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It's Elemental My Dear! What Makes an Experience Different at Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
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In this study, the scientists wanted to identify the most important elements of an experience in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
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"Science Topics" covered in this article:
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Do you like nature but science is your least favorite subject? You could still become an environmental scientist! Some environmental scientists are social scientists. Social scientists study individuals or groups of people. Instead of working with chemicals or microscopes, environmental social scientists study the relationship of individuals or groups of people to the natural environment. They often do this by observing people or by asking them questions. In this study, the scientists wanted to know which elements of an outdoor recreation experience were important to people visiting a wilderness in Alaska. The scientists wanted to identify elements of visitor experiences that wilderness managers could track. Some of the elements might be things that people can change. Other elements might be things that people cannot change. Weather is one example of an element that affects your outdoor experience. The person you are with is another element that affects your experience. Think about your favorite outdoor activity. There is at least one element that affects how much you enjoy yourself when you do that activity. What is that element?
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is located in the northern third of Alaska (figure 1). Gates of the Arctic is a national park, but was also designated a wilderness by Congress in 1980. For centuries, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve has been inhabited by native people. Today, native people still use this area for subsistence, and other people go there to do things such as hiking, backpacking, and rafting. This area was created by glaciers, which carved large valleys and wild rivers (figure 2). It is now covered with boreal forests and arctic tundra (figures 3 and 4). This area also has an abundance of wildlife. Some of the larger wildlife species include caribou (kair uh bu), Dall sheep, wolves, and bears (figure 5).
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:NSE Standards covered in this article:
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