alaska. Ecological Applications 26:2001-2020. A researcher bores a core from a tree. Bristol Bay Canneries The Yup’ik, Alutiiq, and Dena’ina subsisted off the salmon runs in this area for 9,000 years. Bristol Bay had a high concentration of canneries due to this high volume of salmon. The Arctic Packing Company constructed the first saltery in Bristol Bay at Kahulik in 1883, and the competitive market created a culture than altered the region forever. Native Alaskan populations were exposed to disease, and overfishing threatened subsistence lifestyles of Dena’ina people upstream. Black and white photo: Boats move between chunks of ice floating on the water's surface Volcanic Hazards in Alaska’s National Parks There are over 100 volcanoes in Alaska, 54 of which are considered historically active, and 14 are found in Alaska national parks, preserves, and monuments. The Alaska Volcano Observatory monitors and conducts research on volcanoes in Alaska in order to better understand volcanic processes and determine the likelihood of future volcanic hazards, with a primary goal of informing the public about volcanic hazards and impending volcanic activity. Alaska Park Science 18(1), 2019. A snow covered volcanic peak. Safe River Crossings Alaska's rivers are often remote, large, swift, and cold. Learn more about how to assess and safely cross rivers in wilderness. 3 backpackers cross a river Aurora Borealis: A Brief Overview A brief overview of how Northern Lights occur. two ribbons of greenish light in a dark blue sky, over a very dark forest K’ezdlagh: Nondalton Ecological Knowledge of Freshwater Fish The village of Nondalton lies along the shores of Sixmile Lake, which flows out of the southwest tip of Lake Clark in Southcentral Alaska. Most residents of Nondalton are Dena'ina Athabascans and they depend on the vital subsistence fish resources found in the area. A black and white image of subsistence drying rack. A solitary bird sits perched atop a log. 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 Practice Safe Bear Spray Use Proper behavior in bear country and understanding bear behavior can help to avoid dangerous situations for people and bears. Bear spray should be used as a last line of defense when dealing with bears- not immediately upon seeing one. This introduction will help cover bear behaviors as well as safe use of bear pepper spray. A black bear stands on a wooden bench. Small Mammals as Indicators of Climate, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Change This is a time of rapid environmental changes in Alaska. Species that have evolved within tundra habitats over multiple glacial cycles are not only best adapted to high-latitude and high-elevation environments, but may also respond more slowly to change. Studies of small mammal communities could provide valuable insights to larger ecosystem changes. two marmots perched atop a large boulder NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, Alaska 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] braided river POET Newsletter March 2013 Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from March 2013. Articles include: The Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Summary; Restoring "Plastic Beach" Back to Kamilo Point; Coming to a Beach Near You; and An Unexpected Visitor. dock on beach 2019 Science Education Grants The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2019 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. a park ranger and kids standing in shallow lake water Handmade Wilderness Sign The wilderness in the Twin Lakes area greatly shaped Richard Proenneke's wilderness ethics. On a handmade sign posted in his cabin Proenneke wrote, "Is it proper that the wilderness and its creatures should suffer because we came?" Does the belief he expresses in this sign resonate with you, too? Image of a handmade sign mounted on a wooden back. A Hidden Message While removing stones from a fireplace during the restoration process of a historic building, park maintenance staff discovered a small tobacco tin. Inside of that tin was a note, which had been handwritten 30 years before. Explore the story behind this hidden note. Image of a note, written in blue ink. Growing Season Dynamics 2018 Resource brief of how growing season dynamics are changing in southwest Alaska. Two bear cubs play in a coastal meadow. A 4,000 Year Old Hearth on Lake Clark At a place local Dena’ina elders have named Dazq’en, or “A Fire is Burning," archaeology has uncovered a 4,000 year old hearth and one of the oldest dated sites on Lake Clark. A hearth in an archaeological site The Importance of Beads at Kijik Glass beads, like those found at Kijik National Historic Landmark, known in Dena'ina as 'Qizhjeh', can tell us a great deal about an archaeological site and its occupants. A light blue glass bead Dena'ina Athabascan Snowshoes The crafting of snowshoes from birch trees is for the Dena'ina not only necessary for survival during the winter months, but is also a time-honored art. Dena'ina Athabascan snowshoes Traditional Dena'ina Use of Snares Snares traditionally have served an important purpose for the Dena'ina, trapping birds and ground squirrels for food. Traditional Dena'ina snares Bat Projects in Parks: Alaska Region Parks Bats in Alaska? Find out! A scenic view of Alaska, mountains in the distance and a grizzly in front of a lake in the front. Bear Identification There are a combination of characteristics to look for that can help you identify between black and brown bears. Knowing the difference between the two can help you make safe choices in bear country. Brown bear walking down a beach Fire Ecology 2018 Annual Report Summary, Monitoring & Inventory During the 2018 field season, the NPS Alaska fire ecology program conducted monitoring in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. This article provides a brief summary about the Yukon-Charley Rivers results, research projects, and fire ecology program activities. Lichens growing toward the sun years after a wildfire. History Preserved in Ice and Snow Have you considered how ice and snow can help preserve artifacts? Researchers have conducted an archaeological survey of perennial snow and ice patches in the high elevation areas of Lake Clark, which has uncovered extremely rare and exceptionally well-preserved organic artifacts. Image of hand holding a barbed projectile point made of antler. Crystal Clear: Baseline Water Quality Data for the Chulitna River The lower 158 square miles of the river basin are within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. In the upper 391 square miles of the basin, there are nearly 1,700 mining claims. arial view of streams criss-crossing the landscape National Park Getaway: Lake Clark National Park & Preserve Solitude is found around every bend in the river and shoulder of a mountain. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve extends from the saltwater shores of Cook Inlet, through the craggy Chigmit and Neacola Mountains, includes the steaming Redoubt and Iliamna volcanoes, and crosses through alpine tundra studded with shimmering turquoise lakes and braided glacial rivers. Shhh… this is 4 million acres of wonder! Cabin by a lake in front of a mountain 2018 Science Education Grants The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic. Read about the 2018 Science Education Grant recipients and their outreach projects. an instructor and a camper work on a carving Water Quality Practitioner's Guide Read the abstract and find the link to the article published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: Sergeant, C. J., E. N. Starkey, K. K. Bartz, M. H. Wilson, and F. J. Mueter. 2016. A practitioner’s guide for exploring water quality patterns using Principal Components Analysis and Procrustes. