GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 182-3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM


HULTS, Chad P.1, CAPPS, Denny M.2, KNIGHT, Cassi2, LANIK, Amanda3 and TURNER, Marvin Mark4, (1)National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office, 240 W. 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501, (2)National Park Service, Denali National Park and Preserve, Center for Resources, Science, and Learning, PO Box 9, Denali Park, AK 99755, (3)Geoscience, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada, (4)National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office, 240 W. 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501; University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, CPSB 101, Anchorage, AK 99508,

The Alaska National Park Service units contain abundant paleontological resources. Some parks were established with the implied importance of these resources. Paleontological resources provide invaluable keys to understanding the physical environment of the parks and contribute to understanding the natural history of the Earth. The fundamental precept in managing these resources needs to account for preservation of these resources, and the scientific and intrinsic value attached to them. Park managers are lacking data regarding the existence, condition, locations, and significance of paleontological resources. This project lays out the groundwork for this understanding by accomplishing two of the preliminary goals outlined in the Alaska Region Paleontological Resources Strategy Plan:

-Develop a database for NPS paleontological resources.

-Identify and document high-priority paleontological resources.

Paleontological information is being compiled by Geoscientists-in-the-Parks interns into a database specifically tailored for NPS managers, but will also be valuable for scientists. Data from published literature, available databases, and field surveys are being compiled. This information is being used to identify species present at known fossil sites, and to recognize areas of greatest fossil potential. When information is available, sites are rated for the following management concerns: fossil abundance; fossil quality; access; human disturbance; potential for disturbance; fragility; erosion vulnerability; and scientific interest. With this information, thematic maps are being made to show the density of fossil sites, abundance of fossils by unit, distribution of species, sites exposed to erosion, and sites with history of, or potential for human disturbance. These inventories will provide the groundwork for the identification and prioritization of at-risk or significant fossil sites that warrant further investigation. This information will provide managers easy access to paleontological information and tools to develop informed management actions and monitoring plans for these non-renewable resources.