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Investigators from UW and NPS staff will collaborate to accomplish the following specific objectives. The project will be conducted in two phases, and this Task Agreement funds both phases. Phase I- NRCA 1. Complete a NRCA for all the major habitats of the subalpine and upper elevation riparian preserve part of ORCA. The project will result in a park-specific report and spatial data that: a) describe park resources in a regional context; b) provide an interdisciplinary evaluation of current resource conditions and discernible trends; c) document critical data gaps and research needs; and d) document high-priority resource management issues. This NRCA will provide an evaluation of natural resource condition for approximately...
Current and projected climatic change is threatening montane and subalpine species in National Parks throughout the western U.S., including those within the Klamath, Upper Columbia Basin, and Sierra Nevada Networks. Scenario planning is needed to help protected-area decision-makers identify and prepare for potentially substantial changes to high-elevation ecosystems. The National Park Service and the Oregon Institute of Technology will collaborate to conduct climate change scenario planning for montane and subalpine species, focusing on whitebark pine (Pinus albicaula) and pika (Ochotona princeps). Phase 1 of this project will develop a framework for scenario planning across these networks by initiating the Orientation...
The National Park Service and the University of Washington will collaborate in a project to summarize Nisqually glacier changes over the past century and offer predictions for future changes, under various climate change scenarios. The Nisqually glacier is among the most accessible in the United States, and surveys have been regularly made (since 1931) to determine changes in the elevation of the surface, along 3 lateral transects. These long-running data will be examined and analyzed from the perspective of other glacier monitoring projects, and on-going climate change. The results will be interpreted in several contexts including: (1) glacier dynamics; (2) climate change; (3) glacier mass balance; and, most importantly,...
This is a collaborative project between the National Park Service (NPS) and Oregon State University (OSU) for the purpose of studying the genetic connectivity of pika populations in five NPS units. OSU researchers will use individual and population-based genetic analyses to systematically estimate genetic distances among individuals and gene flow among patches or populations in NPS units in two very different habitats (talus vs. lava beds). Genetic distances among individuals or gene flow among groups reflect (in part) the degree that individuals are related and that populations are interacting via dispersal. Thus, researchers will use variation in genetic distance or gene flow to infer how landscapes (e.g., dispersal...
The National Park Service and Portland State University will collaborate in a field-based project to accurately map the spatial extent and status of the rapidly changing glacial ice on Mount Rainier. In particular, areas of active (moving) ice will be distinguished from stagnant (non-moving) ice, which is of premier importance for hazard planning. In the future, glacier maps can be updated rapidly using remotely sensed data, and avoiding expensive future field efforts. Deliverables will include identifying the true spatial extents of the glaciers, including: rock and debris covered areas (usually not mapped correctly in earlier surveys), and stagnant (versus active, moving) ice. Additionally, the bedrock topography...
This is a collaborative project between the National Park Service (NPS) and the University of Washington to use new satellite data to assess changes in several glaciers in North Cascades National Park (NOCA). Recent investigations have shown that the glaciers in the Washington Cascades are retreating rapidly in a warming climate. NPS has monitoring data from four glaciers at NOCA. These data will be analyzed with new WorldView stereo satellite data to produce digital elevation models (DEMs) with high accuracy for four NOCA glaciers, and to calculate volume changes in these glaciers. Expected products include four DEMs with auxiliary products (e.g., image data) and a final report that describes the methods and detected...