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188(4):1-15. Researchers collecting water quality data. Wildland Fire: After a Fire, A Different Forest, Lake Clark During the dry summer of 2013, lightning ignited the Currant Creek fire 15 miles northeast of Port Alsworth in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. One year later, National Park Service Alaska regional wildland fire ecologists and crew visited the 1,900-acre burned area to determine the fire effects on vegetation and soils. The crew wanted to understand how burn severity influences vegetation patterns and many other ecological factors after a fire. Two men and one woman, all in hardhats, stand in a burned area. Catch and Release Fishing Sport fishing is a popular activity in national park sites throughout the country. Proper catch and release fishing methods increase the chances of survival for the fish you choose not to keep. Photo of a man fishing in a lake surrounded by forests and tall, rocky mountains. Culturally Modified Trees in the Dena'ina Cultural Landscape Read the abstract and link to a recent article in Human Ecology on the significance of culturally modified trees: Deur, D., K. Evanoff, and J. Hebert. 2020. “Their markers as they go”: Modified trees as waypoints in the Dena’ina cultural landscape, Alaska. Human Ecology 48: 317-333. A topped conifer tree at an overlook. Water Quality in Southwest Alaska 2020 Resource brief on water quality monitoring conducted by the Southwest Alaska Network. Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves were created, in part, to protect high-quality habitat for salmon. Cold water is a key habitat requirement, but exactly how cold depends on the salmon species, population, and life stage. A researcher collects water quality data. Southwest Alaska Salt Marshes 2020 Resource brief on monitoring salt marshes in southwest Alaska. Coastal marsh habitats are heavily used by wildlife, migratory birds, and park visitors. They provide valuable ecosystem services, among them critical habitat for brown bears and migratory birds. These marshes are dynamic systems, sensitive to many influences, including warming temperatures, storms, tectonic uplift, development-related activities, and increased visitation. Researchers collect vegetation data in a salt marsh on the Katmai coast. Water Quantity Monitoring in Southwest Alaska 2020 Resource brief on water quantity monitoring at Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves conducted by the Southwest Alaska Network. Hydrology and geology are the two principle drivers that dictate the structure and function of all aquatic systems. In the broadest sense, hydrology encompasses the distribution and movement of water and its interactions with the surrounding environment, whether in the ground, on the landscape, or in the atmosphere. A researcher collects water quantity data. Lake Ice Monitoring 2020 Resource brief on lake ice monitoring (seasonal processes). Lake ice cover is a key component of Alaska ecosystems because it influences the physical processes, chemical processes, and biological productivity of the region’s lakes and the wellbeing of communities that depend on them. Global climate models indicate the climate is warming more rapidly at higher latitudes than it is closer to the equator. Ice just starting to form on a lake, surrounded by snowymountains. Monitoring Razor Clams as an Indicator of Nearshore Ecosystem Health Read the abstract and get the link to a recently published article on how razor clams may be used as indicators of nearshore ecosystem health: Bowen, L., K. L.Counihan, B. Ballachey, H. A. Coletti, T. Hollmen, B. Pister, and T. L. Wilson. 2020. Monitoring nearshore ecosystem health using Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula) as an indicator species. PeerJ 8:e8761. A bear eats a razor clam at the waters edge. Larger Brown Bear Sows are More Successful in Rearing Cubs Read the abstract and get the link to a new article looking at Alaska brown bear cub recruitment across four populations: Hilderbrand, G. V., D. D. Gustine, K. Joly, B. Mangipane, W. Leacock, M. D. Cameron, M. S. Sorum, L. S. Mangipane, and J. A. Erlenbach. 2019. Influence of maternal body size, condition, and age on recruitment of four brown bear populations. Ursus 29(2): 111-118. A brown bear sow and four cubs. Salmon Monitoring in Southwest Alaska 2020 Resource brief of salmon monitoring in Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves conducted by the Southwest Alaska Network. Sockeye salmon are an important cultural, economic, and ecological resource in Alaska, particularly in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska. Each year, up to 60 million sockeye salmon migrate back to Bristol Bay to spawn and 60-75% of these returning adults are harvested by commercial fisheries. Spawning salmon in turquoise water. Subsistence: Hunting and Trapping Hunting and trapping are important aspects of Dena'ina culture. Discover more from local residents the meaning of these subsistence events. a white tent in a forest covered by snow, fog is in the background Collared Pika Collared pikas are small mammals within the same order as rabbits and hares, and they resemble small rabbits with very short ears and small limbs. Adapted to thrive at high elevations in Alaska, their habitat is at risk -- climate change may drastically change the fragile environment in which they live. tiny gray rabbit-like creature sitting on a rock Arctic Ground Squirrel The largest of the North American ground squirrels, arctic ground squirrels are burrowing rodents that resemble prairie dogs, with small ears, a flat tail, and a white-spotted back. They are very common throughout much of Denali and live mainly in the alpine tundra. two ground squirrels Drivers of Mercury in Top-predator Lake Fish from Southwest Alaska Parklands Some resident lake fish sampled from southwest Alaska parks have elevated concentrations of mercury (mostly methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin and endocrine disrupter). Why do these fish —that inhabit some of the most remote and supposedly pristine waters in North America—have such elevated mercury levels? Answering this question requires an understanding of mercury cycling, or the processes by which mercury moves through the environment. Alaska Park Science 19(1):2020. Lake trout in a net underwater. Weather and Climate in Southwest Alaska 2020 Resource brief on weather and climate in southwest Alaska parks. Weather and climate are key physical drivers of ecosystem structure and function. Global climate models indicate that climate change and variability is occurring more rapidly and amplified at higher latitudes. A weather station in Kenai Fjords National Park. Freshwater Contaminants in Southwest Alaska Parks 2020 Resource brief on freshwater contaminant monitoring in Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves conducted by the Southwest Alaska Network. Mercury is a toxic element with no known essential biological function. It occurs naturally as a solid in various minerals and as a gas in volcanic eruptions. In fish, methylmercury both bioaccumulates and biomagnifies, meaning it increases over time within an individual and it increases up the food chain across individuals. Lake trout in a net. Hoary Marmot Hoary marmots are large rodents that live mainly in alpine areas. Their loud, clear warning calls are a common sound in mountainous regions. closeup of a marmot baby Magnetic Detection of Archaeological Hearths in Alaska Read the abstract and link to a recent article on archaeological research using magnetic detection of hearths: Urban, Thomas M., Jeffrey T. Rasic, Claire Alix, Douglas D. Anderson, Linda Chisholm, Robert W. Jacob, Sturt W. Manning, Owen K.Mason, Andrew H. Tremayne, Dale Vinson (2019). Magnetic detection of archaeological hearths in Alaska: A tool for investigating the full span of human presence at the gateway to North America. Quaternary Science Reviews 211: 73-92. An archaeologist searches for hearths using a magetometer Improving Mussel Monitoring Read the abstract and get a link to a peer-reviewed published article on using mussel gene transcription and physiological assays to monitor nearshore environmental conditions: Counihan, K., L. Bowen, B. Ballachey, H. Coletti, T. Hollmen, B. Pister, and T. L. Wilson. 