Climate Monitoring Program for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
The National Park Service's Southeast Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SEAN) designs and operates long term ecological monitoring programs for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (GLBA). In 2008, the SEAN Vital Signs Monitoring Plan which identified priority Vital Signs for the park and preserve. Weather and Climate is a priority Vital Sign for GLBA.
Detecting changes in climate will inform managers about a broad range of resource effects including glacial ice mass wasting, shifts in marine salinity and nutrients, timing and abundance of marine mammal prey, forest and early succession plant community advance, spread of invasive species, and adjusting park infrastructure to more intense storm events or rising sea levels.
A grid of new Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) plus two data-logging thermistors has been proposed for GLBA that would be designed to capture conditions along the west-east, north-south, and high-low elevation gradients in the park and preserve. Sites at Lituya Bay, Dry Bay, Deception Hills, Queen Inlet, Lone Island, Hugh Miller Island, upper Muir Inlet, and Brady Icefield, are being considered.
Park resources that may be affected by such installations include wilderness value and character, terrestrial wildlife, vegetation, visitor experience, natural soundscape, and culturally sensitive areas. An Environmental Assessment will be prepared to identify and analyze the environmental effects of a No Action and one Action alternative.
Environmental Protection Specialist
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
PO Box 140
Gustavus, AK 99826