Hands-on Park Learning for High School Students

During a Denali trip, Alaskan students and park rangers gathered and monitored park data, and discussed ways to maintain the park for future generations.

It's more than a mountain—Denali National Park and Preserve features North America's highest mountain, 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley. The Alaska Range also includes countless other spectacular mountains and many large glaciers. Denali's more than 6 million acres also encompass a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose.

Today the park accommodates a wide variety of visitor use including wildlife viewing, mountaineering, and backpacking. It continues to provide a laboratory for research in the natural sciences.

On a 7-day Denali Expedition, Alaskan high school students patrolled with a wilderness ranger and learned to gather and monitor data such as vegetation changes and human impacts on wilderness. Through hands-on experience, discussion, and guided journal reflection, the youth learned about park management issues and shared their thoughts on how to make the park increasingly relevant to their generation.