2019. Physiological and gene transcription assays to assess responses of mussels to environmental changes. PeerJ 7:e7800 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7800 A researcher holds mussels from a nearshore monitoring plot. Harmful Algal Toxins in Alaska's Seabirds and Marine Mammals Seabirds and marine mammals along Alaska's coastline have been experiencing unusually large and consistent die-offs for the past several years, in conjunction with warming ocean temperatures. Researchers want to know if harmful algal blooms, typically associated with warmer climates, are playing a role in these deaths. A researcher examines a dead glaucus gull on a beach. Southwest Alaska Lichen Inventory 2020 Resource brief on the lichen inventory conducted by the Southwest Alaska Network in Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves and in Kenai Fjords National Park. Over 700 previously undocumented lichen taxa are now recognized across southwestern Alaska parks, representing the largest survey of its kind in the region, as well as one of the largest and most comprehensive lichen inventories in Alaska. Researchers examining lichens in the field. Insect Outbreaks in Southwest Alaska 2020 Resource brief on insect outbreaks in Southwest Alaska. Over the last quarter century, the spruce beetle and a suite of other insect pests have caused extensive damage in the forests of southcentral Alaska. Long-term forest monitoring and tree-ring studies are helping us to better understand the timing, frequency, and ecological effects of these outbreaks. Spruce aphids on spruce needles. Visitor Use 2021 Resource Brief of visitor use at Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves. Understanding visitor use patterns across the parks and over time allows park managers to assess where rangers and staff need to be stationed and where impacts to resources (such as trampling) may need to be monitored or mitigated in the future. Visitors watching bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and Preserve. Refining the Analysis of Hair Samples Read the abstract and get the link to a published paper on how bear hair is used to determine diet and how the method of using hair to determine diet is refined to detect seasonal variation. Rogers, M. C., G. V. Hilderbrand, D. D. Gustine, K. Joly, W. B. Lealock, B. A. Mangipane, and J. M. Welker. 2020. Splitting hairs: Dietary niche breadth modelling using stable isotope analysis of a sequentially grown tissue. Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies. A close look at bear fur. Weather Impacts on Dall's Sheep Read the abstract and link to a recent paper in Ecosphere on Dall's sheep population impacts from weather events: Rattenbury, K. L., J. H. Schmidt, D. K. Swanson, B. L. Borg, B. A. Mangipane, and P. J. Sousanes. 2018. Delayed spring onset drives declines in abundance and recruitment in a mountain ungulate. Ecosphere 9(11):e02513. 10.1002/ecs2.2513 Dalls sheep lambs and ewes on a rock cliff. Looking Back—A Heady Time for National Park Service Science in Alaska Spurred by Alaska gaining statehood and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), the 1970s saw a spurt of scientific activity that gave experienced Alaska investigators additional access to remote field study sites and introduced investigators new to Alaska to exciting and challenging opportunities for conducting field study in remote places. mist on forested mountains Research Project: Brown Bear Tracking Although remote, the Alaska Peninsula is still vulnerable to natural and human-caused disturbances. These disturbances could affect the amount of food available for brown bears. As part of a larger project looking at the nearshore environment of the peninsula, biologists will outfit 12 bears with GPS collars, to track their movements between different habitats, and conduct direct observations on these bears to collect data on their foraging behavior. bear and cub digging in mud Assessing and Mitigating the Cumulative Effects of Installations in Wilderness Many scientific studies rely on instrumentation to provide valuable information about wilderness resources. However, scientists must be vigilant about preserving the undeveloped quality and wilderness character as a whole. Over time, any effort that succeeds in reducing the incremental effects of a new activity or installation will also reduce cumulative effects. helicopter landing on a rocky island with a lighthouse Charles L. McKay, a Smithsonian Biologist at Nushagak, Alaska, 1881-1883 Charles McKay, the first scientist to live and study in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, collected a wide array of natural and cultural specimens and artifacts before his untimely death while kayaking across Nushagak Bay. black and white portrait photo of a man Changing Tides: Intertidal Invertebrates, Bears, and People Clams and other intertidal invertebrates are important early season forage for coastal brown bears along the Alaska Peninsula. A 2015 study will expand on this knowledge through a variety of projects. Working with park partners, park researchers will evaluate the impacts of changing ocean conditions on intertidal communities, gaining valuable insight for long-term preservation of this dynamic nearshore connection. bear and cub Changing Tides: Bear Researcher Videos Check out videos documenting parts of the Changing Tides research project! large brown bear and a cub digging in sand near a gull A Decade of Bald Eagle Surveys in Southwest Alaska Parks 2020 Resource brief on ten years of monitoring data for bald eagles in southwest Alaska parks and the use of the Delphi technique to evaluate monitoring methods going forward. A mature bald eagle perched on a log on the beach. 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 Alaska brown bears exposure to bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens Read the abstract and get the link to a new article on pathogens found in Alaska brown bears published in the Journal of Wildlife Disease: Ramey, A. M., C. A. Cleveland, G. V. Hilderbrand, K. Joly, D. D. Gustine, B. Mangipane, W. B. Leacock, A. P. Crupi, D. E. Hill, J. P. Dubey, and M. J. Yabsley. In press. Exposure of Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos) to bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents varies spatiotemporally and may be influenced by age. A bear perched on a rock outcrop Alaska Aviation Safety In Alaska, small planes are often the best way to get around but flying has its risks. Aviation safety requires more than just a pilot’s skill–it takes all of us. Learn more about aviation to increase the safety of your next park flight. An NPS pilot in a plane cockpit flying over a turquoise lake West Cook Inlet Coastal Archeology Learn about Lake Clark National Park's coastal archeology. West Cook Inlet Geology Learn about the geologic history and features that make up Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Wolf denning dates stay constant as the climate warms Read the abstract and get the link to an article that looks at wolf denning timing related to the onset of spring and the effects of seasonal weather on den success: Mahoney, P. J. K. Joly, B. L. Borg, M. S. Sorum, T. A. Rinaldi, … B. Mangipane, et al. 2020. Denning phenology and reproductive success of wolves in response to climate signals. Environmental Research Letters 15(12): 125001. An adult wolf with pups. West Cook Inlet Bear Ecology The salt marsh meadows of Cook