Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An analysis of the changing roles of research in Grand Canyon National Park 1960 - 2010
by Newton, Ronda L., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2012, 112; 1518051
Abstract (Summary)

National parks provide opportunities to learn about natural ecosystems and they serve as important baselines against which we can assess the influence of human activities. Knowledge of park ecosystems and the ecological processes that shape them is needed in order to ensure long-term preservation of these resources. Scientific studies can inform park management of predicted outcomes with some measure of reliability; however the lack of basic scientific information available on many park ecosystems remains despite the important role of science in parks.

Since Grand Canyon became a national park, 717 research studies have been conducted, while no comprehensive listing of these studies produced. The purpose of this study was twofold:

1. Provide a comprehensive assessment of research studies from 1960 - 2010 in the form of an Excel database; and 2. assess patterns in research topics, identify gaps and saturations in research disciplines, and inform park management of these findings. After conducting the assessment of research conducted over the last 10 years, it is apparent that these studies have not been providing the information needed by park management. Although a science needs assessment was produced by the park's research office in 2002, current research needs remain consistent with former requests.

It is in the best interest for GRCA to continue to welcome and actively seek partnership activities with organizations such as the Southern Colorado Plateau Inventory and Monitoring Network (SCPN), Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESUs), local colleges and universities, Grand Canyon Association (GCA) to pursue management-guided research. These partnerships can continue to help accomplish the NPS mission by allowing for more effective and efficient management of the park, determining causes of natural resources management problems and identify alternative strategies for potential resolution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sell, James L.
Commitee: Chaudhry, Todd, Foti, Pam
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Geography, Planning, Recreation
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Environmental Studies, Recreation
Keywords: Grand Canyon, National parks, Research
Publication Number: 1518051
ISBN: 9781267587947
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