News

  1. Bears without Boundaries Part 4: How Social Media Affects the Human–Bear Conflict Zone

    Bears without Boundaries Part 4: How Social Media Affects the Human–Bear Conflict Zone Story by Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Today’s human–bear conflict zone is made even more complicated by our ability to instantly share information digitally to huge numbers of people with the click of a few buttons on our smart phones or laptop keyboards. “In the last few years, we have been alarmed at the number Read more...
  2. Bears without Boundaries Part 3: The Smoky Mountains BearWise Community Taskforce

    Bears without Boundaries Part 3: The Smoky Mountains BearWise Community Taskforce By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director As a resident of Gatlinburg’s Chalet Village, SJ Geis encounters a lot of tourists and a lot of bears during the high season in the Smokies. She says that most of the vacationers have never lived in bear country and are completely “clueless and unsuspecting” about bear behavior Read more...
  3. Bears without Boundaries Part 2: Get Back to the BearWise Basics

    Bears without Boundaries Part 2: Get Back to the BearWise Basics By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  Black bear populations are on the rise in our region—and so are human ones. The intersection of the two living together in ever increasing areas of development is what biologists call the human–bear conflict zone. Bears are opportunists; they eat what is readily available. Imagine Read more...
  4. Bears Without Boundaries Part 1: Evolution of the Human–Bear Conflict Zone

    Bears Without Boundaries Part 1: Evolution of the Human–Bear Conflict Zone By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  Sequoia and Redwood national parks have their giant trees. Yellowstone has the Great Fountain Geyser; Yosemite has Half Dome. For Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as many communities in its vicinity, the icon is the black bear. Unlike large rocks, trees and fountains, bears move Read more...
  5. Magic Drawing Bear: Episode Three

    Magic Drawing Bear: Episode Three By Lisa Horstman, GSMA Lead Publications Specialist Can you guess what the drawing is before it's finished? Author and illustrator extraordinaire Lisa Horstman presents Magic Drawing Bear, fun for kids of all ages. “Preserving the park and its history through my designs shows me that working toward a goal that is much bigger and longer- Read more...
  6. Album produced by ETSU’s Dr. Ted Olson receives Independent Music Award

    Album produced by ETSU’s Dr. Ted Olson receives Independent Music Award “Tell It to Me: Revisiting the Johnson City Sessions, 1928-1929,” an album produced and curated by East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Ted Olson, was recently named Best Compilation Album for 2019 by the Independent Music Awards. “Tell It to Me” was released by Germany’s Bear Family Records, an internationally Read more...
  7. An Unlikely Park Champion

    An Unlikely Park Champion By Ben Anderson In the early 20th century, our nation was fortunate to have a number of exceptionally wealthy people who became heavily involved in the conservation and national parks movement. Among them was John D. Rockefeller Jr., whose philanthropy was vital to the creation of several parks across the country, including Great Smoky Mountains Read more...
  8. Smoky Mountain Air podcast series becomes GSMA’s latest storytelling tool

    Smoky Mountain Air podcast series becomes GSMA’s latest storytelling tool While working from home the past two months, GSMA’s Creative Team has explored and developed some great new ways to help interpret our park’s cultural and natural history. Today, we are launching the latest of these: Smoky Mountain Air.  Hosted by Videographer and Publications Associate Valerie Polk and Senior Publications Read more...
  9. These Puzzling Times

    These Puzzling Times By Karen Key  During these times of self-isolation, with children out of school for months on end, I’ve found myself struggling to find enriching, educational activities that keep my second grader, Violet, occupied at home.  She misses her regular routine, her teachers and her friends—and, as time goes on, it only gets Read more...
  10. Writer NOT in Residence: When You Take A Step Back, Yet Move Forward

    Writer NOT in Residence: When You Take A Step Back, Yet Move Forward Story and images by Sue Wasserman Have you ever heard the expression “when the student is ready the teacher appears?” A healer, who became a dear friend and mentor, shared this wisdom from Lao Tzu many years ago. Back then, however, I always assumed the teacher would be human. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined my Read more...

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