The George Melendez Wright climate change fellowship program: Promoting innovative park science for resource management

Gregg Garfin, Lisa Norby, Lisa Graumlich, Tim Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2010 the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program created the George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship to foster new and innovative research on climate change impacts in protected areas, and to promote national parks as laboratories for research on climate change. The program aims to increase the use of scientific knowledge to further resource management in parks and deepen the utility of place-based science for society in national parks. In its first year the program funded 22 proposals by graduate students from across the country. Research in progress covers an extensive variety of topics, from examination of how genetic factors mediate climate change effects in vulnerable tree species to ethnographic studies of the effects of environmental change on the practices of subsistence fisheries in coastal preserves and monuments. The geographic and ecosystem extent of projects ranges from Hawaiian cloud forests and Alaskan alpine environments, to forests in the Intermountain West, to coastal wetlands in Louisiana. Most program fellows have made field collections and are in the process of analyzing data. Preliminary results document the sensitivity of vegetation in the cloud forests of Haleakala National Park to drought, California seashore vulnerabilities, and a variety of climate and ecological impacts on subsistence fisheries in Alaska.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPark Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 9 2011


  • Climate change
  • Climate impacts
  • Fellowship program
  • Parks for science
  • Resource management
  • Science for parks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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