Join the 2021 Scientists in Parks Fellows in a Water Cooler Chat related to topics covered during their summer internships. Details on presenters, times, and topics can be found below.

Wrangling Big Data for Natural Resource Projects
Date: September 24, 2021
Time: 4:00PM – 5:00 PM Eastern
Registration Link:

Are you using “big data” or geospatial datasets in some of your projects? How did you obtain these data wrangling skills and what do you think are the major challenges when learning how to work with data? What resources would you recommend to those new to wrangling numbers and advanced statistical analysis? Interested in opportunities to work with long-term datasets managed by federal agencies?

If any of these questions are of interest, this is a webinar for you! Grab your favorite beverage and join this Water Cooler Chat hosted by three graduate students that recently participated in the Scientists in Parks Fellows Program. Each panelist conducted a project in collaboration with the National Park Service that featured “big data”: either long-term ecological datasets, complex population analysis, and/or highly detailed spatial information, etc.

Kristen Ewen, Biologist, NPS
Guest Hosts:
Alexandra Gulick, PhD Candidate, University of Florida
Mary Turnage, M.S. Candidate, Tufts University
Andrew Burchill, PhD Candidate, Arizona State University

Managing and Conserving Plant Biodiversity in the 21st Century
Date: October 15, 2021
Time: 4:00PM – 5:00 PM Eastern
Registration Link:

The management and conservation of plant biodiversity is becoming increasingly necessary while simultaneously becoming more difficult as the effects of climate change, invasive species, and expanded land use take a toll. Despite these challenges, what are scientists and land managers doing to develop innovative approaches to slow and reverse the loss of plant biodiversity? What strategies have worked, what didn’t, and where do we go from here? Are there certain skill sets required to tackle these large-scale issues and if so, are we preparing our students for addressing such issues?

Grab your favorite beverage and join us for a Water Cooler Chat about the future of plant management and conservation in the face of 21st century challenges. Our panel consists of three graduate students that recently participated in the Scientists in Parks Fellows Program, all of whom worked to tackle unique challenges in the management of plant biodiversity. They look forward to generating a hopeful discussion that sheds light on the diverse work being undertaken to solve this important issue.

Guest Hosts:
Vida Svahnstrom, MSc Student, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Hannah Bonner, PhD Candidate, University of Colorado Boulder
Sienna Wessel, M.S. Student, University of Wyoming

Want to see more? 

Visit the SIP YouTube Channel to watch the presentations listed below:

Hannah Bonner, Zion National Park
Harmful Algal Blooms in the Virgin River, Zion National Park

Andrew Burchill, Isle of Royale National Park
Analysis of long term trends in bird abundance at Isle Royale National Park

Alexandra Gulick, Christiansted National Historic Park and Buck Island Reef National Monument
Status assessment of the hawksbill turtle nesting population at Buck Island Reef National Monument: Next steps for effective management

Kelsey Hollien, Saguaro National Park
Wildlife and climate change in high elevation springs in Saguaro National Park

Sana Saiyed, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Develop climate change curriculum for high school students, focusing specifically on changes to the island of Hawai’i

Andrea Salazar, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Monitoring and managing Endangered Forest Species in Muir Woods and surrounding GGNRA parklands

Vida Svahnstrom, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Develop species-specific management strategies for endangered plants

Joelee Tooley, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Climate Change Impacts on a Zoonotic Disease in Alpine Ecosystem

Mary Burford Turnage, Dinosaur National Monument
Applied Geospatial Imaging Technology for Wildlife and Plant Conservation

Sienna Wessel, Grand Teton National Park
Science communication and application to sagebrush steppe restoration in Grand Teton National Park