Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems: The Pursuit of the Greater Yellowstone Network

Wed, Dec 4, 12:00 pm
126 Barnard Hall
Speaker Name: 
Kristin Legg & Andrew Ray
National Park Service
Greater Yellowstone Network

Central to understanding and promoting the health of National Park Service (NPS) units is the availability of regularly-collected, high quality, long-term ecological information (i.e., vital signs data). When collected with sufficient temporal and spatial resolution vital signs data provides valuable insight on the ecosystems, biological communities, and species that make up individual park units. In Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks vital signs monitoring has been used to strength our understanding of dynamic ecosystems for more than a decade.

Across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the NPS’s Greater Yellowstone Network is coordinating assessments of ecological health through collaborative, multi-agency monitoring at park and regional spatial scales. Recently, Yellowstone National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Network published two documents that highlight the importance of vital signs monitoring: The Vital Signs and State of the Park Resources for Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone Center for Resources 2018) and Yellowstone Science: Vital Signs, Monitoring Yellowstone’s Ecosystem Health (Fall 2019). Both publications emphasize the importance of collaborative, cross-boundary strategies to connect parks, inventory and monitoring networks, and partnering agencies to leverage scientific connections to maximize their conservation impacts.

In this presentation, Kristin Legg and Andrew Ray will introduce audiences to the NPS’s Vital Signs Monitoring Program, talk specifically about the work of the Greater Yellowstone Network, and share findings from some of our collaborative monitoring campaigns. 

Kristin Legg has served as the Program Manager for the Greater Yellowstone Network (GRYN) since 2011. The GRYN provides oversight and supports science programs in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Prior to this position, Kristin was a chief of natural and cultural resource management at Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks and Pipestone National Monument. Kristin also worked on numerous projects in Yellowstone National Park. Kristin received her MS in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University and studied the habitat use and movements of bighorn sheep in the Gallatin Mountains. Kristin’s undergraduate degree is from Denison University, OH.

Andrew Ray is an Ecologist with the Greater Yellowstone Network. Andrew has a PhD in Biological Sciences from Idaho State University, MS from Northern Michigan University, and BS from Purdue University. Andy coordinates with NPS, federal and stateagency, and NGO scientists to carry out water resource and amphibian monitoring projects in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Prior to joining the Greater Yellowstone Network, Andy worked with the U.S. Geological Survey and at the Crater Lake National Park’s Science and Learning Center.

Network Website: https://www.nps.gov/im/gryn/index.htm

Yellowstone Science: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/yellowstonescience/index.htm


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