Tag: Biodiversity

  1. Scientist Uncovers Secret Life of Soil

    Scientist Uncovers Secret Life of Soil Some connections in the vast web of life are little easier to see than others. In the Smokies this time of year, black bears lumber up the swaying branches of native cherry trees to feast on dark, sun-ripened fruit. Wood thrushes swoop down from their perches to snatch fat caterpillars and worms from the forest floor. A hungry snail might Read more...
  2. Plant life makes a comeback after 2016 wildfires

    Plant life makes a comeback after 2016 wildfires By Alix Pfennigwerth A few days after the arson-caused 2016 Chimney Tops 2 wildfire spread across 11,000 acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Rob Klein, a National Park Service fire ecologist, hiked up the park’s Bull Head Trail. National Park Service fire ecologist Rob Klein discusses the impacts of the 2016 Read more...
  3. Discover Life in America Keeps on Discovering

    Discover Life in America Keeps on Discovering By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Did you know that there are now 21,183 total known species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? That’s a lot of species, and new ones are always likely to be discovered during bioblitz events hosted by nonprofit park partner Discover Life in America (DLiA). DLiA manages the All Taxa Read more...
  4. Park Leads the World in Science of ‘Water Bears’

    Park Leads the World in Science of ‘Water Bears’ By Aaron Searcy When Dr. Paul Bartels takes a walk in the woods, he sees a landscape absolutely teeming with bears. You’ll just need a microscope to see the ‘bears’ he has in mind. “They occur in moss and lichen on trees and rocks,” said Bartels. “They’re also in soil, in leaf litter, and stream Read more...
  5. The monarchs are coming!

    The monarchs are coming! By Will Kuhn, Director of Science and Research with Discover Life in America  Monarch butterflies have begun their yearly northward migration and are due to arrive in the Smokies any day now. This time of year, you may start to see Danaus plexippus flying around the region. These attractive orange and black butterflies have made the long Read more...
  6. Science at Sugarlands: Grassy Balds

    Grassy Balds

    Mysterious and haunting, Southern Appalachian grassy balds have long fascinated scientists and hikers alike. How many balds are there in the Smokies? How did they evolve? How do they support rare plants? Can balds be found in other parts of the world?

  7. Curiosity Cabinet: Hickory Horned Devils become Regal Moths

    Citheronia regalis

    By Peyton Proffitt

    This month, curiosity drew me to the remarkable collection of insects housed at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center. At first, I was overwhelmed by the number, age and diversity of the specimens, but after a few minutes, I decided to focus on specimens that made me think, “Oh, how pretty!”

  8. Studies Offer Insights into Behaviors of Park Bears

    Bear searching trash for food

    By Steve Kemp

    Four research projects focused on bears in the Great Smoky Mountains are currently underway or have recently been completed. Of the four, the results of two are troubling, one is encouraging, and on the last, it’s too early to tell.

  9. Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    By Peyton Proffitt

    Growing up in a gateway community, I spent most of my childhood summers swimming in the rivers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of my happiest memories are of looking for salamanders with my friends and sketching the specimens in my notebook. For my first Curiousity Cabinet entry, I decided to feature the biggest salamander of all: the hellbender.

  10. DLiA’s Science at Sugarlands Focuses on Fish Restoration

    Pat Rakes

    By Frances Figart

    Part of the mission of any national park is protecting and restoring species that were once native. Restoring native fish is an exciting area of Smokies science that goes unseen by those who are not swimming or snorkelling in park waters.


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