National Park Service

About Natural Resources

Park rangers measuring plants
Monitoring rare plant species at Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by NPS/Mathew Levine.

The Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate (NRSS) develops, disseminates, and utilizes the tools of natural and social science to enable the National Park Service to fulfill its core mission: the protection of park resources and values. The directorate provides leadership, expertise, and scientific support such that the natural resources of the National Park System are unimpaired for future generations.

DOI Departmental Manual, Chapter 6

With most of its staff located in Fort Collins and Lakewood, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., the NRSS provides scientific and technical support to national parks for the management of natural resources. The directorate oversees the following programs:

Three additional offices offer support and expertise to the directorate:


To help parks and partners in natural resource management, the NRSS:

  • Coordinates resource inventory and monitoring activities
  • Implements technical resource management solutions
  • Funds resource management projects
  • Acts as a national clearinghouse for resource management information
  • Facilitates resource management partnerships and training
  • Synthesizes and disseminates resource management policy, regulations, and permitting
  • Supports resource management planning, research, and policy development
  • Informs internal and external audiences about natural resource management programs, activities, and accomplishments

More Information

For more information about the NRSS, please browse this website or contact us.

Last Updated: September 20, 2012