added a research item
Long-term ecological monitoring concepts and guidance
Organizations tasked with implementing long‐term ecological monitoring programs often struggle to stay funded. Government agencies are typically the only entities with sufficient capacity and motivation to support long‐term scientific programs that generate data for environmental management and conservation. Taxpayers bear this funding burden, yet we know of no studies assessing public perception of government‐led long‐term monitoring. We present the results of a survey designed to assess willingness to pay (WTP) for the benefits resulting from long‐term ecological monitoring in Southeast Alaska for residents and visitors. We hypothesized that four factors have the potential to influence preferences for long‐term ecological monitoring: (1) type of ecosystem service monitored (intermediate vs. final); (2) place of residence; (3) prior knowledge of monitoring; and (4) sociodemographic characteristics. We defined final ecosystem services as ecosystem attributes that have clear relevance to human well‐being and intermediate ecosystem services as those required to produce final services. We found a greater WTP for programs monitoring intermediate ecosystem services, longer‐running programs, and programs covering a larger spatial extent. Respondents with higher income and conservative political preferences were more likely to choose no monitoring program at all (status quo), whereas respondents with previous knowledge of monitoring were generally more supportive of long‐term monitoring programs.
In this Special Feature, we celebrate 100 years of National Park Service science by highlighting contributions from the agency's Inventory and Monitoring Division. This broad body of work coalesces into several themes, including the role of protected areas in understanding rapid global change and the growing interest in place-based ecological insights that contextualize scientific information from protected areas across broader scales. Finally, we illustrate progress on the long-sought integration of science into the resource management strategies implemented within " America's Best Idea, " now more important than ever given the many challenges our nation's parks face.