Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2023

Department 1

Environmental Studies


National Parks have a contradictory mandate to preserve the environment while providing resources for recreation. We studied the emissions of Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP), specifically: What are the annual and per capita emissions caused by the various forms of transportation within the park? How does the annual and per capita emissions of GNMP compare with other national parks? To study this we compiled visitor statistics from the National Parks Service of vehicle and visitor count. We then observed 165 vehicles at Pickett’s Charge to find a breakdown of tourist vehicle types. These proportions were then used to find the amount of a specific vehicle type GNMP sees annually. Gas mileage was found using national averages for each vehicle type, and an average 13.4 mile tour distance. Using an EPA table, total gallons consumed was converted to kilograms of CO2. This study found cars emit the most CO2 annually and EVs emit the least annually with motorcycles being the second to lowest. Trucks/SUVs emit the most per capita, and EV’s emit the least per capita with buses emitting the second to lowest. GNMP is 5th to smallest in mobile combustion, and 9th to smallest in per capita emissions when compared to 18 other parks from Steuer (2010). GNMP’s mid-level CO2 output as a smaller sized park shows potential environmental benefits from a more widespread bus tour system, bus capacity minimums, carpooling emphasis, and an increase in EV infrastructure to reduce CO2 output from tourist transportation.


Written for ES 400: Seminar.