Inlet’s coast offer an amazing opportunity to experience the natural world of coastal bears unfold. Two brown bears playing in water. Showy Flowers of the Cook Inlet Coast Learn about showy flowers of Cook Inlet Coast. Checklist: Common Sedges, Showy Flowers, and Other Plants of Cook Inlet This list consists of plants commonly found in the Silver Salmon Creek and Chinitna Bay areas. Close up of pink flowers with five petals. Sedges and Grasses of the Cook Inlet Coast Learn about the sedges and grasses of the Cook Inlet Coast. West Cook Inlet Ecology Learn about Lake Clark National Park's coastal ecology. Lake Temperature Trends Water temperatures are warming in southwest Alaska lakes--at the surface and even going deeper in the water column. Learn more about water temperature trends over time. Researchers collecting water data in a mountain lake. Cook Inlet Coastal Rock Art Learn about Lake Clark's Cook Inlet coastal rock art. The 19th Amendment, Elizabeth Peratrovich, and the Ongoing Fight for Equal Rights In Alaska, women's suffrage passed in 1913—seven years prior to the 19th Amendment—and antidiscrimination legislation passed nearly 20 years prior to the major national civil rights bills of the 1960s. In the 1940s, Elizabeth Peratrovich—a Tlingit woman who was Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood—led the charge to end discrimination against Alaska Natives. gold coin of a raven, a woman's face, and words elizabeth peratrovich anti-discrimination law Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 16 Issue: Science in Alaska's Arctic Parks The National Park Service manages five parks that fall partially or entirely within the Arctic tundra biome. These five parks encompass 19.3 million acres of land and constitute approximately 25% of the land area managed by the National Park Service nationwide. These are undeveloped places, with free-flowing rivers and wilderness at a massive scale. a group of muskox running across a field Series: Changing Tides Articles Browse articles related to the Changing Tides project. This is a research study in Southwest Alaska exploring the connections between coastal brown bears, invertebrates like clams and mussels, and what influence human activities have on bear ecology. a large brown bear and cub digging in a sandy beach near a gull Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 13 Issue 2: Mineral and Energy Development There’s no denying that energy and mineral extraction have been and will continue to be important across the North for a long time. Mining and energy-related industries provide direct and indirect employment for thousands of people, taxes and other revenues. Our need is for science, engineering, and scholarly research; to develop safe, effective, and affordable technologies; to protect, preserve, and restore the natural and human environment; and to record and communicate our history. aerial view of buildings and a pier sticking out into the ocean Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 13 Issue 1: Wilderness in Alaska This issue includes: * Economics of Wilderness * Using Ethics Arguments to Preserve Naturalness * Busing Through the Wilderness: "Near-Wilderness" Experiences in Denali ... and more! mountains reflecting into a calm lake, the words 'alaska park science' Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 15 Issue 1: Coastal Research Science in Alaska's National Parks This issue focuses on studies occurring in coastal areas throughout national parks in Alaska. Articles include a variety of studies on arctic coastal lagoons, background on a large research project studying coastal brown bears, and more. a brown bear investigating a clam on a beach Series: The Legacy of ANILCA The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act impacts the National Park Service in many ways. ANILCA stipulates the designation of wilderness, subsistence management, transportation in and across parklands, use of cabins, mining, archaeological sites, scientific research studies and more. Two men drag a harvest seal from icy blue waters across frozen ice. 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: Geologic Time Periods in the Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Series: Copper River Basin Symposium - Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve February 2020: With a theme of Tradition, Science, and Stewardship, the two-day symposium included keynote speakers, 26 short presentations, and a poster session. A panel discussion delved into opportunities in working with indigenous communities. Ahtna elders provided wisdom in daily welcomes, and there was a presentation by Copper River Stewardship Youth. Topics ranged widely from fisheries to archaeology to geology. As well as sharing knowledge, participants shared meals, stories, and ideas. Copper River Basin Symposium logo by Lindsay and Elvie 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: Alaska Park Science - Volume 19, Issue 1 - Below the Surface: Fish and Our Changing Underwater World Alaska has over three million lakes, 12,000 rivers, and an estimated 6,640 miles of ocean coastline. Below the surface swim some of the world’s most abundant, healthy, all-wild fish, including salmon, halibut, and eulachon. Fish sustained Alaska Natives for millennia and continue to represent food and economic security for many people. Alaska Park Science 19(1): 2020 Red-colored salmon swim in turquoise water. 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: Alaska Park Science, Volume 18, Issue 1, Understanding and Preparing for Alaska's Geohazards Alaska is the most geologically active part of North America. Much of the awe-inspiring landscapes of Alaska's parks are created by geologic processes. But sometimes, these processes can be hazardous. This issue explores the state of the science to understand geohazards in Alaska national parks. Alaska Park Science 18(1): 2019. A man jumps down a dune of volcanic ash. Series: Canneries of Alaska Canneries were built in response to the environment. This series is a summary of some of Alaska's canneries and the landscape features that defined where and how they developed. The overall period of significance for canneries in Alaska begins in 1878, when the first two canneries opened, and ends in 1936, when salmon production peaked. While some of these canneries no longer exist, the landscapes continue to tell of the history and importance of that period in the commercial fishing industry. Warehouse-type buildings cluster on wooden piers along a shoreline, as seen from the water. Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 14 Issue 2: Birds of Alaska's National Parks This issue includes articles exploring birds throughout national parks in Alaska. Particular emphasis is on the changing ways to study birds, and the increasing importance not just on the summer homes of birds in Alaska, but the routes between their wintering and summer breeding grounds. a great horned own and two large owlets in a nest Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 14 Issue 1: Resource Management in a Changing World The following pages describe new approaches to analyzing and presenting resource data to support better informed and more transparent decision making by park managers; first-hand observations of environmental and climate change across widely separated parts of Alaska. They invite our readers to consider the effects of environmental changes, readers to consider the effects of environmental changes, both recent and future. Canoers on a river Series: Alaska Park Science - Volume 11 Issue 2: Science in Southwest Alaska In this issue: * Invasive Species Management * Salmon in a Volcanic Landscape * Archiving Bird Data * and more! cover of Alaska Park Science volume featuring a close-up image of an orange flower Jurassic Period—201.3 to 145.0 MYA Dinosaur National Monument is home