AHS is excited to announce its partnership with the National Park Service (NPS). We are in the process of designing and implementing a program that will provide educational programs, field excursions and citizen science opportunities to Alaska communities in proximity to national parks. The communities tentatively scheduled for inclusion are McCarthy, Slana, Nebesna, Copper Center, Glennallen, Kobuk, Ambler, Shungnak, Kobuk, Eagle, Circle, Minchumina, and Healy!
Partner communities will be receiving "kits" that will be checked out by AHS on a semi-permanent basis, so long as the communities continue to participate. These kits will include educational materials (models, books, movies, field guides) and field supplies (GPS Units, Nets, Scales, Rulers, Disinfecting Supplies, Notebooks, Gloves, etc).
AHS staff will travel alongside of NPS staff to offer herpetological lectures in the partner communities, followed by an "amphibian bioblitz" at a nearby wetland. Residents will learn about the state's amphibians, proper field methods, and the ways in which they can contribute valuable scientific data to researchers and managers. All data collected will be submitted to AHS, which in turn will upload the information to the University of Alaska Museum's Arctos Database. AHS will also seek to publish the data in peer-reviewed journals.
Each partner community will adopt both a wetland and an associated data logger provided by NPS. They will periodically monitor these sites, and NPS staff will assist in providing organized learning / herping opportunities for years to come!