University of Vermont

Bowden Watershed Research Lab

ARCN default

National Park Service Arctic Network (NPS/ARCN) Project

The Arctic Network (ARCN) includes five parks within the National Park Service (NPS) system: the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BELA), Cape Krusenstern National Monument (CAKR), Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (GAAR), Kobuk Valley National Park (KOVA), and Noatak National Preserve (NOAT). Collectively these units represent approximately 25% of the land area managed by NPS and are among the most remote and pristine environments in the world.

In 1992 the US Congress authorized the NPS to establish the Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program "to develop scientifically sound information on the current status and long-term trends in the composition, structure, and function of park ecosystems, and to determine how well current management practices are sustaining those ecosystems." To accomplish this mission the I&M program set out to: (1) provide a consistent database of information about our natural resources, including species diversity, distribution and abundance (basic inventories) and (2) determine the current condition of our resources and how they are changing over time (vital signs monitoring).

The Freshwater Vital Signs Initiative is one of four components of the ARCN/I&M program. The goal of the Freshwater Initiative is to support the ARCN/I&M mission to characterize and monitor the lake and stream resources within the component parks. In particular, the objectives of the Freshwater Initiative are to help the ARCN/I&M program:

  1. identify appropriate vital signs for aquatic resources in the component parks,
  2. develop a cost-effective monitoring strategy for these aquatic resources, and
  3. field-test the selected monitoring strategies.

From 2005-2007 Breck Bowden led a collaborative group of researchers from the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory, the University of Alaska - Fairbanks, Utah State University, the University of Alabama, and Pennsylvania State University on a series of field expeditions in the Noatak River Basin. These expeditions included field work in the Noatak River headwaters (2006), the Feniak Lake area (2006), and the Kelly River area (2007). Links to important products from these expeditions can be found in the index at the left.

For additional information about this series of projects contact

Last modified January 05 2010 08:29 AM

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