to thousands of dinosaur fossils making it a true “Jurassic Park.” A vast desert covered Southwest North America in the Jurassic, and ancient sand dunes now form tall cliffs in many parks including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. dinosaur skull in rock face Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Mesozoic Era The Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66 million years ago) was the "Age of Reptiles." During the Mesozoic, Pangaea began separating into the modern continents, and the modern Rocky Mountains rose. Dinosaurs, crocodiles, and pterosaurs ruled the land and air. As climate changed and rapid plate tectonics resulted in shallow ocean basins, sea levels rose world-wide and seas expanded across the center of North America. fossil dinosaur skull in rock face Paleogene Period—66.0 to 23.0 MYA Colorful Paleogene rocks are exposed in the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park and the badlands of Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks. Extraordinary Paleogene fossils are found in Fossil Butte and John Day Fossil Beds national monuments, among other parks. fossil skull with teeth expsoed 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 Ecology of Lake Clark Student research handout about the ecology of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Written at a 5th grade reading level. River flowing through a forested landscape with mountains and cloudy skies in the background. People of Lake Clark Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is rich in human history. Explore this student research page to learn more about the human history and cultural landscapes of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Written at a 5th grade reading level. Image of five hands together with blueberries held in their palms. Fire in Ecosystems: Boreal Forest The boreal forest, also called taiga, is the largest forested habitat in the world, making up one third of the earth’s total forested area. In North America, the boreal forest spreads from Alaska, across Canada, and into the Great Lakes region of the United States. Boreal forests have burned naturally for thousands of years creating a variety of landscapes, or mosaic, with young and old trees living on the landscape. Aerial view of flaming front in coniferous trees putting off a lot of smoke. Wildlife of Lake Clark Student research handout about common wildlife found in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Written at a 5th grade reading level. Image of a moose standing in tall vegetation. Park Facts Student research handout with facts about Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Written at a 5th grade reading level. Image of a map showing land and water and shaded green boundary lines of national park. Volcanoes of Lake Clark Student research page about volcanoes located in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Written at a 5th grade reading level. A blue sky and snow covered volcano with jagged peaks and spires in the foreground. Unmanned Aerial Systems as a Tool for Natural Resource Applications The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is rapidly expanding as a tool for resource management. Employing UAS to collect data can result in more accurate mapping, decreased cost, and increased personnel safety. Applications of UAS in Alaska parks are demonstrating the benefits and defining best practices for its continued and enhanced use. Alaska Park Science 20(1), 2021 A man in orange waders operates a UAS on a rocky coast. Clues from Glacier Debris: Dating and Mapping Glacial Deposits Since the Last Ice Age in the Western Alaska Range Moraines are the footprint of past glacier positions and, if the age of the moraine is known, they can record the timing and rate of glacier change. Carefully reconstructed glacier histories are used as archives of past climate change. Cosmogenic isotope exposure dating is a new technique being used in the Revelation Mountains that could tell us about glacier and climate history of the Alaska Range. Alaska Park Science 20(1), 2021 A glacial moraine. High-definition Laser Scanning for Documenting Cultural Resources High-definition laser scanning is a recently adopted technology to collect highly accurate and detailed spatial data that can be processed into a three-dimensional digital model. It is a powerful tool to quickly and accurately document historical buildings and sites, which can facilitate conservation and restoration of these cultural resources. Alaska Park Science 20(1), 2021 A scanned image overlaid on a photo. Series: Alaska Park Science Volume 20 Issue 1 - Parks as Proving Grounds Parks in Alaska pose special challenges to researchers: they are large, remote, and less is known about them. This makes it all the more important that tools and techniques we use here are practical, effective, and impactful. While researchers often focus on sharing the findings from their work, here we shine a light on the devices and approaches used by researchers with attention to the innovation needed to work in Alaska. Alaska Park Science 20 (1), 2021 A scientist uses a probe on the top of a mountain. Bumble Bees of Alaska: A Field Guide This field guide to bumble bees will help you identify these abundant and conspicuous pollinators, which are found across most of Alaska. They are well-adapted to cold, harsh climates and live in every habitat where there are flowers offering up pollen and nectar, including forests, shrublands, tundra, wetlands, riparian areas, beaches, and gardens. a bumble bee perched on tiny pink flowers 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. 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. Volcanic Processes—Lahars Lahars are volcanic mudflows and are among the most destructive of volcanic phenomena. Lahars present significant geohazards since they can travel great distances down river valleys and impact population centers away from the immediate area of a volcano. wide river valley filled with sediment and snowy peaks in the distance Historic Wooden Hunting Bow Found in Lake Clark In late September 2021, National Park Service employees found a carved wooden hunting bow in the waters of an inland lake inside Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. The well-crafted bow measures 54 inches from tip to tip, and is in a good state of preservation. an NPS researcher inspecting a wooden bow on a table Sub-Plinian Eruptions Sub-Plinian eruptions create high eruption columns that are unsteady. Pyroclastic flows and lahars also form during these eruptions from composite volcanoes. volcanic ash eruption Vulcanian Eruptions Vulcanian eruptions are intermittent and characterized by explosive bursts that create dark eruption columns that rise to moderate heights. volcanic ash eruption Vents Volcanic vents are openings at the Earth's surface where magma and tephra erupt or volcanic gases are emitted. Vents occur in several different volcanic settings in the parks. erupting lava Using Gene Expression to Investigate Differences Between Clam Populations Read the abstract and get the link to a published article on gene expression in razor clams to discern differences between two populations in the Cook Inlet of Alaska: Coletti, H. A., L. Bowen, B. E. Ballachey, T. L. Wilson, S. Waters, M. Booz, K. L. Counihan, T. E. Hollmen, and B. Pister. 2021. Gene expression profiles in two razor clam populations: Discerning drivers of population status. Life 11(12): 1288. razor clam Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Wilderness Character Narrative The legacy of unseen footprints of the Dena’ina people has sustained the place now called Lake Clark National Park and Preserve for centuries. The Dena’ina people of the Lake Clark area believe that everything has a spirit and should be treated with respect. In consultation with the Dena’ina people, the Park recognizes that from the Dena’ina perspective. The culture evolved from this relationship with the land, cultivating the Dena’ina language, spirituality, and identity. Crescent Lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Getting to the bottom of a keystone quandary Sea otters, once hunted to near extinction in the northern Pacific Ocean, may be returning to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve’s coast. What would that mean for the ecosystem? Researchers sample razor clams on the coastline of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Fumaroles Fumaroles are common features on active volcanoes, and are an important sign that a volcano is active in that fumaroles indicate the presence of heat from volcanic sources. steam vents on the crater rim Magmatic Eruptions Magmatic eruptions include fresh lava or tephra from a magma source. Magmatic eruptions range from quiet effusions of lava to extremely explosive eruptions that can blow apart mountains and send ash clouds around the globe. volcanic eruption with glowing lava seen at night
