Science and Ecosystem Management in the National Parks presents twelve case studies of long-term research conducted in and around national parks that address major natural resource issues. These cases demonstrate how the use of longer time scales strongly influences our understanding of ecosystems and how interpretations of short-term patterns in nature often change when viewed in the context of long-term data sets. Most important, they show conclusively that scientific research significantly reduces uncertainty and improves resource management decisions. Chosen by scientists and senior park managers, the cases offer a broad range of topics, including air quality at the Grand Canyon; interaction between moose and wolf populations on Isle Royale; control of exotic species in Hawaiian parks; simulation of natural fire in the parks of the Sierra Nevada; and the impact of urban expansion on Saguaro National Monument. Because national parks are increasingly beset with conflicting views of their management, the need for knowledge of park ecosystems becomes even more critical - not only for the parks themselves, but for what they can tell us about survival in the rest of our world. This book demonstrates to policymakers and managers that decisions based on knowledge of ecosystems are more enduring and cost effective than decisions derived from uninformed consensus. It also provides scientists with models for designing research to meet threats to our most precious natural resources. "If we can learn to save the parks", observe Halvorson and Davis, "perhaps we can learn to save the world".