Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM
INTRODUCTION TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND ITS EFFORTS TO PARTNER WITH OTHERS
The Geologic Resources Division of the National Park Service is relatively new, but it is making great strides in partnering with the geologic community to accomplish many common goals. The NPS manages 388 units, and is tasked with protecting natural geologic processes and geologic features. Many parks are considered to hold national and international geologic icons. Some citizens may refer to our dune fields, lava flows, fossils, geysers, canyons, arches, and watersheds as our geologic heritage. Many of the resources are unique and have an inherent value, but they are also a part of each parks ecosystem. We are at the very beginning of understanding the role that geology plays in resource dynamics. Such an understanding is key to our mission, as are protecting park resources and getting information to the public. In helping the NPS meet its mission, the Division facilitates geologic research, inventories, and monitoring; addresses geohazard concerns; helps minimize impacts from minerals development; provides geoscience guidance to parks; addresses policy and regulation concerns, and provides assistance in public outreach. It cannot do all this alone.
Parks draw millions of visitors, and an equally impressive number of interested researchers, organizations, and volunteers. While parks are to be enjoyed and protected, they must also be studied. The Service cannot and should not try to understand and manage its resources in a vacuum. We need the geologic community to help identify park needs, address these needs, and help the managers, staff, and visitors understand geologys relative importance. Since its establishment in 1996, the Geologic Resources Division has been working with other agencies, organizations, companies, universities, and individuals to reach common goals in understanding our geologic features and processes, applying this information to the management of parks, and helping the public understand why geosciences are important. We hope to expand our work with the geoscience community, facilitate connections with parks, and meet the growing number goals we have in common.