Research in Minnesota state parks

Two researchers in a state park, looking at field identification guides.



Easy access and abundant natural features make Minnesota state parks the perfect place for a variety of resource-related research.

Animal inventories, geological investigations, archaeological surveys, and environmental monitoring are just a few examples of research projects that take place in Minnesota state parks every year. 

Scientific research in state parks increases our understanding of natural and cultural resources, and often leads to information that can be used to better manage these resources into the future.

Who can apply to conduct research?

Researchers, university staff, other governmental agencies, and independent contractors are strongly encouraged to carry out research in Minnesota State Parks.

Application instructions

Researchers must submit a completed research application to the Minnesota State Parks and Trails resource management program. Early submission of your completed application is strongly advised.  Review of permit applications may take up to 30 days. For more information, contact Tavis Westbrook: [email protected], 218-302-3255.

Applications must include and describe:

  • Research objectives, design, and methods.
  • The fieldwork schedule and anticipated end date.
  • Methods of collection and disposition of specimens.
  • Potential resource impacts.

Researchers must submit a copy of their findings to the Minnesota State Parks and Trails no later than two years after completion of the project.

Researchers may need additional DNR permits to conduct certain types of scientific research, or to conduct research on other DNR-administered lands.

Back to top