|Fig.1. Historic photos from through the years. (Credit: National Parks Service)|
Today, the National Parks Service celebrates 100 years. Beyond free admission to all 400-plus parks across the country from today until Aug. 28, there are a bevy of other facts you might not have known about the scientific endeavors of NPS, its parks and their admirers.
- As part of the Department of Interior’s Museum Program, NPS’ collections tally more than 162.4 million items housed at 324 park locations and 587 other institutions.
- The service’s collections document natural and cultural history.
- You can explore NPS’ collections in an online searchable database.
- See an example of a collection with scientific and archaeological specimens, like Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park.
- NPS also has all of its parks, monuments and historic sites cataloged in the Registry of U.S. Federal Scientific Collections.
- Ever wonder the origins of scientists’ research and fieldwork within the parks? Business Insider explains more.
- Some of the more rarely seen specimens collected at NPS sites were photographed as part of a book of photos of natural history specimens.
- It wouldn’t be a party without Google’s invite. The tech company released a guide of various parks, exhibits, collection highlights and more to celebrate.
- Want to be a science geek on your next trip to a park? Many parks offer an array of citizen science opportunities.
- While visitors may descend upon the parks for their beauty and vast sights, some scientists prefer to be there in the dark to study light pollution, among other things.