The National Parks Ecological Research (NPER) Fellowship Program, coordinated by the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, and Ecological Society of America, has encouraged and supported outstanding post-doctoral research in ecological sciences related to the flora of U.S. National Parks. NPER research took advantage of the range of environments, conditions, and scales available in National Parks, focusing on questions that advance the science of ecology independent of immediate Park needs. This program was funded for nine years through a generous grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It was completed in 2009.

The NPER Program awarded up to four fellowships each year to researchers who have recently completed their Ph.D. Awards have supported research on a wide variety of ecological topics related to the flora of the National Parks in a variety of ecosystems. NPER Fellows have examined regional controls of floristic diversity in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the potential for indirect effects of gray wolf recolonization on aspen regeneration in Yellowstone National Park, the relationship between plant species diversity and nitrogen cycling in the marine/terrestrial transition zone at Point Reyes National Seashore, and the role of microbial mutualists in regulating plant invasion and successional dynamics of Great Lakes sand dune communities in three National Lakeshores. Please click here to learn more about the research projects of our fellows.