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Visitor Use in Grand Teton Topic of UW-Park Service Research Center Talk

July 27, 2018
Jenna Baker and Will Rice

A lecture on the role of ecological and social science research in the country’s national parks, especially in Grand Teton National Park, will be discussed at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center Thursday, Aug. 2. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

Jenna Baker and Will Rice, both master’s degree candidates, will discuss “The Tetons are calling and we must go: Visitor use and experience at String and Leigh Lakes” as part of the Harlow Summer Seminars.

They will speak at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. The talk is part of the weekly Harlow Summer Seminars series.

The mission of the National Park Service is to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” To meet this dual mandate, park managers seek to better understand the intricacies of both the natural and social systems of public lands, Baker and Rice say. Grand Teton National Park supports science-based decision making by promoting research of visitor experience and use, as well as recreation-related resource impacts.

Baker, in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, and Rice, from Pennsylvania State University’s Protected Areas Research Collaborative, will talk about their ongoing collaborative study at String and Leigh lakes in Grand Teton National Park, which provides an example of how park managers continue to strive toward understanding how visitors are interfacing with the natural world.

Formerly called the AMK Ranch Talk Series, the Harlow Summer Seminars program is named after retired UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Professor Hank Harlow, who helped make the UW-NPS Research Center a significant center for research and community outreach. Harlow began the popular weekly public seminars during the summer months.

For more information about the Harlow Summer Seminars, contact Michael Dillon at (307) 314-9833 or

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