Science plays an important role on the Valles Caldera National Preserve. We use science-based adaptive management to monitor the programs we create, and then use the results to aid us in our decision-making. For example, we monitor all the trails hikers use to check for signs of impact – erosion, affects to plant life, and more. Science is not the only tool we use, but a consistent monitoring program helps us pinpoint not only negative impacts but places where restoration is at work.
Along with monitoring, the preserve science staff also is engaged in inventorying the many types of flora and fauna on the preserve. To help protect the preserve and its wildlife, plants and water quality, we must understand the diversity and populations living here.
A number of research projects are well underway at the preserve. For example, a project to create a new geologic map of the preserve is entering its third year. The new map will replace the 1970 USGS map of the same area and provide greater details to help geologists better understand the formation of the caldera and the Jemez Mountains region. A core sample taken in 2004 will provide details on the lakebed sedimentary history of the Valle Grande, helping scientists predict climate change. Opportunities for study abound.
This section is currently under construction but will contain public data that researchers and students can use.