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National Park Service


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Science, Biology

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West


YouTube Video

Pika Stories in Rocky Mountain National Park

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  • This video from the National Park Service describes a research study about Pika, an important climate indicator species present in Rocky Mountain National Park. 
  • The video explains how scientists monitor the species, track their health, and collect data with the help of citizen science volunteers. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video provides an example of how volunteers can support climate change research. 
  • Pika are cute mammals that students will likely enjoy learning about.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some understanding of the ways that climate change affects ecosystems.


  • This video could be used in a lesson about migrations of animals and plants due to climate change, citizen science, habitat loss, or ecosystem dynamics.
  • Science and math classes could discuss the steps that scientists must take when they design a research project and tie it into lessons about the scientific method, data collection, and data analysis.
  • Teachers could pair this resource with this video about how climate change is impacting wildlife, or learn more about your region using these interactive map resources: Global Forest Watch, Maps of Precipitation, and NASA Climate Time Machine.
Scientist Notes
Pika in the Rocky Mountain National park is being studied in this video to understand the impact of climate change and seasonality on its spatial distribution. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Related Resources


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