Program Overview

The Arctic Network (ARCN) includes five National Park Service (NPS) units: 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 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 with 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.

Baseline data, conclusions, and recommendations for future monitoring will be summarized in annual reports and in a synthesis volume when the initiative is complete. The links to the left provide access to key background and working documents for the Freshwater Initiative.

Disclaimer: This site is not endorsed by the National Park Service and they take no responsibility for it. It is a temporary site intended to provide communications among the project collaborators and other interested parties. Official outputs from this project will be posted on the appropriate NPS site as they become available.