NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring

NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncrn/index.cfm The National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring (NCRN I&M) program is part of the National Park Service.

NCRN I&M is dedicated to improving park management through greater reliance on scientific information. We conduct long-term monitoring of natural resources including water quality, forest vegetation, and wildlife in National Parks of the greater Washington, DC region. NCRN I&M serves 11 park units in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia that share common natural resources. The parks are: Antietam National Battlefield (MD) Catoctin Mountain Park (MD) Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (DC, MD) George Washington Memorial Parkway (DC, MD, VA) Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (MD, VA, WV) Manassas National Battlefield Park (VA) Monocacy National Battlefield (MD) National Capital Parks - East (DC, MD) Prince William Forest Park (VA) Rock Creek Park (DC) Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (VA)

Biologist position available with National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Networkhttps://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/V...
05/01/2020
Biologist

Biologist position available with National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/565549600

This position works with the inventory and monitoring of biological resources found in the National Capital Area parks, including but not limited to, forest vegetation, breeding birds, and amphibians.

Healthy bald eagles populations in the Chesapeake Bay are something to be proud of! We're doing a better job keeping pol...
06/05/2019
Eagles Have Peaceful Easy Feeling (U.S. National Park Service)

Healthy bald eagles populations in the Chesapeake Bay are something to be proud of! We're doing a better job keeping pollution out of our environment, and this is one of the ways it shows!
https://www.nps.gov/articles/eagles-have-peaceful-easy-feeling.htm
#WorldEnvironmentDay #ChesapeakeBay #FindYourPark

Bald eagles nesting on national park and associated lands in the Chesapeake Bay are doing well. A recent study shows their numbers, once crippled by the effects of the insecticide DDT and other pollutants, are now growing.

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."Our optimis...
05/31/2019

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

Our optimistic forest monitoring crew recently saw lots of opportunity while working at Fort Greble (part of the Shepherd Parkway, and National Capital Parks - East). Good job team!

(Thanks to Mikaila for gamely helping out also. Photos by Andrejs and Joe.)

04/26/2019
Tom Roussey ABC7 Reporter

Hats off to the NPS employees out there fighting invasive species and working to keep our natural areas healthy! Hooray Exotic Plant Management Team! #NationalParkWeek

I found out there are a TON of invasive plant species the National Park Service has to constantly try to keep in check.

04/19/2019
National Mall and Memorial Parks

It's that time of year! The shad are back in our region's waterways as they head upstream to spawn!

The shad are running!

As seen along the Washington Channel seawall at Hains Point, shad are making their annual return to their place of birth to spawn the next generation.

Shad fed DC's original residents, the Nacotchtank people. They impressed English explorer John Smith who noted that the fish were, "lying so thicke with the heads above water, as for want of nets we attempted to catch them with frying pans." Shad saved George Washington's plantation when tobacco depleted the soil. Enslaved workers at Mount Vernon caught hundreds of thousands of fish which Washington sold for a profit. Today, shad numbers are down due to pollution and overharvesting. But every April we get a glimpse of the silver fish returning from the sea.

Forest monitoring in eastern national parks helped reveal issues with long-term forest sustainability, and the successes...
05/24/2018
Protecting and Growing a Healthy Forest

Forest monitoring in eastern national parks helped reveal issues with long-term forest sustainability, and the successes parks have had in addressing the issue at Gettysburg National Military Park, Rock Creek Park, and Catoctin Mountain Park.

https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=4D6004A2-1DD8-B71B-0B9476791061D68C

How forest monitoring in eastern national parks helped reveal issues with long-term forest sustainability, and the successes parks have had in addressing the issue at Gettysburg National Military Park, Rock Creek Park, and Catoctin Mountain Park.

National Parks in the east don't always get the same attention as those out west, but they are truly amazing resources! ...
05/22/2018
Protecting and Preserving Urban National Parks

National Parks in the east don't always get the same attention as those out west, but they are truly amazing resources! They play a huge role in providing places for native animals and plants to persist, and for people to enjoy. This video shares a some behind the scenes views of how we take care of these special places:
https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=512DC843-1DD8-B71B-0B786D7F422D1667

How National Parks in urban settings provide valuable refuges to wildlife: from water birds at Boston Harbor Islands to threatened bats at Rock Creek Park, and the contributions that monitoring by citizen scientists and NPS employees make to preserving them.