Lake Clark National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Qizhjeh Vena Lake Clark National Park & Preserve www.nps.gov/lacl Tanalian Trails Lake Clark Hardenberg Bay Tanali an d La k River (elev. 3900’) mile s e Trail 1. 7 es ild er n d Lo op 1 .7 m s T il e Miles Na t Na iona tio l na Pres erv lP ar ka e nd W Fall s an 2.6 al ia n Bea ve rP on Tanalian Mountain an Private Drive M Private Property (trail follows easement) in ta n ou l ai r T s Junction .03 miles (elev. 650’) 0.8 m i l es to lake Brushed route (no trail) Tanalian Falls North Kontrashibuna Lake (elev.500’) See back side for directions to trailhead and detailed information. Directions to Trailhead Be Prepared From the visitor center, return to the closest airstrip. Turn right and head towards Hardenberg Bay. Pass two Visitor Center possible right hand turns. Continue to the final road to the right before Trailhead the end of the airstrip. Turn right. When the road takes a 90 degree left turn, take the trail that heads up the embankment straight in front of you. Continue straight less than 100 ft to the trailhead. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Tanalian Trails Destinations Bear Safety Airstrip Beaver Pond Bear resistant storage containers are available for your use at the Visitor Center. Beaver Pond Loop Difficulty: Moderate This forested trail offers a loop hike around an old beaver pond with views of Lake Clark and the surrounding mountains. Stay Alert Watch and listen for bears. Tanalian Falls Difficulty: Moderate This trail offers views of Lake Clark on its way to spectacular waterfalls. Safety in Numbers Larger groups have lower risk. Tanalian Falls Kontrashibuna Lake Difficulty: Moderate A half mile beyond Tanalian Falls the trail ends at Kontrashibuna Lake. Kontrashibuna Lake Tanalian Mountain Difficulty: Strenuous This trail steeply climbs the side of Tanalian Mountain offering views of Lake Clark and the surrounding mountains. Tanalian Mountain Carry food, water, and extra clothing. Dress in layers and plan for changing weather. Be Visible, Make Noise Avoid surprising a bear. Avoid Bears Give bears plenty of space. Never approach a bear. If you see a bear, do not run. Slowly leave the area. Store Food Properly Federal law requires proper food storage at all times. Additional safety information can be found in the brochure “Bear Safety in Alaska’s National Parklands” and the film “Staying Safe in Bear Country.” Both are available in the Visitor Center.
Lake Clark National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Qizhjeh Vena Lake Clark National Park & Preserve www.nps.gov/lacl Visiting the Backcountry Know Before You Go Lake Clark National Park is a wilderness park, exceptionally remote and isolated. For any wilderness trip, we caution that visitors and hikers must be knowledgeable and prepared. Adventures in the park demand self-sufficiency and advanced backcountry skills. Help, if any, may be days away. Wilderness Travel Over half of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is congressionally designated Wilderness. It is managed to retain the natural diversity, primeval character and unspoiled influence of the region. All camping is primitive; there are no facilities or designated campgrounds. Backcountry permits are not required, however there are rules and regulations governing one’s behavior in all national park areas. You should be familiar with those rules and regulations as well as Leave No Trace practices in order to minimize your impact. Backcountry Camping Burn only dead & downed wood. Be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather delaying a scheduled pick-up, maybe even by days. Carry extra food and fuel. Always leave your itinerary with a friend or relative who can notify us if you are overdue. Being prepared and knowing the rules are keys to successful backcountry travel: • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover foods and litter. • Camps may remain in one place for a maximum of 14 days at which time it must be moved a minimum of two miles • Properly dispose of human waste. Dig a hole at least six inches deep and 100 feet away from any freshwater source. Toilet paper and hygiene products should be burned or packed out as trash. • Hunting is not allowed in the park. It is allowed in the preserve with proper state licenses. Be sure you know all the related rules and regulations, land status and boundaries. • Minimize campfires. If you do make a campfire, only dead or downed wood may be used. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out fire completely, then scatter cool ashes. Chainsaw use is prohibited in the park and preserve. • Remember you are in bear country. Avoid camping in areas frequented by bears or near bear travel corridors. Consider using a portable electric fence to discourage bears from entering camp • • Leave things as you find them. You may not take antlers/horns, skulls, historical objects, artifacts, plants, rocks or fossils. Be familiar with the food storage requirements for the area you are travelling in. Pack out all trash. Bury human waste. Lake Clark is a trailless wilderness and you can go where you like. There are no maintained trails, except for the short trail to Tanalian Falls from Port Alsworth. The Telaquana Trail, which appears on some maps, is in fact only a route. Remember you’re in BEAR COUNTRY Both black and brown bears live in the Lake Clark region. It is very important to be “bear aware” while travelling in the backcountry. • Stay Constantly Alert Use your ears, eyes, and even your nose to detect the presence of a bear. The sooner you are aware of the bear, the more time you both will have to react appropriately. • Be Visible, Make Noise A surprise encounter with a bear is dangerous and can be terrifying. However, you can reduce the potential for such encounters. Avoid surprises by traveling in open areas with good visibility. Make noise as you walk, particularly in thick brush, or when round a blind corner— talk, clap, and sing. Be extra alert in windy conditions or near noisy streams or beaches that may mask your sounds. When possible, travel with the the wind at your back. There are many publications available to provide more information about safety in bear country, please contact the park staff for assistance. Food Storage Requirements In designated areas of the park, including within 1/2 mile of the coast line of Cook Inlet, within 1/2 mile of the shore line of Kontrashibuna Lake, Tazimina Lake, Telaquana Lake, Turquoise Lake, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, and Crescent Lake, you are required to store all food and beverages, food and beverage containers, garbage and harvested fish in a bear resistant container (BRC) or secured-• within a hard sided building or lockable and hard sided section of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft; OR The park offers bear resistant containers for temporary use to the public. The containers are free and can be picked up at the visitor center in Port Alsworth. Sport Fishing • by caching a minimum of 100 feet from camp, suspended at least 10 ft. above the ground and 4 ft. horizontally from a tree trunk or other object on a line or branch that will not support a bear’s weight. Some of the most pristine fishery resources and finest opportunities for sport fishing exist at Lake Clark. Anglers can fish for arctic grayling, lake trout, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and several spec
