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The U.S. National Park Service recently celebrated 100 years of stewardship of America’s natural and historic treasures. Many of those monuments, scenic rivers, parks, and historic sites are visible from space—where the views are just as compelling. On this page we have collected some of NASA’s best images of National Parks and other federal lands, along with stories of earth science in those parks.
Many National Parks were created to protect forests and ecosystems from development and fragmentation. But changes in temperature, rainfall, and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide could eventually do as much to remake forests as humans did with saws and fires and bulldozers. Read more
Shrinking since at least the early 1900s, the ice cover in Glacier National Park is expected to keep declining until only insignificant lumps remain. These images show changes to the park’s ice and surrounding landscape since 1984. Read more
In 1988, wildfires raced through Yellowstone National Park, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres. This series of Landsat images tracks the landscape’s slow recovery through 2011. Read more
Combined with human demands, a multi-year drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin caused a dramatic drop in the Colorado River’s Lake Powell in the early part of the 2000s. The lake began to recover in the latter part of the decade, but as of 2015, it was still well below capacity. Read more