In the National Park Service, there are a lot of acronyms and buzz words used to describe entities and procedures. I compiled a list of lingo that are thrown around the office and in the field:

Arrowhead: The National Park Service emblem

Bioswail: area of plants and soil to capture sediment before they reach the water source

Blowdown: a tree or trees that have been blown down by the wind or other factors.

“It is best to avoid blowdown while walking through the forest.”

Cut stump: Using loppers to cut woody stems and apply a herbicide to stunt growth

Dbh: stands for diameter at breast height, is a measuring tape.

Epp: a sound made by a crewmember to locate other members or call for assistance in the forest

1 epp= hey! 2epps= come over here 3epps= emergency or cool mushroom

GAR: Operational risk management assessment procedure that ranks 8 categories green, amber, or red to determine mitigation

Garlon: Herbicide used for cut stump treatments

GIS: geographic information systems capture, store, manipulate, and analyze spatial data

GPS: global positioning system

HAGA:  a rangefinder used to measure the height of trees and forest canopy.

Hori-hori: Japanese soil knife that is very sharp and useful for removing blackberry shrubs

Nurse log: a fallen tree that decays and provides nutrients to support other trees

Organic Act of 1916: the federal that established the National Park Service

“…to conserve the scenery  and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

PIV: Personal identity verification card for US Federal employees that takes a long process to obtain

PNW: Pacific Northwest

PPE: Personal protective equipment such as goggles or gloves

Snag: dead tree that has fallen or at a 40 degree angle

SPE: severity, probability, and exposure for assessing risk of injury

Surfactant: a chemical solution mixed with herbicide to stick to the plant it is applied to

Transect: a line in which people walk along that is representative of the larger site usually for invasive work or vegetation monitoring

Tree hugging: literally hugging trees or measuring a tree using a dbh measuring tape (see dbh)

VC: Visitor Center

VIP: Volunteer-in-Parks program for people to get involved in the national parks

WASO: Washington Support Office is the NPS national headquarters which provide services to the regional offices and coordinate with other agencies

YCC: Youth Conservation Corps is a summer youth program

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Written by Kayla Fermin
I am a recent graduate of Syracuse University, where I studied Geography and Religion. I am now working as a biological technician intern in the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Astoria, Oregon. Follow my adventures!