Mer r i l lPas sLow Webc am Mer r i l lPas sHi gh Webc am St oneyWeat herSt at i on LakeCl ar kPas sRCO Webc am LakeCl ar kPas sEas t Webc am Sni peLake Weat herSt at i on LakeCl ar kPas sWes t Webc am Chi gmi tMt ns Weat herSt at i on Por tAl s wor t h Weat herSt at i on Nondal t on Webc am Si l verSal monLakesWeat herSt at i on Hi c ker s onLake Weat herSt at i on *Webcam &WeatherStati onl ocati onsareapproxi mate
Lake Clark National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Qizhjeh Vena Lake Clark National Park & Preserve www.nps.gov/lacl Photo by NPS/ J. Mills Wildlife Tundra swans glide elegantly across a boggy pond. A brown bear splashes into a stream and emerges with a spawning salmon. A sharp-shinned hawk dives on a redback vole. A porcupine curls up and shows his quills to a curious hiker. Wolves howl into the winter night. Lake Clark teems with wildlife. Many brown bears call Lake Clark home. Their behavior and diet vary depending on the habitat in which they live. Just like living in the city is diferent from living in the country for people, living near the ocean is diferent from living inland for bears. Estuaries, where rivers meet the sea along the park’s Cook Inlet coast, are the urban centers of the bear world. Food is plentiful here from early spring until the bears return to their dens in the fall. Sedges that are high in protein and other edible plants grow in salt marshes. Tidal fats brimming with clams lay just a few yards away. Flowing through it all are rivers flled with salmon who return each summer to spawn and die further upstream. Whales and other marine carcasses occasionally wash ashore. Berries grow on the nearby hillsides. Everything a bear needs to eat is in one place. coast. If estuaries are a bear’s big city, boreal forests and open tundra are the country. There is less food inland and it is spread out over a larger area. Salmon spawn in the streams and lakes in the summer and fall, but bears usually have to travel much further to fnd them. Brown bears here eat more roots, insects, berries, and ground squirrels. Because there are fewer sources of proteinrich food inland, there are also fewer bears. They do not gather in large numbers here, thus they interact with fewer individuals in their lifetime than a coastal bear. These solitary bears are less tolerant of the presence of the other bears, wildlife, and people they do encounter. Photo by NPS/ Jim Pfeiffenberger Bears gather in these estuaries in large numbers to eat and mate. Park biologists have counted as many as 219 brown bears within a 54 square mile area on the coast in recent years. There are few other places in the world where you can fnd as many bears living in such a small area. This is possible because they are more tolerant of the presence of eachother, of other wildlife, and often of people than they are in places where there is less food. The habitats west of the Aleutian and Alaskan mountain ranges difer from those on the Wolves The lonely howl of the wolf is an icon of the Alaskan wilderness. Yet, there are fewer wolves in Lake Clark than you might imagine. Wildlife experts would expect to fnd eight to twelve packs with around seven members each living in a park this size. Yet park biologists have identifed only four to six packs with about fve members each. These packs’ territories average just over 1,000 square miles. This is a larger amount of land than most other Alaskan wolf packs use. Larger territory sizes means there are fewer packs. Territory size varies depending on what the wolves hunt. The packs that eat more salmon need a smaller range because they don’t have to roam as far to fnd food. Many young wolves leave their original pack to fnd a mate and territory. They often travel outside the park to fnd a place of their own. A few have ventured as far away as Bethel, 230 miles to the west of Lake Clark’s boundary! Photo by NPS/ Mike Jones Brown Bears Dall’s Sheep Wild sheep love their mountains. They ramble along rocky ridges and sleep on steep slopes. The pure white Dall’s sheep live further north than any other North American wild sheep species. In Alaska, Lake Clark is the furthest southwest extent of their range. Bald Eagles Photo by NPS Though there are many mountains in the park, Dall’s sheep live on few of them. If the peaks are too high, vegetation is too scarce. Too close to the coast and long winters can bury food beneath a heavy blanket of snow. Lake Clark’s population is only 1,000. Look for them tiptoeing on Tanalian Mountain or prancing along the peaks near Twin Lakes. To many Americans bald eagles are the embodiment of freedom. Around ffty pairs nest each year in Lake Clark. They prefer tall trees within view of the ocean, a lake, or river where they can hunt for salmon, seabirds, and other prey. Sockeye Salmon Photo by NPS As top predators, their nesting successes and failures hint at changes to the populations of their prey. Their continued freedom to soar the skies is a sign of the freedom and health of the entire ecosystem. Salmon play an important role in Lake Clark’s ecosystems. They are eaten by mammals, birds, insects, other fsh, and people. Fungi and bacteria decompose their bodies when they die. This adds nutrients to the water and soil, which plants use to grow. Photo donated by Thomas Quinn Sockeye are anadromous fsh, meaning they hatch in freshwater, bu
Lake Clark National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lake Clark National Park and Preserve www.nps.gov/lacl Qizhjeh Vena Redoubt steaming courtesy of Game McGimsey/ AVO/ USGS Volcanoes Lake Clark is a land of fre and ice, dominated by two active volcanoes and over 900 square miles of glaciers. The scene of a dynamic, active geology, this is a young landscape that is ever-changing. Why are the Volcanoes Here? Lake Clark’s two volcanoes sit on the AlaskaAleutian subduction zone. Here the denser oceanic crust of the Pacifc Plate is moving beneath the lighter continental crust of the North American Plate at a rate of approximately 2.6 inches per year; about as fast as fngernails grow. Located only 30 miles beneath the surface of the Kenai Mountains, the Pacifc Plate dives abruptly at the western edge of Cook Inlet, reaching a depth of more than 60 miles beneath the Chigmit Mountains. The intense heat and pressure at that depth melt rock, creating the magma which erupts to the surface forming Redoubt and Iliamna volcanoes. Redoubt courtesy of K.L. Wallace /AVO/USGS Iliamna - 10,016 ft. tall Iliamna courtesy of Dennis Anderson/AVO/USGS These volcanoes are geologically young; Redoubt began forming a mere 880,000 years ago. However, igneous rock throughout the park and preserve indicate volcanic activity has been present in the area for 180 million years. Over time the rock layers near today’s volcanoes were uplifted and exposed creating the Chigmit and Neacola Mountains. Redoubt - 10,197 ft. tall Subduction graphic adapted from AVO/USGS At the head of the Alaska Peninsula the Neacola and Chigmit Mountains link the Alaska Range curving to the northeast with the Aleutian Range stretching to the southwest. Towering above them all are two stratovolcanoes composed of layers of andesitic pyroclastic