2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 3:25 PM


MOLNIA, Bruce F., U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192, bmolnia@usgs.gov

In 2001, two opportunities arose which focused on science and policy issues related to Glacier Bay National Park (GLBA). The first, partnering with the National Park Service's (NPS) Geologic Resources Division, was an invitation to inventory the post-Little-Ice-Age glacier resources of GLBA and to prepare innovative products to present results. The second was a request by Department of Interior and Justice (DOI & DOJ) solicitors to summarize the state of scientific knowledge pertaining to glaciers and fiords in the early 1920s, the time of Presidential Coolidge's decree that established Glacier Bay National Monument.

Early in the glacier inventory, meetings were held with GLBA interpreters and resource managers. Their description of the types of products that they needed to inform the public about glacier change was a primary factor in determining inventory final products. Additionally, without the logistic support provided by GLBA management, inventory field work in many remote areas of GLBA would not have been possible. The 1920s glacier and fiord information was needed for an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing to determine the ownership of the submerged lands in GLBA. Interactive discussions with the solicitors and GLBA staff identified historic resources and set the tone of the scientific level of the resulting report. Accomplishing both of these activities required building partnerships with GLBA staff and the DOI & DOJ solicitors.

Previously, between 1974 and 1982, the author conducted glacier and fiord research in GLBA. However, this early work, performed solely with USGS resources, was initiated by USGS and was formulated to meet USGS needs. Although it adhered to all NPS permitting guidelines and GLBA's management was kept informed, these studies were developed and performed without considering NPS' needs or how results could be used.

The contrast between the two recent efforts and that of three decades ago is the difference between night and day. Incorporating GLBA's needs into early planning, and involving GLBA staff in research formulation and product planning has resulted in a partnership that continues to pay dividends.