Partnering with National Parks to Support Research and Citizen Science

This summer the National Park Service celebrates its centennial, a milestone that has us reflecting on  the programs and research associated with these amazing national resources.  As it turns out, academic libraries and national parks share a common goal of making research available to the public, and two DC universities are already partnering with research centers in nearby national parks.

First let’s journey to Kentucky, where Western Kentucky University’s TopSCHOLAR features The Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning (MCICSL), a partnership between the repository and Mammoth Cave National Park. The Center facilitates research at the park, teaches visitors about the research, and helps the public become involved with the research through citizen science. While the National Park Service has a research portal that includes reports and other NPS-created documents, MCICSL Education Coordinator Shannon Trimboli was looking for an additional solution that would create greater discoverability for MCICSL’s documents. Shannon said, “When I learned about TopSCHOLAR, I realized it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. It is easy to use and the documents in TopSCHOLAR show up in major search engines, which make them easy to find when searching for information on a given topic.” Readers can browse the Mammoth Cave Center’s collections through the Mammoth Cave Research Symposia and the MCICSL Newsletter in TopSCHOLAR.

Traveling northwest from Kentucky to Wyoming, you can find The University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center, in The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Scholars Repository. Headquartered on the University of Wyoming campus, the joint endeavor between the university and the National Park Service supports research in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Research Center is able to publish its journal, including annual reports, through the partnership with the repository, and the University of Wyoming Libraries and their repository initiative can attract more readers to the IR through this popular material.

If you can’t make it to one of the national parks this summer, we recommend checking out these resources for a virtual tour.

University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center - WySR

University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center – WySR