deposits and lava fows. This lava was thick, sticky, and fowed like cold honey. Eruptions here are not likely to fow efusively like those of the Hawaiian volcanoes, where gases can easily bubble out like a pot of boiling spaghetti sauce. Instead the gases trapped in the viscous magma create dramatic eruptions that break the magma into solid pieces of many diferent sizes ranging from boulders to ash, and known as pyroclasts. Like a popcorn popper flled with kernels and confetti, the larger, heavier particles fall closer to the volcano’s vent, while the smaller, lighter ones travel further away, creating the classically tall, conical shape. Sunset by NPS/ E. Wasserman Introducing Lake Clark’s Volcanoes Earthquakes and Volcanoes Hundreds of earthquakes shake the area each year. Scientists documented 10,400 earthquakes at Redoubt alone between 1989 and 2010, most of which were associated with the volcano’s eruptions. Mapping “earthquake focus” is how geologists determine both the location and depth of the subducting plate and the storage and movement of magma through a volcano’s underground chambers. Understanding earthquake character and timing may also lead to more accurate eruption forecasts in the future. Pyroclastic Flows and Lahars In the same way that the gases in a can of soda cause the liquid to explode when shaken and opened, the gases exploding out of the viscous magma can cause pyroclastic fows to blast down the fanks of the volcano at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour when either a plume or overstepped dome collapses. Pyroclastic fows are hot, dry, gaseous avalanches that incorporate lava fragments ranging in size from as large as boulders to as small as ash. With temperatures of up to 1500ºF, pyroclastic fows rapidly melt the glacial ice and snow that cap these volcanoes, creating rivers of mud known as lahars. Some lahars begin fowing long after the volcano erupts when rain is absorbed by the pyroclastic material. Both lahars and pyroclastic fows can travel for miles and can bury or destroy everything in their path. Adapted from wikimedia public domain “One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made.” ~ John Muir Although Iliamna regularly emits plumes of steam, it has not had a confrmed eruption in recorded history. Redoubt, however, has erupted at least 30 times in the last 10,000 years, and four eruptive events have been confrmed in the last century alone. 1902 Multiple between January and June 1966-68: 11 explosions (6 in ‘66 & 5 in ‘68) 1989-90: 23 “major explosive events” 2009 19 “major ash producing explosions” April 1990 eruption courtesy of R.J. Clucas/ USGS A Living Land Image courtesy of Alaska DGGS Redoubt and Iliamna do not stand alone. They are but two of 52 historically active volcanoes that rise above the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, including nearby Spurr and Augustine. This, in turn, is part of the “Ring of Fire,” a zone encircling the Pacifc Ocean where various oceanic plates are subducting beneath continental plates. This area is home to the majority of the world’s great earthquakes and active volcanoes. Pyroclastic fow courtesy of AVO/US
Lake Clark National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lake Clark National Park & Preserve www.nps.gov/lacl Fact Sheet Purpose Lake Clark was established to protect a region of dynamic geologic and ecological processes that create scenic mountain landscapes, unaltered watersheds supporting Bristol Bay red salmon, and habitats for wilderness dependent populations of fish & wildlife, vital to 10,000 years of human history. Established December 1, 1978 ....................... Designated as a National Monument by President Carter December 2, 1980 ....................... Designated as a National Park and Preserve and enlarged through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Size Total ............................................. 4,030,006 acres or ~ 6,297 square miles National Park ............................... 2,619,713 acres or ~ 4,093 square miles ....................... 1,410,293 acres or ~ 2,204 square miles National Preserve For comparison, the state of Hawaii is 4.11 million acres or 6,423 square miles. Rhode Island and Connecticut combined are only 3.77 million acres or 5,890 square miles. Additional Designations 2.61 million acres ......................... National Wilderness Preservation System 4 .................................................... National Register of Historic Places Dr. Elmer Bly House listed in 2006 Dick Proenneke Site listed in 2007 Libby’s No. 23 Bristol Bay Double-Ender listed in 2013 Wassillie Trefon Dena’ina Fish Cache listed in 2013 .................................................... 3 National Wild Rivers Chilikadrotna River - 11 miles listed in 1980 Mulchatna River - 24 miles listed in 1980 Tlikakila River - 51 miles listed in 1980 2 National Natural Landmarks .................................................... Redoubt Volcano listed in 1976 Iliamna Volcano listed in 1976 1 National Historic Landmark .................................................... Kijik Archeological District listed in 1994 Employment NPS Permanent Employees ..... 25 NPS Temporary Employees ..... 15 .......................... NPS Volunteers 42 Budget 2011 $3,301,000 Trails 6.9 miles The only developed and maintained trails in the park are part of the Tanalian Trails network near park headquarters in Port Alsworth. The Telaquana Trail, which appears on some maps running from Lake Clark to Telaquana Lake is, in fact, only a route. Hiking is allowed anywhere in the park not otherwise closed to public use. Lake shores, coastal beaches, and high tundra are excellent areas for that activity. Roads 0 miles To visit Lake Clark is to venture into a roadless wilderness. Access is possible via float plane into remote lakes, wheeled plane into Port Alsworth or on the coastal beaches, or via boat from Port Alsworth and along the 126 miles of the park’s Cook Inlet coastline. Plants Species ~ 800 2012 $3,297,300 Endangered 0 2013 $3,101,300 2014 $3,272,000 Non-Native 30 2015 $3,255,000 2016 $3,383,172 Wildlife Species Endangered Non-native Terrestrial Mammals 37 0 0 ............................................. Birds 190 0 0 ........................................................................ ............................................................ Amphibians 1 0 0 Freshwater & Anadromous Fish 25 0 0 .......................... 147,000 to 3.1 million per year ................................ Number of red salmon that migrate into Lake Clark via the Kvichak watershed as recorded at the Newhalen Counting Station. 13,000 per year ...................................................... Average number of red salmon that are harvested by subsistence users up-stream of the Newhalen Counting Station. Points of Interest with Elevations and Lake Depths Elevation Lake Depth Chinitna Bay 0 ft .......................................................... Silver Salmon Creek ............................................. 0 ft Lake Clark 254 ft 870 ft .............................................................. ........................................................ Crescent Lake 599 ft 110 ft ...................................................... Telaquana Lake 1,219 ft 435 ft Dick Proenneke’s Cabin on Upper Twin Lake.. 2,041 ft 276 ft Tanalian Mountain 3,960 ft ................................................ Iliamna Volcano 10,016 ft ..................................................... Redoubt Volcano 10,197 ft ................................................... Land Cover Percentage Sparsely Vegetated Gravel and Bedrock ............. 24% Snow and Glacial Ice ............................................ 20% ............................................................... Shrubland 19% Tundra 15% ..........................................................