National Environmental Research Parks (NERPs)
are outdoor laboratories that provide opportunities for
environmental studies on protected lands that act as buffers around
Department of Energy (DOE) facilities.
The objective of the NERP system is
to provide protected lands for research and education, particularly
to demonstrate the compatibility of energy technology development
and a quality environment.
Idaho National Laboratory's NERP designation has allowed
the INL to serve as an outdoor laboratory for environmental
scientists to study Idaho's native plants and wildlife in an intact
and relatively undisturbed ecosystem.
The Idaho Research Park provides exceptional opportunities for research because
of its established facilities, a security buffer that protects
research, long-term records of environmental conditions, and
partnerships with universities and industry.