Yesterday and today, our hydrologist Margie was busy downloading data from continuous water loggers that take readings e...
05/15/2018

Yesterday and today, our hydrologist Margie was busy downloading data from continuous water loggers that take readings every 15 minutes all day every day.
https://www.nps.gov/im/ncrn/water.htm
The loggers can run 2-3 months before their data memory "fills up" or battery runs out, so they do require periodic visits.
And while we were at Antietam National Battlefield we saw a few species of note...

Yesterday the veg crew was monitoring in the forests of Manassas National Battlefield Park. In addition to their normal ...
05/04/2018

Yesterday the veg crew was monitoring in the forests of Manassas National Battlefield Park. In addition to their normal duties they successfully relocated a lost tree tag partially buried in the dirt, documented evidence of emerald ash borer damage on ash trees, and appreciated the subtle flowering of a pawpaw tree.
https://www.nps.gov/im/ncrn/forest.htm

Our NPS colleagues Allie and Nate on the Exotic Plant Management Team recently discovered (and treated) a small populati...
05/02/2018

Our NPS colleagues Allie and Nate on the Exotic Plant Management Team recently discovered (and treated) a small population of the invasive Five-Leaf Aralia (Eleutherococcus sieboldianus) @RockCreekNPS.

Five-leaf aralia is a woody shrub with leaves made up of five leaflets. It is native to Asia and is cultivated in some areas.
There are only a handful of invasion reports in our area.

Look-Alikes
Aralia can look a little like Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) but the aralia is distinctly a shrub and not a vine.
It is also confused with five-leaved akebia (aka chocolate vine; Akebia quinata) because they both have leaves with five leaflets and the name is similar. Five-leaf akebia has no teeth on the leaf margin and is a vine.
Lastly, small aralia plants can resemble garden pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis). If you look closely at pachysandra though, it has a set of distinct leaves rather than a leaf divided into leaflets and pachysandra never becomes woody.
Virginia creeper is a native but the other plants are all also invasive plants in our area that have escaped from gardens into our forests.

IF YOU SEE THIS PLANT, please report it to either EDDMaps.org or iNaturalist.org

The time for forest veg monitoring is upon us once again, and just in time for Take Your Child to Work Day! Yesterday we...
04/27/2018

The time for forest veg monitoring is upon us once again, and just in time for Take Your Child to Work Day!
Yesterday we had help from 2 future scientists who got to see first hand how I&M collects ecological data in National Parks!
#TYKTWD

Seen this white flowering tree recently along a roadway?'Bradford', a type of Callery pear, was once hugely popular in l...
04/13/2018

Seen this white flowering tree recently along a roadway?
'Bradford', a type of Callery pear, was once hugely popular in landscaping. Unfortunately, it escaped and hybridized with relatives and now has become an invasive plant. It is especially common along roadsides and can be easily seen this time of year.
[Please note: all photos were taken from the passenger seat!]
Learn more about Callery pear:
https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=10957

Can you name this early spring flower? Hint: it appears on a common small tree that is pollinated by flies rather than b...
04/06/2018

Can you name this early spring flower?
Hint: it appears on a common small tree that is pollinated by flies rather than bees or butterflies...
http://go.nps.gov/mysteryflower

NCRN is seeking a GS 6/7 Biological Science Technician: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/494140000The job in b...
03/23/2018
Biological Science Technician

NCRN is seeking a GS 6/7 Biological Science Technician: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/494140000

The job in based in national parks of the greater DC area, and will assist with field operations for long-term forest health monitoring and water quality monitoring. Learn more about these protocols at: https://www.nps.gov/im/ncrn/index.htm

The job is open to all Status Candidates and to folks eligible through the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/land-management-workforce-flexibility-act.htm

Applications will be accepted until April 4.

Please share!

This position is located in National Capital Regional Office, at the Center for Urban Ecology. Please visit find a park for additional park information. Current and former Federal employees with status, or who are reinsta...

