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Digging into National Park Funding: An Analysis of Selected Projects in Yellowstone and Isle Royale

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With 2016 marking the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS), important discussions regarding the future of America's beloved parks and respective government funding must take place. Imagine all

With 2016 marking the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS), important discussions regarding the future of America's beloved parks and respective government funding must take place. Imagine all the money, including tax revenue, flowing through America's national parks system, and where is that money destined for in the future? National park funding will factor greatly into determining the future of America's NPS and individual parks. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate where and how government funding, for the present and future, is distributed throughout the parks protected under the NPS. Through personal experiences as a child, national parks consistently provide a unique exposure to and an education of the natural world, which are rare finds when growing up in suburban or metropolitan regions. Narrowing down, this analysis will focus on government disbursements to Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone) and Isle Royale National Park (Isle Royale) with specifics on two budgeted projects crucial to park survival. Yellowstone and Isle Royale each request funding for a project crucial to the park's ecosystem and a project intended to improve guest services for visitors. Closing comments will provide recommendations for Yellowstone, Isle Royale and the NPS, including effects of President Trump's 2018 Government Proposed Budget, in an attempt to offer forward thinking about national parks. The projects and respective funding as detailed in this analysis have a forward-thinking focus as other projects included in the NPS requested funding budgets consider as well. Current actions and efforts are crucial to the long-term life and of this country's national parks for future generations to come.

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  • 2016-12

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Disturbance signatures and sediment characteristics in aeolian dune landscapes

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Human-environment interactions in aeolian (windblown) systems has focused research on<br/>human’s role in causing and aiding recovery from natural and anthropogenic disturbance. There<br/>is room for improvement in understanding the best methods

Human-environment interactions in aeolian (windblown) systems has focused research on<br/>human’s role in causing and aiding recovery from natural and anthropogenic disturbance. There<br/>is room for improvement in understanding the best methods and considerations for manual<br/>coastal foredune restoration. Furthermore, the extent to which humans play a role in changing the<br/>shape and surface textures of quartz sand grains is poorly understood. The goal of this thesis is<br/>two-fold: 1) quantify the geomorphic effectiveness of a multi-year manually rebuilt foredune and<br/>2) compare the shapes and microtextures on disturbed and undisturbed quartz sand grains. For<br/>the rebuilt foredune, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) were used to survey the site, collecting<br/>photos to create digital surface models (DSMs). These DSMs were compared at discrete<br/>moments in time to create a sediment budget. Water levels and cross-shore modeling is also<br/>considered to predict the decadal evolution of the site. In the two years since rebuilding, the<br/>foredune has been stable, but not geomorphically resilient. Modeling shows landward foredune<br/>retreat and beach widening. For the quartz grains, t-testing of shape characteristics showed that<br/>there may be differences in the mean circularity between grains from off-highway vehicle and<br/>non-riding areas. Quartz grains from a variety of coastal and inland dunes were imaged using a<br/>scanning electron microscopy to search for evidence of anthropogenically-induced<br/>microtextures. On grains from Oceano Dunes in California, encouraging textures like parallel<br/>striations, grain fracturing, and linear conchoidal fractures provide exploratory evidence of<br/>anthropogenic microtextures. More focused research is recommended to confirm this exploratory<br/>work.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05