Long-term Ecological Monitoring and Research at Bandelier National Monument

Research Project: 


Project Manager: 

a picture of the Bandelier National Monument sign
Welcome to Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument has a wide array of natural and cultural resources and associated management concerns. Through this study, FORT scientists collocated at Bandelier provide essential support integral to addressing the major resource management issues.  We routinely provide technical assistance on a wide array of natural and cultural resource activities at Bandelier National Monument (BAND). For example, we constantly provide ecological reference materials and customized data summaries to park staff, as the USGS field station is the focal point for such information at BAND. Since 1989 Dr. Craig Allen has served as the primary scientific consultant to the Superintendent and the Chief of Resources Management on significant natural resource issues, and routinely represents park-related science issues in meetings with other agencies and the public.

The research conducted by this field station is integral to addressing the major resource management issues at Bandelier. FORT scientists routinely respond to many requests for technical advice and assistance from a variety of agencies in the region, including the Rocky Mountain Region of the National Park Service, individual parks in this and other regions (particularly El Malpais National Monument, Pecos National Historical Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park), other DOI Bureaus (including Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Affairs), Native American communities, various U.S. Forest Service entities, State of New Mexico Environment Department, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County, and many non-governmental organizations.

Since 2001 we have been providing scientific support to the newly established Valles Caldera National Preserve toward the establishment of an incipient natural resource inventory, monitoring, and research program. This place-focused work includes determination of ecological patterns and processes at multiple spatial scales in current and past landscapes, and the establishment and utilization of long-term, ecological monitoring networks. This station collaborates with a variety of external scientists in portions of this work. Major research partnerships occur with the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Arizona (includes UA Tree-Ring Lab), Northern Arizona University, Colorado State University, USGS Water Resources Division, and USDA Forest Service. Studies include long-term ecological monitoring across landscape gradients in the Jemez Mountains on topics such as vegetation, tree growth, erosion, and arthropods; ecology, runoff, and erosion dynamics in piñon-juniper woodlands; and watershed studies in the Jemez Mountains. Specific studies include:

  • Long-term ecological monitoring across landscape gradients in the Jemez Mts.: Includes multiple datasets of ~15 years duration on vegetation, tree growth, erosion, and arthropods; and
  • Pion-juniper woodlands: ecology, runoff and erosion dynamics, ecological restoration, with intensive watershed work in BAND.