Fish Fry #Friday! (fry as in juvenile fish, not dinner prep)It feels pretty cold outside today, but as the air and local...
03/16/2018
Fish Migration - Alewife

Fish Fry #Friday! (fry as in juvenile fish, not dinner prep)
It feels pretty cold outside today, but as the air and local streams warm throughout the spring, migratory fish take notice. In the greater DC area, alewife (a type of herring) and the first to start moving from the ocean to the freshwater streams to spawn.
Keep an eye out for them in streams that flow into the Potomac River like Rock Creek, and Four Mile Run. Some fish even take a detour into the National Mall’s tidal basin.
https://www.fws.gov/fisheries/fishmigration/alewife.html
http://www.explorenaturalcommunities.org/parks-places/rock-creek-park/videos-and-podcasts/rock-creek-fish-ladder

ICYMI, earlier this week parts of the Potomac River bed were exposed when strong winds literally blew river water away f...
03/09/2018
Last week’s wind storm partially drained the Potomac, and you’ll never guess what’s on the bottom

ICYMI, earlier this week parts of the Potomac River bed were exposed when strong winds literally blew river water away from land, into the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean! A local reporter documented what natural and cultural relics were exposed:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/03/05/last-weeks-wind-storm-drained-the-potomac-and-youll-never-guess-whats-on-the-bottom/?utm_term=.45abea151cd3

Judging by water marks on the river gate to the Tidal Basin, the water was about four to five feet below normal, which makes it comparable to the only other significant blowout in D.C. history.

It's almost frog time!Our amphibian monitoring crew gets started in late March, searching forest pools for frog and sala...
03/06/2018

It's almost frog time!
Our amphibian monitoring crew gets started in late March, searching forest pools for frog and salamander egg masses and other signs of life.
Between now and July they'll visit Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Rock Creek Park, and a few other nearby national parks.
Learn more at: https://www.nps.gov/im/ncrn/amphibians.htm

NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring's cover photo
03/05/2018

NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring's cover photo

01/30/2018
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Start looking west around 6:15 am tomorrow morning to see the #LunarEclipse

What do you get when you have a supermoon, which also happens to be the 2nd full Moon of the month, passing through Earth’s shadow during a total lunar eclipse? A Super Blue Blood Moon! Catch this lunar trifecta coming our way on Jan. 31: http://go.nasa.gov/2FuilP0

Want some Friday Frog Fun?How many gray tree frogs can you find in this photo taken over the summer by our amphibian mon...
01/26/2018

Want some Friday Frog Fun?
How many gray tree frogs can you find in this photo taken over the summer by our amphibian monitoring team at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park?
(We'll post the answer at the end of the day today!)

Please be on the lookout for this new invasive insect pest- the spotted lanternfly. They affect both fruit crops, vines,...
01/23/2018
Virginia Master Naturalist Program

Please be on the lookout for this new invasive insect pest- the spotted lanternfly. They affect both fruit crops, vines, trees like maples, walnuts, and pines, and more.
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/hungry-pests/the-threat/spotted-lanternfly/spotted-lanternfly

The invasive spotted lanternfly was detected at two sites in Frederick County, VA this month, and it may have already spread to additional sites. Familiarize yourself with this series insect pest (fact sheet at https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-180/ENTO-180.html), and use this link to report sightings: https://ask.extension.org/groups/1981/ask.

01/22/2018

During a Federal government shutdown, we do not monitor or update social media.

NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring's cover photo
01/12/2018

NPS National Capital Region Network Inventory & Monitoring's cover photo

Usually when we talk about the damage that non-native plants can cause in our natural areas, we talk about their competi...
12/27/2017

Usually when we talk about the damage that non-native plants can cause in our natural areas, we talk about their competition with native plants. But for the invasive heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), there's a whole other layer of concern because its leaves and fruit are poisonous to some animals. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/nandom/all.html
#invasiveplants

Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica) may look pretty in winter and be used in holiday decorations, but it is a nonnative invasive shrub. Note how many seedlings appear under these bushes. Nandina is ubiquitous in so many southern gardens, but its berries can be toxic to some of our songbirds such as our beloved cedar waxwings. If you like red berries in your garden, choose American holly (Ilex opaca) or Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), two lovely natives. The birds will thank you.

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What can be done about the overgrown landscape in Old Town Alexandria on the N end along GW Parkway?
Award-Winning Author William Connery will speak To The Rock Creek Park Civil War Round Table On Saturday September 1, 2018 Talk at 9:30 am At the Rock Creek Nature Center 5200 Glover Rd. NW, Washington DC 20015 On the topic Mosby’s Raids in Civil War Northern Virginia