Snow wetness and icing can affect ecosystem processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales including hydrology, carbon cycling, wildlife movement, and human transportation. Snow wetness occurs when the cold content of part or all of the snowpack is less than the positive energy fluxes from radiative, sensible, or latent heat transfer. Icing events normally occur daily in the spring and summer and less predictably following wintertime rain on snow or warm weather.
In 2010, a team of researchers at the University of Washington worked with the NPS to analyze the canopy structure across Crater Lake National Park using lidar data. The data were used to identify individual trees and the results were classified into openings (no canopy cover greater than 2 m) and clumps of trees in the height ranges of 2–8, 8–16, 16–32, and greater than 32 m. These strata were further used to identify and map canopy structural classes across the park, and the distribution of these classes compared with patterns of climate and topography.
Historic American Buildings Survey Documentation of Historic Kantishna Roadhouse at Denali National Park
In spring 2017, Denali National Park consulted with the NPS Alaska Regional Office (AKRO) to develop a project for the documentation of the aging Kantishna Roadhouse, a building located near the end of the Denali Park Road in Denali National Park. The goal of the project was to obtain measurements using a terrestrial laser scanner in order to facilitate the production of Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) drawings that capture the existing condition of the structure.
The NPS has partnered with Alaska Biological Research (ABR), Inc., to develop an Alaska-wide map that shows general patterns of snowmelt in the spring at a 30-m (Landsat) scale. This information can be used to study habitat use by mammals and climate change, and to help plan for field work and infrastructure development. As part of this project, ABR also tested satellite-based methods to map lichen abundance in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Lichens are the main forage for the Fortymile Caribou Herd in winter.
The NPS, Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network (ARCN) is using 35-mm aerial photography to monitor the growth of permafrost thaw slumps in the five national parks of northern Alaska. These slumps can grow for a decade or longer and shed large amounts of sediment into nearby rivers and lakes. ARCN scientists have obtained overlapping, oblique and vertical, digital aerial photographs of 15 slumps taken from a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft in a 4 to 7 year span between 2008 and 2016.
The Everglades National Park (EVER) and Big Cypress National Preserve (BICY) vegetation mapping project is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). This is a cooperative effort between the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the NPS Vegetation Inventory Program (VIP).